Ten Years – a happy anniversary! We began writing this column in 1998 (Dave wrote the column for a couple of years prior to 1998) and it appears a twice a month in the Coloradoan Sunday Real Estate section plus a couple of extra times for a total of twenty-six columns per year. For the last few years we have also written regularly for the Saturday Real Estate insert. Ten years doesn’t seem like that long ago until we remember that in 1998 gas was $1.20 a gallon, crude oil was less than $20 a barrel and gold was under $300 an ounce. In real estate, the average home selling price in the Fort Collins area was $160,621 and there were 3,828 homes sold for a total market of $600 million.
Obviously a lot has changed since 1998; gas is approaching $4 a gallon, crude oil is up $100 a barrel and gold has more than tripled in value. Locally, the average selling price of a home increased 58% to $253,545 at the end of 2007 but sales actually declined to 3,615 homes. During this ten year period, home sales peaked in 2004 at 4,100 units and have dropped more than 10% to the current level. As for the average price, it went up 30% between 1998 and 2001 and has increased just 21% in the six years since.
Writing the column has been a challenge and an opportunity. We devote a lot of the space to the real estate market tracking housing sales and inventory, locally, regionally and nationally and we do our best to keep up to date with the market and provide you with the data and our comments and feelings about where we are and where we are headed. In addition, we try to provide tips and information about marketing and buying and selling homes. Our colleague, Laura Olive, who writes the other twenty six annual columns, does a wonderful job of providing you with her comments about the business of real estate and together we thank the Coloradoan for providing this vehicle for us to share this local perspective.
You will note that in the sign off to the column we state that we are available to answer your questions on real estate and we thank you for your multitude of comments, questions, suggestions and criticism. Obviously we do not have the answers to all of your questions but be assured that we will do our best to get you the information you need. We are also well aware that we have a responsibility to represent the local real estate community and the thousand real estate professionals who provide an invaluable service to home buyers and sellers in this market. Your input is vitally important and we value your support.
You might have noticed Robert Moore’s column in the May 15, 2008 Coloradoan writing about the new and improved ‘interactive’ Coloradoan web site and the Guide to the new Coloradoan.com. Our columns are posted to this web site under Voices and Views / Columnists and we encourage you to register and provide us with your feedback. We have an archive of all of our columns on our web site at www.FortCollinsRelocation.com. This site also provides links to an abundance of community information as well as free access to all of the property listings in northern Colorado. Hopefully you will find the site very user friendly and again, we try to make it simple to contact us.
We are eager to continue the column and to provide you with real estate information and ask for your participation to make it as useful as possible