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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.

 

 

HARRY'S EXTRA EDITION

by Harry Salzman

May 3, 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.

 

***EXTRA***EXTRA***EXTRA***

 

As I’m having breakfast and reading “The Wall Street Journal” and our Colorado Springs “Gazette” I took a double take and wanted to share it with you.

When you see the headlines below you can begin to understand my frustration in wanting to keep you informed of what’s happening with interest rates in a timely manner.  

Interest rates going up?  Interest rates remaining unchanged?  You can decide for yourself but I’m going to stick my neck out and say they are most definitely going up.  In any case, I thought I’d send you another “Joke of the Day”.

 

HAPPY THURSDAY TO ALL.

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 5.3.18

by Harry Salzman

May 3, 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.

Another crazy month in the life of your “real estate Therapist”.  Some days I find it difficult to believe just how nuts the residential real estate market has become here in Colorado Springs.  I’ve been telling you for a while about the lack of existing homes here for sale and that trend continues in full force.  

Spring home sales locally and in much of the country are slowing due to tight inventory at the lower end of the market, while lack of inventory in all price ranges is driving prices up, which is keeping sales activity below year ago levels according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, says “The unwelcoming news is that while the healthy economy is generating sustained interest in buying a home this spring, sales are lagging year ago levels because supply is woefully low and home prices keep climbing above what some would-be buyers can afford.”

“Realtors throughout the country are seeing the seasonal ramp-up in buyer demand this spring but without the commensurate increase in new listings coming onto the market,” said Yun. “As a result, competition is swift, and homes are going under contract in roughly a month, which is four days faster than last year and a remarkable 17 days faster than March 2016.”

“Although the strong job market and recent tax cuts are boosting the incomes of many households, speedy price growth is squeezing overall affordability in several markets—especially those out West,” he added.  

And, according to surveys by NAR, Colorado remains one of the “hottest markets” in the country.  As I told you last month, Colorado Springs is an even “hotter” market than Denver – at number 6 in the survey--so this only adds to the frenzy I’ve been experiencing.  

For example locally, in the $300,000 or under range there are so few homes to be had that they are sometimes sold without even a showing.  

Several weeks ago I started working with a young couple who were recently transferred here.  Since this would be their “starter” home I thought I knew exactly what they would need.  While I was correct in their needs, I had no idea how difficult it would be to find them a home.  

Almost every home that came on the market in their price range was sold before we could even see it as there was a “revolving door” of agents and buyers in line for each home my clients wanted to see. Scheduling visits to prospective homes around the work schedule of my clients was a necessity of course, and I soon realized that looking for a home in this price range was going to become a full-time job for this couple.  

On one home we offered $20,000 over listing price and with 11 offers we still did not get the home. I advised my clients that going more than that over listing price and getting in a bidding war would be the wrong thing to do as they probably would need to live in the home longer to get their money out of it with reasonable appreciation when it came time to sell and trade up.

This process was repeated several times during the following week and then finally my clients got their home—without ever having walked into it!  Yes, you read that right.  We made the offer at the moment the home was listed without even seeing the home in person because we did not want to face disappointment again.  Having me as their agent helped as I wrote the offer in such a way that it would be difficult to get turned down and fortunately, it didn’t.  As I’ve said time and again, when it comes to helping my clients achieve their residential real estate goals—“one way or another”—I find a way to make it happen.

This is only one of the “home war” stories I’ve lived in the past year and things don’t seem to be letting up.  Folks are realizing that interest rates really are going up and aren’t likely to be this low again for quite some time, if ever.  For those of us who were around for the 15% and higher rates of the 1970’s and ‘80’s, a 5 percent, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage doesn’t seem high. But for the millennials who have never seen rates higher than 3-4 percent—each increase is astounding.  

My advice to those of you who have been sitting on the fence for whatever reason—this could be your last chance for a while to sell your present home at a great price and put the equity to work by trading up while interest rates, while not historically low, are still low in comparison to days of yore.

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 April statistics…

Homes are selling at 100.7% 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, despite the fact that interest rates are rising.  However, as I just mentioned, it does foster the necessity for fast decisions, so be forewarned.

As you will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary total sales numbers year over year in Single Family/Patio Homes are up 3.2% and down 1.3% for Condo/Townhomes. As you might imagine, this number would have been much higher had there been more homes for sale. 

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are down 2.9% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 16.2% for Condo/Townhomes. New listings are up 8.5% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 21.7% for Condo/Townhomes.  

