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The Time is Right to Buy in Colorado Springs

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Time is Right to Buy in Colorado Springs

Downtown Colorado Springs

An exciting new study released in July 2015 confirms what many of us already know: Colorado Springs tops the list of the best locations for first-time homebuyers.

WalletHub looked at 300 U.S. cities to assess their appeal to those looking to make their first big home purchase. The study’s statistical data was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Council for Community and Economic Research, Zillow, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Experian, CoreLogic, and WalletHub research.

The researchers categorized the cities based on the following population sizes:

  • Large cities: More than 300,000 people

  • Midsize cities: 150,000 to 300,000 people

  • Small cities: Fewer than 150,000 people

Colorado Springs ranked 1st among the 62 cities with a population of at least 300,000, 15th among all 300 cities, and 5th overall for the lowest real estate tax.

Key metrics were used in 18 categories that fell under the three main headings of Housing Affordability, Real Estate Market, and Living Environment. The specific factors within each of these categories that the researchers weighed included:

  • Median Household Annual Income

  • Housing Costs

  • Sale-to-List Price Ratio

  • Median Home-Price Appreciation

  • Violent and Property Crime Rates

  • Weather

  • School Systems

  • Driving Environment

  • Availability of Jobs

The job availability factor is a primary one. Colorado enjoyed its highest employment growth in this century in 2014, and all forecasts point to continued expansion in the state's economy with a variety of jobs in almost every business sector being added. Economist Richard Wobbekind of the University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business, speaking at the 50th annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook, said:

"Not only is the state's economy solidly in positive territory, but it is ranking in the top five nationally for population growth, employment growth, wage and salary growth and personal income growth."

Another facet of Colorado Springs’ large appeal for first-time buyers is attributable to the city’s affordability, especially when compared with Denver and other surrounding cities. The appreciation in value experienced by Springs’ homes has been a gradual but consistent 6 percent to 7 percent a year, leaving prices less vulnerable to the drastic drops seen in cities such as double-digit increase Denver when the economy stalls or tanks. With a median home sales price that is $112,000 higher than that of Colorado Springs, first-time buyers in the Denver market are paying several hundred dollars more each month on their mortgages.

Other local economic and quality of life improvements, such as growth at local hospitals and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs as well as road and infrastructure upgrades, all add extra incentives for first-time homebuyers to make the number one best large city in Colorado their number one destination of choice for putting down roots and investing in their own futures. This bodes very well for the rest of the real estate market, including sales in the traditionally soft high-end home sector, because it frees up existing homeowners with equity in their current homes to take the investment leap into more expensive properties.

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