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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 12.5.18

by Harry Salzman

December 5, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

           A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

 

IT MAY BE TRADITIONALLY HOLIDAY TIME, BUT IT’S ALSO A GREAT TIME FOR BUYERS, SELLERS AND INVESTORS

The Gazette, 11.17, 12.4, The Wall Street Journal, 11.28

It’s been a busy month and lots of positive stuff coming our way.  Colorado Springs has consistently been one of the hottest housing markets in 2018 and now—in 2019 it could be ranked as Number 1 in the nation!  

real estate service Trulia has ranked our city as the Number 1 market poised for growth next year.  That’s a great indication that prices and sales are going to continue to climb in 2019, which is great news for buyers, sellers and investors alike.

The ranking was based on looking at the 100 largest housing markets and ranking them on five indicators: job growth over the past year, a tight supply of rental properties, the affordability of homes for first-time buyers, a large share of millennials who represent more potential entry-level buyers and data that indicates more people are researching moves to Colorado Springs instead of leaving here and relocating to another city.

And these new residents and recently hired folks are going to need places to live—either to buy or to rent!

This is all great news for local residential real estate because while our home sales numbers are leveling off, the rate of appreciation is slowing to more historically normal averages, and inventory, while still low, is increasing.  We are headed into a more normal housing market and that’s good for everyone.  

Interest rates are higher than they’ve been in a number of years, but they are still at affordable levels and while the Fed has indicated they will raise rates again this month, they seem tentative about the pace of further increases after that. This provides a good opportunity for those who have been wanting to “trade up” or move to a new neighborhood as mortgage rates will still be reasonable.

Local homebuilding is on pace for a 13-year high and this has become a viable option for many of my clients with the shortage of available homes for sale.  In case you are not aware—this is an area where I can be of service to you.  I’ve got long time relationships with many local builders, know the “ins and outs” of what needs to be done and can help you in making the right decisions—even in securing financing that is tailored to your needs.  And as a buyer, all of this is provided by me with no additional cost to you!

Investment options, which were getting scarce, are once again a possibility for those who wish to become landlords.  The shortage of rental properties in general is providing a good incentive for investors. In fact, just this past week I was out with long time family clients of mine who were looking for an investment property.  While we lost the first one in a bidding war, my clients ended up purchasing TWO properties!   As most of you know, I put my money where my mouth is and am a true believer in rental properties, which I’ve owned for many years.  So, if you are thinking those type of investments might be right for you, just give me a call and let’s get rolling.

In fact, if you’ve even THOUGHT about what your possibilities in residential real estate might be—I’m your man. With more than 46 years of experience in the local real estate arena and a background in investment banking, I am doubly qualified to help you make the decisions that are right for your individual needs, wants and budget.  So don’t wait—give me a call at 593.100 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.comand let’s make your real estate dreams come true.

 

And now for November statistics…

Homes are selling at 99.1% of listing price with the average days on the market at 33.  

This continues to be great news for both buyers and sellers and with homes not selling at such a frenzy but still selling quickly, it still necessitates knowing where you plan to move next prior to listing your present home.  

 

NOVEMBER 2018 BROUGHT ABOVE AVERAGE GAINS IN HOME VALUES 

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

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

As you will see, all areas but two had an increase in median home prices year-over-year. If you’re shopping for a new home, it’s going to cost you more, so the sooner you start the better. If you have any questions about the report or to find out how your individual situation relates to the stats, just give me a call. 

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

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,110, Up 2.8%

·       Number of Sales are 1,096, Down 12.7%

·      Average Sales Price is $342,617, Up 8.0%

·      Median Sales Price is $303,000, Up 8.2%

·       Total Active Listings are 2,153 Up 31.0%

·       Months Supply is 2.0

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 145, Down 10.5%

·       Number of Sales are 181, Up 8.4%

·      Average Sales Price is $225,240 Up 9.8%

·      Median Sales Price is $214,000, Up 14.4%

·       Total Active Listings are 164, Up 64.0%

·       Months Supply is 0.9

 

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

                                       Median Sales Price              Median Sales Price

                                          November 2018                      November 2017

 

Black Forest                             $567,500                              $470,500                    