I’m hoping the increase in new listings for single family/patio homes means that folks are finally seeing that this is a great time to sell and trade up. However, the reality is that total active listings are at a record low and remain a factor in the median price escalation.  

For more details, please see the following article.

 

APRIL 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 April 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 April 2018 to April 2017 for All Homes in PPAR:

                        

                         Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,972 Up 8.5%

·       Number of Sales are 1,286, Down 1.8%

·      Average Sales Price is $348,527, Up 11.8%

·      Median Sales Price is $305,000, Up 10.9 %

·       Total Active Listings are 1,524, Down 2.9%

·       Months Supply is 1.2

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 209, Down 21.7%

·       Number of Sales are 210, Up 1.4%

·      Average Sales Price is $236,915, Up 18.7%

·      Median Sales Price is $212,500 Up 11.8%

·       Total Active Listings are 93, Down 16.2%

·       Months Supply is 0.4

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price               Median Sales Price

                                                        April 2018                               April 2017

Black Forest                             $575,000                              $529,500                        

Briargate                                   $428,696                              $390,000            

Central                                     $240,115                              $244,945

East                                           $272,000                              $244,500

Fountain Valley:                      $275,000                              $242,000

Manitou Springs:                    $355,000                              $386,500

Marksheffel:                             $304,751                             $296,500

Northeast:                                $300,000                              $275,000

Northgate:                               $448,700                              $439,950            

Northwest:                               $470,000                              $397,500            

Old Colorado City:                  $352,000                              $252,450

Powers:                                    $289,000                              $255,000

Southwest:                              $419,250                              $290,000

Tri-Lakes:                                 $544,482                              $450,000

West:                                        $285,000                              $245,500

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

 

JUST TO COMPARE OUR NUMBERS TO THE U.S. HOUSING SNAPSHOT FOR MARCH…

This will give you an idea of just how well our residential real estate market is doing in comparison to the national average in March:

 

MORE AMERICANS ARE HOMEOWNERS IN 2018

RealtorMag, 4.27.18

More Americans became homeowners over the last year as the number of renters continued to decrease.  Homeownership rate in the first quarter 2018 was unchanged at 64.2 percent, higher than last year’s 63.6 percent, the U.S. Census Department reported last week.  This is also the fifth consecutive quarter of yearly increases in the ownership rate.

Since hitting a 50-year low in 2016, the homeownership rate has been gradually climbing back.  The rate peaked in 2004 at 69.2 percent, but despite recent climbs, it still remains below the 25-year average of 66.3 percent.  Meanwhile, the number of renters has dropped.

More young Americans are buying homes with the ownership rate for those under age 35 at 35.3 percent in the first quarter, which is a full percentage point higher than a year ago.

The homeowner vacancy rate dropped to 1.5 percent in the first quarter—the lowest vacancy rate since 2001, the Census Department reported.

 

 

MORTGAGE LOAN RATES ARE THE HIGHEST SINCE 2013

The Gazette, 4.27.18

Long-term mortgage rates continued to climb last week, reaching their highest level in more than four years.  It was the third straight week of increases for long-term mortgage rates with Freddie Mac saying that the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages jumped to 4.58 percent from 4.47 percent two weeks ago.  By contrast, the benchmark rate averaged 4.03 percent a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year fixed rate loans rose to 4.02 percent from 3.94 percent for that same time period.  

This should not come as a surprise to you as I’ve been telling you to be prepared for this inevitability for quite some time now. 

What it means to you now is that you can no longer afford to wait if a move is in your near future.  If you do, it’s going to cost you—not only in the higher cost of a home, but also in the higher monthly payments.

So one more time—if you’re ready—I’m willing and able to help you achieve any and all of your residential real estate goals. But don’t delay—time is no longer on your side.  Give me a call at your earliest convenience and let’s see how we can make a move happen for you.

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 4.18.18

by Harry Salzman

April 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.

 

GREETINGS FROM THE 2018 “NUMBER TWO BEST PLACE TO LIVE IN THE USA”…

The Gazette & U.S. News & World Report, 4.10.18

That’s according to the recently published U.S. News and World Report’s list.  If they had asked me or anyone living here we would tell them “It’s Number ONE”!  But, hey, we will be happy to be Number Two, because that means, like AVIS, “we try harder”.  

