Black Forest Colorado Springs is one of the most popular areas in the Pikes Peak Region. Located in the northeastern part of El Paso County Colorado, just north of Colorado Springs and east of Monument, Colorado.
Towering Ponderosa Pines and iconic views of America's Mountain, Pikes Peak are the hallmarks of a great Black Forest home. This area features a wide range of different housing types from really old log cabins to sprawling estate homes.
In recent years, the Black Forest fire of 2013 reshaped the housing landscape in the area. This fire burned over 14,000 acres and destroyed more than 500 homes. In the aftermath of the fire, many people rebuilt and this renaissance has changed the Black Forest Area.
I am going to look at the last 10 years of sales data in order to see where we've been as well as where we are heading in 2021.
Number of Sales
Starting with the number of sales. The number of sales in the Black Forest area held fairly steady for a number of years somewhere between 200 sales on a weak year and 400 sales on a strong year. This had a lot to do with the development of the Colorado Springs area. There weren't a lot of amenities near the Black Forest area. This fact made people leary of moving "out to the forest".
As we can see in the chart below, those numbers started to change about 18 to 24 months after the fire. This change occurred for 2 reasons. First of all, Briargate was growing north and east and bringing with the shopping and restaurants Black Forest desperately needed. Secondly, the homes that were being rebuilt after the fire were modern, clean, and efficient. This was not the case for a lot of properties that were lost.
Another factor that added to the growth of the area had to do with more affordable new home subdivisions developing at the southeastern edge of the area. As the chart below shows, the real growth in the Black Forest area started in 2016 and has only gotten stronger through 2020. With 766 sales in 2020, we expect this trend to continue as even more new home subdivisions are developed in the area. Subdivisions like Sterling Ranch.
Median Sales Price
The big concern for many of the custom, luxury, and estate type homeowners was that the development of newer tract home and semi-custom home subdivisions would hurt their property values. So far, this concern has proved to be unmerited. The median sales price in Black Forest for 2020 was $499,999. This is 18.51% higher than the Median sales price for Colorado Springs proper.
While the median sales price for the area is still very strong, the newer construction has helped balance the market in the Black Forest area. From a pricing standpoint, we have not seen any significant effect on the bigger acreage properties in this area. As a matter of fact, when we look at homes in Black Forest on 2.5 or more acres, the median sales price jumps to $749,950.
Here's a good look at the appreciation of the median sales price in the Black Forest area since 2011:
There were 54 sales in the Black Forest area over $1,000,000 in 2020. This is more than the 49 sales over $1,000,000 in the 80906 zip code which is the Broadmoor area. The Broadmoor area has traditionally been the go-to neighborhood for luxury homebuyers. The Black Forest area has slowly moved into the top choice for luxury home buyers.
The highest recorded sale in the Black Forest area was $2,385,000. This was for an 11,000 square foot home located in the Bridle Bit Ranch Subdivision. That is 370% above the median sales price for the zip code. This gives you some idea of the range of housing options available in the Black Forest area.
Looking Forward to 2021
As we move into 2021, the market appears to be poised to continue growing. As new businesses move to the north end of Colorado Springs and as even affluent home buyers get priced out of the Denver market, Black Forest looks like a great place to live, and it is!
New businesses continue to look at the area, even in our current COVID environment. The Academy School District #20 is moving forward with new schools, and developers keep looking to Black Forest as a great place to grow.
I can't imagine the Black Forest real estate market doing anything but continuing to follow its current growth trajectory. Aside from unforeseen geopolitical or financial market events, the Black Forest real estate market looks to remain strong for the foreseeable future.
The big concern for the Black Forest as well as the entire El Paso County market becomes affordability and inventory. Our current lack of inventory is forcing prices up, if this continues we could end up in a similar situation as the Denver market. This would force buyers out of our market which is never a good situation. Part of what makes the Pike Peak region such a great place to live in is the diverse economic makeup of our population, not sure what a change in this realm would look like and I don't really want to find out.
The Black Forest has been a hidden gem for the last 60 years but all good things must come to an end. As the City of Colorado Springs has grown closer to the Black Forest area, it has made living in this beautiful area more and more convenient. While we can't control real estate markets, we can hope that certain areas maintain their inherent charm and that is certainly what I want for the Black Forest areas as we move into 2021.