Briargate                                   $399,725                              $369,500            

Central                                      $247,500                              $234,750

East                                           $267,000                              $244,000

Fountain Valley:                       $269,700                              $247,000

Manitou Springs:                     $390,000                              $365,900

Marksheffel:                             $306,288                              $331,539

Northeast:                                $305,000                              $271,400

Northgate:                                $460,000                              $430,042            

Northwest:                                $398,750                             $389,950            

Old Colorado City:                   $285,000                             $289,000            

Powers:                                     $299,900                             $275,000

Southeast:                                $232,500                              $206,500

Southwest:                               $354,200                              $302,000

Tri-Lakes:                                 $534,900                              $455,000

West:                                         $319,250                              $240,000

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

If you’re even considering a move and wondering how to make it happen, NOW is the time.   Let me put my special brand of customer service to work for you, your family members, co-workers or friends.  Give me a call today.

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM DASHBOARD

UCCS Economic Forum, Updated 11.28.18

As always, I like to share with you the information I receive from the UCCS Economic Forum as soon as I get it.  It provides you with the Big Picture of the U.S. Economy as well as what’s happening in the Colorado Springs area.  

Once again, very positive data and definitely worth a look. To see the 32 charts, please click here. If you have any questions, please give me a call.

 

HOME APPRAISALS GO HIGH-TECH

The Wall Street Journal, 11.30

Some interesting news is possibly in the making!  In this case, let’s hope it doesn’t come to fruition.

A proposal for loosening real-estate appraisal rules so a majority of homes can be bought and sold without being evaluated by a licensed human appraiser was made last month by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve.  This potentially opens the door for cheaper, faster, but also largely untested property valuations that are based on computer algorithms.

The proposed plan would increase to $400,000 from $250,000 the value of homes that can be bought and sold without a tape-measure-toting appraiser visiting the property.  More than two-thirds of U.S. homes sell for $400,000 or less, according to U.S. Census data and NAR.

Had this plan been in force last year, about 214,000 additional home sales, or some $68 billion worth, could have been made without an appraisal, according to the proposal.

One issue is that automated valuations done by computers are largely unregulated.  The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul required regulators to propose quality-control standards for so-called automated valuation models, or AVMs, but they have yet to do so.

The immediate effect of dropping appraisal requirements would be limited because a vast majority of home loans in that range are bought these days by Fannie or Freddie or guaranteed by other federal agencies. Those typically require appraisals regardless of home value.

While there is a shortage of human appraisers and at times getting an appraisal can take much longer than we would like, “there’s still no computer that can see, hear, taste, smell and touch,” said an appraiser from Virginia.   “Have you ever been in a hoarder’s house?” he added!

I’ll end this story as I started it—let’s hope this doesn’t happen.  Appraisals are necessary and worth the time and money that they take in order for a buyer to make certain they are getting exactly what they think they are.

 

HOMEOWNERSHIP DELAY HURTS FINANCIAL HEALTH

REALTORmagazine 11.19

A new report from the Urban Institute warns that millennials who put off homeownership may be severely curtailing their ability to build wealth over their lifetimes.  Purchasing a home at an early age offers a “big bang for their housing buck” concludes the report’s authors.

Researchers tracked individuals since 1968 to identify those who reached age 60 between 2003 and 2015 and how homeownership has affected their finances.  Of those now in their early 60s, individuals who had purchased their first home between the ages of 25 and 34 had a median housing wealth of $150,000, while those who waited to buy until they were between 35 and 44 had $72,000 less. Those who did not buy until 45 or older had median wealth of at least $100,000 less than those who purchased between the ages of 25 to 24, according to the study.

Those who bought their home at the youngest ages—before 25—had the second largest amount of equity, at a median of $130,000. Researchers said they likely didn’t have the most equity due to their younger age and because they had lower incomes and less education at that point in their lives.  But those who purchased at younger ages still tended to have the largest returns on their initial investment, the report showed.

The difference in housing wealth among the age groups is due to home appreciation and paying down their mortgage debt, researchers noted.

Half of the older adults in the study’s sample bought their first home between 25 and 34; 27% purchased their first home before age 25.  That is much higher than today’s generation.  In 2016, 37% of those between the ages of 25 and 34 owned a home, as did 13% between ages 18 and 24.

