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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 7.24.17

by Harry Salzman

July 24 2017

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.

LET’S TALK ABOUT RENTALS FOR A MOMENT OR TWO…

The record-setting statistics that I’ve been showing you lately are continuing, but with that great news I’ve also been writing about the shortage of available listings.  That’s been affecting a number of my clients, which I’ll write more about later on.

The biggest news now is “RENTAL PROPERTIES”.  According to an article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, “Wall Street is the New Suburban Landlord.”  What this means is that large companies are buying up homes and then renting them our rather than selling.  And many individual investors are also scooping up homes as investment properties.

Other companies are purchasing multifamily condo buildings, buying the units back from owners, and converting them into rental apartments.

The reasons are varied, but most agree that since homeownership is the lowest in five decades it’s likely to stay that way and that rent rates will continue to rise.  These same investors are “wagering that many people no longer see owning a home as an essential part of the American dream” states the Journal article.

If the Millennials and Gen Zer’s want to maintain the suburban lifestyle of the past they are going to need to rent—especially at first.  Many of these folks have substantial college debt, no down payment, no real credit, and low FICO scores.  Others don’t know where they will end up career-wise so a non-permanent solution makes sense. 

Homes are also increasing so quickly in value so what might have been affordable for first-timers could be impractical today.  Slowly rising interest rates are also beginning to slow down the market.

Even some experienced homeowners who might have recently sold their home quicker than expected and without having decided where to go could need temporary lodging for several months.  And if they were planning on moving into a newly constructed home it might not be ready just yet.

I’ve had a number of clients purchase rental properties in the past year and a half.  If that is something you have even considered—NOW is the time.  Home prices are escalating and rental prices are too—so while you’re building equity in your investment you are also collecting rent with the option to raise it at the end of a lease. 

Someone I recently spoke with has been purchasing rental properties for more than 15 years.  Recently she decided to have the homes appraised and low and behold—her equity is now more than a millions dollars.  That’s the EQUITY—not including the actual home values.  Most impressive to say the least.

Homes have been doing better than stocks, bonds, equities, etc for some time now, with few exceptions, so if you own your own home you are probably ahead of the game and happy about it.  If you owned another property you would not only be gaining equity, but most likely receiving rental income that would cover your monthly payment and then some. 

According to a study recently released by REAL Trends, Inc and NEXZUS Publishing Group, about 23 percent of residential home built for one to four families are now owned by investors.

Out of about 125 million households in the U.S., an estimated 43 million live in investor-owned housing units according to the study.  “While most real estate industry and consumer publications have focused on the impact institutional buyers have had on this rental market, the facts show that it is somewhat ordinary American families who own the majority of these investor-owned residential properties.”

There are a number of things to consider if you are interested in rental property and since I’ve been putting my money where my mouth is for many years I can give you advise and answer most questions you might have.  I can also help direct you to a qualified property manager if that is the way you want your rental property handled.  In that case, you would not have to worry about the upkeep and other duties of a “landlord” and would be paying someone else to care for your property while still receiving the benefits.

I also get asked the tax questions a lot but will always refer you to your personal accountant and/or investment advisor as I’m not qualified to give you advise in those areas.  Each person needs to see how investment property fits into their own financial portfolio and only these professionals can help you with that.

If you are anyone you know are interested in discussing how to make rental property work for you, I’d love to discuss it.  Just give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s talk.

I also am available to help those looking to rent a home if that is the option.  You can also pass on my information to anyone who might need help in that area.

My 45+ years in the local real estate arena along with my personal brand of customer service make me one of the best choices you can make for yourself, a friend or a family member when it comes to any form of residential real estate

I can you help buy, sell, buy new construction and buy for investment purposes.  I do it all.  I do it well.  And I do it with extensive knowledge of not only the Colorado Springs market  and regulations, but with long professional relationships with local realtors and builders, which can help you in getting what you seek. I look forward to helping you again soon.

 

JUNE 2017 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR CONTINUING UPWARD TREND IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

These reports, issued today, of the continued fabulous residential real estate growth contain much greater detail than the first of the month reports and cover ALL residential areas in the Pikes Peak Region.

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was 8.3%, a good sign that our housing market is continuing to appreciate.

In the recently published June 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were up 7.9% for the single-family/patio homes and up 9.1% for condo/townhomes. 

This is a good indication that folks are now realizing that it is a GREAT time to list a home and trade-up or move to a new neighborhood.  The only drawback, as I keep mentioning, is that you need to know where you intend to move BEFORE you list your home as it is going to sell much faster than it would have in past years.

     The “Activity Snapshot” for June 2017 shows the one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was up 8.6%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 8.3%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 22.0%.

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 33-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 what’s transpiring there.  I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Southwest, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

              

Despite rising home prices, interest rates, while slowly rising, are remaining historically low for the time being as I mentioned above.  That won’t always be the case, so “sooner than later” should be your motto if a real estate move is in your immediate future.  If you’re thinking of a move or looking for investment property—I’m just a phone call away.

 

COLORADO SPRINGS IN THE NEWS...AGAIN

The Gazette, 7, 18 & 22,.17

Our unemployment rate was the lowest in the nation for the fourth consecutive month.

It remains a record low for the state in records beginning in 1976 and is the fourth-lowest of any state during the 41-year period.  Wow.

According to Rich Wobbekind, senior economist for the Leeds School of Business of UCBoulder, “This rate does suggest we are at full employment.  We are really scrapping the bottom of the barrel.  At 2.3 percent, the people who are unemployed don’t have the skills needed for the current job openings, so employers either have to find the people by recruiting out of state or from people who have retired but are willing to come off the sidelines to be part of the workforce again.”

 

We are the 28th best for first time homes among 62 cities with a population of 300,000 or more.

A new study released last week by WalletHub , a personal finance website, submits that Colorado Springs remains a great place for first-time homebuyers.  Only caveat here—IF they can find an affordable starter home.

The survey is based on nearly two dozen measurements of market attractiveness, affordability and quality of life. 

This would be great news—as any recognition is—but we are falling short in providing homes these first timers can afford.  This is just another reason that buying rental property is a smart idea.  A number of these young folks who are choosing to move here will need housing until they can afford to buy their own home.

 

NEW CONSTRUCTION PRICES COULD ESCALATE AS FIRES BURN CANADIAN FORESTS

The Wall Street Journal, 7.24.17

The wildfires in Canada are pushing up the price of lumber and threatening the supply to U.S. homebuilders.  This fire season across the border has been harder on the lumber industry than in more than a decade.

This comes at a time when existing home listings are so low that many folks are seeking new construction.  I’ve been taking a lot of clients to see if new constructions can help in their home search to satisfy their wants, needs and budget.  The problem has been that the builders are swamped and building as quickly as they are able to keep up with the new demand.

Now when you add this to the mix, the price of new homes will have to increase along with the price of lumber.  And that’s hoping that the supply holds steady.  If not, it will not only cost more, but the wait will be longer.  This is another reason to buy NOW.

Demand is continuing, but lot availability is becoming an issue and rising interest rates could also limit some from buying.

That said, though, the Colorado Springs issued 1,781 permits for new construction of single-family homes for the first half of 2017—matching that of the first half of 2016 when the annual total of permits were at the highest level since 2006.

So all in all..it’s been a good year for new home construction, too. 

 

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Motivated Seller.

Recently listed with another realtor for $835,00. 

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Colorado Springs

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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 7.10.17

by Harry Salzman

July 10, 2017

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.

Optimized by JPEGmini 3.9.27.0L 0x39aa2ab7

AND ONCE AGAIN…LOCAL HOME SALES AND PRICES CONTINUE UPWARD…

It would get a bit tiring to read (and write) except all this great residential real estate news is affecting us all in such a positive way!    

In comparing June 2017 real estate average and median sales prices to June 2016—they are once again up—up—up.  I’m still busier than ever, although things have slowed down a bit so I can at least catch my breath.  Listings are up but continue to be a problem because the lack of inventory makes it more difficult for buyers.  In fact, I’ve had to direct a number of clients to new construction because of this. 

In case you are not aware, that’s another part of my special brand of customer service.  I take the needs, wants and budget of my buyers into consideration and then proceed to find them new construction that fits their personal scenario.  With me, they can be certain in talking to the homebuilder that they are getting exactly what they are being promised and I can help direct them to the best financing for them.  All of this is at no additional cost to the buyer.  Whether it’s an existing home or new construction—I do it all—and more—to make certain that my clients get the very best residential real estate situation for them.

And now for the good news…

In the Single Family/Patio Home category, average sales price in June was $326,263 and median sales price was $285,250.  This is an increase of 10.6% and 8.7% respectively year-over-year.

In the Condo/Townhome category the average sales price was $199,134 and the median sales price was $180,000 up 8.7% and 5.9% respectively year-over-year.

