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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 10.2.18

by Harry Salzman

October 2, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

           A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

Mauldin_Lincoln_cartoon

AS I BEGIN TO WRITE OF ALL GOOD THINGS, TROUBLING THOUGHTS DISTURB ME

If this picture and headline seem familiar, they are the same as in last October’s eNewsletter.  I was concerned at the time about the state of our country, between all the political unrest and hurricanes, among other natural disasters, while at the same time so happy with the Residential real estate conditions in Colorado Springs.  

Well, as much as things change, the more they remain the same.  Yes, our median home prices continue to rise, and a lot of good things are happening in Colorado Springs, but the state of the national news seems as dismal as it was one year ago.

It is now the beginning of the Jewish New Year, a time of reflection and rededication to helping achieve peace, equality in all areas and to spread goodwill to mankind.  It’s an uplifting experience and leaves you feeling that all things are possible if we all work together to make that happen.

This is true if you’re working with me to make your Residential real estate dreams come true or if you’re wanting to work to make our country stronger and more inclusive. Whatever you wish for, no matter your individual beliefs and preferences, it takes hard work to make it happen.  I believe we all wish the best for everyone and working TOGETHER is the only way it can happen.  

Amen to that.

And now for September statistics…

Homes are selling at 99.6% of listing price with the average days on the market at a very low 25.  

This continues to be great news for both buyers and sellers but with homes selling so quickly, it still necessitates knowing where you plan to move next prior to listing your present home.

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are up 14.2% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 86.6% for Condo/Townhomes.  New listings are up 5.2% for Single Family/Patio Homes up 20.3% for Condo/Townhomes.  

I’m not surprised about the new listings as mortgage rates are the highest they’ve been in seven years and home prices are rising significantly.  Folks are realizing that it’s possible they will be priced out of buying a “trade up” home, either because of the potentially higher monthly payments or because potential buyers for their existing home may find it harder to qualify.  In either case, higher rates are not going to disappear, and home prices won’t keep up the current pace but will certainly continue to rise.  

If you’re even considering a move and wondering how to make it happen, NOW is the time.   

Simply give me a call today at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you, your family members or co-workers who might also be looking.

SEPTEMBER 2018 AGAIN BROUGHT SUBSTANTIAL GAINS IN HOME VALUES BUT LOWER NUMBER OF SALES

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

Here are some highlights from the September 2018 PPAR report.  A look at the Median Sales Prices will show that prices are continuing to rise while sales are also continuing to slow down.  Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts. 

As you will see, all areas but one had an increase in median home prices year-over-year.  If you’re shopping for a new home, it’s going to cost you more, but remember, you can likely use the increased equity in your present home to make up the difference. If you have any questions about the report or to find out how your individual situation relates to the stats, just give me a call. 

In comparing September 2018 to September 2017 for All Homes in PPAR:                  

                         Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,517, Up 5.2%

·       Number of Sales are 1,273, Down 15.6%

·      Average Sales Price is $343,947, Up 11.1%

·      Median Sales Price is $305,750, Up 11.2%

·       Total Active Listings are 2,449, Up 14.2%

·       Months Supply is 1.9

 

                          Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 213, Up 20.3%

·       Number of Sales are 202, Down 20.5%

·      Average Sales Price is $246,105, Up 13.0%

·      Median Sales Price is $216,250, Up 9.8%

·       Total Active Listings are 209, Up 86.6%

·       Months Supply is 1.0

 

COLORADO SPRINGS AREA MONTHLY SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOME SALES ANALYSIS*

                                                Median Sales Price               Median Sales Price

                                                 September 2018                     September 2017

Black Forest                             $637,500                              $495,000                      

Briargate                                  $400,000                              $337,500            

Central                                      $240,000                              $220,000

East                                           $268,000                              $245,000

Fountain Valley:                       $279,450                              $252,500

Manitou Springs:                     $412,000                              $392,000

Marksheffel:                             $325,000                             $288,750

Northeast:                                $295,000                              $369,950

Northgate:                               $471,950                              $460,381          

Northwest:                               $415,000                              $380,000            

Old Colorado City:                  $280,000                              $231,000            

Powers:                                    $290,000                              $275,000

Southeast:                                $236,500                             $198,700

Southwest:                               $327,750                              $287,000

Tri-Lakes:                                 $495,000                              $437,125

West:                                        $309,900                              $273,500

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

 

MORTGAGE RATES SOAR TO 7-YEAR HIGH

The Gazette, 9.28.18 (via The Washington Post)

As I’ve been predicting for some time, mortgage rates are rising and after five consecutive weeks of increases, they reached their highest level since April 2011.

The data released last Thursday by Freddie Mac shows the 30-year fixed-rate average as having climbed to 4.72% with an average 0.5 point.  (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.)  It was 4.56 percent the week prior and 3.83 percent a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate average jumped to 4.16 percent with an average 0.5 point.  It was 4.11 percent the week prior and 3.13 percent a year ago.

The five-year adjustable rate average rose to 3.97 percent with an average 0.3 point.  It was 3.92 percent the week prior and 3.20 percent a year ago.

According to Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, “The robust economy, rising Treasury yields and the anticipation of more short-term rate hikes caused mortgage rates to move up.”

The Federal Reserve raised its rates again last Wednesday, but it was too late in the week to be factored into Freddie Mac’s survey.  While the Fed doesn’t set mortgage rates, its decisions influence them.  Home loan rates are affected by several factors, including the expectations of investors.  Good economic news tends to be bad for rates because a strong economy can lead to worries of inflation.  

Inflation causes certain investments such as bonds to lose value.  That’s why the movement of long-term bonds is a better predictor of where mortgage rates are headed then the actions of the central bank.

And according to our friend Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, “The era of super-low mortgage rates is over, and consumers will face higher interest rates over the next two years.  Another hike by the Fed is almost certain before year’s end, along with the three further rounds of increases in 2019.  These interest rate increases are occurring for good reason:  an improving economy.  Therefore, home sales should hold steady as the opposing forces of higher rates and more jobs neutralize each other.  Home price growth will surely slow, however, as higher interest rates limit the stretching of the homebuyers’ budget.”

Bankrate.com, which puts out a weekly mortgage rate trend index, found that more than half of the experts it surveyed expect rates to fall this week.

And no surprise, mortgage loan applications increased last week.  According to Bob Broeksmit, President of the Mortgage Bankers Association, “…we suspect some buyers may be getting off the sidelines in the face of rising mortgage rates. Looking forward, as the rate of home price growth slows and comes more in line with the pace of wage growth, we anticipate a further pickup in purchase activity.”

Sound familiar?  That’s what I’ve been telling you would happen and there you go.  So again, if you are one of those on the sidelines, now’s the time to play ball.  Give me a call and let’s get you into the game.

 

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AT AN 18-YEAR HIGH

The Gazette, 9.26.18 (via The Associated Press)

September saw the U.S. consumer confidence shoot up to an 18-year high—good news for retailers and home sellers.

The Conference Board, a business research organization, said a week ago that its consumer confidence index climbed to 138.4 in September from 134.7 in August.  That reading was the highest since September 2000.

The index measures consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions and their outlook for the next six months.  Both improved in September.

According to Lynn Franco, the Conference Board’s director of economic indicators, “These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending and should be welcome news for retailers as they begin gearing up for the holiday season.”

The strong job market impressed Americans responding to the survey:  45.7 percent said jobs were “plentiful”—the most since January 2001.

This also bodes well for Residential real estate.  When the economy is good, and jobs are plentiful, we see folks buying and selling homes, even with increasing prices and rising interest rates. So once more—it is a great time to both buy and sell—just give me a call and we can put this great news to work for you.

 

MILLENNIALS DRIVING DEMAND IN THE HOTTEST ZIP CODES—AND COLORADO SPRINGS’ 80922 IS RANKED NUMBER TWO IN THE 2018 SURVEY

Realtor Daily News, 10.1.18

High-earning millennials are the force behind a nearly 10 percent decrease in the amount of time homes spend on the market in the most popular areas of the country, according to a new realtor.com report.  

Colorado Springs’ 80922 Zip Code is ranked as Number 2 in realtor.com’s “2018 Top 50 Hottest Zip Codes”.

“When it comes to choosing a home of their own, millennials are looking for opportunity, and they are finding it in affordable suburbs,” says realtor.com’s chief economist, Danielle Hale.  “These hot housing markets are attracting the attention of hard-working, high-earning 25-to-34-year-olds who are drawn by their relative affordability, strong local economies, and outdoor and cultural amenities.”

Homes in this year’s “top 10 hottest zip codes” sell, on average, in just 20 days—46 days faster than the rest of the country. Further, visitors to realtor.com viewed homes in these markets four times more often than homes in others, and list prices in the majority of the top 10 markets are appreciating.  

One more accolade for Colorado Springs, and just another reason why there is a shortage of available homes and median home prices are escalating here.

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM REMINDER

As of press time, registration is still available for the always sold-out Forum to be held on this Thursday, October 4, 2018.

You can register by going to the Forum website:  

http://www.uccseconomicforum.com/registration.shtml

I hope to see a lot of you at this very worthwhile event.

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 9.18.18

by Harry Salzman

September 18, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

         A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

AN EARLY FALL WELCOME TO YOU…

I really can’t remember the leaves changing so early here in Colorado but as you can see, it’s happening, and the hills are alive in red, yellow and gold.

