Home prices and new listings in the San Luis Valley are ticking up, while the number of sales is mostly down – like much of Colorado

Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
Blanca Peak is the backdrop for the intersection of US Highway 160 and Colorado Highway 159 at Fort Garland in Costilla County. (Sept, 2023)

Realtors in Costilla County in the San Luis Valley reported an eye-popping 700 percent increase in sold listings there in May when compared to the same time last year. That number needs context though—just about 3,500 people call Costilla County home, making it a much smaller real estate market than big metropolitan areas. So when eight homes sold there last month, compared to just one during May of last year, it generated a big statistical change. 

“The average price (in Costilla County) ranges from the low to high $200,000s,” said San Luis Valley-area broker Megan Bello in a news release from the Colorado Association of Realtors.She also noted that the lower average prices in the valley can be appealing to buyers.

Costilla County and its increase in homes sold was an exception to what is generally happening in Colorado’s real estate market and in the region according to the state association’s latest reports.

Fewer homes sold in Alamosa, Conejos and Saguache counties during May but most San Luis Valley counties are seeing increases in homes listed for sale. 

Median sale prices in Alamosa County rose to about $320,000 dollars this May, up from about $237,00 last year.

But though listings are up, sales activity is slow elsewhere in southern Colorado too. 

“The Pueblo real estate market isn't showing any big gains and has been staying in line with what has been happening the past year,” said Pueblo-area broker David Anderson in the release. “The big key that isn't opening any doors are the buyers, who are still sitting on the sidelines waiting for better interest rates and a better feeling about the economy.”

Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
Views to the east from Costilla County in the San Luis Valley in Sept. 2023

In Colorado Springs, broker Patrick Muldoon said he believes higher end homes are selling, but median-priced homes are not, making it look like prices are going up.

“A year ago, agents would argue that we need more inventory and buyers would come back to the market,” he said in the release. “We are not seeing that play out and once again, the truth is the cost of housing is too high - at least in the median price points.”

In Fremont County, broker David Madone is more optimistic. “Local listings and sales typically increase from May through August each year,” he said in the release. “May’s new listing inventory increase of 22.7 percent is historically accurate. Buyers are now able to view a better selection of inventory, and sales should increase in the next few months.”