Fort Collins, Colorado is a vibrant, diverse, student-friendly city, and a great place to raise a family. If you’re thinking of moving to Fort Collins or are considering investing in real estate there, it’s important to know what the experts are saying about the outlook for Fort Collins’ real estate forecast in 2018 and beyond.

Fort Collins real estate forecast: Home value, home prices

The median home value in Fort Collins is $369,100, according to Zillow. Fort Collins home values have gone up 6.6% over the past year, and Zillow predicts they will rise an additional 3.1% within the next year. The median price of homes currently listed in Fort Collins is $396,707.

Windermere president Eric Thompson and Seattle-based company economist Matthew Gardner used all available statistics to create a noteworthy real estate forecast for Fort Collins: a picture of steady economic growth, an inevitable recession that’s still a couple of years away, a continued home shortage, and, of course, rising home prices. They showed how the average price of single-family homes in Northern Colorado has broken new records in recent years: while it was at the $300,000 price point in 2014, the average in Loveland and Fort Collins broke $400,000—slightly higher than Zillow’s results. Although the 40-year average annual growth rate of home prices is 5.3% in Loveland and Fort Collins, Thompson predicted a 7% increase in 2018 for Loveland and 8% for Fort Collins.

According to Gardner’s real estate forecast for Fort Collins’ local market right now, interest rates are set to rise. While he acknowledged mortgage rates are still under 4%, he predicted they would rise to 4.3 or 4.4% by the end of 2018. With US home values having fallen by more than 20% nationally from their peak in 2007 until their valley in late 2011, many homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages—meaning they owe more than their home is worth. 6.2% of Fort Collins homeowners are currently dealing with delinquent mortgages. The percent of delinquent mortgages in Fort Collins is 0.3%—lower than the national value of 1.6%.

Low inventory: real estate forecast

Fort Collins is still suffering from low inventory. A report from Nationwide shows that Seattle and Denver are tied for the lowest number of available homes for sale, at .98 months of inventory, meaning that if no new homes went up for sale, every home currently available would be snapped up in under a month. Fort Collins is not much better off at 1.24 months’ worth of inventory.

According to Larry Kendall of The Group Real Estate, rising home prices could begin to plateau as supply and demand even out too: rather than increases of between 9 and 12% as has been the case in recent years, Kendall predicts increases of 5 to 7%. Larimer County could be either a seller’s or buyer’s market—depending on sales price. As it happens, homes going for $700,000+ are staying on the market longer, while homes selling for $400,000 or under are still being bought up quickly. Kendall says that while inventory supply for homes priced at $400,000 or less is under two months, homes in the $700,000 range are in the 9-month supply range.

More apartments becoming available in Fort Collins

A real estate forecast by The Group Real Estate predicts the number of homes sold in the Fort Collins region will be more than 11,000–500 more than last year. That’s in addition to the 3150 apartments under construction or recently opened, and another 4200 student-oriented bedrooms in the works for the area. Median rents in Fort Collins in the third quarter last year topped $1300, up about 2% from the same time in 2016, according to the quarterly Colorado Multifamily Housing Vacancy and Rental Survey. It also indicated that median rent for studio apartments in Fort Collins and Loveland was $965 in the third quarter and for two bed, two bath units, it was $1454.

While the springing up of new apartments does appear to be easing vacancy rates a bit, particularly in northwest Fort Collins, the city still has a lot of work to do to bring relief to its vice-tight rental market. The overall multifamily vacancy rate in Fort Collins improved to 3.7% in the third quarter of 2017, which is the highest percentage of vacant rental units the city has seen in 4 years, but is still well below the 5% mark commonly understood to indicate a balanced market.