Homes are selling at 100.4% of listing price and a VERY LOW average of 24 days on the market.  Yes, you read that right.  It’s still unbelievable and puts a lot of pressure on both buyers and sellers in terms of decision-making. 

If you are selling your home, you need to know where you are going to next because the short turnaround times don’t give you a lot of time to decide after the sale.

And if you are buying, you need to know in advance exactly what you want because most often you don’t get the luxury of “thinking about it” for even a few hours.  If you don’t make an offer—one that’s going to get noticed—someone else will.  That’s the hard reality these days, but it’s accurate, and the main reason you need a seasoned professional real estate agent like me who knows the “ins and outs” of the process and can get an offer to the table that most likely won’t need to be revised.  That doesn’t mean it will be accepted, and not all are for one reason or another, but my track record is outstanding.  However, disappointment, much as I hate to see it for my clients, is becoming somewhat of a norm, especially in the under $300,000 price range. 

Colorado Springs is appearing on most of the “top” lists—hottest housing markets, best place to live, great cost of living, work/life balance and on and on.  Relator.com just listed the “Top 20 Performing Housing Markets in the USA and while California dominated with 8 cities on the list, Colorado Springs came in at number 8! This is something we who live here know—it’s the best place to live and raise a family or retire, but…now the whole world is finding out and there you go.

If you’re looking to sell and trade up—NOW is a great time and if you’re looking to buy for the first time or investment purposes—there are still homes available in most price ranges. 

Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me run the numbers for you.  With mortgage interest rates still historically low you might find that the house of your dreams is simply a phone call away.

For more details on the local June 2017 PPAR reports, please see the next article.

 

DESPITE LOW INVENTORY, LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate IS HOT

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

You will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary, total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes are up 4.5% and 18.1% respectively for year-over-year.  This number would have been even higher if we had more listings.

New listings are up 10.8% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 13.2% for Condo/Townhomes. It appears that sellers are beginning to realize that listing their home in this “hot” market will make it much easier to sell.

Here are some highlights from the June 2017 PPAR report. 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 2017 to June 2016 in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 2278, Up 10.8%
  • Number of Sales are 1,743, Up 5.6%
  • Average Sales Price is $326,263 Up 10.6%
  • Median Sales Price is $285,250 Up 8.7%
  • Total Active Listings are 2,162

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 301, Up 13.2%
  • Number of Sales are 248, Up 21.6%
  • Average Sales Price is $199,134, Up 18.7%
  • Median Sales Price is $180,000 Up 5.9%
  • Total Active Listings are 161

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  June 2017                             June 2016

Black Forest                            $571,000                              $433,500                      

Briargate                                  $386,000                              $355,500          

Central                                      $228,500                              $200,000

East                                           $236,250                              $223,000

Fountain Valley:                       $259,825                              $229,900

Manitou Springs:                     $397,500                              $347,500

Marksheffel:                             $316,750                             $279,900

Northeast:                                $270,000                              $243,450

Northgate:                                $472,455                              $397,500      

Northwest:                               $370,000                              $377,500          

Old Colorado City:                  $248,500                              $240,000

Powers:                                    $272,000                              $250,000

Southwest:                              $421,000                              $342,250

Tri-Lakes:                                 $479,649                              $425,000

West:                                        $285,000                              $250,000

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

 

HOMES IN THE USA ARE ALSO ZOOMING TO A NEW HIGH

RealtorMag, 6.21.17

Prices all across the country have rose to a new high in May and this doesn’t appear to stop buyers as demand remains high despite housing shortages. 

In May, existing home sales—which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops—rose 1.1 percent month over month to a seasonable adjusted annual rate of 5.62million.  Existing-home sales are now 2.7 percent higher than a year ago.

“The job market in most of the country is healthy and the recent downward trend in mortgage rates continues to keep buyer interest at a robust level,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.  “Those able to close on a home last month are probably feeling both happy and relieved.  Listings in the affordable price range are scarce, homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace, and the prevalence of multiple offers in some markets are pushing prices higher.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types rose to $252,800 in May.  That surpasses last June’s peak of $247,600 NAR reports.

According to Yun, “This is not sustainable in the long run.  Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions.”

“With new and existing supply failing to catch up with demand, several markets this summer will continue to see homes going under contract at this remarkable fast pace of under a month,” Yun says.

 

HOW TO FIND A HOUSE TODAY

Rismedia.com, 6.17

This may be the most difficult year in a decade to buy a home, especially for the first-time buyer.  As previously mentioned, prices are soaring and supplies are short—fueling greater demand and multiple offers in the lower price ranges.

There’s not a lot of leeway for mistakes in today’s marketplace.  Discipline is essential, and the learning curve is stepped up.  I’ve been telling you for awhile now that home buying is a more serious business today than ever and even more difficult for move-up buyers as well as first-timers.

Here are five tips on house-hunting in today’s market that will help put you ahead of the competition and may spell the difference between success and failure.

 

(Please note that while a lot of these tips are applicable for any real estate sale, some of the statistics listed are national ones, not local.)

Hire A Specialist

real estate is a large and complex field.  Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make and it’s essential to have someone like me in your corner.  With 45 years in local residential real estate and an investment banking background, I am well prepared to guide you through the entire process.

Don’t Start Until You’re Ready

It’s important to know in advance what you need, want and can afford.  There’s no sense looking at homes that don’t fit you personal specifications.  It’s also imperative that you improve your credit if necessary, have the money for a down payment and get pre-approved by the lender of your choice prior to the search.

Make a Budget and Stick to It

The amount for which your lender approves you is NOT your budget.  Your pre-preapproval is conditional and can change when you apply for a mortgage.  It also does not include many of the costs of homeownership, like taxes, home insurance and maintenance.  Figure out in advance what you can afford and stick to it.  There are few heartaches worse than falling in love with a house you can’t afford or stretching yourself so thin that you are “house poor” for the foreseeable future.  Don’t let your emotions get the better of you—winning a bidding war could mean a loss to you in monetary terms.  That’s what you have me for—to help keep the emotional part in check so you end up with a home that fits you in “all” areas of importance to your family.

House Hunt Every Day

Looking for a new home today is like a second job and financially, it may even be more important to you than a second job.  The outcome will determine where you live and how much you spend on housing for years to come.  Be proactive and look at all the emails I send you.  Spend time learning about new neighborhoods you might not have considered before.  Ask me as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with the entire process. 

Be Flexible

You might find that you cannot afford to live where you might like, or you can’t afford the size or amenities you would like.  If those are deal-breakers for you, you many not be ready to buy in today’s market—or you might want to revisit your criteria and look at homes in other neighborhoods or an older home you can improve over time.  Starting out in a condo might be an acceptable solution for first-time buyers.  Prices are not likely to decline so you will be building equity while you wait until you can afford the home of your dreams. 

Sweeten Your Offer

Don’t rely on real estate sites to determine the value of a home you like.  I can show you a comparative market analysis (CMA) to help determine it’s real value.  The only thing I can tell you is that with prices rising so quickly, it’s often hard to get a true CMA since other homes in the area may not have sold in recent times.  This is what I was telling you about appraisals.  The appraisers use current CMA, but those are changing almost too fast to keep up with current prices. 

Sellers are not only looking for the best price.  They also want an offer that will close on time from a buyer whose financing will not fall through.  Consider sweetening your offer by increasing the down payment. If you are selling to trade-up, sell your current home before you buy a new one.  Most sellers these days react negatively to offers that are contingent upon a buyer first selling his current home.

Don’t Lose Your Deal

Nationally, about 23% of contracts on homes today have a delayed settlement and 7% of contracts fail to close and are terminated.  The leading causes for delayed settlements are issue relating to obtaining financing and appraisal issues.

Most appraisal issues result from appraisals that come in lower than the contract price and buyers must come up with more cash.  One way to protect against a low appraisal is to know the value of the house before you make an offer and make a larger down payment than you have to.

Persistence Pays Off

Learn from your experiences.  Don’t despair if a seller selects another offer over yours.  A better home may come on the market tomorrow.  Last year buyers searched for an average of 10 weeks and looked at a median of 10 homes according to NAR’s 2016 Profile of Buyers and Sellers but that’s just a national average for all buyers.  If you’re a first-time buyer in a hot market like ours expect the hunt to take longer.  Don’t quite after weather turns cold.  Fall and winter can be a great time to find a home—there is often less competition than in the spring and summer and sellers can oftentimes be more motivated.

 

SKY SOX TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE

The Sky Sox are number one in their division right now and tickets are going fast.  If you would like to enjoy a game from my front-row tickets, please give me a call so I can put them aside for you.

I have four tickets and they are free to you for the asking, based on availability.  Friday night fireworks and Sunday 50-cent hot dog days are the first to go, so call as soon as you know when you might want the tickets.

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY'S HOLIDAY GREETING

by Harry Salzman

 

                       

 

Wishing a Happy Birthday to the U.S.A.

&

A Joyful and Safe July 4th to You.

