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Here’s something that won’t shock most homebuyers who’ve spent time house hunting in Colorado Springs: The city’s housing costs remain among the most expensive in the nation and continue to rise at double-digit rates.

The median single-family home price spiked to $439,200 during the second quarter of this year, a 24.3% jump from $353,400 during the same period in 2020, according to a recent National Association of Realtors report. The figures reflect costs of detached, single-family homes and townhomes, though not condominiums.

The National Association of Realtors report examined home prices in 183 metro areas nationwide; within that mix, Colorado Springs’ median price ranked 28th highest, while its appreciation rate was tied for the 40th largest percentage increase.

The report is another affirmation that Colorado Springs’ housing market remains one of the country’s hottest. Reports by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors and online housing service, among others, have pointed to similar trends.

Just like other cities, prices in Colorado Springs have soared because of a combination of factors.

Chief among them: a strong demand for homes — fueled in large part by historically low mortgage rates and the city’s desirable quality of life — and a shortage of properties available for purchase on the resale side of the market.

The Springs, though, still remains more affordable than some other Colorado markets. Three other Colorado metro areas in the National Association of Realtors’ report all had higher median prices than the Springs and two of the three saw larger percentage gains.

Boulder’s median price of $835,200 ranked as the nation’s sixth most expensive metro area and climbed 37.7% on a year-over-year basis; Denver-Aurora-Lakewood’s median of $618,600 was the 14th priciest and rose 29.3%; and the Fort Collins median of $508,500 ranked 23rd and was up 16.4%.

Other highlights of the second-quarter Realtors Association report include:

• Of the report’s 183 metro areas, 94% saw double-digit percentage increases in prices.

• Nationwide, the median sales price rose 22.9% to $357,900.

• The nation’s most expensive median price of $1.7 million was found in the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara in Northern California, where costs were up 23.1% on a year-over-year basis.

• Decatur, a city in central Illinois, was at the bottom of the report with a median price of $116,200, up 10.1% from the same time a year ago.

Austin, Texas, that state’s capital and home to the University of Texas, had the largest percentage increase in prices in the National Association of Realtors report — jumping 45.1% to $515,100.

A separate report published Thursday by Redfin, the Seattle-based national real estate brokerage, showed that Austin had a 38.6% year-over-year price increase in July, also the nation’s highest.

And nearly 2,700 homes in Austin have been sold so far in 2021 that went for $100,000 or more above their asking price — among the highest in the nation, according to Redfin.  

Colorado Springs should try to use Austin’s price hikes to its economic development advantage, said longtime local real estate agent Harry Salzman of Salzman Real Estate Services and ERA Shields Real Estate.

Because Austin competes with Colorado Springs when it comes to recruiting corporations, employers and jobs, the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC should promote the Springs as a more affordable place to do business when compared with the Texas capital, he said.

“Come our way instead because our costs aren’t nearly as negative, bad, whatever to Austin,” Salzman said. “It’s a whole lot better than Austin. And therefore why don’t you forget relocating the growth of your company there and come our way? That’s a positive for us.”

This content was originally published here.