This is normally a slower time in Residential real estate, but as I’ve been telling you all year, there’s nothing “normal” about Residential Real Estate anymore.  At least not here in Colorado Springs.

I’ve found myself as busy as ever and if there were more available listings, I’d be even busier. New listings are slightly up year-over-year, so I’m guessing a lot of folks are realizing that 1) it’s been quite the Seller’s Market for a while and 2) interest rates are slowing going to increase which will make it harder for some Buyers to qualify, as well as making a “trade-up” home’s monthly payment higher.

The Colorado Springs economy is good, home values continue to increase, folks of all ages are relocating here, and let’s face it—we’ve got a lot of things most cities lack as evidenced by all the “Top” lists we’ve appeared on recently.  All of this bodes well for local real estate.  

My advice to you?  If you have even started to consider whether to sell and trade up or move to another neighborhood, NOW is the time.  There are homes available in most price ranges but they move fast, so you need to know where you might land if your home sells as quickly as they have been.  

My 46 plus years in the local real estate arena, along with my Investment Banking background, give me the ability to help put all of your wants, needs and budget constraints to work in making your Residential Real Estate dreams come true.

I can be reached at 593.1000 or by email at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and welcome talking to you, your co-workers, family and friends.  It’s worth the to find out how to maximize your Residential real estate investment and I’m always happy to be of help. 

 

AUGUST 2018 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR CONTINUING UPWARD TREND IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS®Services Corp., 

These reports contain much greater detail than the first-of-the-month reports I share and cover ALL residential areas in the Pikes Peak Region. 

In the recently published August 2018 Monthly Indicators andLocal Market Updatefor El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings Year to Date, year-over-year were down 1.2% for the single-family/patio homes and down 6.5% for condo/townhomes.  

     The “Activity Snapshot”shows the Year to Date one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties were down 9.0%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 11.2%
  • Active Listings on All Properties were down 0.9%.

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators oclick here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 34-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own neighborhood, or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Northgate, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

For questions about any of these reports or just to find out how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you, please give me a call.

 

ERA SHIELDS “STAT PACK” PROVIDES A QUICK LOOK AT RECENT “NUMBERS”

ERA Shields, 8.31.18

Here is some data that my company publishes monthly and I thought these charts might give you a better perspective of what I’ve been telling you in terms of inventory, listings, and mortgage interest rates:

 

Any questions?  As always, you know where to find me!

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM REMINDER

Be sure to register soon for the always sold-out Forum to be held on October 4, 2018. 

                             You can register by going to the Forum website:  

                       http://www.uccseconomicforum.com/registration.shtml

I hope to see a lot of you at this very worthwhile event.

 

AND LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, WISHING EVERYONE “L’SHANA TOVA” (Happy New Year)

With the beginning of the Jewish New Year, and on Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) eve, I’d like to wish all who celebrate and fast, a meaningful and easy one.  May you be inscribed for a blessing in the Book of Life.

And to everyone else...wishing you a very Happy, Healthy, Peaceful year ahead.


 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 9.5.18

by Harry Salzman

September 5, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

 

“AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL”WAS WRITTEN AFTER A VISIT TO THE PIKES PEAK SUMMIT…AND THOSE OF US WHO RESIDE HERE CAN CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND WHY

When I meet someone new, I oftentimes tell them that while they might know the words to the song “America the Beautiful” ,they might not know that they were written right here—about our very own Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs.

Yes, the lyrics were written by Katharine Lee Bates from Massachusetts who originally wrote the words as a poem, “Pikes Peak”, after traveling by train to Colorado on vacation and visiting the mountain summit.  

It was first published in the July 4thedition of the church periodical The Congregationalist in 1895.  The poem was subsequently published under the title “America”.  Bates received $5 for the initial publication and gave up all royalties to it when it was published.

Around the same time, Samuel Augustus Ward, a church organist and choirmaster at Grace Episcopal Church in Newark, New Jersey had written the music, “Matema”, for the hymn “O Mother dear, Jerusalem”, which was published in 1892.

Ward’s music, combined with Bates’ poem, was first published in 1910 and titled “America the Beautiful”.  Although the two never met and Ward died before it was published, the resulting song has become one of the most popular of the many patriotic songs in the U.S.A.

Along with “My Country Tis of Thee” and “The Star Spangled Banner”, the song was a contender for the national anthem.  In 1931 President Herbert Hoover signed a law making the national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner”, upsetting many.  In the years since, many have lobbied, and continue to lobby, for the anthem to be changed to the more peaceful, easier to sing, “America The Beautiful”.  

This is just another way I try to keep you educated about Colorado Springs, and for those of you trivia buffs, it’s an answer you might someday need!

And speaking of educating, I received the following list of “Awards and Rankings” that apply to Colorado Springs from my friends at Empire Title and thought you might be interested to see just how many national and international lists we have appeared on in recent times.

 

No surprise, but so nice that the rest of the world is aware of just how uniquely special Colorado Springs is.

And that gets me back to real estate!  It’s still quite a whirlwind going on here, but sales are slowing down a bit.  There are a number of reasons for this, including the escalating median home prices, the slowly rising interest rate, and the continued lack of available homes for sale.  

However, the bright side here is that what has continued to be a Seller’s Market is now turning the tide a bit and buyers are getting a little rest from the recent frenzy.

According to David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance and a former Fannie Mae chief economist, “underlying demand is edging higher, but you can’t sell more homes if they’re not there to be sold.” 

What this means is that it is a great time for BOTH Buyers and Sellers.While home prices here are going up considerably faster than the U.S. average, interest rates are holding for now and increased equity is making it possible for more folks to sell and trade up or move to another neighborhood. 

Our local economy is doing great—local sales tax collections in July posted their biggest gain in 13 months--and lots of companies and individuals have been moving here.  The timing couldn’t be better for those of you who have been waiting to make a move. NOW is the time to put your thoughts into action. There are lots of folks wanting to move and are looking for homes just like yours!

If you’re even considering a move and wondering how to make it happen,simply give me a call today at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you.

 

And now for August statistics…

Homes are selling at 99.8% of listing price with the average days on the market at a very low 24.  

This continues to be great news for both buyers and sellers but with homes selling so quickly, it still necessitates knowing where you plan to move next prior to listing your present home.

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are up 5.8% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 32.1% for Condo/Townhomes.  New listings are up 4.1% for Single Family/Patio Homes up 6.5% for Condo/Townhomes.  

 

AUGUST 2018 AGAIN BROUGHT SUBSTANTIAL GAINS IN HOME VALUES BUT SLIGHTLY LOWER NUMBER OF SALES

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

Here are some highlights from the August 2018 PPAR report.  A look at the Median Sales Prices will show that prices are continuing to rise while sales are continuing to slow down a bit.  Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

In comparing August 2018 to August 2017 for All Homes in PPAR:

                                  Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,786, Up 4.1%

·       Number of Sales are 1,529, Down 7.8%

·      Average Sales Price is $357,317, Up 13.9%

·      Median Sales Price is $315,000 ,Up 11.4%

·       Total Active Listings are 2,416, Up 5.8%

·       Months Supply is 1.6

 

                                 Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 262, Up 6.5%

·       Number of Sales are 228, Down 5.8%

·      Average Sales Price is $229,815, Up 14.9%

·      Median Sales Price is $210,000 Up 11.0%

·       Total Active Listings are 185, UP 32.1%

·       Months Supply is 0.8

 

COLORADO SPRINGS AREA MONTHLY SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOME SALES ANALYSIS*

                                             Median Sales Price               Median Sales Price

                                                          August 2018                         August 2017

Black Forest                             $503,000                              $551,500                       

Briargate                                   $400,000                              $360,000            

Central                                      $259,300                              $219,250

East                                           $265,500                              $240,000

Fountain Valley:                       $274,750                              $249,900

Manitou Springs:                     $390,000                              $346,500

Marksheffel:                             $342,000                             $294,950

Northeast:                                $300,000                              $280,000

Northgate:                                $460,000                              $422,354           

Northwest:                                $392,500                             $375,000            

Old Colorado City:                   $324,250                             $258,500            

Powers:                                     $300,000                             $274,450

Southeast:                                $239,000                              $210,000

Southwest:                               $455,000                              $340,000

Tri-Lakes:                                 $502,784                              $474,900

West:                                        $279,000                              $280,000

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

 

HOUSING PREDICTIONS FROM NAR’S CHIEF ECONOMIST

Rismedia.com, 8.28.18

Nearly ten years after the Great Recession, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says concerns that the housing market has peaked and is headed toward another slowdown are purely speculative, regardless of recent sales declines in some regions.

His prediction for the future?  Markets should slow down; however, this is due in part to insufficient supply and swiftly rising home prices instead of weak buyer demand.  Yun predicts that existing-home sales will drop 1 percent in 2018 but that home price growth should remain strong, increasing an estimated 5 percent nationwide.  With an anticipated hike in inventory supply come 2019, home sales should stay afloat—existing home sales are predicted to rise 2 percent with home prices estimated to increase by 3.5 percent, according to Yun.

“Over the past 10 years, prudent policy reforms and consumer protections have strengthened lending standards and eliminated loose credit, as evidenced by the higher than normal credit scores of those who are able to obtain a mortgage and near record-low defaults and foreclosures, which contributed to the last recession.  Today, even as mortgage rates begin to increase and home sales decline in some markets, the most significant challenges facing the housing market stem from insufficient inventory and accompanying unsustainable home price increases,” said Yun in a published statement.