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 6.20.17

by Harry Salzman

June 20, 2017

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. 

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COLORADO SPRINGS IS HOT...HOT…HOT…AND IT’S NOT SIMPLY THE TEMPERATURE

We may be experiencing warmer days than usual, but that’s nothing compared to the current state of the residential real estate market. 

Homes are still selling in record time and at record prices in most neighborhoods and the listing shortage is making it more difficult to find homes for those looking to sell and trade up.  In fact, I’ve helped a number of clients select new construction when they were unable to find an existing home that fits their present needs, wants and budget. 

When you read the articles below you will better understand what’s causing all the frenzy.  Colorado Springs is a GREAT place to live.  We’ve got it all.  Low unemployment.  An excellent work/life balance coupled with a lower cost of living.  Affordable housing.  And list goes on and on.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the Federal Reserve recently raised it’s rates and intends to do so again several more times this year.  What that means to you at the moment is not too much as we have yet to see mortgage rates rise when rates were raised earlier this year.  That doesn’t mean we are going to have these historically low rates forever—in fact, I believe they will definitely go up prior to year’s end—but for now I think we’re good. 

What it DOES mean to you is that there is no guarantee of how long these current mortgage rates will stay put, so if you are looking to move and lock in a one of today’s excellent rates—don’t put it off too long.  We haven’t been hurt too badly with the increase in home prices due to the low interest rates, but it’s not worth gambling that they will be here forever.  They won’t. 

If a move to a new home or neighborhood is in your future, you might consider making that “future” a sooner than later thing.  Homes prices have not stopped escalating and if you’re facing a higher interest rate on top of that—that’s going to get you where it hurts—your wallet and monthly expenses.

And if investment property is something you are considering—even as a possible IRA investment as you will read further on—then now is a great time, too, as the rental market is still hot and rental prices are on the upswing. 

It’s a “Catch 22” for renters as it’s much less expensive to own and rental prices are constantly going up.  Many of these folks don’t realize that there are ways they can become first time or once-again homeowners. 

That’s where I excel. There are many new regulations and lower requirements that can help and I know how to navigate the waters to help make homeownership a reality for many who don’t even know they can qualify.

If you are in need of any of the above—selling to trade up, buying for investment purposes, or buying for the first time—I’m your guy.  My 45 plus years in the local real estate arena, along with my investment banking background, can provide you with invaluable advice and help. 

Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s get the ball rolling.  Helping people make good residential real estate decisions is what I do and I want to do that for you and all your family members and co-workers, too.

 

COLORADO SPRINGS TOPS ANOTHER “LIST”—OUR HOMES ARE THE MOST LIKELY TO SELL

Credit.com, 6.1.17

Homes in Colorado Springs are drawing the most potential homebuyers, according to data released by ATTOM Data Solutions two weeks ago.

In analyzing mortgage applications to create its “Pre-Mover Housing Index”, the company determined a measure of the proportion of homes likely to sell in a market and we came in at first place.

An index above 100 in a given market means an above-average ratio of homes will be sold there compared to the national average.  The Colorado Springs Index number is 251, which also means that someone looking to buy here will face fierce competition as we’ve seen in recent months. 

This reinforces what I’ve been telling you for some time—our homes are still relatively affordable in comparison to a lot of the country and when you top that off with our low unemployment rate and lower cost of living expenses—BAM—we’ve got a winner.

And that’s not even taking into consideration all the other things our community has to offer in the way of outdoor activities, beautiful parks, mountain scenery and on and on.

If you’ve got a family member looking to relocate from another part of the country, tell them to look no further.  We’ve got it all and I’ll be happy to show them around to help reinforce that notion.  After all, it’s no surprise that relocation is a big part of my business.  It began with my personal relocation here 45 years ago and hasn’t stopped since!

 

MAY 2017 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR CONTINUING UPWARD TREND IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

These recently issued reports of the continued fabulous residential real estate growth contain much greater detail than the first of the month reports and cover ALL residential areas in the Pikes Peak Region.

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was 8.0%, a good sign that our housing market is continuing to appreciate.  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 May 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 5.5% for the single-family/patio homes and up 9.1% for condo/townhomes. 

As you might surmise, NOW is a great time to list your home.  The only drawback, as I’ve mentioned time and again, is that you need to have an idea of where you want to go because your home will likely sell much quicker than it might have in the recent past.

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

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was up 9.6%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 8.0%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 28.4%.

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 33-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 what’s transpiring there.  I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Powers, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

              

Despite rising home prices, interest rates, while slowly rising, are remaining historically low for the time being as I mentioned above.  That won’t always be the case, so “sooner than later” should be your motto if a real estate move is in your immediate future.  If you’re thinking of a move or looking for investment property—I’m just a phone call away.

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 at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com.

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM QUARTERLY UPDATE, MAY 2017

I just received what will be the final Quarterly Report from the UCCS Economic Forum.  It is being replaced by the report that is updated monthly and which I share with you as soon as I receive it.  Since most of the information is redundant, this move makes a lot of sense for Tatiana Baily, PhD and her crew who work to get this information out in a timely manner.

You can click here to read the 10-page report in its entirety.  Since this report is for First Quarter 2017 I will let you peruse it on your own as the information contained within, while excellent news for the Colorado Springs area, is not as current as that which I shared from the UCCS Dashboard last month.

 

BUYING IS NOW 33.1% CHEAPER THAN RENTING IN THE U.S.A.

Keeping current matters, 6.19.17

The results of the most recent Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that in the 100 largest metropolitan areas of the U.S. homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed mortgage.

The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 3.5% less expensive in San Jose, CA, all the way up to 50.1% less expensive in Baton Rouge, LA, and 33.1% nationwide!  In Colorado Springs it is 33.2% less expensive to own than to rent.

Some other interesting findings in the report:

  • Interest rates have remained low and, even though home prices have risen all over the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation

 

  • With rents and home values moving in tandem, shifts in the ‘rent vs. buy’ decision are largely driven by changes in mortgage interest rates

 

  • Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 128% increase over today’s average of 4.0%, for renting to be cheaper than buying.  Rates haven’t been that high since January 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

Bottom Line:

Buying a home makes sense both socially and financially.  If you know of one of those renters who would like to become homeowners, please have them give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how we can make that dream a reality.

 

RENOVATIONS THAT PROVIDE THE HIGHEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT (INFOGRAPHIC)

Keeping Current Matters, 6.16.17

“Will I recoup my investment if I (fill in the blank)I get asked this question as lot when my clients are considering updating homes prior to listing or simply for their own pleasure.  The answer varies according to many factors, but if you want to make the changes listed in this Infograpic then read below to see how they may impact your bottom line. Based on my experience, I’m not in total agreement with all of their numbers, but it’s a place to start.

             

 

THE TEN MOST COMMON real estate IRA QUESTIONS ASKED BY INVESTORS

RISMedia, 5.4.17

Investing in real estate with your self-directed IRA is not a whole lot different from a regular real estate purchase; however, there are important rules and processes you must follow to do it right.  When it comes to real estate IRAs, people have a lot of questions and my first advice always is to check with your personal accountant and/or investment professionals to make certain you are “crossing all your t’s and dotting all your i’s” so to speak. 

The Entrust Group , a Self-Directed IRA Service, collected some of those questions asked by actual and perspective investors and I’d like to share them with you.  The following will focus on investing in real estate with a self-directed IRA:

Q:  How can I invest in real estate with my IRA?

A:  There are several ways you can approach investing in real estate with your retirement funds.  Here are a few examples:

  • Direct Purchase – Your IRA pays cash for the investment property and holds the title of the property.

 

  • Partnering – You partner your IRA with personal funds or other IRA funds.  You can also partner with other people’s IRAs or their personal funds.  You divide the investment according to each investor’s percentage of ownership.

 

  • Leveraging – Your IRA borrows money to purchase a property with a non-recourse loan and the leveraged property is held in your retirement account.

 

  • LLC – Your IRA holds interest in a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or land trust.  The title of the property is held in the name of the LLC.

 

Q:  Can I personally use the property that was purchased with my IRA funds?

A:  No, you cannot.  The property is strictly for investment purposes only.  You and other disqualified persons may not receive direct or indirect benefits from an asset that is owned by your IRA, even if the IRA only owns a portion of the investment.

 

Q:  Can the rental income from the property in my IRA flow back to me personally?

A:  No, you may not receive direct income from the property; however, you can request the funds in your IRA to be sent to you as a (taxable) distribution.

 

Q:  What type of properties can I hold in my self-directed IRA?  Are there any restricitions on the type of property I can purchase?

A:  A self-directed IRA gives you the opportunity to make investment decisions in areas based on your knowledge and expertise.  From real estate to private lending, your IRA can hold various investment property types including commercial buildings, vacant land, condos, mobile homes, apartment buildings and more.  You are not limited to residential real estate.

 

Q:  Can I buy the property from my IRA to reside in once I retire?

