Fort Collins Real Estate Market Report Third Quarter 2012

Ryan Jenkins

As I sit and review the 3rd quarter 2012 housing stats for Fort Collins, the numbers tell the story my team and I have been relaying to our clients all year: Inventory is down, prices are up; our market is moving!

The combination of continued population growth in Fort Collins and a recession that brought new home construction to a standstill over the last 4 years has finally tipped the scale of supply and demand in favor of the home seller.

When you compare 3rd quarter 2011 with 3rd quarter 2012 the change is pretty impressive. New home permits are up 52%. [1] The number of home listings is down 18%, median sale price is up 4.1%, sales $ volume is up 25% and the average market life has dropped 10% to 100 days on market. [2] But don’t let the 100 day average fool you; that number includes rural homes which take longer to sell and it counts the 30-45 days spent in escrow after a contract is in place. In desirable neighborhoods around Fort Collins, well priced homes sell in a few weeks or even days. And for many homes in Old Town and other central neighborhoods, multiple offers and bids over list price within 48 hours are common.

It’s nice to hear some decent economic news, isn’t it? Let’s look at some other factors fueling the warming trend in our real estate market.

An additional 4,800 Northern Colorado jobs were added in 2012 which brings the total number of jobs to pre-recession levels. [3]

OtterBox, maker of protective cases for mobile technology, continues to rapidly expand its Fort Collins campus and workforce and expects to add 1,100 jobs over the next 3 years. [4]

After a number of successful well tests, Houston based Anadarko Petroleum Corp estimates 1.5 billion barrels of oil and gas could come from the Wattenberg oil field located 30 miles southeast of Fort Collins between Greeley and Ft. Lupton. [5]

Clearly our real estate market is gaining momentum. The median price of Fort Collins homes in 2009, which was hopefully the bottom of the recession, was $226,000. Compare that with the 3rd quarter 2012 median price of $252,000 and you’ll see an 11.5% gain.  Certainly the recent spike in new home construction will increase the available housing. But don’t forget, Larimer County’s population is expected to increase by 38% in the next 18 years. [6] I still think our market is a pretty safe bet.


[1] John Covert, Speaking at the Colorado State University Everitt Real Estate Center’s annual conference, October 24, 2012
[2] IRES LLC, Regional Snapshot 2012 – Fort Collins Residential Detached
[3] John Covert, Speaking at the Colorado State University Everitt Real Estate Center’s annual conference, October 24, 2012
[4] Northern Colorado Business Report, Otterbox plans new building downtown, By Molly Armbrister, April 20, 2012
[5] The Denver Post, Anadarko estimates Colorado has up to 1.5 billion barrel oil reserve. By Mark Jaffe, November 14, 2011
[6] Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA)

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