Inventory levels, which have fallen for three consecutive years, along with bidding wars, are prevalent across the country and we have certainly experienced our share of this locally.  And while homebuilding has jumped considerably year to date, Yun says new construction is sorely needed to continue filling the gap.

“The answer is to encourage builders to increase supply, and there is a good probability for solid home sales growth once the supply is addressed,” Yun said.  “Additional inventory will also help contain rapid home price growth and open up the market to perspective homebuyers who are consequently—and increasingly—being priced out.  In the end, slower price growth is healthier price growth.”

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM DASHBOARD UPDATE

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business, 8.23.18

As a sponsor of the UCCS Economic Forum since its inception, I receive updates on a regular basis that I like to share with you. For the most recent update on both the national and local statistics, including all sectors of the economy, please click here.  

Registration is now available for the always sold-out Forum to be held on October 4, 2018.

You can register by going to the Forum website:  

http://www.uccseconomicforum.com/registration.shtml

I hope to see a lot of you at this very worthwhile event.

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 8.20.18

by Harry Salzman

August 20, 2018

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

 

WHAT THIS eNEWSLETTER MEANS TO ME…AND HOPEFULLY TO YOU, TOO

I get a lot of positive feedback from folks who read or have read my eNewsletter, while others have wondered how and why I take the time to continue writing it.

My answer is simple—I do it for YOU, my readers and clients.  I spend a lot of time keeping up on all things concerning residential real estate, some regulatory, some not, and know that in order for me to best serve my clients, information is crucial. Not just for me, but for you, too. Knowledge and implementation equal a better rate of return. 

Purchasing a home is most often the most important financial decision a family can make as it is oftentimes their greatest asset.  Would you want to be less informed about a home purchase than that of securities or car? I certainly hope not.

What I try to do every other week, is give you a condensed view of what’s happening—both local and nationally—and at times often compare the two so you can see just where the Colorado Springs area stands in relation to the rest of the country.

As most of you know, I take great pride in our city and have served on various local government committees in order to give back to the community that has treated me so well. Because of that, I often have been able in a small way to affect positive change.

When Colorado Springs was recently named the “Best Place to Live in the U.S.”, I couldn’t help feeling lots of pride, especially knowing that in my own way I have contributed to help make this a reality.  

My “official" recorded title is “The real estate Therapist” for many reasons.  The first is that I spend as much time as necessary with my clients to determine their exact needs, wants and budget BEFORE ever starting a home search.  When it comes to relocation…Is there a trailing spouse?  Are there children?  Is being close to a good school or parkland a requirement?  What about the commute?

These are all things that come into play whenever I first talk to a client.  “Stage of life” is another important consideration.  Retirees might want to sell and scale down or move to a ranch from a two-level home.  First-time homebuyers without children might want a location closer to downtown or where there are more activities geared to them and their peers.  When it comes time to sell and trade up, schools might be the greatest consideration.  There’s always a reason that people want to move and it’s my job to help determine that reason and make that move as stress free as possible.

And getting back to the eNewsletter.  There are reasons for the articles I publish. It’s important for you to know that homes in the Colorado Springs area are selling for over list price on a regular basis these days so if you are thinking of making an offer under the list price you will be forewarned that it probably won’t happen.  In fact, if you are like the client I told you about last week, the offer won’t even be considered, let alone countered.  So, then again…information is worth time and money and can save you disappointment in the long run.

I realize not everyone is moving all the time, so I also try to provide information concerning your present home and its current value, among other things.  I’ve found that folks often wonder what their home is worth and if it’s possible to move and trade up or go to a different neighborhood but aren’t sure if that is possible.

That’s why I’m here—just a phone call away.  I can provide you with all the information you might need to make an informed decision. Sometimes I might advise you just to stay put if that is in your best interest at the moment.  But you won’t know unless you call.

I can be reached at 593.1000 or by email at Harry@HarrySalzman.comand welcome talking to you, your coworkers, family and friends.  It’s worth the to find out how to maximize your residential real estate investment and I’m always happy to be of help. 

COLORADO SPRINGS CITED FOR BEING SMALL-BUSINESS FRIENDLY

The Gazette, 8.15.18

On top of being named the most desirable place to live in the U.S.A. and the second among the best places to live, both by U.S. News and World ReportColorado Springs was ranked last week as the nation’s fourth friendliest city for small businessin the seventh annual survey by Thumbtack.com, a San Francisco based online consumer service.

Colorado Springs’ number four ranking out of 57 cities was a tremendous improvement over last year when it was ranked 37 out of 80 metro areas.  The city also received an overall A+ grade this year, up from a B in 2017.

While voluntary and not scientific, the cities and states were ranked in nine areas of performance based on 7,629 responses from small business owners across the country, though only 32 respondents were from Colorado Springs.

Besides its overall A+ grade, Colorado Springs also received grades of A and A- in employment, labor and hiring regulations; tax regulations; licensing regulations and training and networking programs.  The city earned Bs for its ease of hiring and overall regulations.  It received a C+ in the ease of starting a business. Government websites, however, got an F—a grade shared by 34 other cities in this year’s survey.

The only other Colorado city in this year’s survey—Denver—ranked number 41 and received an overall grade of C-.

“Generally speaking, Colorado Springs has a lot to be happy with, with regard to how small-business owners are feeling,” said Lucas Puente, Thumbtack.com’s lead economist.

This can be attributed to the city providing a more welcoming environment for small businesses, according to Mayor John Suthers.  He cited the City Council’s agreement to phase out the city’s personal property tax on business equipment and machinery as a plus and also credited the Rapid Response Program started under former Mayor Steve Bach, for assisting business and expediting their regulatory hurdles.  A stronger economy also puts small business owners in a better frame of mind, he said.

I say—congratulations Colorado Springs on another mention in the “Best” lists.  My participation on PlanCOS Steering Committee over the past two and a half years has given me the opportunity to see first-hand just how hard Mayor Suthers and the City Council, among others, are working to make all of this a reality.  

Bravo to all and Bravo to all of us who live and work in Colorado Springs. 

 

AND JUST OFF THE PRESS…ANOTHER ACCOLADE

The Gazette, 8.17.18

Last Thursday, Colorado Springs was listed as Number 6 out of 300 metro areas nationwide in a survey of hot housing markets by Realtor.com.

This index is based on the number of online views received by homes listed for sale in each market, which indicates demand in a particular area.  

According to Realor.com, “This is a very hot market that is heating up compared to last month and heating up compared to last year.  Median days on the market is 32 with inventory moving 11 percent faster than last year and 27 days faster than the U.S. overall.  Properties in the area receive an average number of views 1.6 times higher than the U.S. average.”

So, there you go. A look at the following statistics will show you why we’re getting all this attention.

 

JULY 2018LOCAL MARKET UPDATEAND MONTHLY INDICATORSILLUSTRATE OUR CONTINUING UPWARD TREND IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS®Services Corp., 

These reports contain much greater detail than the first-of-the-month reports I share and cover ALL residential areas in the Pikes Peak Region. 

In the recently published July 2018 Monthly Indicators andLocal Market Updatefor El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 2.7% for the single-family/patio homes and up 1.7% for condo/townhomes.  

 

     The “Activity Snapshot”shows the one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was down 3.6%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 10.3%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 10.4%.

 

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicatorsor click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 34-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own neighborhood, or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Falcon, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

For questions about any of these reports or just to find out how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you, please give me a call.

 

BUYING NOW IS 26.3% CHEAPER THAN RENTING IN THE USA

Keeping Current Matters, 8.7.18

Results of the latest Trulia “Rent vs. Buy Report” shows that homeownership remains cheaper than renting, with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in 98 of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

In the six years of conducting this survey, this is the first time that is was cheaper to rent than buy in any of the metro areas.  No surprise, though, that those two metro areas were San Jose and San Francisco, CA, where median home prices have jumped to over one million dollars this year.

For the 98 metro areas where homeownership wins out, 97 of them show a double-digit advantage when buying.  The ranges go from an average of 2.0% less expensive in Honolulu, HI all the way up to 48.9% in Detroit, MI and 26.3% nationwide.

This map shows the 100 metro areas that were studied.  The darker the blue dot on the metro, the cheaper it is to buy there.

 

In calculating the true cost of renting vs. buying, Trulia includes all assumed renting costs, including one-time costs (like security deposits) and compares them to the monthly costs of owning a home (insurance, mortgage payments, taxes and maintenance), including one-time costs (down payments, closing costs, sale proceeds). They also assume that households stay in their home for seven years, put down a 20% down payment, and take out a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.  

The chart below was created with the date from the last six years of the study, showing the impact of the median home price, rental price and the 30-year fixed rate interest rate used to calculate the “cheaper to buy” metric.

In 2016, when buying was 41.3% less expensive than renting, the average mortgage rate was the driving force behind the difference. Rates this year are the highest they have been in six years, which has narrowed the gap, while home price appreciation has also been driven up by lack of inventory.

Bottom Line? 

Home ownership provides many benefits beyond the financial ones.  If you are one of the many renters or know someone who is and would like to evaluate the ability to buy this year, let’s get together and figure out how we can make that happen.

Home prices are increasing, but at a slower pace; however, mortgage loan rates will soon be going up even more so there’s little time to lose.  Give me a call today and let’s get the ball rolling.

