On January 25, we held our annual Real Estate Forecast for over 900 attendees. With presentations from our President Susie Ewing, VP and COO Brandon Wells, and State Demographer Elizabeth Garner, we heard last year’s statistics on home sales as well as predictions on Northern Colorado’s population growth, job growth, home appreciation and more!
In the past, our forecasts have been 97 – 99% accurate. Last year was no different as our forecast was roughly 98%.
It’s no secret that the state of Colorado has seen a massive population bump over the past few years. According to Elizabeth Garner, we were the seventh fastest growing state in the country in 2016. And, within Colorado, our Northern region is the fastest growing, and will continue to be as people migrate here for jobs and as home prices become more evenly distributed.
In fact, jobs have been the most important factor in Northern Colorado’s population growth. As careers in every price range increase, people from every facet of life relocate and, of course, need a place to live. “Jobs are people and people have to live somewhere,” Garner said.
Because of this, we’re seeing commuters moving north from Denver to escape rising home sales in the city. And, for similar reasons, most people moving out of Larimer County are relocating to Weld County. As people from both areas move in over the next 13 to 18 years, Weld County is predicted to surpass Larimer as the highest population in Northern Colorado — though both counties will continue to grow.
While we’ve seen population growth, job growth and moves from county to county, we continue to see home appreciation throughout the market. Over the last five years of home ownership, every Northern Colorado submarket has gained in value. This means that if you owned a home here in 2011 and still own that home, you’ve earned approximately $100,000 dollars if not more.
According to Brandon Wells, “We’ll continue to have a very strong and robust real estate market.”
And, out of necessity, we’ll also see a full income distribution of home’s available from upscale homes in Fort Collins and Windsor to lower priced family homes in Greeley — the NoCo city with the lowest-priced home sales.
Though Northern Colorado is continually growing, these next few years will see a peak. Afterward, population overall will continue to grow, but at a much slower rate.
10,247 homes were sold in Larimer and Weld counties in 2016 at an increase of 11%. Next year, The Group forecasts 10,746 home sales — a 5% increase.
Average home sale price in 2017 for Fort Collins, Timnath and Wellington is predicted to be $395,000 at a 5.7% increase. In Loveland and Berthoud it’s forecasted to be $338,000 (+5.3%), $265,000 for Greeley and Evans (+4.8%), $306,849 in Wellington (+10.4%), and $408,000 in Windsor and Severance (+4.5%).
Weld County is expected to top half a million people within the next 13 to 18 years, but Larimer’s population likely won’t exceed 500,000 until 2044.
Overall, residents of Northern Colorado can expect to see continued job growth, population growth and home appreciation. This means low unemployment, more new neighbors, more new businesses, and more fun places to visit around town!