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Steadily rising home prices raise concern among Colorado Springs city leaders

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The city's white-hot housing market has been great for its economy, but that appears to be changing.

The City Council this week expressed concern that steadily-rising home prices are starting to discourage some employers -- and maybe even some families -- from moving here.

According to the city's 2020 financial report released Monday, the average price of a single family home jumped 20% in the past year, to $437,000, while the average price of a condominium or townhome increased 18% to $295,000.

"But you can almost throw affordability out the window because the demand is so high," Jeff Greene, the mayor's chief of staff, told the council during Monday's work session.

"We can't build enough houses to meet the demand," he said. "People are paying from $30,000 to $50,000 above the listed price for a home. This can't continue. We need to do something soon."

Councilman David Geislinger said that providing more affordable and available housing is the top objective of the city's Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation.

"It's nice to have companies wanting to move here but it's hard for their employees to find places to live," he said.

Officials said that the rise in home prices is driven by high demand, low supply and significant costs increases in lumber, steel, concrete and other building materials.

"The situation has a lot of moving parts that we're trying to bring together," said Richard Skorman, council president. "Maybe we can reduce the fees that we charge builders. Maybe we can give them land to help reduce costs. We're looking at everything."

Renee Zentz, CEO of the Housing and building association of Colorado Springs, supports lowering fees.

"There's an estimate that for every house, at least $80,000 is federal, state and local fees," she said. "The faster we can process zoning and entitlement, then we're able to put houses on the ground faster -- which costs less in the long run because we don't have money tied up."

The city received more federal funding in 2020 and 2021 for affordable housing projects, but that's only a drop in the bucket of what's needed.

"I see the market remaining like this for a while," Zentz said. "We need more housing -- all types of housing."

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

Comments

16 Comments

    1. How many idiots got fooled by the “your rate will stay the same” scam?! It was coupled with dismantling the legislation that keep your valuation frozen!! Get ready to write big checks, fools. The whole deal with property taxes is that school costs be spread equally based on house values. So if school costs increased 2 percent from last year and housing values went up 15 percent, your bill would still go up only 2 percent, NOT 15%! The new legislation passed has nothing to do with school costs increases. They are now taking a piece of your homes profit!!

  1. What we need is Gov. to force banks to approve loans that they know will never be able to be paid back! If you work at McDonalds and have three kids you deserve a huge house right?
    Get those loans! You can pay them back by getting an education….well you will need to take out school loans for that. Hey, colleges don’t get so big and pay those professors with the hugs and social justice ya know!

    Wait, when was the last time a scheme like this was pulled? Hmmmm
    Ahh it can’t happen twice, Not with Dems ruining the country….I meant running.

    1. @ everyone This has NOTHING to do with a political party and everything to do with peoples GREED. If it had something to do with a party it would be the republicans who have run the show the last 4 yrs (that’s when the prices went sky high this isn’t new)

      1. The prices are sky high because the value of the dollar has dropped. When they print so much money for covid and other projects, our dollar value falls significantly. Whether it’s a democrat or republican, it makes no difference. The average American will suffer.

        1. No, they are sky high mainly because the interests rates are so low and our inventory is low because after 2007 recession builders got BURNED and did not build for a LONG time. Now it seems there is no catching up.

  2. They never talk about having smaller homes built, manufactured homes and even tiny homes which would be more affordable than the over priced McMansions now being built.

    Don’t forget apartments whose rents are off the charts. How about more income based rents to help lower income people?

    Do they really care about people??

    Nahhh!! Just more lip service from the shapers of the new ColoFornia Springs.

    1. I am right there with you. I got tired of more fees taxes school bond fees, unexpected and unnecessary bumps in my homeowner’s insurance, Then the “fees” on every utility paying for bike lanes nobody but less than 10% of the population uses. I moved more east, county only- the greedy grabolicious only looking for the rich to move here rulers can shove their deceptions up their wazoos. They hate TABOR and find every way they can to take more money from homeowners living in WAY OVERPRICED homes. Whoopity do- “I live in Cosprings ON THE NORTHSIDE TOO, but I am starving to death.” THAT’s NO LIFE. That waiting for death so you can escape MORE TAXES.An article that was printed recently stated that Colorado Springs has only 16 homes for sale here that cost $300K or less? WHAT IS AFFORDABLE ABOUT THAT?? Hook that mortgage onto your student loan and you will starve to death here. Colorado does NOT invest in their citizens- they build to attract the tourists.ANd with covid onboard, they are going to be looking to re-gain lost revenue from SOMEBODY. They are talking about you.
      The old days of”trailer parks” are gone- these are extra well-built homes with warranties all new appliances, and I can afford to live here without STARVING TO DEATH. Even the grocery prices here are out of line.Read the charts put out about the cost of living in each state and you will find Colorado must now only be for the rich. Our comparisons to other states and COst of living are WAY ABOVE the national average..The only good thing about Colorado is that it’s NOT Texas.

      1. Yep. I remember years ago Colorado Springs was below average for cost of living, it was a nice place to live. It still is but is getting too crowded and expensive. My only saving grace is my home is PAID FOR. Now it’s just hoping property taxes don’t get too out of control with all the libtards who just LOVE to pay taxes and vote every thing in!! Idiots.

  3. This is has nothing to do with politics. Please stop attributing everything to -insert either party here-, you’re giving credit when no credit is due. This is the result of over a decade of ridiculousness and is why I no longer live on the front range.
    1. The rehab movement. People with stupid amounts of cash created an industry based on making crap smell good. Since then anything affordable has been purchased with cash, rehabbed, then sold for a ridiculous mark up. Hence affordable is no longer a thing.
    2. The influx of transplants from the coasts where home prices were already to high so the rehabbed homes here were attractive.
    3. The construction industry stopped building smaller homes for first time home buyers (tiny homes do not count as they average in the same price range as adult-sized homes). Instead, contractors decided to go on the bandwagon and made mid to high end homes.
    4. Uneven economic growth. Incentives passed by both sides of legislature attracted high paying skilled jobs from businesses who moved to Colorado for the tax breaks and regulations. Unfortunately no incentives were made to attract the labor needed for a stable working class and has only tipped the scales further.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s democrats or republicans that are in office. The only driving factor here is greed.

  4. Shouldn’t be reporting the average price. Should be reporting the median. Median is not $427k. It’s about $365k, which is still ridiculous, but it’s not $427k ridiculous.

  5. They should force every builder to build as many affordable homes as they build ridiculously plastic high-dollar homes.

  6. Really Skorman? GIVE the developers free land? Eliminate fees for them? All the while our utility bills keep increasing and our property taxes go up and up and up!! I for one hope the fed raises interests rates and SOON! and wait for the property prices to plummet! Then all the dummies who overpaid for their homes will be in a world of hurt. Happens every 20 years or so in this town!

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