A;  No, you cannot buy a property that is already owned by your IRA, as the IRS has ruled it a prohibited transaction; however, you can take a distribution of the property in-kind by retitling the property to your name when you are ready to take a distribution for the property.  Depending on the type of IRA the property is under, if taxable, the fair market value of the property would be reported on IRS Form 1099-R and be includible as taxable income in the year of distribution.

 

Q:  Do expenses like utilities, repairs, taxes, and mortgage payments need to be paid from the IRA account?

A:  Yes.  Any expenses from an asset within your IRA must be received and paid via the IRA.  You cannot use personal funds to pay for expenses incurred by the asset within your retirement account because it is prohibited by IRS Code 4975.

 

Q:  Can you talk about the logistics of handling revenue produced by a property?  Does a bank account need to be opened in the name of the IRA?

A:  If purchasing a property directly using an IRA, the income must come back to the IRA.  As an example, property managers who collect rental income from an IRA-owned property are required to send the rent (revenue) to the custodian, made payable to the IRA.  Some have the tenants make their rental check payable to the custodian directly as they make monthly rent payments.  If it’s an LLC structure, the rent is paid to the LLC.  The LLC will need to have a checking account established.

 

Q:  Can I buy a house with IRA funds but use non-IRA funds to help pay for repairs?

A:  No, as it is considered a prohibited transaction and will violate the IRA Code 4975; however, if eligible, you can make a cash distribution to the IRA and use the contribution to pay for expenses.

 

Q:  Can I be the property manager on my investment property?

A:  No, but Entrust does permit the IRA owner to receive the rental income for record-keeping, but the actual funds must be sent to the custodian for depositing.  The IRA owner cannot deposit the rent in any non-IRA account because this constitutes a distribution.  You cannot pay yourself income from profits generated from your IRA’s rental property.

 

Q:  How long does it take to make a typical real estate IRA purchase?

A:  Entrust typically sees escrow close on a simple real estate purchase between 15 to 30 days.  Depending on the complexity of the transaction, it could take longer.  There are a number of factors that must be considered when timing a real estate purchase in an IRA.  Investors must have a funded account before the investment can be made.  It is important to note that funding your account is heavily dependent on the custodian that you may be moving funds from.  It is wise to have an established and funded account, even before you start searching for a property.

Administrators cannot give advice about specific investments and strategies; however, they often aspire to provide answers and educational resources or direction to legal issues for inquiries. 

 

I hope that answers some of the questions I’ve been asked about self-directed IRA Investment properties.  And one more time—this is not meant in any way to be advice for your particular situation.  Only your accountant and/or investment advisors can provide you with the answers pertinent to you.

What I can do, after you’ve received professional advice, is help you find a property that is right for you.  So if an IRA real estate purchase is a good move for you, give me a call and I can direct you to a property that fits the bill.

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 6.5.17

by Harry Salzman

June 5, 2017

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.

EXISTING HOMES IN THE COLORADO SPRINGS AREA ARE CONTINUING TO SMILE….AS ARE THEIR OWNERS

Well…another month has come and gone and things are continuing to look up…up…up for the residential real estate market in our area and pretty much across the U.S.A.

That’s great news for homeowners and most especially for sellers.  The spring buying season (which actually began the beginning of this year!) is in full swing.

On Saturday I received the monthly PPAR report and the upward trend is continuing.  Home prices are still on the upswing with most closing for OVER listing price.  Average days on the market are less than a month!

In the Single Family/Patio Home category, average sales price in May was $319,969 and median sales price was $280,000.  This is an increase of 10.2% and 6.9% respectively year-over-year.

In the Condo/Townhome category the average sales price was $189,914 and the median sales price was $185,000, up 10.9% and 10.8% respectively year-over-year.

Homes are selling at 100.6% of listing price and a low average of 28 days on the market.  Yes, you read that right.  As I mentioned earlier—things are a bit crazy in residential real estate!

As you will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary, total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes are up 4.3% and 17.1% respectively for year-over-year.  This number would have been even higher if we had more listings.

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are down 19.0% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 25.1% for Condo/Townhomes, continuing the downward trend that tends to favor sellers.  New listings are up 5.0% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 0.4% for Condo/Townhomes.

More records are being broken as I write.  It just keeps on rolling and is keeping me and other real estate agents constantly busy.  It’s a “good” busy, though, as lately I’ve seen a number of renters and first time buyers move into their first homes.  I know how that feels and it’s such a pleasure to help make that happen for my clients.

When my clients follow my advice it makes the entire process easier and hopefully more productive, too.

Harry’s Word to the Wise in Today’s housing market

Be prepared to:

  • Offer more than list price—there’s little room for negotiation with price.

 

  • Have several back-up options in mind—including various neighborhoods.

 

  • Get a pre-approval letter before the start of the looking process.

 

  • Be prepared to make an offer—if it’s what you want, it’s what others want, too.  The sooner you show your interest to the seller the better.

 

  • Know where you might move if you are planning to list your present home.  It’s likely to sell much faster than you might imagine.

 

  • Have an expert like me to write your offer.  It’s imperative to have your first offer stick out and say “pick me” because there will likely be several coming in at once and yours needs to be the one they like.  I’ve written and had thousands of offers accepted over the years and know the “ins and outs” of writing one that will not only warrant a second look, but will likely be the one that makes it to the closing table.

 

What all this means to you is twofold.  If you are considering to sell to trade up you really need to have a good idea of where you will be moving prior to buying the next home.  A number of my clients have waited to list their present home until AFTER they find the next one because we know their present home is likely to sell quickly. 

The second necessity in today’s market is to do your homework and know what you want, need and can afford.   Then be sure to have first, second and sometimes third options ready in case the first home you select doesn’t become a reality.  I’ve been saying for some time that there is no more the luxury of thinking about it for days, or even a few hours in many cases.  If you don’t make an offer, someone else will. 

Home buying should be a lot of fun when you’re considering one of the most important financial decisions you will ever face. It’s essential to have someone like me on your side throughout the process to help make it as stress free as possible—most especially in this market frenzy!

With 45 years in local real estate and a background in investment banking, I bring everything to the table that you need when you are ready to sell and trade up, or buy for the first time or for investment purposes.

I can do a lot of the homework for you prior to starting so that when you are actually active in looking at prospective homes you will know they are ones that check as many boxes of yours as possible within the available inventory.

There are listings in most price ranges and in most neighborhoods, but there aren’t many and the ones that are there are going FAST.

Another option that’s on the table more and more is new construction.  There are a number of builders who are stepping up their business to accommodate all the buyers and I’m more than happy to check out all those options for you, too. 

Having me to help find the builder that’s right for your needs is very important.  And being with you through the process to make certain you get all the questions answered beforehand is a necessity.  I’ve done a considerable amount of work in new construction in dealing with builders and making certain that my clients get exactly what they want and are promised. If this is an option for you, call me sooner than later as these homes are going quickly, too, and lot selection can be an important factor for your home as you know.

Homes across the USA are seeing similar activity.  Realtor®.com has said this is a bit of like a good news/bad news joke.  The good news:  The inventory country-wide increased slightly from April to May.  The bad news:  That was still an 11% drop from May of last year—not nearly enough to keep up with demand.  Much of the new inventory is being quickly taken or is priced beyond the reach of the average buyer.

“With a record number of home buyers out there, this is officially the most competitive, fastest-moving spring housing market in decades”, said Javier Vivas, manager of economic research at realtor®.com.  “Following a furious start to the season, the median days on the market for homes on realtor®.com in May is the lowest since the end of the recession and marks the first time that 1 in 3 homes is selling in under 30 days nationally.”

What’s driving this market? 

  • Interest rates are holding at close to historical lows but won’t last forever. 

 

  • Rental rates are increasing fast and it is becoming much less expensive to make a mortgage payment than pay a landlord.  That’s increasing the number of people who are buying investment property and those who are first-time buyers.

 

  • Home values are increasing, (check out the statistics) thus allowing those who had previously been “underwater” equity-wise to sell and trade up.

 

  • The philosophy that “if I don’t take care of my residential real estate dreams now, it may never be possible”.

 

Everyone that knows me knows that I believe “anything is possible”—one way or another! 

That being said, I highly encourage anyone who is even thinking of getting in the market to do it NOW.  The first step is to give me a call at 593.100 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me put my special brand of customer service to work for you.  Together we can make your residential real estate dreams come true.

For more details on the local May 2017 PPAR reports, please see the next article.