I can be reached at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com today and let me put my special brand of customer service to work for you.

 

CONSIDERING NEW CONSTRUCTION?  HIRING AN AGENT IS IMPORTANT HERE, TOO

Many times homebuyers think they don’t need to hire an agent when building a new home since they are buying directly from the builder and they already have contractors, lenders, and inspectors.  So why involve someone else?

In all honesty, buying ANY home without a knowledgeable professional on your side can be a very costly mistake.  It can mean paying more than you should, missed opportunities for upgrades, contract errors that are not in your favor or a delayed closing.

Here are three reasons to have a professional like me on your side BEFORE visiting the sales office:

  1.  Expert Negotiation:  While their advertising would have you believe otherwise, builder’s prices aren’t always set in stone.  Agents are skilled negotiators who can likely get the price dropped slightly or have a few upgrades thrown in.

 

  1. Preferred Vendors:  You builder might have an affiliate mortgage lender or title company, but chances are they aren’t going to offer the best deal.  It’s important to shop around, and what’s better than a vendor your agent already knows and trusts?

 

  1. Guidance and Support:  The homebuying process can be complicated, with lots of twists and turns and steps along the way. When buying new construction, you also have design reviews, electrical work and other construction needs.  An agent can guide you through all of these, making sure your purchase stays on track, on time and on budget from start to finish.

It’s important to note that while you may be working with an agent or representative of the builder, they may not have YOUR best interests at heart.  Enlisting your own trusted agent can give you an advocate from the very first meeting to closing day.

I saved the best for last…  

All of this new construction advice is available AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.  

However, a word to the wise……if new construction is a consideration, just give me a call BEFORE you begin the search. I have long time relationships with most local builders and can help guide you every step of the way.  I’ve seen most new models and can help address which ones might be just right for your particular situation.  This will help save you time, money and take away a good amount of stress.  Homebuying should be as stress free as possible and that’s my goal for all my clients.

 

AND THIS FROM ELLIOT EISENBERG, ‘THE BOWTIE ECONOMIST’…

Blog on 8.16.18

“One week from today [which was 8.16.18], the current bull market will reach 3,453 days in duration, surpassing the longest bull market of 3,452 days, which went from 10.1.90 through 3.24.00.  During this near 10-year period, US equities have returned about 420%, excluding dividends, since the bull began on 3.09.09.  One reason for its success, it began during the trauma of the Great Recession and many investors (wrongly) believed equities would never recover.”

 

HARRY’S JOKES OF THE DAY:  

(with thanks to my fraternity brother and fellow Realtor, Gary Shapiro of Scottsdale)

 

FEATURED LISTING:

The last of my listings sold this week.  One was listed and sold, both by me, on the same day—at asking price.  

Your home can be featured here in the next eNewsletter!

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 8.6.18

by Harry Salzman

August 6, 2018

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

           A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

 

THIS COMES TO YOU FROM THE “MOST DESIREABLE PLACE TO LIVE IN THE USA”

The Gazette, 7.31.18, U.S. News and World Report, 7.18

Yes, you read that right. I’ve told you this all along and folks who live here already know…but our poorly kept secret is out---Colorado Springs was just declared “the most desirable place to live in the United States” by U.S. New and World Report.

Colorado Springs has grown at a rate of more than 12 percent between 2010 and 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.  And it’s not just retirees and military personnel.  Even the Millennial population has increased by 14.7 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to a study from Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.  

In some ways this ranking should come as no surprise since Colorado Springs officials and volunteers have been positioning the City for this type of growth for the past several years and more.  

The City for Champions initiative is taking hold with the construction of the Olympic Museum, the Air Force Academy Visitor Center, UCCS Sports Medicine facility and a newly approved 10,000-seat multi-use stadium downtown, along with a 3,000-seat indoor arena for Colorado College’s men’s hockey team. 

Recent investment in the public infrastructure and the approval of resurrected stormwater fees are a testament to the public’s active investment in Colorado Springs.  

Yes, we have the magnificent views, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, fabulous hiking and biking trails, a vibrant, growing downtown and so much more.  But in economic terms, the best news is the investment of companies and restaurants, along with relocated employees, who are now calling our City “home”. Again, our local government officials, along with the Chamber/EDC and the Visitors and Convention Bureau, have done a fabulous job of putting us forefront in the minds of companies and others who are looking to relocate.  

Of the top five most desirable cities listed in the survey, Colorado Springs has the smallest metropolitan population—listed as 688,643.  We also are the most affordable in terms of median home prices. When you add that to our relatively low cost of utilities and other peripheral expenses, it’s no wonder people are starting to realize that Colorado Springs is “the most desirable place to live”.

And speaking of the housing market…when I looked into my “crystal ball” prior to my annual presentation to the Colorado Springs City Council and El Paso County Commissioners in January, I predicted a 7-8% appreciation on single-family homes here.  As you will see in the July 2018 PPAR Report, my prediction has come to fruition.  Our average sales price year-over-year is up 7.5% and our median sales price year-over-year is up 8.8%! Great news for all homeowners and also for those looking to buy in our area.

I have also said that while prices will continue to escalate, albeit more slowly than the frenzy of the recent past, sales will be slightly down.  Some of this is due to the lack of available listings and some due to the price escalations.  In either scenario, it’s much better for the market because as home values rise a bit slower, more people can afford to still buy before increased interest rates keep them from homeownership or from trading up.

So, yes, this is a GREAT time to sell and trade up.  While listings are still slightly down, more folks are starting to see that it makes sense to “test the waters” in terms of selling their present home. I want to remind you that with most homes selling at listing price or over, it is especially important to have someone like me on your side when making an offer.  When my clients listen to my advice, accumulated over my 46 plus years in the business, they most often get what they want—or at least present an offer that gets good consideration.  

A few weeks ago, I had a client who wanted to offer, against my advice, considerably less than asking price of a home and sure enough—the seller did not even consider the offer.  I hate to see my clients disappointed and that’s why I offer the best advice available to try and prevent that from happening. In this particular case, my client unfortunately learned the hard way and hopefully will have better results with a more “realistic” offer next time!

The Colorado Springs area is still experiencing a boom in new home construction.  Single-family home permits are up 22 percent over 2017 through the first seven months of 2018, according to the Regional Building Department.  At this pace, new home construction here is looking to reach a 13-year high.  If new construction is something you’ve considered, I can help you in that area, too.  My long-term association with most local builders can provide you my expertise-–all at no additional cost to you.

If you’re even considering a move and wondering how to make it happen, simply give me a call today at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you.

And now for July statistics…

Homes are selling at 100.2% of listing price with the average days on the market at a very low 21.  

This continues to be great news for both buyers and sellers but with homes selling so fast it still necessitates knowing where you plan to move next prior to listing your present home.

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are up 0.8% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 1.2% for Condo/Townhomes.  New listings are down 3.0% for Single Family/Patio Homes up 7.0% for Condo/Townhomes.  

Please see the next article for the just released local statistics and be sure to check out the next eNewletter which will provide the quarterly stats for the 174 top Metropolitan Statistical Areas. I am fairly certain that Colorado Springs’ median home prices will again be considerably higher than the U.S. average.

 

JULY 2018 WAS ANOTHER RECORD SETTING MONTH IN LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

Here are some highlights from the July 2018 PPAR report. A look at the Median Sales Prices will show that prices have continued their record setting pace for the fifth straight month!  Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

In comparing July 2018 to July 2017 for All Homes in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,884, Down 3.0%

·       Number of Sales are 1,592, Down 3.3%

·      Average Sales Price is $347,517, Up 7.5%

·      Median Sales Price is $310,000, Up 8.8 %

·       Total Active Listings are 2,385, Up 0.8%

·       Months Supply is 1.5

                        Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 245, Up 7.0%

·       Number of Sales are 235, Down 7.8%

·      Average Sales Price is $234,064, Up 16.1%

·      Median Sales Price is $218,000, Up 13.5%

·       Total Active Listings are 161, Down 1.2%

·       Months Supply is 0.6

 

COLORADO SPRINGS AREA MONTHLY SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOME SALES ANALYSIS*

                                        Median Sales Price               Median Sales Price

                                                     July 2018                                July 2017

Black Forest                             $557,000                              $480,000                     

Briargate                                   $409,950                              $390,500            

Central                                      $234,750                              $234,500

East                                           $265,000                              $240,000

Fountain Valley:                       $279,900                              $260,000

Manitou Springs:                     $445,500                              $380,000

Marksheffel:                              $320,628                             $323,000

Northeast:                                 $294,250                              $265,000

Northgate:                                 $450,000                              $446,928          

Northwest:                                $419,000                              $360,000            

Old Colorado City:                   $325,000                              $322,500          

Powers:                                     $299,900                              $275,000

Southeast:                                $232,000                              $207,000

Southwest:                               $357,000                              $333,500

Tri-Lakes:                                 $507,000                              $473,950

West:                                         $297,500                              $270,000

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

 

DESPITE RISING HOME PRICES ACROSS THE U.S.A., ECONOMISTS ARE SAYING WE ARE NOT HEADED TOWARD ANOTHER HOUSING BUBBLE

Keeping current matters, 7.26.18

While home prices are continuing their climb due to lack of inventory locally and nationwide, sales are slightly down for this very same reason.  Rising mortgage loan rates are also beginning to affect sales numbers too.  

