Last week, we looked at the trends and statistics that defined the 2019 Northern Colorado housing market, in addition to housing prices, employment, population, mortgage rates and more. Plus, we announced our predictions for what we believe is on the horizon for Northern Colorado real estate in 2020.
Our findings were presented at our annual Real Estate Forecast held on January 22. To see the highlights from this presentation, including both 2019 and 2020 data, click here.
Let’s take it a step further by examining what happened over the last decade in Northern Colorado real estate. A lot can happen in 10 years, including the gradual yet dramatic restoration of a recovering market in the wake of the national housing crisis. Overall, we saw significant job growth, population increases, an emergence of new construction and housing price surges.
Ten years ago, the nation’s economy was staggering to its feet after the blow of the Great Recession. Northern Colorado weathered the storm better than most, but there was plenty of pain to be felt across the local real estate market. Now, 10 years later, we can look back at a decade where housing didn’t just recover — it roared.
As with almost every real estate upswing, the key to the 2010-2019 surge was robust job growth throughout the region. Between October 2009 and October 2019, the number of Northern Colorado residents who held jobs increased by nearly 130,000 (Boulder County-31,833, Larimer County-40,199, Weld County-56,213). And local unemployment rates currently hover close to 2 percent, which is less than the national average currently lingering around 3.5 percent.
Northern Colorado’s largest communities — Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland — seemed to simply return to the long-running growth patterns that characterized much of the 1990s and 2000s. In each of the three cities, population increased approximately 16 percent over the course of the last decade, and home prices surged at least 85 percent in all three from 2010 to the end of 2019.
Those figures were impressive, but the makeovers that took place in the region’s smaller communities were downright startling. For instance, once-tiny Timnath saw its population nearly quintuple, from 625 in 2010 to an estimated 2,947 last year. And Berthoud, Wellington and Windsor each grew by more than 50 percent over the decade.
Due in part to the emergence of high-end new construction, average sales prices in these towns soared. By the end of the decade, Timnath prices increased 169 percent to nearly $560,000, and Berthoud prices jumped 129 percent to $463,859.
This home is for sale here.
This prosperous decade in terms of employment, population growth and housing appreciation is a promising sign for the decade to come. Our president, Brandon Wells, predicted that the region’s real estate fortunes will not reverse course in the next decade. While growth may not be as dramatic, it is likely to proceed in an upward fashion.
“There is going to be continued population increases from people desiring the quality of life we have here in Northern Colorado,” he said. “Jobs are still abundant. I don’t think growth will necessarily continue at the same rate that we’ve seen, but we should see very sustained growth.”