Quite honestly, it’s quite an honor and one the City has worked hard to earn.  While Austin, TX  has been number one for two years in a row—Colorado Springs has jumped up nine places from 11thin 2017 while Denver fell one place in the rankings to number three.

The rankings are based on affordability, job prospects and quality of life, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the FBI Uniform Crime Report and other U.S. News rankings such as best high schools and hospitals.  

“While the job market certainly plays a major role in the decision”, according to Devon Thorsby, U.S. News & World Report real estate editor, “but so does the affordability of the area, the quality of education, commute time and growth of the area, signifying the metro area’s long-term success, among other factors.”

Quality of life is the most heavily weighted factor at 30 percent, followed by affordability at 25 percent.

And the Colorado Spring job market?  We added 3,600 people to the labor force in February, the biggest one-month gain in more than 19 years according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, our jobless rate in February edged down to 3.4% from 3.5% in January.  That’s because even as the labor force grew, the number of people with jobs increased even faster.  

Colorado Springs Mayor, John Suthers said last week, “There are rankings and there are rankings.  TheU.S. News and World Reportranking is very prestigious and compares Colorado Springs against some of the nation’s most dynamic and prosperous cities, including Austin, Raleigh-Durham and Denver.”

“To be the second-best city is a remarkable transformation over the past several years.  We wouldn’t have been able to do it without citizens’ investment in roads and stormwater (projects), plus all of the private investment that has been made in the last few years.”

What Mayor Suthers left out was the significant role he has played in turning the City around.  His leadership has made believers out of corporate, airline and defense leaders , among others, who are investing in Colorado Springs at a rapid pace.  PlanCOS, of which I am a member, is working behind the scenes at the Mayor’s request to come up with a 20-year plan for land use in the City, while other committees are looking into other areas of continued improvement.  

We are most fortunate to have John Suthers as our Mayor and I am equally fortunate to call him a friend.

 

BY THE WAY..

The reason for this edition coming out a few days late is due to the fact that I was waiting for the detailed Local Market Updateand Monthly Indicatorsthat I like to share with you in the middle of the month.  Since they are not yet ready, I decided to send this without them.  If you are interested in seeing them after they are published, just give me a call.

 

THE RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET HERE CONTINUES TO BE HOT…HOT…HOT…

Let me tell you once again about working in one of the “hottest real estate markets in the U.S.”. It’s quite a challenge these days.  There just are so few homes available for sale, most especially in the $350,00 or less market.  By the time a home is listed it’s already got a waiting list for showings and oftentimes there’s an offer before the day’s end.  Crazy times in residential real estate for sure.

This is great news, particularly for sellers who have their next move mapped out.  If you’ve been thinking of listing your home, there’s no better time than NOW. However, let me reemphasize that you need to know where you will be going next because there probably won’t be a lot of time to think about that after the sale.  

I wish I could report otherwise, but this is “life in the fast lane” for buyers and sellers of residential real estate.  Once there’s an offer, both you and I need to be available to get it done as best we can. Time isABSOLUTELY of the essence.  And when it comes to moving, you need to be open to neighborhoods you might not have looked at before or consider new construction as an option. I’ve assisted a number of clients in new construction purchases lately but a consideration there is the time frame in getting the home built.  If you need to move immediately, new construction is probably not for you.  

What I’m saying once more is that you need to consider everything BEFORE beginning your search.

That’s where my special brand of customer service is a blessing.  I can help you determine the best choices based on your individual situation and we can proceed from there.  As impossible as this might seem, I can always find a silver lining for you if it’s there.   

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.comtoday and let’s get the ball rolling to make your residential real estate dreams come true.

Note to potential investors: With increasing home values and interest rates, some potential buyers are going to find it difficult to qualify and will be looking for places to rent.  While you might pay more in terms of price and interest rates, this will be offset with the increased rental prices.

 

AS HOUSE PRICES RISE, STRAINS EMERGE

The Wall Street Journal, 4.6.18 & 4.11.18

Homeownership is becoming a bit more difficult for a number of potential buyers as more and more Americans are stretching to buy homes before they are priced out of the market.

According to data from mortgage data tracker, Core-Logic, Inc., roughly one in five conventional mortgage loans made this winter went to borrowers spending more than 45% of their monthly incomes on their mortgage payment and other debts—the highest proportion since the housing crisis.

Economists are saying that rising debt levels are a symptom of a market in which home prices are rising sharply in relation to incomes, driven in part by an historic lack of supply which is forcing prices higher.

