Unemployment in Colorado is 3.5% as of 11/22 after hitting a peak of 11.8% in 05/20 (for comparison, the pre-pandemic rate was 2.8%). Statewide continuing claims for unemployment hit a high of 265,499 for the week ended 5/16/20 (compared to a pre-pandemic level of 21,956) and are now at 21,211 for the week ended 12/17/22. In Pitkin County, the November unemployment rate was 5.2%, a year ago it was 5.3% (prior to Covid it was 5.4% in November 2019) and for comparison, in 08/19 it was 2.2%. Essentially, the labor markets are back to where they were pre-Covid. Although we anticipate a mild recession in 2023, bear in mind that Colorado has typically entered the recession later than the rest of the country and exited later, so we may not see recessionary impacts on the Colorado job market as quickly as we see them nationwide.
Statewide, the November 2022 (latest data available) median price of a single-family home of $545,000 was 2.8% higher than November 2021, while the average price of $717,642 was 5.2% higher. In the condo/townhome market, the median price gained 6.3% to $420,000, while the average price was nearly flat at $556,764. Through November, closed sales across the state are down 41.8% while new listings have declined 25.4%. There are 17,466 active listings statewide at the end of November, a 61.6% increase over November of 2021, and that represents a 1.9 month’s supply of inventory, still well below the national level of 3.3 months. Across the state, the percentage of list price received at sale is 98.1% and days-on-market has increased to 46 days, up from 30 days in November 2021. As the Colorado real estate market continues to cool and inventories rise, buyers are finally seeing some relief as sellers offer price concessions. In terms of overall demographics, Colorado is now seeing very mild population growth, and ranked 19th in 2022 population growth with net in-migration of 29,000. Colorado has slipped from the top tier of in-migration states largely because housing prices are so high, and there are more favorable tax environments in other states. Still, there are no indications of an oversized market correction in the Colorado housing market as it remains highly desirable in terms of lifestyle and job opportunities.