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Nancy Murray, Realtor®
with Keller Williams Clients' Choice
Direct: 719-964-4810
Office: 719-357-6320
Fax: 866-748-9878
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Colorado Springs Housing Analysis Based On School District

Welcome back to our ninth year of the analysis of homes in the three primary Colorado School Districts, Academy School District 20, Colorado Springs District 11, and Falcon District 49.  This analysis includes home values based on sold properties for the month of January.

The market statistics found on the Colorado Springs MLS (Multi-Listing Service) website and reported by the media is an average for all single family homes, town homes, and condos in the City of Colorado Springs.  The housing market in each area and even subarea can be significantly different from the City average.  Since we market to buyers in Academy School District 20, we felt that a comparison between Academy School District 20 and the adjacent school districts, of approximately the same size, would help the reader/buyer see the value in purchasing a home in the award winning Academy School District 20.

For those selling in Academy School District 20, this information is just as valuable to you to determine how the market has faired over the past several years and how it may affect the sales price of your home.

Data Collection


The following analysis is based on homes sold in the month of January between 2005 and 2017.  Why January?  Technically, the analysis could be for any month, but we started the data collection the first year, right after the January housing statistics became available, so it made sense to use January.  Yes, a summer month, during peak buying season, would probably be a better choice, but several years ago we noticed sales increased significantly in January 2009 over December 2008, probably due to the availability of funding and distressed properties.  A perfect solution to the data collection would be to use all the data for each year.  Unfortunately, the previous platform for the Colorado Springs MLS, did not allow for large volumes of data to be downloaded for analysis at any one time.  So, in the beginning, we opted to pull and manipulate the data 15 times vice 180 times.  This also makes it simpler to update annually when dealing with only one month.


For listings sold, the trend for each area is more important than the actual numbers, primarily because District 11 covers a significantly larger area.  From the chart, we see that in 2017 the number of listings sold continued to increase for all three school districts. D20 was up 17.3%, D11 up 11%, and D49 up 13.5%. Both D11 and D49 had the highest number of sales in January 2017 since 2006.

Academy School District 20 Homes for Sale

The market is definitely on the uptrend with this slide.  Average sales price improved for all three school districts. D20 improved 10.3%, D11 12.9%, and D49 12.4%.  We would really like to see this appreciation rate at about 6-8% year over year. When it climbs too fast, then when there is a market correction, it can trend downward at a faster rate, just like we saw in 2008 and 2009.

Academy School District 20 Homes for Sale

This year we saw an increase in the median sales price for all three school districts, with D49 having the most drastic change.  Academy District 20 had a 10.8% increase, D49 a 32.2% increase, and D11 9.1% increase. This means that for D49, more higher priced homes sold in 2017 than previous years even though the average price did not change as drastically.  

Academy School District 20 Homes for Sale

All three districts saw a healthy increase in price/total square foot in 2017.  D20 had an increase to $122/sq ft, an increase of 5.7%.  D11 increased to $122/sq ft, which is an increase of 8.2%. And D49 had an increase to $105/sq ft, which is an increase of 2.9%. It is interesting to note that D11 and D20 have the same price/total square foot in 2017.  This is because D11 typically has smaller houses so the price/total square foot will be higher as a rule. It could also be driven by the average price point where D11's lower prices attract more buyers competing for the home, driving prices up.


The number of distressed properties to include bank owned and short sales, continued to decline. Very seldom do you see a bank owned property remain on the market for more than 30 days, often with multiple offers. Banks continue to put cash into the property by painting, replacing carpet, and installing new appliances, and then listing the home for market value. No longer a discounted price, but buyers are not having to make major repairs and communities are not facing decreasing values due to distressed bank sales.

The percentage of distressed properties for Academy School District 20 decreased from 6% to 4%, while D11 dropped from 13% to 6%, and D49 decreased from 10% to 3%.  Once again, with the recovering housing market, homeowners are finding that they have enough equity in their homes that they do not need to sell their homes using a short sale. My experience is that most of the distressed properties are bank owned properties and probably due to the result of a job loss or transfer.

Academy School District 20 continues to average among the lower number of distressed properties, this is probably due to a higher economic status for buyers in D20 who are often professionals and have previously purchased homes, used a conforming loan, and probably purchased the home with a down payment resulting in instant equity in the home.  The likelihood of defaulting is lower with those who purchase their home with a down payment for two reasons; 1) those who can save for the down payment typically have other funds to draw on to make payments when they are in a financial bind and 2) having the equity in the home would allow them to sell the home below market, though at a personal financial loss to them, before going into foreclosure.


Once again we saw a decrease in seller concessions in all three school districts. Seller concessions are very popular during a buyer’s market.  To improve their chances of a sale, sellers frequently offer or agree to pay a portion of the buyer’s closing costs or for other improvements.  Higher concessions are indicative of the desperation of the seller and also an indication that the seller is willing to give up equity in return for selling the home. Once in a seller's market, average concessions decline. This is the result of competing offers where the final net to the seller is often the determining factor. The lower the seller paid concessions, the higher the net.  Buyers need to keep this in mind when making offers in a competitive market. Seller paid concessions is at the discretion of the seller and not always a foregone conclusion.

For Academy District 20, Seller concessions decreased 33% from one year ago. D11 decreased only 0.6% and D49 decreased 7.7%.  

Academy School District 20 Homes for Sale

In 2017 Sellers were not having to negotiate much on price. The sales price/list price ratio was 99% for D20, 98.6% for D11, and 99.5% for D49.  D11 and D49 average days on market were 47 and 48, while D20 Days on market was a bit higher at 76.  Typically, higher priced homes take longer to sell, but it is still under 3 months for D20 which is very good.

In summary, it is our opinion that based on the January 2017 housing statistics, that homes purchased in any of the three school districts will retain their value, as long as the housing market continues to improve. The statistics for January 2017 show that D20, D11, and D49 all faired well at retaining or gaining in price/sq ft.  In previous years Academy District 20 clearly showed an advantage, but this year, like last year, we are not seeing this based on the average sales price and median sales price.  

It is still a good time to sell or buy. Sellers often receive multiple offers for well-priced homes in good condition. Buyers should consider buying now while interest rates are still low and before the prices appreciate too much. 

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By Nancy Murray

Murray & Associates, Keller Williams Colorado Springs

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