Some might be concerned that we may be headed for another housing “boom & bust” but it is important to remember that today’s market is quite different than the bubble market of twelve years ago.

Here are four key metrics that will explain why:

  1. Home Prices
  2. Mortgage Standards
  3. Foreclosure Rates
  4. Housing Affordability

 

  1.  Home Prices

There is no doubt that home prices have reached 2006 levels in many markets across the country. However, after more than a decade, home prices should be much higher based on inflation alone. 

From the latest data available:

“The inflation-adjusted U.S. median sale price in June 2006 was $247,110 (or $199,899 in 2006 dollars), compared with $213,400 in March 2018”.

 

  1. Mortgage Standards

Many are concerned that lending institutions are again easing standards to a level that helped create the last housing bubble.  However, there is proof that today’s standards are nowhere near as lenient as they were leading up to the crash.

The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center issues a monthly index which: 

“Measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan.  A higher HCAI indicates that lenders are willing to tolerate defaults and are taking more risks, making it easier to get a loan.”

Their July Housing Credit Availability Index revealed:

“Significant space remains to safely expand the credit box. If the current default risk was doubled across all channels, risk would still be well within the pre-crisis standard of 12.5 percent from 2001 to 2003 for the whole mortgage market”.

 

  1. Foreclosure Rates

A major cause of the housing crash last decade was the number of foreclosures that hit the market.  They not only increased the supply of homes for sale but were also being sold at 20-50% discounts.  The foreclosures helped drive down all home values.

Today, foreclosure numbers are lower than they were before the housing boom.  Here are the number of consumers with new foreclosures according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Household Debt and Credit Report:

2003:  203,320 (earliest reported numbers)

2009:  566,180 (at the valley of the crash)

Today:  76,480

Foreclosures today are less than 40% of what they were in 2003.

 

  1. Housing Affordability

Contrary to many headlines, home affordability is better now than it was prior to the last housing boom.  In the same article referenced in #1, Corelogic revealed that in the vast majority of markets, “the inflation-adjusted, principal-and-interest mortgage payments that homebuyers have committed to this year remain lower than their pre-crisis peaks.”

They explained further:

“The main reason the typical mortgage payment remains well below record levels in most of the country is that the average mortgage rate back in June 2006, when the U.S. typical mortgage payment peaked, was about 6.7 percent, compared with an average mortgage rate of about 4.4 percent in March 2018.”

The “price” of a home today may be higher, but the “cost” is still below historic norms.

Bottom Line:

Using these four metrics to compare today to last decade’s housing bust, we can see that the current market is not anything like that bubble market.

 

HOMEOWNER RATE INCHES UP

The Wall Street Journal, 7.27.18

Homeownership in the U.S. continues to climb, with more Americans benefiting from the sharp rise in home values in recent years.

However, homeownership still remains historically low—at 64.3%-- and has risen tepidly this year despite strong economic growth.  

While 64.3% indicates a small percentage growth, the rate remains well below the peak of 69.2% in late 2004 and a full percentage point below the 50-year average. 

More and more renters say they aren’t interested in buying a home due to financial concerns, according to a survey released by Freddie Mac.  

“Homeownership has bottomed out but is likely to go more or less sideways for the foreseeable future,” economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics said.  “Easing credit standards and a strong job market will support homeownership, but higher mortgage rates and the change in tax law weigh on it”.  

At present, homeownership among younger Americans is driving the rise in overall homeownership rates.  The rate among those under the age of 35 rose to 36.5% in the second quarter, up 1.2 percentage points from the previous year.  That was faster than the 0.6-point gain in overall homeownership.

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 7.24.18

by Harry Salzman

July 24, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

RESIDENTIAL real estate IN COLORADO SPRINGS IS STILL BOOMING…

As I write this eNewsletter, I’m still amazed at the growth I’ve seen in the Springs in recent times. I’ve been a local Realtor for more than 46 years and during that time I’ve obviously seen the City grow—and the metro area population more than double in size—but I’ve just not ever seen the pace at which most homes are selling at present.

In the $300,000 and under range we are still having difficulty in finding available homes and when we do, they go quickly, most over listing price.  This is presenting difficulties for first-time buyers who are wanting to avail themselves of homeownership before interest rates rise.

We are starting to see a few more listings in all price categories, which is encouraging.  I’m guessing that folks who have been waiting to sell and trade up are getting on the bandwagon before they too are priced out of the market.

Interest rates have remained relatively flat for the moment, but the Federal Reserve has indicated they plan to raise rates several more times this year.  At some point, the mortgage interest rate will follow.  This will help prices to level out a bit but right now we are still seeing local median prices rising from 11-13 percent year-over-year.  Great for those who are already homeowners, not so great for those who are not.

Investors, too, are finding fewer bargains at a time when there is an abundance of renters who cannot afford, or do not wish to own, a home. 

This is most definitely still a Seller’s Market and will continue to be so until there are considerably more listings. If you have even thought about whether a move might be good for you and your family, NOW is the time to check out the possibilities.  

While the market is indeed tight, there are still homes available in MOST price ranges and neighborhoods and we can find one that fits your wants, needs and budget.  That’s where I come in.  My long-time experience is your biggest asset.  I know the “ins and outs” of negotiation, finding the right lender for your individual situation and always do my best to make certain that the first offer you make is one that will at least get attention, if not make it to closing.  

New construction can also be a possibility and I can help you in that area, too.  I have longstanding relationships with most of the local homebuilders and my expertise in this arena is yours at no additional cost to you.

So, there you go.  My advice? If you are even thinking of making a move, call me yesterday--you don’t have a minute to waste.  I can be reached at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.comtoday and let’s get the ball rolling to make your residential real estate dreams come true.

 

JUNE 2018 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR CONTINUING UPWARD TREND IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS®Services Corp., 

These reports contain much greater detail than the first-of-the-month reports I share and cover ALL residential areas in the Pikes Peak Region. 

In the recently published June 2018 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 2.7% for the single-family/patio homes and down 10.7% for condo/townhomes.  

     The “Activity Snapshot”shows the one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was down 5.7%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 13.1%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 16.4%.

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 34-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own neighborhood, or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Southwest, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

For questions about any of these reports or just to find out how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you, please give me a call.

 

LOCAL SALES TAX MAKES BIG GAINS

The Gazette, 7.19.18

Sales tax collections in Colorado Springs for June, based on transactions in May, rose 6.3 percent to $14.2 million, the sixth consecutive monthly increase and the biggest gain since June 2017.

Nearly one-third of the June increase came from a 17.4 percent jump in miscellaneous retail, which includes sales from Amazon, to $1.87 million. Other big gains came from business services, commercial machines and building materials.  

According to Tom Binnings, senior economist for Summit Economics LLC, a local economic research and consulting firm, housing construction and business investment have been gaining strength nationwide since last year’s tax cut.  He said the City’s sales tax numbers are “pretty indicative of a continuing economic expansion”.

 

THE BENEFITS OF A LOCAL MORTGAGE LENDER

The Wall Street Journal, 4.27.18

I have always encouraged my clients to consider a local mortgage lender and was pleased to read this article which perfectly explains my reasons for that.

In tight housing markets like Colorado Springs where bidding wars are becoming commonplace, buyers who need financing can strengthen their offers by working with a locally based mortgage broker or loan officer, according to real estate agents and lenders.  

Agents tend to want to work with buyers whose lenders know the local market and have a record of getting deals done.  That reassures the listing agent and the seller that a sale will likely close.  Confidence that a sale will close can often separate a winning bid from the rest in a fast-moving market such as ours.

Online lenders can offer convenience and it is still useful for borrowers to shop around for the best rates and terms but lenders in a hot market caution that a small difference in rates isn’t the most decisive factor in choosing a lender.  The ability to close is even more important.

Reputation also matters.  Finding someone you can do business with and communicate with easily is also very important.  As is speed—often sellers fielding multiple offers will choose the buyer who can close quickly, making it difficult for buyers who need the typical 30 to 45 day window to get a loan.  Lenders in fast-paced markets are tuned to quicker closings.

Working with a mortgage professional who has an existing relationship with a buyer’s agent also tends to mean more personal contact and the ability to get questions answered promptly.  I’ve personally found that my relationship with a number of local lenders has made the difference between getting a contract accepted and not. These relationships, built over the years, makes for easy discourse between my buyers and the lenders.

Some other tips to consider:

  • See Double.  Sometimes it is advisable to “double-app”—that is, to apply for a mortgage from the lender with the best rates and from the lender with the local relationships.  The latter provides the additional security of getting a loan quickly and may be able to match the other firm’s rates.

 

  • Vet your cousin.  Just because your cousin does mortgage loans doesn’t mean that your cousin is a good loan officer.  If you want to work with someone you know personally, or someone from your bank, have them speak with your real estate agent first, and reassure them of their reputation and relevant experience.  Your agent can then communicate their bona fides to the listing agent.

 

  • Home (town) appraisal.  Even if you work with a national firm, it is important to make sure the company uses local appraisers who know the difference in value between various neighborhood communities. That is especially true when a bidding war might mean the property sells for a significant premium over the asking price.

 

HOMEOWNERS ARE UNDERINSURED AS HURRICANE SEASON OR ANOTHER NATURAL DISASTER OCCURS

The Wall Street Journal, 7.19.18

Many U.S. homeowners are inadequately insured for natural catastrophic damage going into the height of the Atlantic hurricane season.  