 

AND…NOW…FOR…THE…FABULOUS…NUMBERS…

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

Here are some highlights from the May 2017 PPAR report. 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 2017 to May 2016 in PPAR:                     

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 2,053, Up 5.0%
  • Number of Sales are 1,632, Up 9.0%
  • Average Sales Price is $319,969, Up 10.2%
  • Median Sales Price is $280,000, Up 6.9%
  • Total Active Listings are 1,859, Down 19.0%

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 264, Down 0.4%
  • Number of Sales are 226, Up 12.4%
  • Average Sales Price is $189,914, Up 10.9%
  • Median Sales Price is $185,000 Up 10.8%
  • Total Active Listings are 125, Down 25.1%

 

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

                                           Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                      May 2017                              May 2016

 

Black Forest                            $439,500                              $471,400                     

Briargate                                  $383,750                              $338,500           

Central                                     $221,500                              $215,000

East                                          $235,000                              $215,000

Fountain Valley:                      $245,000                              $237,000

Manitou Springs:                    $395,000                              $237,000

Marksheffel:                             $284,000                             $279,900

Northeast:                                $276,500                              $243,888

Northgate:                                $475,648                              $413,579           

Northwest:                               $437,000                              $333,500          

Old Colorado City:                  $296,500                              $219,250

Powers:                                    $271,500                              $252,000

Southwest:                              $342,450                              $326,500

Tri-Lakes:                                 $492,500                              $400,000

West:                                        $272,500                              $244,000

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

 

SOME MORE GOOD NEWS FOR COLORADO SPRINGS

  • Garden of the Gods Park has been listed by Trip Advisor as the #1 Park in the USA and the #2 Park in the World.  That’s not surprising to those of us who live here but it is a warning that a lot more folks are going to be finding their way here!  Good for tourism but maybe those crowded streets and hiking trails are not so good for us locals!

 

  • Colorado Springs has been listed at #6 as one of “America’s Hottest real estate Markets in May 2017” by realtor®com. 

 

  • Our unemployment rate is at a new low—it dropped to 2.5% in April—the lowest recorded by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in records beginning in 1990.

 

  • New homebuilding pace is once again increasing due to demand.

 

  • Foreclosures dropped 5% from a May 2016 and continue their decline.

 

WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE HEALTH OF THE housing market

Keeping Current Matters, 4.25.17

Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Economist:

Positive demographic factors should continue to reshape the housing market, as rising employment and incomes appear to be positively influencing millennial homeownership rates.”

 

Dian Olick,  CNBC

“Even as more homes come on the market for this traditionally popular sales season, they’re flying off fast, with bidding wars par for the course.  Home prices have now surpassed their last peak, and at the entry level, where demand is highest, sellers are firmly in the driver’s seat.”

 

Daren Blomquist, Senior VP at Attom

“I am guessing we will see it get even better…if you are considering moving, it could be a really good time to sell.”

 

Lawrence Yun, NAR Economist

“The early returns so far this spring buying season look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month.  Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings…for sales to muster a strong gain.  Sales will go up as long as inventory does.”

 

Mark Fleming, First American Chief Economist

“Despite higher mortgage rates, the potential for home sales increased on an annual basis driven by steady income and job growth, along with a surge in building permits.  White it may be a little late for this spring, the increase in bulding permits is a welcome sign that some relief may be in sight for the inventory shortages that are holding back many markets from realizing their full potential this spring.”

 

SKY SOX TICKETS AVAILABLE

It’s time to reserve your complementary tickets for my first row, right behind home dugout seats for a Sky Sox game.

I’ve got four of those available for each and every game and as always; they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and I’ll make certain to save tickets for any available game for you.

 

HARRY’S THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

This quote by baseball great Hank Aaron is one of my favorites.  It was displayed in the new Atlanta Braves stadium in Georgia. 

We saw a game there on May 17th—just one month after it opened--  and one of the treats was a walk through memory lane with so much interesting memorabilia from the years of the Boston, Milwaukee and now Atlanta Braves.  It’s most definitely a “destination” stadium as they have built hotels, condos, breweries, musical venue, and fabulous restaurants and shops.  Something for everyone!

 

 

HARRY'S MEMORIAL DAY EDITION

by Harry Salzman

May 29, 2017

 

HARRY’S MEMORIAL DAY EDITION

 

                       

 

Colorado Springs…

 

The Air Force Academy,

NORAD,

Ft. Carson,

Peterson Air Force Base

Schriever Air Force Base

and so many other daily reminders of the work that is being done by the Department of Defense.

Most every day here is Memorial Day as I’m so thankful for those who have served and continue to serve in the United States military.

Today, especially, I am thinking of all those who gave their lives so that we can live here in relative peace. 

Thank you.

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 5.23.17

by Harry Salzman

May 23, 2017

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.

BE PREPARED FOR WHAT’S CURRENTLY “NORMAL” IN LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate

I’ve been in local residential real estate for 45 years now and I’ve never seen anything like what’s been happening in the last few months.  Aside from the astronomical median sales price growth and the continued shortage of available listings, multiple offers are starting to become the norm here.

There are few home sales in the under $300,000 range that I’ve been involved with as either a broker for the buyer or seller that haven’t seen multiple offers—within hours of appearing on MLS.  This is creating a “new normal” for both buyers and sellers as it takes real strategy to even get your offer looked at. 

That’s where someone with my expertise becomes essential.  On top of the thousands of offers I’ve written and had approved over the years, I also bring my Investment Banking background to the table.  This allows me to “think outside the box” and find creative ways to make your offer one that will at least warrant consideration, if not accepted. 

In today’s market it’s essential to make your first offer your BEST offer.  There’s no longer the luxury of “negotiation”, except possibly for the closing date or something of the like.  If you’re looking for a bargain—you’re too late. 

Buyers need to be prepared for all of the above.  I cannot emphasize that strongly enough.  It’s essential to have an open mind and to have options, as it’s very possible that the first or second home you make an offer on won’t be the one you get.  That’s just reality today.  With a shortage of listings, sellers can be picky, and they are being just that. 

Sellers also need to be prepared for this and also for a much quicker turnaround than in the past.  Because of that, you need to have a good idea of where you intend to move.  Lately, many of my seller clients have chosen to find a new place to live prior to listing their current home.  That way they know where they will be moving. 

If this all sounds a bit unsettling, it is.  But I’d rather alert you in advance than have you disappointed in your search.  There ARE homes available in most neighborhoods and in most price ranges, but there aren’t many. 

I just returned from a relocation Directors Council (RDC) conference in Atlanta.   RDC is comprised of the leading brokers and relocation directors throughout the U.S.A.  I have been a member since it was created in1985 and am a past president of the board.  “Multiple Offers” was a big topic at this conference and that confirmed this isn’t just a Colorado Springs thing.  Multiple offers—many over list price and all-cash with quick turnarounds--are becoming the norm all over the country.

If a move is in your plans, call me at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com sooner than later and let’s see how we can make this a reality.  With some advanced planning on both my part and yours we can hopefully succeed with as little stress as possible. 

 

APRIL 2017 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR CONTINUING UPWARD TREND IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

I’m happy to continue the good news in local residential real estate.  These reports contain much greater detail than the first of the month reports and cover all residential areas in the Pikes Peak Region.

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was up a fabulous 10.6%, which is a good sign that our housing market is continuing to appreciate.  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 April 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 11.8% for the single-family/patio homes and up 0.4% for condo/townhomes. 

You can again see why now is a great time to list your home.  The only drawback, as I’ve mentioned time and again, is that you need to have an idea of where you want to go because your home will likely sell much quicker than it might have in the recent past.

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

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was up 2.4%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 10.6%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 33.3%.

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 33-page Local Market Update. I would highly recommend that you check out your own neighborhood, or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of what’s transpiring there.  I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Northgate, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

       

Despite rising home prices, interest rates, while slowly rising, are remaining historically low for the time being.  That won’t always be the case, so “sooner than later” should be your motto if a real estate move is in your immediate future.  If you’re thinking of a move or looking for investment property—I’m your guy.

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 at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com.

 

UCCS ECONOMIC DASHBOARD UPDATE

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business, 5.22.17

I just received the most recent update from Dr. Tatiana Bailey who heads up the UCCS Economic Forum and as always, want to share it with you in a timely manner.

As you will see in the report, Colorado and El Paso County unemployment rates are both well below the national rate.  In April, the national unemployment rate was 4.1% (not seasonally adjusted), whereas it was about two percentage points lower for the state of Colorado (2.2%) and only slightly higher for El Paso County (2.5%).  The Colorado rate is the lowest in 41 years.

I am reprinting just one page of the report here so you can see how positive the information is for El Paso County. 

       

You can look at the 4-page report in its entirely by clicking here.   

 

EXISTING HOMES SALES IN U.S.A. WILL SEE BEST YEAR SINCE 2006

Housingwire, 5.19.17

A forecast from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says that single-family existing home sales, driven by robust job growth and improving household confidence, are set to see their best year since 2006.

The first quarter 2017 came in with the best sales pace for existing homes in a decade and Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, expects that pace to continue, finishing off the year with an increase of 3.5% over 2016.

And that’s not all.  NAR also projects an increase of 5% in existing home prices in 2017.  However, as I showed you earlier, homeowners in the Pikes Peak area are already experiencing an increase of 10.6%--double the national projection!