The delay in homeownership for millennials could have long-term economic consequences.  Equity is usually the largest single source of personal wealth. “While people make the choice to own or rent that suits them at a given point, maybe more young adults should take into account the long-term consequences of renting when homeownership is an option,” the researchers noted in the report.

 

AND ONE LAST NOTE…FYI

Housingwire.com, 11.27

After not increasing the maximum conforming loan limits on mortgages to be acquired by Fannie and Freddie for 10 years, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has now increased the conforming loan limit for the third straight year.

Last week, the FHFA announced that it is increasing the conforming loan limit for Fannie and Freddie mortgages in nearly every part of the U.S.  The limits will rise from this year’s total of $453,100 to $484,350 for 2019.  That’s an increase of 6.9% from this year’s loan limit to next.

 

HARRY'S THANKSGIVING GREETING

by Harry Salzman

November 19, 2018

 

HARRY’S THANKSGIVING GREETING

 

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Thankful for YOU…

 It has been my lifelong joy to play such an important role in helping make all your residential dreams come true and I thank each and every one of you for that privilege.  I never take it for granted and truly enjoy providing my special brand of customer service to fit each and every individual situation.

 

Wishing you a Happy, Safe and Plentiful Thanksgiving.

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 11.6.18

by Harry Salzman

November 6, 2018

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

           A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

Current events make what I do every day for a living seem far less important than what I feel for my fellow Americans and how I act accordingly.

I begin writing this yesterday with a heart full of hope for the future.  The events of the past few weeks all across our country have shown me several things.  The first is that there is a small group of people who for some reason cannot accept that our great country is made up of all different kinds of folks.  There are people of different nationalities, religions, political or sexual preferences and more.  And this being America—built as a big melting pot for all—it’s difficult to comprehend why there needs to be such division and hatred.  Differences could and should be celebrated, and understanding could and should be practiced more.  

That being said, the greatest thing I witnessed is how the people of Colorado Springs came together to show solidarity in the wake of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.  There was a prayer vigil held last week at Temple Shalom and it was standing room only as we heard from Rabbi Jay Sherman and religious leaders of all faiths, along with Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey and many other city officials.  The sanctuary was filled with folks from all walks of life and all religious and political beliefs.  They came together to decry “Stronger than Hate” and show that in the end, we are all just folks trying our very best to get along in a world that doesn’t always make it easy to do so.

This gave me great hope for the future of our community and made me proud that I call Colorado Springs my home. I’d like to thank all the community and religious leaders, as well as my fellow citizens, who took the time to show that we’ve got more in common than we have differences and that each and every one of us can be the catalyst for peace.

 

And now for October statistics…

Homes are selling at 99.5% of listing price with the average days on the market at a low 29.  

This continues to be great news for both buyers and sellers and with homes not selling at such a frenzy but still selling quickly, it still necessitates knowing where you plan to move next prior to listing your present home.  While it’s still a Seller’s Market at the moment, median home prices will likely start to rise a bit slower in future months as more homes come on the market after the holidays.  So even with higher interest rates, folks will still be able to afford to buy.

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are up 22.4% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 64.7% for Condo/Townhomes.  New listings are up 2.2% for Single Family/Patio Homes up 15.1% for Condo/Townhomes.  

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,349, Up 2.2%

·       Number of Sales are 1,320, Down 7.8%

·      Average Sales Price is $345,770, Up 9.0%

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

·       Total Active Listings are 2,374, Up 22.4%

·       Months Supply is 1.8

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 213, Up 15.1%

·       Number of Sales are 216, Up 2.4%

·      Average Sales Price is $229,470, Up 14.8%

·      Median Sales Price is $211,125, Up 8.3%

·       Total Active Listings are 196, Up 64.7%

·       Months Supply is 0.9

 

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

                                       Median Sales Price              Median Sales Price

                                               October 2018                          October 2017

Black Forest                             $519,250                              $510,000                       

Briargate                                   $390,000                              $369,500            

Central                                      $244,000                              $239,000

East                                           $258,447                              $239,925

Fountain Valley:                       $275,000                              $260,000