And, while we don’t face hurricanes in the Colorado Springs area, we do have fires, flooding, tornadoes and the like and many homeowners here are underinsured, with policy limits too low to cover the full cost of repairing or rebuilding their properties.

Homeowners often fail to increase their policy limits if the expand or upgrade their homes and with the ever-increasing cost of building materials, the cost of rebuilding or replacing can escalate quickly.

My advice to you?  Have a yearly meeting with your home insurer to make certain that your home is adequately covered in case of catastrophic damage.  Hopefully you will never need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you took that precaution.

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 7.9.18

by Harry Salzman

July 9, 2018

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

 

 

ACTUALLY, IT’S  BEYOND GREAT NEWS…

As most of you know, when it comes to most everything—I’m a very positive kind of guy.  But even I could not dream up a scenario that represents all the good things that are happening in the Colorado Springs area.  

And I’m not just referring to Residential real estate.  Good things are happening in so many areas for our City and I just couldn’t be happier and I can’t wait to share it.

To start with, things in Residential real estate are showing no signs of slowing down.  In just two days this past week I had offers either accepted for my buyers or my sellers on four different properties.  In one case, my seller had 6 offers in one day and the accepted offer was considerably over listing price.  That same seller then had to quickly find another home, and while it took several tries, we were able to get an offer accepted a few days later. Whew.  I know they are relieved to know there’s somewhere to go when their present home closes.  

It’s still a bit of a frenzy due to the low inventory which is keeping prices on the high side and creating all kinds of new scenarios for those who had their mind set in looking in just one neighborhood or had not considered new construction as an option. In today’s market, one has to consider ALL options—which oftentimes opens up a number of new things to pursue. 

In the under $300,000 range there are so few listings and so much competition that first-time buyers are quickly being priced out of the market at present.  As much of an advocate as I am of home ownership, I find this troubling to say the least.  

Part of the low inventory can be attributed to our continuation as one of the “hottest” real estate markets in the U.S.  Colorado Springs was ranked No. 9 in Realtor.com’s June “hotness index”,which identifies the nation’s top 20 metropolitan areas for single-family housing.  We moved up two spots from number 11 in May and our homes have seen record-setting prices in recent times.

When you add that to our burgeoning economy, low unemployment rate and the high number of available jobs in diverse fields, you can begin to understand the problem.  

Locally and across much of the U.S., it will continue to be a ‘Seller’s Market” until we have more available homes.  Even when it comes to new construction, which a number of my clients have considered of late, it can be tough.  Local homebuilding is on track to hit a 13-year high and the pace shows no signs of a slowdown. Lots are going quickly and prices are on the rise due to escalating lumber, aluminum and copper costs.  And the turnaround times are getting a bit longer than normal.  

However, if you have the time, new construction may be a perfect option for you.  With my longstanding relationship with most local builders, I can help you in this area at no additional cost to you. So if you’ve considered this, give me a call and we can address your particular situation. 

Clients continue to ask me if this is a good time to buy or sell.  My answer will always be the same—NOW is always a good time to buy….and to sell. There are many options to consider and my 46 years in the local real estate arena gives you a big boost when it comes to finding the solution for your wants, needs and budget. In an environment of multiple offers, many in cash and over list price, it takes my kind of experience to help you make an offer that warrants at least a second look and has a good chance of getting accepted by the seller.

And once again…if you’re even considering a move and wondering how all of the above applies to you,simply give me a call today at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.comand let’s see how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you.

 

And now for June statistics…

Homes are selling at 100.6% of listing price with the average days on the market at a very low 18.  

This continues to be great news for both buyers and sellers but with homes selling so fast it still necessitates knowing where you plan to move next prior to listing your present home.

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are the same for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 12.4% for Condo/Townhomes.  New listings are down 10.0% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 11.0% for Condo/Townhomes.  

For more stats, please see the following article.

 

JUNE 2018 WAS ANOTHER RECORD SETTING MONTH IN LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

Here are some highlights from the June 2018 PPAR report. A look at the Median Sales Prices will show that prices have continued their record setting pace for the fourth straight month!  Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

 

In comparing June 2018 to June 2017 for All Homes in PPAR:                      

                         Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 2,051, Down 10.0%

·       Number of Sales are 1,737, Down 0.3%

·      Average Sales Price is $361,499, Up 10.8%

·      Median Sales Price is $324,750, Up 13.8 %

·       Total Active Listings are 2,162, Same as last year

·       Months Supply is 1.2

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 268, Down 11.0%

·       Number of Sales are 202, Down 18.5%

·      Average Sales Price is $230,142, Up 15.6%

·      Median Sales Price is $216,500, Up 20.3%

·       Total Active Listings are 141, Down 12.4%

·       Months Supply is 0.7

 

COLORADO SPRINGS AREA MONTHLY SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOME SALES ANALYSIS*

                                                Median Sales Price               Median Sales Price

                                                    June 2018                               June 2017

Black Forest                             $518,500                              $571,000                        

Briargate                                  $412,500                              $386,000       

Central                                      $265,000                              $228,500

East                                           $268,750                              $236,250

Fountain Valley:                       $270,000                              $259,825

Manitou Springs:                    $285,000                              $397,500

Marksheffel:                             $331,750                             $316,750

Northeast:                                $309,950                              $270,000

Northgate:                               $466,406                              $472,455            

Northwest:                               $425,000                              $370,000           

Old Colorado City:                  $317,500                              $248,500           

Powers:                                    $305,500                              $272,000

Southeast:                                $230,000                              $208,000

Southwest:                               $399,750                              $421,000

Tri-Lakes:                                  $562,533                              $479,649

West:                                         $310,000                              $285,000

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

 

COLORADO’S ECONOMY EARNS “TOP 5” RANKING IN THE U.S.

The Gazette, 6.16.18

WalletHub, the personal finance website, rankedColorado as the nation’s fifth-best economy,trailing only Washington, Utah, Massachusetts and California.  

In the individual components, Colorado ranked second in the highest economic growth and lowest unemployment rate, fourth in most startup activity and fifth in highest median annual household income, but third lowest in fewest exports per capita. 

The state economies were ranked by WalletHub across three, equally-weighted categories—economic activity, economic health and innovation potential, using 28 different statistics.  Colorado ranked eighth in activity, third in health and fourth in potential.  

 

AND THIS FROM ELLIOT EISENBERG, THE BOWTIE ECONOMIST…

Good news on the unemployment front:

“May’s employment numbers were excellent.  The unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, a level last seen in 4/00!  The unemployment rate for African Americans declined to 5.9%, the lowest level since record keeping began in 1/72, and the unemployment rate for women was 3.6%, its lowest since 1953!  Lastly, the unemployment rate for those with less than a HS diploma hit 5.4%, a near record.”

Colorado Springs’ unemployment rate fell to 3.1% in May, the lowest level in a year—and as I mentioned earlier—just another reason why there are so few homes for sale!

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM DASHBOARD

UCCS Economic Forum, 6.21,18

As a sponsor since its inception, I receive information from the UCCS Economic Forum which I regularly share with my readers.  For the most recent statistics, you can click here for a copy, both nationally and local, concerning labor force/unemployment, wages, demographics, real estate, tourism and more.

If you have any questions, please give me a call.

 

SKY SOX TICKETS ARE GOING FAST…

Just a reminder that I have four front row season tickets for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, free for the asking on a first-come, first-served basis.  

The weather’s been great for baseball-watching and tickets for Friday fireworks and Sunday 50 cent hot dog afternoons go quickly so please call me to reserve yours for the date of your choice.

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FEATURED LISTING:

***YOUR HOME CAN BE FEATURED HERE…..CALL ME AND LET’S DISCUSS!***

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 6.18.18

by Harry Salzman

June 18, 2018

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

THE LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET FEELS LIKE A MERRY-GO-ROUND AT TIMES…

…one that just keeps moving and faster and faster these days.  Our tight local inventory is keeping everyone on their toes.  Not only does it allow fewer choices in the resale sector but multiple offers and those considerably over listing price are the new “normal”.

And with the prices of lumber, copper, aluminum and other building materials escalating daily, even the prices of new construction are rising faster than normal.  Turnaround times in new construction are getting longer too, as more folks are turning to that option than in the past few years.  

Interest rates, while fluctuating, are still historically low but with the Federal Reserve again raising rates this past week and having intentions to raise them several times more this year—we are beginning to see people concerned that they could get priced out of homeownership.

Colorado Springs is one the of “hottest” markets in the country and while that’s a good thing for those of us who live here, it’s making things a bit tough for first-time buyers and those wanting to sell and trade up.  Homes are selling at such a rapid pace that I advise anyone looking to trade up or relocate to a new neighborhood to know exactly where they plan to move PRIOR to listing their present home.  Closing times are getting shorter and if you don’t have your next move planned you could find yourself “homeless” so to speak.

It’s especially tough for folks looking to relocate to the Springs, and we are experiencing a lot of activity in that area at present.  Those relocating are usually here for a limited time on “buying trips” and unfortunately many of the homes they wish to see are sold even before they can consider them.  Several of my clients have bought homes without even seeing them because they don’t want to miss out on a chance to make an offer in person.  This is something many of us Realtors have not seen before, but unless there are more available homes it’s not going to change anytime soon.

This is most definitely still a Seller’s Market and will continue to be so until there are more listings. If you have even considered whether a move might be good for you and your family, NOW is the time to check out the possibilities. 

