Home prices declining slower in Colorado Springs

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To begin the year, there’s good and not-so-good-news regarding home prices in the Pikes Peak region.

The area compared favorably with the rest of the country, based on First American CoreLogic’s loan performance home price index.

Based on the latest HPI results reported during December, home prices had continued their year-over-year decline nationally through October 2009.

Locally, home prices declined at only about half the rate of average U.S. home sales prices.

The city was not immune to foreclosure and short sale fallout, however.

During the same period, including distressed sales, prices fell -3.01 percent. That rate of decline was less, however, than September’s year-over-year -3.54 percent drop. Excluding distressed transactions, the year-over-year sales price fell -1.66 percent during October compared to September’s -2.24 percent result.

The best news of all: First American CoreLogic’s projection is that by October 2010, 12-month appreciation for Colorado Springs’ home prices, including distressed sales, will increase an average of 1.61 percent.

Pikes Peak region distressed home sales prices looked especially strong compared to the national statistics which showed a -7.8 percent decline during October 2009, compared to October 2008. Granted, there was a slight improvement over September’s year-over-year price decline of -9.5 percent, but distressed property prices continued to decline at a higher annual rate than non-distressed home prices.

Excluding foreclosures and bank-owned real estate the annual decline in national home sales prices was -5.8 percent through October, compared to September’s -6.3 percent decrease.

Things are looking up

For 2010, the HPI forecasts declines in the short term followed by a recovery beginning this spring. The 45 largest metropolitan markets are expected to see an average of a 4.2 percent home price decrease before bottoming in March of 2010, according to FACL chief economist Mark Fleming. Home price declines will be driven primarily by large numbers of foreclosures in four or five key areas. However, improvement in both unsold inventories and unemployment are projected for spring 2010, should result in an average year-over-year appreciation of about one percent by October for all metropolitan markets.

“We are continuing to see improvements in the year-over-year home price change as prices have remained relatively stable since April,” he said, crediting additional government support for the housing market which has stimulated demand and restricted supply in 2009. “How these government supports are removed in 2010 and the moderation of pending inventory and negative equity will be critical to the continued stability of the housing market.”

Home health group renames

Encompass Home Health of Colorado, formerly Family Home Health Care, has renewed a 4,639-square-foot lease at 5575 Tech Center Drive. The company employs about 90 people though most of work outside the office, said administrator Jim VerMeer. “We’re strictly medical home health providers and our services are largely Medicare reimbursed,” he said, adding that the integration of Encompass represents the first Colorado office for the Texas-based firm. Andrew Oyler of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group represented the landlord, Equastone Tech Center VI LLC, and Amber Strang of Jones Lang Lasalle represented the tenant.

Tech Center V adds tenant

Union National Mortgage Corp. has leased 2,216 square feet of office space in the Tech V building at 5475 Tech Center Drive. Andy Oyler of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group represented the landlord, Tech V LLC and Holly Trinidad of Hoff & Leigh represented the new tenant.

Cell tower lease

Q2 Interactive Media has leased a cell tower site at 340 Cheyenne Road from landlord 4615 Northpark LLC. Tim Leigh and R.D. Trinidad of Hoff & Leigh represented both the tenant and the owner.

Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.