Manitou Springs:                     $385,000                              $383,000

Marksheffel:                             $341,350                             $321,955

Northeast:                                $309,500                              $284,500

Northgate:                                $460,000                              $449,900             

Northwest:                               $405,000                              $413,500            

Old Colorado City:                  $338,750                              $266,200            

Powers:                                    $293,000                              $275,000

Southeast:                                $234,950                             $210,000

Southwest:                               $351,000                              $331,000

Tri-Lakes:                                  $489,000                              $441,000

West:                                         $327,950                              $267,500

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

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

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

 

COLORADO SPRINGS MEDIAN HOME PRICE INCREASE IS 200% OVER THE USA

National Association of REALTORS, November 1, 2018

After reading the just published “Median Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes for Metropolitan Areas”, I am thrilled to give you the great news for Colorado Springs.

The U.S. MSA gain in the third quarter was 4.8% The Colorado Springs gain was 11.2%, which is more than 200% more than the national average!  In fact, Colorado Springs was #2 in the U.S. in appreciation!

The survey is based on the top 178 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and is every closing that took place in these cities.  In the last quarter, and 166 out of the 178 showed sales price gains in the third quarter compared to a year ago.  

There are two reports-- one ranking cities alphabetically and one ranking them by median sales price.  In the second, Colorado Springs was ranked at number 26 in the highest median sales price gain out of the 178 studied MSAs.  As you might expect, most of the first 25 cities were on the east or west coast.  Boulder came in 7th and Denver was 12th.

There are a number of reasons for Colorado Springs being Number 2 in Median Sales Price appreciation.  Our economy is booming, there are a number of high paying jobs just waiting to be filled, millennials are flocking to our city, we’ve made the “top 10” lists in so many categories such as “Best Place to Live”, etc. etc. etc.

As more homes come on the market, we will see a slowing down of median price increases. However, I predicted early this year that we’d be on track for 7-8% this year and while it’s been a bit more, I believe it will level down some which will help those who still need to find affordable homes.

To view the entire survey by appreciation, please click here.  For the alphabetical list, click here.

 

SOME MORE KUDDOS AND STATISTICS FOR COLORADO SPRINGS…

With thanks to the Chamber & EDC

#1 Most Desirable Place To Live – 2018 U.S. News & World Report

#1 Fastest Growing City for Millennials  -- 2018 Brookings Institution

#2 Best Places to Live  -- 2018 U.S. News & World Report

2ndLargest City in Colorado  -- 690,200+ County population

300,000+ growth in population by 2030

$27 Billion Annual Regional Economy

 

Affordability:

$305,750 Median Home Price

$56k Median Household Income

4.1% Unemployment Rate

Cost of Living:  0.9% Below National Average and 15.2% Below Denver average

 

A Growing Workforce:

Average Age:  34

38% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher

 

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…COLORADO SPRINGS IS ONE OF TOP 20 U.S. CITIES FOR TECHNOLOGY WORKERS

The Gazette, 10.23.18

Colorado Springs ranked as one of the top U.S. cities for technology workers, offering the best combination of quality of life and job prospects in a study released last month by the Computing Technology Industry Association.

The rankings were compiled from job posting data from August 2017 to this July by CompTIA comparing 20 metro areas of more than 250,000 population where the demand for technology workers is greatest. The rankings were based on cost of living, number of open information-technology positions and expected job growth over the next 12 months and five years.

Colorado Springs stood out because of defense contractors serving local military bases have been a key source of information technology jobs, and the city has a cost of living that’s slightly above average, IT workers’ salaries above the national average and steady job growth in the industry.

The study said Colorado Springs was “the first city to log onto the world wide web in 1968 and has a rich history of advancing the IT industry.”  CompTIA said the Springs is “a natural fit for IT and cybersecurity companies looking to grow”.

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM DASHBOARD

UCCS Economic Forum, Updated 10.26.18

As always, I like to share with you the information I receive from the UCCS Economic Forum as soon as I get it.  It provides you with the Big Picture of the U.S. Economy as well as what’s happening in the Colorado Springs area.  

Once again, very positive data and worth a look.  To view the 32 charts, please click here. 

