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Single-family home prices in Colorado Springs increased at one of the fastest clips in the nation during the second quarter, though the growth rate slowed from the first quarter, according to a National Association of Realtors report released Wednesday.

The Springs’ median home price for properties sold from April through June climbed to $353,400, up 8.3% over the same period in 2019, the report showed.

Colorado Springs tied for the 21st largest percentage gain in year-over-year prices among 181 metro areas in the association’s report. In the first quarter, local prices rose by 14.4%, the nation’s seventh biggest increase.

The association’s report also showed:

• Colorado Springs’ second-quarter increase far outpaced that of Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, where the median price increased 1.5% to $478,400. In Boulder, the median price actually dropped 3% to a still-hefty $606,700.

• Nationwide, the median price rose 4.2% in the second quarter to $291,300.

• The Springs’ median price ranked it as the 25th most expensive city among the report’s 181 metro areas. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., topped that list with a second-quarter price of $1.38 million. In last place was Decatur, Ill., with a second- quarter median of $105,500. Boulder was sixth most expensive; Denver was 12th.

Colorado Springs’ housing market has remained strong in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A report last week from the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors showed home sales soared to a record high in July, while average and median prices for last month also broke records.

On the new home side of the market, building permit activity in July rose nearly 16% on a year-over-year basis and is up 17.1% year to date, according to the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.

Chris Lutyen, managing broker for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado Springs, said he’s not surprised at the local price increase shown in the National Association of Realtors report.

A shortage of homes for sale in the market continues to drive up housing costs, he said. In its report, the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors showed just 1,390 single-family homes listed for sale last month — the fewest for any July over at least the last 25 years.

“We just have extremely low amounts of inventory these days and there’s still a tremendous amount of buyers that want to find a home,” Lutyen said.

That scenario, however, creates a big challenge because many buyers — especially those in lower price ranges — are being priced out of the market, he said. And while mortgage rates are at historic lows, some buyers can’t qualify for loans that would allow them to buy higher-priced homes.

“The buyers that are in that lower price range sometimes are going to have to say, hey, I’m going to rent for a while before I can afford to buy, because I’m only qualified for so much,” Lutyen said.

Unless there’s an influx of properties listed for sale, expect home prices to continue to rise for the foreseeable future as demand stays strong, he said.

“We just continue to see that low inventory,” Lutyen said. “We have a lot of people moving here and we continue to be a popular area. It’s a beautiful city and it’s a very attractive city. People loving living here.”

This content was originally published here.