Consumers are becoming more optimistic about the economy and their personal financial prospects but less hopeful that now is the right time to buy a home according to a recent survey by NAR.  

Mortgage rates, while still very low, are continuing to rise, and that puts even more strain on potential buyers.  The average monthly mortgage payment is up nearly 13% nationally, according to an analysis released by Realtor.com last month.  That’s an increase of $168 per month.  For luxury homes—the top 10% of the market—owners are paying an average of $241 more per month.

Sensitivity to mortgage rate fluctuations could also vary by generation.  Millennials came of age when interest rates were at historic lows, so even a minor upswing may seem significant.  But older borrowers may recall the days when rates reached double digits—as high as 18.45% in October 1981 according to Freddie Mac—so they may perceive rates as low even if they rise by a percentage point or two.

Rates are forecast to increase through at least the end of the year, so there’s no time like the present to get off the fence if you’ve been waiting.  Yes, you may get more for your home than you expect, but you can expect to pay more for the next one, too.  And interest rate hikes are not waiting for anyone—they are coming.  

So once again—if a move is in your near future, start the process NOW.  Just give me a call today and let’s see how we can best serve your needs, wants and budget. A word to the wise.

 

BASEBALL TIME IS HERE AGAIN…

The Sky Sox are playing here for their last season as a Triple A division of the Milwaukee Brewers and they are doing very well so far.

As you know, I have four front row tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Just give me a call at 593.1000 and I will be happy to set tickets aside for you for any home game this season.  

The Friday night fireworks and 50 cent hot dog Sundays go fast, so give me a call when you know you might want to take the family to the game.

 

HARRY’S JOKE OF THE DAY:  

A real estate agent had just closed his first deal. To his horror though, he then discovered that the piece of land he'd sold was completely submerged under water.

"The customer's going to come back here pretty mad," he said to his boss. "Should I give him his money back?"

His boss roared at him, "Money back? What kind of salesman are you? Get out there and sell him a houseboat."

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 4.3.18

by Harry Salzman

April 3, 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.

As I was sitting in the Pikes Peak Center last week watching the production of “Let It Be”, I couldn’t help feel nostalgic—most especially with the rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”  It reminded me of other times, different times, and yes, in some ways, easier times.

When the March 2018 PPAR statistics arrived in my email yesterday, I sang quietly to myself….”You may say I’m a dreamer….”

That’s exactly how I feel when I look at the current numbers and am just simply amazed at how far the Pikes Peak Residential real estate market has come since I began my career here in 1972.

The past few years have been nothing short of phenomenal for both buyers and sellers.  However, the still historically low interest rates, while slowly rising, are quite a change from the 1970’s, too and are helping first time and move up buyers get into homes of their dreams.  Investors are also seeing great returns as the rental market has picked up exponentially too.

Despite the shortage of listings, both here and across most of the U.S., Colorado Springs has climbed to number 3 on the Realtor.com “Hot List” which reflects the metro areas garnering the most listing views on their site, as well as where homes spend the fewest days on the market.

According to Javier Vivas, director of economic research at realtor.com, “Never in history have there been more eyes on fewer homes than today.  The price gains observed in the last days of March tell us the market is on pace to see half of the homes listed above $300,000 this summer.  This means buyers are not just having to pay more for the same home—they’re also seeing the mix of what’s available change more rapidly.”

And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, El Paso County is seeing the largest gain in population among the other fast-growing counties along Colorado’s Front Range.  Our population increased by 12,526, the most in 2017, followed by Weld County and then Denver. 

While Denver remains the Colorado county with the highest population—704,621 people—El Paso County is close behind with 699,232 people.

State population forecasts show that El Paso County could initially surpass Denver in population in 2020.  They are expected to run neck-in-neck until 2035, when El Paso County is expected to take the lead for good. 

Local experts are attributing this to our high quality of life, low property taxes and utilities and increased economy and job growth. The county also attracts veterans, military retirees and young families. Spillover from the Denver area is also a factor according to Steve Schleiker, El Paso County Assessor. 

If you’re 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.com and let’s see how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you.

 

And now for a few AMAZING statistics…

Homes are selling at 100.3% of listing price with the average days on the market at a low 25. 

This continues to be great news for both buyers and sellers, despite the fact that interest rates are beginning to rise.  However, as I just mentioned, it does foster the necessity for fast decisions, so “a word to the wise”…

As you will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary, total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes are up 3.8% and 0.5% respectively for year-over-year.  As you might imagine, this number would have been much higher had there been more homes for sale. 