While the market is indeed tight, there are still homes available in MOST price ranges and neighborhoods and we can find one that fits your wants, needs and budget.  That’s where I come in.  My 46 plus years in local real estate is your biggest asset. I know the “ins and outs” of negotiation, finding the right lender for your individual situation and always do my best to make certain that the first offer you make is one that will at least get attention, if not make it to closing.  

New construction can also be a possibility and I can help you in that area, too.  I have longstanding relationships with most of the local homebuilders and my expertise in this arena is yours at no additional cost to you.

So, there you go.  My advice? If you are even thinking of making a move, call me yesterday--you don’t have a minute to waste.  I can be reached at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.comtoday and let’s get the ball rolling to make your residential real estate dreams come true.

 

MAY 2018 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR CONTINUING UPWARD TREND IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS®Services Corp., 

These reports contain much greater detail than the first of the month reports I share and cover ALL residential areas in the Pikes Peak Region. 

In the recently published May 2018 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 3.8% for the single-family/patio homes and down 16.4% for condo/townhomes.  

     The “Activity Snapshot” shows the one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was down 6.3%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 13.0%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 18.4%.

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 34-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own neighborhood, or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Old Colorado City, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

For questions about any of these reports or just to find out how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you, please give me a call.

 

CONSUMER SENTIMENT BREAKS RECORD—AGAIN

RealtorMag, 6.11.18

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index reached an all-time survey high for the second straight month in May.  However, as home prices rise, consumer attitudes about buying and selling a home are diverging even more.

The net share of survey respondents who say now is a good time to sell rose to 46% and is now up 14 percentage points year-over-year. Conversely, the net share who say now is a good time to buy fell to 28% and has shown little improvement over the past year.

According to Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist (who will be leaving the organization in the near future), the Home Purchase Sentiment Index “edged up to another survey high in May, bolstered in part by a fresh record high in the net share of consumers who says it’s a good time to sell a home.”  

“However,” he continued, “the perception of high home prices that underlies this optimism cuts both ways, boosting not only the good-time-to-sell sentiment but also the view that it’s a bad time to buy, and presents a potential dilemma to repeat buyers.”

Here’s a look at other results from the May survey:

  • 49%:  The net share of Americans who say home prices will rise in the next 12 months, which is unchanged from the month prior.

 

  • 78%: The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job, rising 2% month-over-month to reach a new survey high.

 

  • 21%: The net share of Americans who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, up 3 percentage points month-over-month to reach a new survey high.

 

My take from the survey?  Once again, it’s a great time to both buy and sell.  The local economy and job market are both doing well. Interest rates are still relatively low and home prices are only going to continue to rise, however possibly not at such a rapid rate once there are more homes to sell.  If you’ve been waiting to put the home equity you’ve earned to work for you—call me and let’s see what we can do.

 

COLORADO SPRINGS JOB MARKET IS ONE OF THE BEST

The Gazette, 6.12.18

And speaking of our job market…a survey by staffing giant ManpowerGroup has said that it will be among the best in the nation—tied with three other cities as the nation’s fifth best—during the third quarter 2018.  This is a big move up from the second quarter where the Springs was ranked 14th, tied with five other cities.

Manpower’s definition of the “best” is those with the biggest difference between the percentage of local employers planning to hire additional staff and those expecting cuts.  The survey includes more than 11,500 employers and Manpower does not disclose the number of participants in the local survey.

The “net employment outlook” for Colorado Springs is projected at 30 percent in the July-to-September quarter with 21 percent of employers surveyed anticipating additional hiring and just 1 percent forecasting cuts. The rest indicated they expect no change in staffing levels or were not sure of plans.

The Springs ranked ahead of Denver, the only other Colorado city in the survey, which was tied with five other cities at 19thbest.

The local unemployment rate remained unchanged from March at 3.2 percent in April, or just 0.4 percentage points above the lowest rate since 1990 and slightly higher than the statewide rate of 2.9 percent.

According to Tatiana Bailey, director of the UCCS Economic Forum, “The number of openings listed by Pikes Peak Workforce Center exceeds the number of available workers by nearly 1,200 and that gap is again widening after narrowing for much of the past six months.”

“The labor market keeps getting tighter and tighter. Having an unemployment rate this low along with this many openings is an indicator of an expanding economy,” Bailey said.

The ManpowerGroup survey found job prospects strong in nearly every sector of the local economy with government the only sector expected to remain unchanged. 

Other details from the survey:

  • The statewide and Denver area outlooks weren’t quite as strong as the local outlook at 28 percent and 25 percent, respectively.  Colorado ranked fourth, tied with Alabama and Alaska, after Indiana, Wisconsin and Montana.

 

  • Our local outlook was stronger than the national average of 21 percent, or 18 percent after seasonal adjustments. The national outlook is slightly improved from 20 percent, or 17 percent after seasonal adjustments, during the same quarter last year.

 

  • All industry sectors monitored by Manpower had outlooks in the third quarter of 13 percent or more, or 11 percent after seasonal adjustments.

 

TAX LAWS HAVE BUYERS ON THE MOVE

The Wall Street Journal, 6.8.18

The new tax rules that cap deductions of state and local taxes are having a disproportionate effect on taxpayers who live in states with high income taxes and property taxes.  While it’s still too early to quantify the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which became effective on January 1, some real estate professionals say they are starting to see early signs of an exodus to low-tax states.

Prior to the new rules, taxpayers who itemized could write off an unlimited amount of state and local taxes, unless disallowed under the alternative minimum tax.  Now the deductions are capped at $10,000.

The change most affects taxpayers in states with high income and property taxes.  If this is of concern to you, please discuss with your tax advisor or accountant to see if and how these new rules pertain to your individual situation.

However, before you consider moving for tax purposes, here are some things to consider:

  • It isn’t about the taxes.  You need to consider your lifestyle as well.  It is great to save money but if you’re not a Florida person and you move there just to save taxes, you’re making a big mistake.

 

  • Look at all the costs.  In deciding whether to move, and where—look at the other costs of ownership.  A state with low income taxes may make up for it with a higher sales tax.  Or you might end up paying substantially higher costs for homeowner’s insurance.  Therefore, you might ultimately save on income taxes by establishing residency elsewhere, but if the state you’re moving to has higher costs of ownership, it might turn out to be a wash.

 

  • Keep up on the news.  Some states are trying to fight back against the federal limitations on the state and local tax deductions through workarounds that would allow residents to continue to benefit from the deductions.  There is no way of knowing, however, if these tactics will ultimately survive a challenge by the IRS.

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 6.4.18

by Harry Salzman

June 4, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

GOOD TIMES IN LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate FOR BOTH BUYERS AND SELLERS…

Opportunities abound at present and if you are either a potential buyer or seller you might want to consider some of the things I’m about to share.

Colorado Springs continues to be one of the “hottest” markets in the country---#11 in the May 2018 “Top Performing Markets” as ranked by realtor.com.  Home prices here are continuing to surge and nationally prices also reached an all-time high in May.  

And rising home prices are showing few signs of slowing.  Javier Vivas, director of economic research at realtor.com said, “Unfortunately for buyers, median list prices continue to show strong yearly growth and fail to hint that home values will stall any time soon.”  Despite this, the market is decelerating a bit as more homes are coming onto the market.

For the first time in ages, we are starting to see more people listing their homes in the Pikes Peak area. These are likely folks who have been sitting on the fence and realize that NOW is the time to make a move before interest rates or prices rise even more.  Whatever the reason, it’s a blessing for those who have been searching for days with so few listings from which to choose, along with the obstacles of multiple offers and offers over listing price.  But there is even more of an upside for localbuyers and sellers.

As you will read, nationally there is still a dearth of listings and that has resulted in the interest rates to drop by ½ a percentage point in the last week.  This makes sense as a shortage of homes translates into a shortage of applications for loans which translates into lower rates.

The good news for us is that while we are starting to have more listings, we still get the advantage of the lower interest rates.  What that means is that buyers are able to get more home for the same monthly payment and sellers are seeing more buyers who can qualify for loans at the lower percentage rate.  It’s a total win-win for all.

If you’re even considering a move and wondering how all of the above applies to your individual wants, needs and budget,simply give me a call today at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.comand let’s see how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you.

 

And now for May statistics…

Homes are selling at 100.7% of listing price with the average days on the market at a very low 21.  

This continues to be great news for both buyers and sellers but with homes selling so fast it still necessitates knowing where you plan to move next prior to listing your present home.

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are up 1.4% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 12.0% for Condo/Townhomes.  New listings are up 1.3% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 9.1% for Condo/Townhomes.  

On a VERY positive note, Total Active Listings month over month from April 2018 to May 2018 were up 23.7% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 18.3% for Condo/Townhomes.  This is indicative of what I mentioned above—folks are realizing that NOW is the time to sell….and to buy.  Waiting is going to cost you one way or another, so don’t delay.  Call me today if you’re ready to discover what this current real estate market can mean to you.  

For more stats, please see the following article.