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

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 10.22.18

by Harry Salzman

October 22, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

        A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

 

AS YOU CAN SEE ABOVE, SEATTLE WAS THE VENUE FOR THIS YEAR’S WORLDWIDE relocation CONFERENCE

I just returned from a trip to Seattle where I met with my relocation-oriented peers from around the world.  It’s always an enlightening time for me because I find similarities to Colorado Springs in so many other cities and countries—as well as stark differences.  Those of you who have known me for a long time know that my nickname could well be “Mr. Positivity”.  And when I’m attending this type of meeting I always find the numerous “positive” reasons to live and work in Colorado Springs.

A good example relates to the continued rise of mortgage interest rates.  I’ve been predicting this for some time, along with many economists, and the time is finally here.  It might be “sticker shock” to millennials and others who have never heard of mortgage interest rates above 3.5 or 4 percent.  Those of us who have been around for a while can probably remember the days of 12 percent or more being the norm.  

There have been a number of articles about the real estate “slowdown” and for a number of cities this will indeed be the case for the moment while price increases and lack of listings settle down and return to a more reasonable level.  

Not so much for Colorado Springs, which is great news for those of us who live here.  As you will see as you read further in this eNewsletter, local economy, number of available well-paying jobs and a continued significant increase in the median sales price of our homes has given Colorado Springs an advantage over many other communities.  Our making the “top 10” lists in so many areas, including “Best Place to Live” has also contributed to the influx of millennials and others to our city.

Interest rates will continue to slowly rise, but as long as our median home price continues to rise more than the interest rate, folks here can still buy homes with confidence.

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

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

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

 

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

Pikes Peak REALTORS®Services Corp., 

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

In the recently published September 2018 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings Year to Date, year-over-year were down 1.0% for the single-family/patio homes and down 4.5% for condo/townhomes.  We are starting to see a few more listings as folks are realizing that the time to sell AND buy is NOW.

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

  • Sold Listings for All Properties were down 17.2%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 12.4%
  • Active Listings on All Properties were up 2.4%.

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

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

 

THE “SOFT” BUT STABLE U.S. housing market

The Wall Street Journal, 10.15.18, Keeping Current Matters, 10.2.18

We are beginning to see reports that more housing inventory is coming to the market and buyer demand may not be increasing at the same pace it did earlier this year.  The headlines on these stories can be confusing as some headline writers may confuse “softening home prices” with “falling home prices”.  

While home values in some areas may not be appreciating at the same levels as they had over the last several years (softening prices), this does NOT mean that prices are depreciating (falling prices).  

And most importantly, the slowdown looks nothing like the historic collapse that took down the whole economy in 2007.

The volume of existing home sales has fallen compared with a year ago along with the volume of new single-family homes across the U.S.  The reasons for this are simple.  Mortgage rates have risen about a percentage point in the last year.  Rising prices have squeezed affordability.  In addition, the tax law passed in December reduced homeownership incentives, foreign buyers have pulled back and an ample supply of rental apartments has made buying less urgent than it was for many.

According to Fannie Mae Chief Economist, Doug Duncan, “The rise in rates paired with this very strong price appreciation absolutely is slowing housing.”

The good news is, compared to a decade ago the housing market doesn’t have far to fall.  As crazy as the market has been in recent years with bidding wars and double-digit price increase, it never came close to the level of the last boom by most measures. That positions it for a much gentler slowdown economists say.

Instead of oversupply, the U.S. has experienced the worst shortage of homes for sale in at least three decades, driving up prices even more and locking first-time buyers out of the market.  It can be argued that a recession might be good for the housing market because it will slow home-price appreciation and improve affordability.

Unlike the last downturn, average home prices don’t usually fall nationally, even during recessions.  The next slowdown is likely to mark a return to that historical pattern.

Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Veritas Urbis, analyzed data from the recessions in the early 1990s, early 2000s and 2007 to 2009 to forecast the likely effect of the next recession on current home price growth. If the next recession resembles either the bursting of the dot-come bubble in the early 2000s or the mile early-1990s recession, home prices will likely stagnate for a year or more, but not fall.

The high end of the housing market, where the majority of new construction did take place, could be more significantly affected, as rising interest rates push buyers toward lower price points.