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are down 5.7% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 30.2% for Condo/Townhomes, continuing a downward trend that tends to favor sellers.  New listings are down 0.1% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 20.5% for Condo/Townhomes.  The reality is that total active listings are at a record low and remain a factor in the median price escalation. 

For more details, please see the following article.

 

MARCH 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 March 2018 PPAR report.  A look at the Median Sales Prices should put 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 March 2018 to March 2017 for All Homes in PPAR:                     

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,758, Down 0.1%
  • Number of Sales are 1,231, Down 1.3%
  • Average Sales Price is $340,594, Up 15.1%
  • Median Sales Price is $300,000, Up 11.9 %
  • Total Active Listings are 1,371, Down 5.7%
  • Months Supply is 1.1

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 270, Up 20.5%
  • Number of Sales are 175, Down 17.8%
  • Average Sales Price is $211,378, Up 16.4%
  • Median Sales Price is $208,546, Up 20.5%
  • Total Active Listings are 97, Down 30.2%
  • Months Supply is 0.6

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  March 2018                            March 2017

Black Forest                            $552,500                              $465,000                      

Briargate                                  $385,000                              $380,000           

Central                                     $250,000                              $225,000

East                                          $260,000                              $242,500

Fountain Valley:                      $267,000                              $230,000

Manitou Springs:                    $290,000                              $341,225

Marksheffel:                             $319,000                             $295,000

Northeast:                                $292,500                              $267,750

Northgate:                                $469,000                              $430,000           

Northwest:                               $389,500                              $397,500           

Old Colorado City:                  $230,000                              $250.500

Powers:                                    $295,635                              $260,000

Southwest:                              $300,000                              $282,450

Tri-Lakes:                                $482,000                              $425,000

West:                                        $343,000                              $290,000

 

MARKET CHALLENGES DAMPEN HOPES BUT BUYERS MAY LOSE IF THEY DON’T ACT NOW

RealtorMag, 3/22 & 3/26.18

Although consumers are optimistic about the economy, job market and their own personal finances, more and more are expressing anxiety about their ability to buy a home, save for a down payment and qualify for a mortgage, according to the NAR’s Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey for the first quarter of 2018.

The top barriers to homeownership is perceived to be saving for a down payment and qualifying for a mortgage, stemming from concerns about future incomes, student loan debt and having a low credit score, according to the survey.

As might be expected, current homeowners, older consumers and those living in more affordable housing markets express the most optimism about buying.  “The critical shortage of listings in most markets continues to spark a hike in home prices that is not easy for many buyers—especially first time buyers—to overcome,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.  “Adding more fuel to the affordability fire is the fact that mortgage rates have shot up to a four year high in just a few months.”

On the other hand, the share of homeowners who say now is a good time to sell has increased in the latest survey.  “There’s no question that a majority of homeowners have amassed considerable equity gains since the downturn,” Yun says.  “Home prices have grown a cumulative 48 percent since 2011 and are up 5.9 percent (nationally) through the first two months of this year.  Supply conditions would improve measurably—and ultimately lead to more sales—if a growing number of homeowners finally decide that this spring is the time to list their home for sale.”

Accordingly, buyers may want to speed up their home search this spring, as interest rates are forecasted to move higher in the coming months.  Forty-four percent of home buyers say rate increases will likely force them to settle for a smaller, less expensive home that requires a longer commute to their jobs, according to a realtor.com survey.  First time buyers may be most affected by rising costs, as increasing home prices and interest rates price some out of the market.

For the bulk of buyers, it’s not going to kill their decision to purchase a home and if anything, it should get them off the fence by creating a sense of urgency.  Higher rates are a “kick in the pants” for folks to start getting serious about buying now.

Rate increases—even minor ones—can add up over time.  Realtor.com offers this example:  On a $300,000 house with a 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage and 20 percent down payment, the difference between a 4 percent and a 5 percent mortgage rate is $142 a month.

I’ve been telling you for some time now that if you’re in the market—THERE’S NO LONGER TIME TO WAIT.  Folks who thought they could wait are now getting concerned about rising home prices and interest rates.  They are starting to realize that if they are going to buy, they probably should buy NOW.

Don’t wait any longer—give me a call today and let’s do what we can to make all your residential real estate dreams come true.

