by Doug Storum
FORT COLLINS — Realtor Eric Thompson expects home prices will increase in Northern Colorado in 2015, driven by diminishing supply and increasing demand for homes in what he calls a “healthy Northern Colorado economy.”
Thompson, president of Windermere Real Estate’s operation in Fort Collins, predicted home prices will increase 8 percent in Loveland and Greeley, and 6 percent in Fort Collins this year. The prediction was made during his real estate forecast presented to about 200 attendees at the Fort Collins Marriott Thursday evening. Thompson, former president of The Group Inc., opened Seattle-based Windermere’s first office in Colorado in September.
He said the number of home sales will increase 3 percent in Fort Collins and Loveland, and 10 percent in Greeley as “homeowners will be compelled to sell because of increasing prices.” He said that increasing costs for materials and labor are making it difficult for homebuilders to construct quality homes for under $400,000.
Thompson characterized the Northern Colorado real estate market as “strong and steady with consistent growth.” He said the market will need 18,000 new homes in Larimer County and 24,000 new homes in Weld County by 2020, based on the current rate of population growth in the area.
Thompson expects mortgage rates to increase 1 percent to 1.5 percent in 2015, up from its current rate of 3.75 percent.
Thompson based his statistics-heavy forecast on multiple sources that track construction, sales and banking for the real estate industry. He hopes to make the forecast an annual event.
Guest speaker Darin Atteberry, Fort Collins’ city manager, said while Fort Collins is a “fantastic place to live,” the biggest challenge facing the city as growth continues is how to “maintain and enhance quality services with an evolving community.”
He cited traffic congestion and lack of affordable housing as growing concerns.