Bottom Line:

Be careful when reading headlines that discuss home values. There is significant difference between “falling” and “softening”.  Read the entire article.  If the word depreciation is not mentioned, home values are not falling.

Also important is “localizing” these articles.  Colorado Springs is experiencing an upswing in economy, employment opportunities, unprecedented median home prices and more.  We were not as hurt by the 2007 housing bust so have recovered and flourished since that time.  Our city is one of the most desirable places to live in the country and that will only continue to drive more folks here.

I will say it one more time—NOW is a great time to both BUY and SELLfor most everyone. Just give me a call and let’s see if it’s the right time for YOU.

 

AS MORTGAGE RATES JUMP TO A SEVEN-YEAR HIGH, WHERE ARE THEY HEADED IN 2019?

Keeping Current Matters, 9.25.18, Wall Street Journal, 10.12.18

Mortgage interest rates hit their highest level in more than 7 years last week, at nearly 5%, which could defer some potential home buyers. The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment so it is important to know where rates are headed when you start a home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook:

As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next year.  Depending on the amount of the loan you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

With median home prices continuing to rise and interest rates going up, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next homes.

Bottom Line:

DON’T WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR.  Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your wealth, so call me TODAYto review your family’s Residential real estate plans for the future.

 

GREAT NEWS FROM THE UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM

UCCS Economic Forum, 10.18

This year’s UCCS Southern Colorado Economic Forum was as informative as ever and I was especially thrilled with how well the Colorado Springs economy is doing.  As I mentioned earlier, we are in a different league than a number of other U.S. communities as we have a number of well-paying jobs available, a robust economy and as well as being one of the “most desirable and affordable places to live”, among other things.

I want to share just one of the many charts that helps portray the employment situation here.  It will help you realize why I say that things that might be happening in the rest of the U.S. in terms of housing just aren’t affecting us here in the same way. And that’s just a big WOW.

WHAT TO ASK AFTER A HOME INSPECTION

Realtor Daily, 10.09.18

After reading the report from a home inspector, a buyer may feel a bit overwhelmed by any flaws that might have been found so it’s important to take the opportunity to learn more so you feel confident in moving forward in the transaction.

If there is something in an inspection report you don’t understand, ask questions like “What does this mean?” or “Do I need to follow this up with another expert’s opinion?” or “Is this a major or minor issue?”

Home Inspectors are bound to find something in a home that needs repair as no home is perfect.  The majority of the problems they uncover will be minor but be sure to have the inspector clarify which problems fall within the “minor” or “major” categories.

According to Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors, “The inspector can’t tell you, ‘Make sure the seller pays for this’, so be sure you understand what needs to be done.”

If the inspector identifies a potentially major problem, you might want to follow up with whether or not to call in another expert such an electrician to take a closer look at the electrical problem or a roofer to check a problem roof.  These specialists can give you and idea of the cost to fix the problem which can be presented to the seller.  If the seller is not wanting to fix the problem, you can then decide if you want to go forward and pay the cost yourself.

Understanding an inspection report is important.  That’s why you’ve got me to help you understand what all of it means.  I read your home inspection report thoroughly and will not only answer your questions, but will make recommendations based on your individual situation.  Between your inspector and me—we’ve got you covered. You might not always like what you hear—especially if you have to walk away from a property you wanted—but at least you know what you’re getting into BEFORE you get into it! 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 10.2.18

by Harry Salzman

October 2, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

           A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

Mauldin_Lincoln_cartoon

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

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

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

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

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

Amen to that.

And now for September statistics…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                         Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,517, Up 5.2%

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

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

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

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

·       Months Supply is 1.9

 

                          Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 213, Up 20.3%

·       Number of Sales are 202, Down 20.5%

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

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

·       Total Active Listings are 209, Up 86.6%

·       Months Supply is 1.0

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price               Median Sales Price

                                                 September 2018                     September 2017

Black Forest                             $637,500                              $495,000                      

Briargate                                  $400,000                              $337,500            

Central                                      $240,000                              $220,000

East                                           $268,000                              $245,000

Fountain Valley:                       $279,450                              $252,500

Manitou Springs:                     $412,000                              $392,000

Marksheffel:                             $325,000                             $288,750