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 3.20.18

by Harry Salzman

March 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.

 

NOTE TO ALL BUYERS AND/OR POTENTIAL BUYERS—NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO WAIT

The Residential real estate Market in the Pikes Peak area is still experiencing an accelerated pace when it comes to home buying and selling and a slowdown doesn’t seem likely for some time.  I’ve never seen homes sell quite so fast and the listing shortage is not helping.  This is happening in a lot of areas across the country, but most especially in Colorado Springs since we are one of the “hottest markets in the U.S.”.

If you’ve been thinking about the possibility of buying—either to sell and trade up or for investment purposes or the first time—NOW is the time.  Here are some good reasons:

  • Home prices are continuing to rise
  • Interest rates are soon to rise more
  • There is a shortage of listings in ALL price ranges
  • New home construction costs are continuing to rise, along with wait times (more on that later)
  • The “spring buying season” started this month
  • Your present home has more equity than you might think
  • Rental rates are rising and will continue to do so

There you go.  It’s most definitely remaining a Seller’s Market and will continue to be so until there are more available listings.  That’s a “two sided sword” in some ways since you may get more from your present home than you might imagine.   But you will most definitely need to know where you intend to move prior to listing since it will likely sell much quicker than it might have in recent years. 

If you have even thought about a move, NOW is the time to call me to help you in coordinating all of your wants, needs and budget constraints.  My 46 years of experience in the local arena can give you a step up in the process and save you some disappointment along the way.  I have years of experience in knowing the “ins and outs” of writing contracts that will at least get a second look, if not accepted the first time.  In these days of multiple offers and over-list-price sales, that’s quite a feather in your cap.

There are still available homes in most price ranges but quick decision-making is crucial and it’s important to have a lot of these issues out of the way prior to starting your search.  There will not be any time to “figure it out” once you find a home you want.

Give me a call today at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me put my special brand of customer service to work for you.

 

AS I ENTER MY 47th YEAR IN LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate…

Next month I will have been working in the local Residential real estate arena for 46 years.

During this time I have had the privilege of earning the respect and loyalty of three generations of residential clients by providing superb service and delivering outstanding results.  I am known as an innovative, creative and hardworking broker with a special knack for listening, marketing, negotiating, and transaction management.

My clients rave about my familiarity with the area, almost limitless contacts and connections, responsiveness and my extraordinary courtesy. 

I’m especially proud of my coveted REALTOR Emeritus status from the National Association of REALTORS for continuous client service spanning four decades, my participation on various non-profit and national relocation boards, and the PPAR Government Affairs Committee, among others. 

Most importantly it has been my pleasure to give back to the City of Colorado Springs by serving on the City Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Board and am now a member of the Plan COS committee for the Mayor and City Council. 

Thank you ALL for helping to make this happen.  I look forward to working with you and your families for a long time to come.

 

FEBRUARY 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 an amazing 14.3%. The shortage of listings is helping to drive up prices and as I just mentioned, if there were more listings, more people would be moving—either selling to trade up or buying for the first time and for investment purposes.

In the recently published February 2018 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 2.9% for the single-family/patio homes and down 17.0% for condo/townhomes. 

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

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was up 1.1%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 12.1%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 24.8%.

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, Powers, 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.

 

THE NEXT real estate CRISIS:  A SHORTAGE OF NEW HOMES

The Wall Street Journal, 3.19.18

As I indicated earlier, new home construction is becoming more expensive.  This is in part due to increased costs of aluminum, copper, lumber, new regulations and building codes that are changing to boost energy efficiency and other factors.  However, new construction is also facing a shortage in many price ranges.

In fact, the country in general is building homes at near the lowest level in history despite the strong economy.  Fewer homes are being built per household than at almost any time in U.S. history. 

Home construction per household a decade after the bust remains near the lowest level in 60 years of record-keeping, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. 

What makes the slump puzzling is that by most other measures, the American economy is booming.  Jobs are plentiful, wages are on the rise and the stock market is near record highs.  Millennials, the largest generation since the baby boomers, are aging into home ownership.

Demand for housing is stronger than ever, but land and construction costs have roughly doubled since the end of the last boom a decade ago.  And a number of builders have sifted focus from starter and mid-price houses to high-end properties, where the profit margins are fatter. 

A combination of tightened housing regulations, lack of construction labor and a land shortage in highly prized areas is driving the crisis, according to industry experts.

