The real estate market as been doing very well in the Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas in El Paso County. This has been true for both residential real estate and unimproved land and lots. Since I specialize in rural lifestyle properties, which I have chosen to define as homes, farms and ranches on five acres and up, I typically do my own market analysis each month. I decided that I would start posting them online, in the event that you might find the information helpful.
When looking at my figures, please realize these are simply average and median figures. I have not separated out tracts of land that may have already had some improvements or water on it. If you are wondering how much your lot might be worth, we would want to make certain that we used the most comparable properties to determine a value.
2018 was a very good for people that sold their land in the Black Forest area and in El Paso County. Median sales prices per acre was up. The average price per acre decreased but that was attributable to larger tracts being sold in 2018. Large tracts generally sell for less per acre than 5 acre lots do. I felt that median prices gave a more accurate reflection of overall land prices in the Black Forest area and in El Paso County as a whole. (Yet, when I analyzed sales by the size of a lot, the averages most accurately reflected what I was seeing. You know what they stay about statistics?)
In 2018, the median price for a lot the Black Forest was $230.000. The median size of lots sold was 5.3 acres. Thus, the median price per acre worked out to be $43,561. This was an increase of $11,489 per acre when compared to 2017 median Black Forest lot prices. The median size did not change.
El Paso County Land Sales:
As you can see in my chart below, the Black Forest area was popular. Or maybe I should say, the Black Forest area continues to be popular with buyers. Similar sized lots in the Tri-Lakes area (Palmer Lake, Monument) sold for about $7,000 more per acre than lots in the Black Forest. The Tri Lakes area properties are a bit closer to I25, town, and the mountains. Plus, there are fewer TriLakes area lots available overall. At the same time, lots in the Black Forest sell at a significant premium compared to other similar sized properties in the rest of El Paso county.
If you will notice in the chart above, the average price per acre for land decreased when compared to 2016 numbers. This is because larger lots started selling in 2017 and 2018. 35 acres lots for less per acre overall than smaller lots do. To explain the better, see the next chart.
El Paso County Land Sales by Size of Lot:
The following chart shows the average prices for different sizes of lots. As you will note, the average price per acres decreases with larger sized properties. I’ve circled the average price difference of a 5-9 acre lot and a 10 – 20 acre lot. The majority of land sold in the Black Forest area fell into one of those two categories. But, as I will discuss below, there were 6 sales in 2018 that were for 21-40 acre lots. Those particular sales distorted my averages.
The Black Forest area land sales:
As of January 7, 2019
There are ten lots available for sale in the Black Forest. They range from 5 to 20 acres in size. They range in price from $75,000 to $399,000.
There are currently four lots, listed for sale, that have contracts pending.
2018 Land Sales in the Black Forest area
In 2018, land sales in the Black Forest area were interesting.
As you will see on my chart below:
39 lots closed in 2018 compared to 40 lots in 2017.
The most significant difference in 2018, was that considerably more people with larger lots decided to sell in 2018.
21 sales were for 5 – 10 acre lots.
12 sales were for 10 – 20 acre lots.
6 of the 39 sales were for 21 – 40 acres lots.
In 2017 – Out of 40 sales, only 5 of them were for lots between 10 – 20 acres. As result, the average size of lot sold in the Black Forest increased from 7.6 acres to 12 acres. Since larger tracks of land tend to sell for less per acre, it is not too surprising that the average price per acre dropped in 2018. Yet, the median price per acre increased.
Stats for median prices & lot sizes
As a reminder, when you see a median price, that means half the properties sold were below that price. Half the properties were above that price. For the Black Forest area, I think the median figure provides a better representation of what was going on. That is because in the Black Forest, a couple of big transactions that are not all that representative of the activity distorted the average results.
- The median sized lot in the Black Forest area was 5.3 acres.The median size of lot stayed the same from 2017 to 2018.
- The median sales price for a lot in the Black Forest went up as did the median price per acre.
The median price for a lot in the Black Forest area in 2018 was $230,000.
The median price per acre in 2018 was $43,561. This is an $11,489 increase from 2017.
Sondra’s Forecast for 2019 Land Sales
Overall, I would like to caution you to not believe everything that you hear in the news. Some groups seem to prefer to report bad news. Some real estate company’s have been trying for several years to prepare their agents for the market to be shifting soon. No one wants to predict something good and then to end up being wrong. I am no different.
So, this is all I will say for now. When I looked at 2018 as a whole, the real estate market was very kind to sellers. There were seasonal variations that seem to occur almost every year. Granted, some variations may have taken place a month earlier or later when compared to prior years.
The more expensive that a tract of land is, the fewer people that can afford it.
That said, I meet new people every week that are interested in buying land. Yet, most of the people do not want to pay what land is costing per acre now. Of course, they typically thought it was too expensive in the past also. “I could have bought that for $xxx per acre several years ago.” “I remember when land was going for $xxx per acre.” “I wish I would have.” ” I should have…” I would be rich if I got a dollar for every time said that to me as we were discussing land prices.
“Could have, Should Have….”
Personally, I have not seen anything that makes me feel like we are moving towards another “Great Recession” where prices drop dramatically. If anything, I hope that the speed that land prices are increasing in El Paso County will slow down.
I believe the number of February 2019 & March 2019 sales of land will possibly be down when compared to last year. We have had more snowfall that has impacted road conditions and more frigid temperatures. So, overall it is less pleasant to be out choosing your dream lot. Additionally, some buyers may be concerned about making any major financial purchases while the government shutdown drags on.
“Could have. Should have. I wish I would have.”
If you are thinking of purchasing land, do not become a person that has regrets that you waited too long.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Note: I pulled all of my data was pulled from the PPAR MLS. It will not include any sales that did not include a member of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors. While I have tried to be accurate, I can not guarantee the accuracy since I do not keep anyone of staff to proofread and verify all of my figures. Additionally, if I was attempting to determine a price for a piece of land that you wanted to sell, there are a number of other considerations that I would factor in before recommending a sales price.