 

MAY 2018 WAS ANOTHER OUTSTANDING MONTH IN LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

Here are some highlights from the May 2018 PPAR report. A look at the Median Sales Prices should keep a big smile on many of your faces!  Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

In comparing May 2018 to May 2017 for All Homes in PPAR:                     

                      Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 2,080, Up 1.3%

·       Number of Sales are 1,568, Down 3.9%

·      Average Sales Price is $355,927, Up 11.2%

·      Median Sales Price is $317,250, Up 13.3 %

·       Total Active Listings are 1,885, Up 1.4%

·       Months Supply is 1.1

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 240, Down 9.1%

·       Number of Sales are 19, Down 12.4%

·      Average Sales Price is $225,266, Up 18.6%

·      Median Sales Price is $210,000, Up 13.5%

·       Total Active Listings are 110, Down 12.0%

·       Months Supply is 0.6

 

COLORADO SPRINGS AREA MONTHLY SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOME SALES ANALYSIS*

                                                Median Sales Price               Median Sales Price

                                                     May 2018                                 May 2017

Black Forest                             $517,275                              $439,500                      

Briargate                                  $412,180                              $383,750            

Central                                      $269,000                              $221,500

East                                           $265,500                              $235,000

Fountain Valley:                       $269,450                              $245,000

Manitou Springs:                     $385,000                              $395,000

Marksheffel:                             $342,550                             $284,000

Northeast:                                $310,000                              $276,500

Northgate:                                $435,000                              $475,648          

Northwest:                                $413,750                              $437,000            

Old Colorado City:                   $340,000                             $296,500           

Powers:                                     $300,000                              $271,500 

Southwest:                               $380,700                              $342,450

Tri-Lakes:                                  $528,500                              $492,500

West:                                         $305,000                              $272,500

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

 

LOCAL HOMEBUILDING HEATS UP IN MAY

The Gazette, 6.2.18

The total of permits for single family homes in El Paso County last month surged nearly 29 percent over the same period last year.  Records show that the total of 443 permits was the largest number of single family permits for any month since August 2005.  

According to the Piles Peak Regional Building Department, year to date, single family permits totaled 1,778, up almost 24 percent over the same period in 2017.

There are a number of reasons for this, including local and national economic recovery, more jobs and lower mortgage rates even as they begin to rise.  Add that to the fact that there have been fewer existing homes for sale and you can see why many families are choosing new construction.  

This has been the option of several of my clients in recent months and in case you aren’t aware—I can assist you in the purchase of a newly constructed home.  Knowing the “ins and outs” of new home construction and how to get the most for your dollars is something I offer at no additional to you. I’ve got a good working relationship with most all of the local homebuilders and can help make the entire process as stress free as possible for you.

If new construction is something you’ve considered, just give me a call and let’s see what’s out there for you.

 

MORTGAGE RATES RETREAT FROM 7 YEAR HIGH

RealtorMag.com, 6.3.18

Mortgage rates eased a bit this week after climbing to their highest level in more than seven years.  According to Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, it was the first decline in four weeks.  The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 10 basis points to 4.56 percent average this past week.

“The decline was driven by recent trade and geopolitical issues, which led to a sudden decrease in long-term Treasury yields,” Khater says.  “Meanwhile, confident American consumers shrugged off the market volatility, as purchase mortgage applications continue to trend higher than a year ago.”

However, even with higher rates this year, Khater believe demand from home buyers will stay elevated as long as job growth and other economic fundamentals stay strong.

“Extremely low inventory conditions in most markets are preventing sales from breaking out while also keeping price growth elevated,” Khater says.  “Even if rates climb closer to 5 percent, sales have room to grow more—but only if current supply levels start increasing more meaningfully.”

As I mentioned earlier, this is a win-win for us locally.  We are seeing more listings while the interest rate has dropped.  This should translate into more sales even with the continued escalating home prices here.

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 5.21.18

by Harry Salzman

May 21, 2018

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                         A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

 

THE MISSING PIECE OF THE real estate PUZZLE IS ONLY A PHONE CALL AWAY

The residential real estate market is still in quite a frenzy due to a lack of available homes, rising mortgage interest rates, multiple offers and bidding wars--just to name a few reasons.  Sometimes it reminds me of trying to work a jigsaw puzzle but with no one way to complete it.

It takes real ingenuity, extensive experience in both the real estate and money markets and a whole lot of tenacity and persistence to get a deal done these days.  And that’s why my clients tell me time and again that they are so glad to have me as their real estate advocate.

I’m the “missing piece” of the real estate buying and selling puzzle.  

My 46 plus years in local real estate combined with my investment banking background give me a “heads up” over most when it comes to making deals that have a good chance of making it to closing.  I hate seeing my clients disappointed and work with them until we can find a “happy ending” no matter how long it takes.  

These days of quick turnarounds and multiple offers makes it imperative to have someone like me on your side.  I know the “ins and outs” of deal making, have experience in competitive offer environments and will work on behalf of my clients to get the job done.  

Having just returned from a national relocation conference, I found my peers all around the country suffering the same problems we face in the Colorado Springs arena.  The lack of homes is driving up prices and with interest rates hitting a 7 year high this past week this translates into an even greater frenzy for buyers and keeps the current “seller’s market” going strong.  I’ll address the interest rate hike later in this eNewsletter.  

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), consumer frustration is rising in hot markets like ours.  He said that “home shoppers are struggling to find affordable properties to buy, and the prevalence of multiple bids is pushing prices further out of reach”.

His solution?  “Homebuilders need to start constructing more single-family homes and condominiums to overcome the rampant supply shortages that are hampering affordability.”  

If you’re considering selling to trade up—NOW is the time.  You will more than likely get more for your present home than you might expect, but it will likely sell fast so you need to know in advance where your next move will be.  

And…if you’re looking to buy for the first time or for investment purposes, you don’t have any time to wait either.  Prices are continuing to climb, and interest rates are going up with them.  Each day you delay is going to cost you in terms of monthly payments and more.  

If new construction is something you’ve been considering, I’m your guy, too.  I’ve got a good working relationship with local builders, understand the entire process and can help you get the most for your money, at no additional cost to you.

So, there you go.  My advice? If you are even thinking of making a move, call me yesterday. I don’t say that factiously—you don’t have a minute to waste.  Just give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com today and let’s get the ball rolling to make your residential real estate dreams come true.

 

MEDIAN HOME GROWTH IN COLORADO SPRINGS IS MORE THAN TWO TIMES THAT OF THE U.S.A. 

National Association of Realtors

NAR just released its latest quarterly report of “Median Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes for Metropolitan Areas”,which compares the top 178 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).  

Nationally, the median existing single-family home price for the first quarter 2018 was $245,500, which is up 5.7% from the first quarter 2017.  The median sales price for existing single-family homes in Colorado Springs was $296,600, for a year-over-year increase of 11.5%.  This is more than two times above the national average and is great news for local homeowners.  

It’s also great news for anyone looking to buy here as our home values have consistently increased in recent times and I predict they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

For the first time, NAR has released a survey ranking these same 178 MSAs by housing “costs”. Colorado Springs is ranked as number 27 when it comes to prices—again, excellent news for homeowners and those looking to buy in our local area.  

For a detailed look at these surveys, please click here for the alphabetical listing and click here for the ranked listing by housing costs.

Any questions…you know where to find me!

 

APRIL 2018 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR CONTINUING UPWARD TREND IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS®Services Corp., 

These reports contain much greater detail than the first of the month reports I share and cover ALL residential areas in the Pikes Peak Region. 

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was 11.3%.

In the recently published April 2018 Monthly Indicators andLocal Market Updatefor El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were up 3.5% for the single-family/patio homes and down 23.6% for condo/townhomes.  

 

     The “Activity Snapshot”shows the one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was down 2.0%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 11.3%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 23.2%.

 

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 34-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own neighborhood, or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Briargate, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

 

For questions about any of these reports or just to find out how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you, please give me a call.

 

ERA OF ULTRACHEAP MORTGAGES ENDS AS RATES HIT 7-YEAR HIGH

The Wall Street Journal, 5.19.18

Mortgage rates last week reached their highest level since 2011, signaling a shift of loans from a period of historic lows to a higher-rate environment.  

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.61% this past week from 4.55% the week prior, according to data released last Thursday by Freddie Mac and the increase has come faster than many economists predicted. A surging economy, the prospect of wage gains and a steep rise in prices for commodities such as lumber and gasoline have stoked inflation worries.

As rates approach 5%, the risk of the phenomenon known as “rate lock” grows, economists said.

A one-percentage point increase in rates can lead to a deduction in home sales of 7% to 8%, and the recent increases in home prices and mortgage rates could especially hurt first-time and moderate-income borrowers, according to Lawrence Yun.

What this can mean in real dollars, for example:

A $300,000 home last month at a 4.25% interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan would translate to a monthly payment of $1475.82.

At the present rate of 4.75% that monthly payment would be $1564.94, or a monthly increase of $89.12.

At the predicted 5% before the end of 2018, the monthly payment would be $1610.46—up $134.64 a month.

What’s more, the Federal Reserve, which raised rates in March, has said it expects to raise short-term rates two to three more times this year and three times next year.

This should come as no surprise to those of you who read my eNewsletters as I’ve been telling you to expect this for some time now.  So what I will repeat again—if you’ve been sitting on the fence—time to get off of it.  

Give me a call today and let’s see how we can put your residential wants, needs and budget to work before rates and prices get any higher.

 

 

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Harry A Salzman
Salzman Real Estate Services
5475 Tech Center Drive, Suite 300
Colorado Springs CO 80919
719-593-1000 or Toll Free: 800-677-MOVE(6683)
Cell: 719-231-1285
Fax: 719-548-9357

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