The National Association of Home Builders estimates that builders in 2018 will start fewer than 900,000 new homes, less than the roughly 1.3 million that are needed to keep up with the population growth.  And the overall inventory of new and existing homes for sale hit its lowest level on record in the fourth quarter of 2017, at 1.48 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

That, in turn, is pushing up prices at what economists say is an unsustainable pace.  The S & P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rose 6.3% in 2017.  That was roughly twice the rate of income growth and three times the rate of inflation.

The lack of homes and bidding wars are making things much harder for first-time buyers. 

Builders cite numerous factors contributing to the construction slump.  A decades long push for young people to go to college has driven down trade-school enrollment, depriving builders of skilled labor.  Declining number of immigrant construction workers has sapped builders of unskilled labor. 

Economists also say that builders in far-flung exurbs are encountering stiffer resistance from young buyers even as prices escalate higher for land closer to cities.  They say that in many large metro areas, suburbanization might simply have reached its limits, as potential buyers increasingly reject long commutes.  In the 1950’s buying a home in a new suburb, where land was plentiful and cheap, often meant driving half an hour to a job in the city.  Today, commutes from new developments can be several times as long.

After years of moribund building activity, there have been signs of improvement in recent months.  The homeownership rate increased last year for the first time since 2004, driven by younger buyers who overcame rising prices and a lack of inventory to purchase their first homes.  However, building remains below historical averages, and economists say it is unlikely to return to those levels before the next recession.

What does this mean to you?  Again….one more time…”sooner than later” means do not delay at all if you are serious about buying.   And for investment buyers—there are going to be more and more renters looking for a place to live.  So whatever your buying needs might be—CALL ME TODAY and let’s see how we can work against the odds.

 

LOCAL BUILDING CODE CHANGES WILL RESULT IN HIGHER PRICES FOR NEW HOMES

The Gazette, 3.12.18

While a new regional building code will likely provide more energy efficient homes locally, it will certainly add to the price of a new home.

This latest edition of the building code will bring local rules more in line with the newer national standards, but with the current housing shortage this doesn’t come at an opportune time.  The code is set to be in place by June and how it will affect local new home prices is not yet certain. 

While much of the cost increase will be fueled by the new efficiency requirements—which mostly have to do with how airtight a home is—a few other improved health and safety standards might also increase prices.

Local builders are indicating that the new code will likely result in a price increase of anywhere between $2,200 to $10,000, depending on the size of the structure. 

Housing industry reps say that even an incremental increase in the overall price of a home can make a difference in whether a prospective buyer can afford it.  A 2016 study by the NAR found that for every $1,000 that the price of a Colorado Springs home rises, 275 households are “priced out” and can no longer qualify for a mortgage.

While it’s possible that these increases will “pay for themselves” over time due to energy savings, the immediate effect will result in higher home prices.

My advise to you if you’re looking for a new home now is to call me as soon as possible so that you can lock in today’s prices if at all possible.  Just give me a call at 593.1000 and I will be happy to work with you on this.

 

SALES TAX IN COLORADO SPRINGS IS STRONG INTO 2018

The Gazette, 3.17.18

Consumer spending in January fueled the biggest monthly gain in local sales tax since June, according to the city’s Finance Department.

Why mention this?  Well, to begin with, it’s just one more indication that our local economy and job market is strong and looks to continue on that path.  It is also why more and more folks are looking for housing and thus driving the shortages we are experiencing there.  It all goes hand in hand, so once again….if you’re looking to sell—NOW is a great time to take advantage of the equity in your home to trade up or move to a new neighborhood.

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 3.5.18

by Harry Salzman

March 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.

MEDIAN HOME PRICES ARE WAAYYY UP FOR ANOTHER MONTH…NOW HAVE GOT YOUR ATTENTION? 

It’s been such a busy week I’m not sure where to begin so I’ll start with Saturday morning.  I listed a home at 10 a.m. and it was on PPAR MLS by 11 a.m.  Within four hours I already had three offers and I cannot even make contact with the seller sometime today.  There were 13 showings in six hours and I’m guessing there will be offers from most of them also.  Sounds like I’m heading into a bidding war for my sellers.  Welcome to 2018 Residential real estate in Colorado Springs.

I have never witnessed a market like we are currently experiencing and the end just isn’t in sight.  In fact, if we had more homes for sale we’d be even seeing more growth.  Yes, folks, this continues to be a Sellers Market and will continue to be until we have more homes available for sale.