First-time buyers are continuing to be plagued by the shortage of starter homes for sale.  According to Yun, “There’s little doubt first-time buyer participation would improve and the homeownership rate (under the 50 year average for more than 10 years now) would rise if there was simply more inventory.”

Yun also predicts two more rate hikes this year to bring mortgage rates to an average 4.3% by the end of 2017 and climbing towards 5% in 2018.

While home sales continue to rise to such highs, economic growth is at its slowest since World War II.  Mark Calabria, chief economist and assistant to Vice President Mike Pence, explained that the housing market cannot be strong without a solid economic foundation. 

“A strong labor market will drive a strong housing market, but you can’t have a strong housing market without a strong economic foundation,” Calabria said.  “The recovery has been uneven with roughly 70 counties making up roughly half of all job growth.”

As I mentioned earlier, our unemployment rate is almost half of the U.S. in general so we are most definitely one of those “70 counties” Calabria refers to. 

Bravo for us.

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 5.2.17

by Harry Salzman

May 2, 2017

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.

A SIGN OF THE TIMES….

Those of you who have visited my office in the last year have seen this sign on the wall near my desk.  Getting what my clients want --“one way or another” --has always been my motto and in recent times it’s become somewhat of a mantra, too.  

Yes, things are continuing to be crazy in residential real estate here in the Pikes Peak arena and in pretty much most of the U.S.A.

Our improved economy and healthy job market coupled with topping the “best” livability lists has created a frenzy that just keeps on rolling. 

Rental rates of apartments in the Springs jumped 10.5% in the first quarter of this year, reaching a record average monthly high of $1,060.84.  This is resulting in more first-time home buyers as well as first-time investment buyers, both of which are helping reduce the number of available homes for sale. 

Potential sellers, while seeing the appreciation in their current homes, are also wondering where they might go if their home sells too fast so are not listing their homes as quickly as in past years.

Things are happening at such a fast pace that I can hardly keep you, my clients and readers, up to date with it all. 

I can barely get a home listed in the $300,000 and under range and it immediately has multiple offers, most at list price or over and with very few contingencies and short turnaround times in many cases. And it’s happening in a matter of hours, not days! 

For many months I’ve been telling you that the time to buy is now.  Well, that’s changed. Now I’m telling you—Get In Line To Buy Now!

It’s most definitely continuing to be a Sellers Market and there are a number of reasons for that.  Fewer listings than ever limit the possibilities for those looking and all cash deals are also a culprit as they make it easier on the seller. 

In fact, I’ve been able to help a number of my buyers make more aggressive offers by using “other assets” initially in order to get an offer accepted and avoid contingencies and objections that might hurt their chances with the seller.  

While obstacles certainly exist in the current residential market, there are still homes available in most price ranges and in many neighborhoods that can fit your individual wants, needs and budget. Like I said, -- “One Way or Another”-- if it’s at all possible I will get it done for you.

These home shortages and accelerating prices are not just a Colorado Springs thing.  Rental and home prices all across the country are rising fast— and for the first time in a decade, more new U.S. households have chosen to buy than rent, which suggests that the long-term decline in homeownership might be coming to an end.

Home prices on existing homes across the U.S. are at their highest pace in 10+ years.  This is getting what would traditionally be the “spring buying season” off to a busy start and it doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon.

If you’re looking to sell and trade up—NOW is a great time—but be prepared for all of the above.  And get in line to buy!

New construction is also moving at a rapid pace and if that’s the direction you are headed, I can help you navigate those waters, too.  Knowing the “right” questions to ask a builder can make selecting a “new” home much easier.

I’d like to remind you once again of the importance of having an experienced real estate professional on your side.  It’s essential to have one who knows how to negotiate a deal and the ins and outs of writing contracts that have a good chance of being accepted the first time.  And one who can help you find a lender that provides quality care along with competitive rates.  My clients can testify to my special brand of customer service that they have come to expect and deserve. 

If you, a family member, neighbor or co-worker are considering a residential real estate transaction, please call me at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how we can make things happen.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

LOCAL HOME SALE PRICES CONTINUE UPWARD…

It’s sounding like a broken record, but then…it IS breaking records.  In comparing April 2017 real estate average and median sales prices to April 2016—they are once again up—up—up.  That has been keeping me very busy and should keep a big smile on your faces.

In the Single Family/Patio Home category, average sales price in April was $311,829 and median sales price was $275,000.  This is an increase of 13.4% and 10.9% respectively year-over-year.

In the Condo/Townhome category the average sales price was $199,667 and the median sales price was $190,000, up 13.0% and 18.8% respectively year-over-year.

Homes are selling at 100.3% of listing price and a low average of 25 days on the market.  Yes, you read that right.  As I mentioned earlier—things are a bit crazy in residential real estate!

As you will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary, total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes are up 2.5% and 18.8% respectively for year-over-year.  This number would have been even higher if we had more listings.

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are down 24.5% for Single Family/Patio Homes and 30.6% for Condo/Townhomes, continuing the downward trend that tends to favor sellers.  New listings are down 6.9% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 7.2% for Condo/Townhomes.

For more details on the local April 2017 PPAR reports, please see the next article.

 

LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate IS BOOMING BUT STILL HAMPERED BY LOW INVENTORY

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

Here are some highlights from the April 2017 PPAR report. Please click here to view the detailed 14-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

In comparing April 2017 to April 2016 in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,817, Down 6.9%
  • Number of Sales are 1,309, Up 3.2%
  • Average Sales Price is $311,829, Up 13.4%
  • Median Sales Price is $275,000, Up 10.9%
  • Total Active Listings are 1,570, Down 24.5%

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 267 Up 7.2%
  • Number of Sales are 207, Up 17.6%
  • Average Sales Price is $199,667, Up 13.0%
  • Median Sales Price is $190,000 Up 18.8%
  • Total Active Listings are 111, Down 30.6%

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  April 2017                             April 2016

Black Forest                            $529,500                              $435,000                      

Briargate                                  $390,000                              $322,500           

Central                                     $244,945                              $189,000

East                                          $244,500                              $215,500

Fountain Valley:                      $242,000                              $227,250

Manitou Springs:                    $386,500                              $322,500

Marksheffel:                            $296,500                             $259,900

Northeast:                               $275,000                              $250,000

Northgate:                               $439,950                              $433,450           

Northwest:                              $397,500                              $330,000        

Old Colorado City:                 $252,450                              $188,125

Powers:                                   $255,000                              $240,000

Southwest:                              $290,000                              $246,000

Tri-Lakes:                                $450,000                              $448,442

West:                                        $245,500                              $240,000

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

 

SOME EXCELLENT “RULES” FROM THE 5280 MAY 2017 ISSUE

5280, MAY 2017

While I rarely compare the Colorado Springs market to Denver, a recent article from the 5280 Magazine entitled “real estate Guide” caught my eye and I wanted to share some of the points made in that article.  They are definitely worth noting.

  1. Understand the impact of record-low inventory levels.  Potential sellers hold off because of worry about finding a new place to live and this builds up demand, which leads to prices going up even further.

 

  1. Target traditionally quiet times to buy and sell in what’s now a yearlong market.  With the up and down times of the market no longer predictable, why not pick a “quiet” time, such as when others are away on holidays, skiing or summer vacation as a strategy.

 

  1. Don’t count on rising interest rates to stall the market.  Small rate increase such as the ones we’ve had so far aren’t likely to stall a hot market.

 

  1. Find a rock star agent and be prepared to offer more than list price.  That’s an easy one as you’ve got me.  As for price—you’ve been warned.

 

  1. Beware of buyer fatigue.  Some folks have gotten tired of not getting their offers accepted so they have gone back to renting.  That shouldn’t happen if your agent has done the homework for you—see number 4 above.

 

  1. Assume the seller is listening.  Even if you’re walking around an empty house, always assume someone is listening so be cautious of what you say when you are in a property.  It may erode your buying power.

 

  1. Ignore conventional geographic boundaries.  In this type of market, it behooves you to have an open mind and consider neighborhoods that you might not have considered prior to this search.  There are many new developments on the rise as well as older ones that could have exactly what you are looking for but may have overlooked.

 

  1. Increase your budget to decrease your stress.  Competition for a home thins as you move up in the list price, and can even swell to a buyer’s market when the price tag goes over a certain amount.  Just don’t expect any killer deals as many sellers are willing to wait for the right offer.

 

  1. Love the one you can afford.  No matter your price range, it’s likely you will need to compromise (on cost, location, size) to find your ideal home.  When you determine the type of lifestyle you desire, I can then look all over the city for a home that meets those requirements.  That makes your search a little less stressful. 

 

  1. Consider buying new.  As I mentioned earlier, new homes are becoming more of a consideration as the available existing homes for sale decrease.  There are various types of homes in all price ranges and I can certainly check them out to see which ones might meet your wants, needs and budget. 

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT RENTALS…DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THAT TRAP

Keeping current matters, 4.11.17

One of the many benefits of homeownership is being able to protect yourself from rising rents by locking in your monthly payment for the life of your mortgage. 

Don’t Become Trapped

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, in discussing what he terms a “Rental Affordability Crisis” warns that, “Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.” 

In the “2016 State of the Nation’s Housing Report”, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed that “The number of cost-burdened households rose to 21.3 million.  Even more troubling, the number with severe burdens (paying more than 50% of income for housing) jumped to a record 11.4 million”. 

 

It’s Cheaper to Buy than Rent (Yes, this is typically true in Colorado Springs)

Smoke went on to say, “Housing is central to the health and well-being of our country and our local communities.  In addition, this (rental affordability) crisis threatens the future of owned housing, as the burdensome level of rents will trap more aspiring owners into a vicious financial cycle in which they cannot save and build a solid credit record to eventually buy a home.”

“While more than 85% of markets have burdensome rents today, it’s perplexing that in more than 75% of the counties across the country, it is actually cheaper to buy than rent a home.  So why aren’t those unhappy renters choosing to buy?”

 

Know Your Options

Many analysts believe that “it’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for a down payment”.

“It that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.”

With all of the programs available from both the FHA and various lenders, many of these folks actually need far less than they think in order to become homeowners.  Lending and down payment requirements have changed a lot in the last few years, most especially for first-time buyers. 

 

Bottom Line?

Don’t get caught in the trap of believing that home ownership is not an option for you.  Just give me a call sooner than later and let’s see what we can do to turn you from a renter to an owner, and save you money in monthly housing costs while building equity for your future.

 

UPDATED STATS FROM UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business, updated as of 4.21.17

For a current update from the UCCS Economic Forum on both local and national statistics, please click here.

One of the things you will see is that Colorado Springs has 11,263 job openings, with the median salary of posted jobs at $67,650.  This is another factor affecting our low available listings and high rental rates.

The charts are mostly self-explanatory but if you have any questions, just give me a holler.

 

SKY SOX TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE

It’s time to reserve your complementary tickets for my first row, right behind home dugout seats for a Sky Sox game.

I’ve got four of those available for each and every game and as always; they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

It’s a fun time for you and your family and it’s my pleasure to provide this to you as I have for the past 30 years.  The Friday night fireworks and Sunday 50-cent hot dog days are the most popular, so get your requests in sooner than later.

Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and I’ll make certain to save tickets for any available game for you.

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 4.19.17

by Harry Salzman

April 19, 2017

 

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.

MARCH 2017 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR FABULOUS LOCAL RESULTS IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

Local homeowners keep getting good news in the residential real estate market and I’m so pleased to be able to share this with you.

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was up a whopping 10.9%, which is a good sign that the housing market is continuing to appreciate.  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 March 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 7.2% for the single-family/patio homes and up 14.6% for condo/townhomes. 

With the spring buying season just starting, you can see why now is a great time to list your home.  The only drawback, as I’ve mentioned time and again, is that you need to have an idea of where you want to go because your home will likely sell much quicker than it might have in the recent past.

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

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was up 9.4%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 10.9%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 30.1%.

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 33-page Local Market Update.

These reports provide greater detail than those I publish in the first eNewsletter of the month.  I would highly recommend that you check out your own neighborhood, or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of what’s transpiring there.  I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Briargate, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

         

If you have any questions about any of these reports please give me a call at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com

Or better yet, if you want to see how we can make ANY of your real estate dreams a reality--the time is NOW--so let me put my special brand of customer service to work for you.  If you’re looking to move across town, across the country or simply want to purchase an investment property—I’m your guy. 

Despite rising home prices, interest rates, while slowly rising, are remaining historically low for the time being.  That won’t always be the case, so “sooner than later” should be your motto if a real estate move is in your immediate future.

 

HOME MORTGAGES:  RATES ARE UP BUT REQUIREMENTS ARE EASING

Keeping current matters, 4.18.17

The media has extensively covered the rise in mortgage interest rates since last fall (from 3.42% last September to the current 4.1% according to Freddie Mac).  However, a less covered aspect of the mortgage market is that requirements to get a mortgage have eased while rates have risen. 

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) quantifies the ability of mortgage credit each month with their Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).  According to the MBA, the MCAI is:

“A summary measure, which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”

The higher the index, the easier it is to get a mortgage.  Here is a chart showing the MCAI over the last several months as rates have increased.

Have requirements for attaining a mortgage actually eased?

Yes. Here are two examples:

  1. FICO® Score – the credit score which helps determine a buyer’s eligibility. The score required to attain a mortgage has been falling over the last five months:

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  1. Down Payment Requirement – the percentage of the purchase price necessary to place as a down payment on a home. To make this point, let’s look at the percentage of first-time buyers who have put less than 5% down over the last several years as compared to the 1st quarter of 2017:

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Bottom Line?

Whether you are a current homeowner looking to move to a home that will better serve your family’s current needs, or a first-time buyer looking for a starter home, it is easier to get a mortgage today than it has been at any other time in the last ten years.

 

AND WHY ARE MORTGAGE RATES DROPPING AGAIN?

RealtorMag, 4.17.17

When the Federal Reserve raised their key interest rate last month, mortgage rates were expected to increase as well.  Instead, they’ve been dropping in recent weeks.  Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08% last week, its lowest point so far in 2017 and its fourth consecutive week for declines.

It becomes pricier for banks to borrow money when the Fed raises its rates, which generally leads to higher borrowing rates for consumers.  On the other hand, mortgage rates tend to coincide more with the 10-year Treasury note. 

Lately investors have been buying them up, and the higher demand has been sending mortgage rates lower, CNNMoney reports.  The 10-year Treasury is about 2.23%; a month ago it was about 2.62%.  Mortgage rates have moved lower as the 10-year Treasury has inched lower.

According to Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist, “We will probably see higher rates at the end of the year—around 4.5%”.

That’s one more reason to make the move sooner than later.  Bottom Line:  Each increase in mortgage interest rate translates to higher monthly payment to you.

A word to the wise!

 

INVESTMENT RENTALS ARE STILL A BETTER BET THAN THE STOCK MARKET

I’ve been telling you for some time now that in recent years the housing market has been outperforming stocks and bonds and this remains true today.

The shortage of rental units coupled with increased demand makes this a great time to check into the possibilities of investing in rental property. 

With folks relocating for jobs and not knowing where they might want to eventually buy and others who simply either can’t qualify for a mortgage or don’t want to be tied down, the demand has been steadily increasing. 

There are possible investment properties in all price ranges and neighborhoods and as one who “puts his money where his mouth is”—I would be happy to share my extensive knowledge in that area with you. 

As I’ve said in the past, being a landlord is not for everyone and at times it pays to hire a property manager, but I can share with you the ins and outs of owning investment property.

There are also tax considerations involved here, too, so I would suggest that you talk to your investment managers and tax accountants to determine if this is a good move for you.  And then—call me and I will help you find the property that fits into your investment plans.

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 4.7.17

by Harry Salzman

April 7, 2017

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.

 

PLEASE NOTE:

***You’re receiving this four days later than usual because I wanted to include the very latest  local statistics and they were not available until late yesterday due to inclement weather and quarterly reporting***

 

 

LIFE IS STILL A BIT CRAZY IN THE real estate ARENA

The “new normal” I was telling you about in the last eNewsletter has become simply “normal” by this point.  Things are happening and changing so quickly that it’s difficult to know what each new day will bring.

Colorado Springs is experiencing an improved economy and job market while being recognized nationally in many of the “best” lists when it comes to livability.  This is fantastic news for us locals, but it is putting a bit of a strain on residential real estate when more people desire to locate here or are being relocated for a job position.  That translates into more home sales and with a current shortage of listings, it creates the buying frenzy we are now experiencing.

I’ve been in residential real estate for 45 years this month and I’ve never seen things like this.  I can barely get a home in the $300,000 and under range listed and it already has multiple offers, most at list price or over and with very few contingencies and short turnaround times in many cases.

Yes, folks, it’s most definitely continuing to be a Sellers Market and there are many reasons for that.  To begin with, there are fewer listings than ever before, which cuts down on the possibilities for those looking.  All cash deals are also a culprit as they make it easier on the seller.

New construction, an answer for some, is also experiencing quicker than normal sales, which is making lot selection and turnaround times a bit more difficult.  In recent days I’ve had buyers call me to go with them to select a lot and home from a builder only to find that in the few hours since they had been there the lot was no longer available. 

You can also add the still historically low interest rates to the mix, along with first-time buyers and investors who are finally realizing that owning real estate has been providing better returns than stocks and bonds.  Top all that with the spring buying season that normally starts about now and there you go. 

And this isn’t just a Colorado Springs thing.  Home prices all across the country are rising fast— U.S. home prices in January rose at their fastest rate since mid-2014—again pointing to a Sellers Market. 