Just to give you an example from my company alone in comparing last week to the same week one year ago:

ERA Shields Active Listing Inventory:

2017:  104

2018:   97

 

ERA Shields Total Showings:

2017:   171

2018:   380

 

Showings Per Listing Year Over Year:

2017:  1.64

2018:  3.92

What this means is that “Showings Per Listing” are up 139% year over year.  Just think about that.  If you have been considering a move---NOW is the best time to insure maximum exposure to potential buyers. 

Besides the lack of listings, we are dealing with escalating mortgage interest rates, renters wanting to become first time or once-again homeowners, and prices rising faster than I can ever remember.  With the “traditional” spring buying season just about to begin, folks will be looking for trade up homes or for homes in new neighborhoods or new school districts.  Disappointment is becoming a bit of the norm I’m afraid.  There just aren’t as many homes to choose from and when you do find one, you have little or no time to make a decision. 

That’s why you need to do as much homework as possible BEFORE you begin the search.  You must decide what you want, need and can afford long before you start looking.  And if you are looking at new construction, which is becoming more of an option for many of my clients, then you most likely are looking at “getting in line” there too. 

Prices of new construction keep going up—not arbitrarily—but due to the rising cost of labor, lumber, copper and other uncontrollable factors.  The fires and hurricanes in other parts of the country may not have affected us directly, but we ARE experiencing the effects nonetheless in the new housing arena.

Lots to consider?  I am available to help you in determining any and all of these things. Having someone like me on your team makes the entire home buying and selling experience one that will be as stress-free as possible, which is no easy feat in today’s market.

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about selling to trade up or to purchase for the first time or investment purposes, it’s no longer prudent to wait.  However, I want to again remind you that if you’re looking to sell, it’s important to know where you will live next since your present home will likely sell much faster than you might have anticipated. 

Simply give me a call today at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me put my special brand of customer service to work for you.

 

And now for a few statistics…

Homes are selling at 99.8% of listing price with the average days on the market at a low 38.  This continues to be great news for both buyers and sellers, despite the fact that interest rates are rising.  However, as I just mentioned, it does foster the necessity for fast decisions, so “a word to the wise”…

As you will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary, total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes are up 3.3% and 9.2% respectively for year-over-year.  This number would have been much higher had there been more homes for sale. 

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are down 8.4% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 48.4% for Condo/Townhomes, continuing a downward trend that tends to favor sellers.  New listings are down 3.1% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 17.1% for Condo/Townhomes.  The reality is that total active listings are at a record low and are a factor in the median price escalation. 

For more details, please see the following article.

 

FEBRUARY 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 February 2018 PPAR report.  A look at the Median Sales Prices should put 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 February 2018 to February 2017 for All Homes in PPAR:

                       

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,233, Down 3.1%
  • Number of Sales are 946 Up 18.3%
  • Average Sales Price is $331,104, Up 9.9%
  • Median Sales Price is $292,470, Up 14.7 %
  • Total Active Listings are 1,342, Down 8.4%
  • Months Supply is 1.3

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 145, Down 17.1%
  • Number of Sales are 140, Up 11.1%
  • Average Sales Price is $211,001, Up 15.8%
  • Median Sales Price is $204,750, Up 13.8%
  • Total Active Listings are 63, Down 48.4%
  • Months Supply is 0.5

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  February 2018                       February 2017

Black Forest                            $514,950                              $489,950                      

Briargate                                  $377,450                              $388,225           

Central                                     $230,000                              $180,000

East                                          $250,000                              $230,000

Fountain Valley:                      $265,000                              $230,000

Manitou Springs:                    $419,000                              $185,990

Marksheffel:                            $310,989                              $261,407

Northeast:                                $295,000                              $259,500

Northgate:                                $446,900                              $440,000       

Northwest:                               $392,500                              $395,000           

Old Colorado City:                  $270,000                              $236,500

Powers:                                   $284,450                              $254,900

Southwest:                              $403,600                              $246,000

Tri-Lakes:                                $470,000                              $485,000

West:                                        $325,000                              $250,000

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

 

DASHBOARD FROM UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM

Please click here for a look at the detailed charts from the UCCS Economic Forum updated on February 21, 2018.  These show economic trends for the country as well as for El Paso County and cover such areas as housing, cost of living, consumer sentiment, job market and more.

If you have any questions, just give me a holler.

 

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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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