“There are a far larger number of buyers chasing after fewer inventories,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.  “Prices are easily outpacing people’s income growth” which is causing “consternation for renters who are trying to get into the homeownership market.”

Home prices in the U.S. hit a record in September 2016 and the pace of growth has been slowly picking up since then.  However, home-price growth remains less than half of what it was during the housing bubble in the mid-2000’s when homes grew by more then 14% for much of 2005, for example, and this is good news in general.  If we can get more inventory we should see steady but probably slower growth, which will make it easier for many to qualify—especially first time buyers.

The number of homes for sale in the U.S. is at the lowest level on record according to the NAR, who began tracking inventory 18 years ago.  Nationally, new home starts are partially to blame as the new starts are “grossly inadequate” says Yun and that is “why there is a housing shortage across the country.” 

But also adding to the problem are investors who are picking up homes in record numbers and holding on to them due to the large supply of renters, rather than reselling.  According to Yun, “Investors came in to get that cash flow, and the cash flow remains very positive.  The price appreciation is just extra gravy that they’re witnessing, and they’re saying they’re going to ride out this price increase.”

If you’re looking to sell and trade up—NOW is a great time—but be prepared for all of the above. 

That’s why it is more important than ever to have an experienced real estate professional on your side.  One who knows how to negotiate a deal and the ins and outs of writing contracts that have a good chance of being accepted the first time.  And one who can help find a lender that provides quality care along with competitive rates. 

This is particularly important in today’s market as I’ve seen a number of complications on the “other” side from lenders, title companies, appraisers and most especially inexperienced agents who are not providing their clients with the special brand of customer service that my clients have come to expect and deserve.

As I’ve told you time and again—I can get it done “one way or another”.  While there are obstacles in the current residential market, there are still homes available in most price ranges and in many neighborhoods that can fit your individual wants, needs and budget.

If you, a family member, neighbor or co-worker is even considering a move, please have them call me at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how we can make things happen.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

LOCAL HOME SALE PRICES CONTINUE THEIR UPWARD CLIMB…

Local homeowners can continue the celebration.  In comparing March 2017 real estate average and median sales prices to March 2016—they are once again up—up—up.  That should keep a big smile on your faces.

In the Single Family/Patio Home category, average sales price in March was $295,828 and median sales price was $268,000.  This is an increase of 10.4% and 11.9% respectively year-over-year.  In the Condo/Townhome category the average sales price was $181,546 and the median sales price was $173,000, up 13.3% and 7.2% respectively year-over-year.

Homes are selling at 100% of listing price and a low average of 32 days on the market.  Let me add an FYI here for you.  As I mentioned earlier, homes in the $300,000 and under category are selling practically as soon as they go on the market, most with multiple offers.  Those in the higher end categories, while selling quicker than in the past few years, are still taking longer.  I tell you this because I don’t want a client who wishes to list a higher price home to think it’s going to have multiple offers on the same day it goes on the market!  More expensive homes take longer to sell for a number of reasons, including affordability of the buyers and the time it might take to get financing, among other factors.

As you will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary, total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes are up 6.4% and 37.4% respectively for year-over-year.  This number would have been even higher if we had more listings.

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are down 25.1% for Single Family/Patio Homes and 2.1% for Condo/Townhomes, continuing a downward trend that tends to favor sellers.  New listings are down 1.7% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 9.8% for Condo/Townhomes.  This demonstrates once again that if you’ve considered putting your home on the market to trade up or move to a new neighborhood, NOW is a great time.

For more details on the local March report, please see the next article.

 

LOCAL real estate SALES ARE UP AND ONLY HAMPERED BY LOW INVENTORY

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

Here are some highlights from the March 2017 PPAR report. Please click here to view the detailed 14-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

In comparing March 2017 to March 2016 in PPAR:                       

 

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,759, Down 1.7%
  • Number of Sales are 1,247, Up 6.4%
  • Average Sales Price is $295,828, Up 10.4%
  • Median Sales Price is $268,000, Up 11.9%
  • Total Active Listings are 1,454, Down 25.1%

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 224, Up 9.8%
  • Number of Sales are 213, Up 37.4%
  • Average Sales Price is $181,546, Up 13.3%
  • Median Sales Price is $173,000 Up 7.2%
  • Total Active Listings are 139 Down 2.1%

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  March 2017                           March 2016

Black Forest                            $465,000                              $480,000                      

Briargate                                  $380,000                              $310,000           

Central                                     $225,000                              $200,000

East                                          $242,500                              $203,000

Fountain Valley:                      $230,000                              $218,500

Manitou Springs:                    $341,225                              $362,000

Marksheffel:                            $295,000                             $252,000

Northeast:                               $267,750                              $231,050

Northgate:                               $430,000                              $411,059           

Northwest:                              $397,500                              $365,000         

Old Colorado City:                 $250,500                              $236,200

Powers:                                   $260,000                              $245,000

Southwest:                              $282,450                              $249,085

Tri-Lakes:                                $425,000                              $461,725

West:                                       $290,000                              $234,900

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

 

CENSUS SHOWS EL PASO COUNTY WITH LARGEST INCREASE IN STATE

The Gazette, 3.29.17

From 2015 to 2016, El Paso County’s population increased by an estimated 13,994 people, the largest increase seen that year by any of the states 64 counties, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week.  The growth was about a 2.1 percent increase from the previous year, making it the highest increase the county has seen in at least six years. 

As mentioned earlier, the relatively high quality of life, coupled with relatively low housing prices as compared to the Denver metro area, is continuing to attract new residents.  “When we have jobs available on top of that, people can justify living here,” said local economist, Tom Binnings.

According to Steve Schleiker, El Paso County Assessor, the local housing market is reaping the benefits, with new construction of single-family homes up across the county.  His office is just about finished completing reappraisals of El Paso County’s more than 270,000 properties and notices of tax value will be mailed in May.  As of last week, the local market for single-family homes was valued at $56.8 billion, up from $49.9 billion in 2016, he said.

 

A LITTLE BRAGGING AND A WHOLE LOT OF THANKS…

This lovely surprise appeared in my office on Tuesday morning as I found out I was inducted into the ERA Leaders’ Circle for 2016

According to the accompanying letter, this is awarded to “members of the ERA community who have married their desire to succeed with the ERA brand’s smarter network, smarter support and smarter solutions to deliver true value to the communities they serve.”

This is all because of you, my friends and clients, and I owe you all a BIG THANKS for helping me achieve this honor.

I may be starting my 46th year in residential real estate this month but I want you to know that my commitment to each and every one of you is the same as it was 45 years ago when I first began.

My special brand of customer service will never waver, nor will my appreciation to all of you for choosing me as your Realtor over and again for so many years.

Thank you, one and all.

 

UPDATED STATS FROM UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business, updated as of 3.17.17, realtor.com

For a current update from the UCCS Economic Forum on both local and national statistics, please click here.

The charts are mostly self-explanatory but if you have any questions, just give me a holler.

 

WHAT ABOUT DOWNSIZING?

Daveramsey.com, 3.28.17, keeping current matters, 3.21.17

A recent study by Edlman Berland  revealed that 33% of homeowners who are contemplating selling their homes in the near future are looking to scale down.  As a majority of the country is experiencing a Sellers Market, there are a few reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners.

A blog by Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, highlighted the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing to a smaller home that better serves your current needs.  He explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

 

  1. A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep.

 

  1. Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment.  In 30 years, you could have an additional $1-1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.

 

  1. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one.  Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down!  If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10-20% down on your new home.  Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment.  At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.

 

Realtor.com also addressed downsizing in an article and suggested you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family.  Here are two of these questions followed by answers and some other information that might help:

 

Q:  What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

A:  “For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family.  Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists.  Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events.  Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better determine your housing options.”

Comments:  Many homeowners  are taking the profits from the sales of their current homes and splitting it in order to put down payments on smaller homes in their current locations, as well as on vacation/retirement homes where they plan to live when they retire.

This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today’s values which makes sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.

 

Q:  Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

A:  “For most homeowners, the answer is yes.  This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.”

Comments:  A study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have significant equity (>20%) in their current home.  In actuality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 78.9% have greater than 20% equity.  That equity could enable you to build the life you’ve always dreamed of.

 

Bottom Line:  If you’ve debated downsizing and want to consider all the options available for your personal wants, needs and budget considerations, please give me a call and let’s see how we can make your downsizing goals a reality.

 

SKY SOX TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE

It’s baseball season and time to get your complementary tickets for my first row, right behind home dugout seats!

Yes, I’ve got four of those available for each and every game and as always; they are on a first-come, first-served basis. 

It’s a fun time for you and your family and it’s my pleasure to provide this to you as I have for the past 30 years.  The Friday night fireworks and Sunday 50-cent hot dog days are the most popular, so get your requests in sooner than later.

Simply give me a call at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and I’ll make certain to save tickets for any available date for you.

 

 

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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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