Northeast:                                $295,000                              $369,950

Northgate:                               $471,950                              $460,381          

Northwest:                               $415,000                              $380,000            

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

Powers:                                    $290,000                              $275,000

Southeast:                                $236,500                             $198,700

Southwest:                               $327,750                              $287,000

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

West:                                        $309,900                              $273,500

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

 

MORTGAGE RATES SOAR TO 7-YEAR HIGH

The Gazette, 9.28.18 (via The Washington Post)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AT AN 18-YEAR HIGH

The Gazette, 9.26.18 (via The Associated Press)

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Realtor Daily News, 10.1.18

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

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

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

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

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

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM REMINDER

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

You can register by going to the Forum website:  

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

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

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 9.18.18

by Harry Salzman

September 18, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

         A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

AN EARLY FALL WELCOME TO YOU…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Pikes Peak REALTORS®Services Corp., 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

ERA Shields, 8.31.18

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

 

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

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM REMINDER

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

                             You can register by going to the Forum website:  

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

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

 

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

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

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


 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 9.5.18

by Harry Salzman

September 5, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

And now for August statistics…

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

                                  Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,786, Up 4.1%

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

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

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

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

·       Months Supply is 1.6

 

                                 Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 262, Up 6.5%

·       Number of Sales are 228, Down 5.8%

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

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

·       Total Active Listings are 185, UP 32.1%

·       Months Supply is 0.8

 

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

                                             Median Sales Price               Median Sales Price

                                                          August 2018                         August 2017

Black Forest                             $503,000                              $551,500                       

Briargate                                   $400,000                              $360,000            

Central                                      $259,300                              $219,250

East                                           $265,500                              $240,000

Fountain Valley:                       $274,750                              $249,900

Manitou Springs:                     $390,000                              $346,500

Marksheffel:                             $342,000                             $294,950

Northeast:                                $300,000                              $280,000

Northgate:                                $460,000                              $422,354           

Northwest:                                $392,500                             $375,000            

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

Powers:                                     $300,000                             $274,450

Southeast:                                $239,000                              $210,000

Southwest:                               $455,000                              $340,000

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

West:                                        $279,000                              $280,000

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

 

HOUSING PREDICTIONS FROM NAR’S CHIEF ECONOMIST

Rismedia.com, 8.28.18

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

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

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

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

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

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM DASHBOARD UPDATE

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business, 8.23.18

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

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

You can register by going to the Forum website:  

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

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

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 8.20.18

by Harry Salzman

August 20, 2018

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COLORADO SPRINGS CITED FOR BEING SMALL-BUSINESS FRIENDLY

The Gazette, 8.15.18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

AND JUST OFF THE PRESS…ANOTHER ACCOLADE

The Gazette, 8.17.18

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

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

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

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

 

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

Pikes Peak REALTORS®Services Corp., 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

BUYING NOW IS 26.3% CHEAPER THAN RENTING IN THE USA

Keeping Current Matters, 8.7.18

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Bottom Line? 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

I saved the best for last…  

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

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

 

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

Blog on 8.16.18

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

 

HARRY’S JOKES OF THE DAY:  

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

 

FEATURED LISTING:

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

Your home can be featured here in the next eNewsletter!

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 8.6.18

by Harry Salzman

August 6, 2018

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

           A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now for July statistics…

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,884, Down 3.0%

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

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

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

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

·       Months Supply is 1.5

                        Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 245, Up 7.0%

·       Number of Sales are 235, Down 7.8%

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

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

·       Total Active Listings are 161, Down 1.2%

·       Months Supply is 0.6

 

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

                                        Median Sales Price               Median Sales Price

                                                     July 2018                                July 2017

Black Forest                             $557,000                              $480,000                     

Briargate                                   $409,950                              $390,500            

Central                                      $234,750                              $234,500

East                                           $265,000                              $240,000

Fountain Valley:                       $279,900                              $260,000

Manitou Springs:                     $445,500                              $380,000

Marksheffel:                              $320,628                             $323,000

Northeast:                                 $294,250                              $265,000

Northgate:                                 $450,000                              $446,928          

Northwest:                                $419,000                              $360,000            

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

Powers:                                     $299,900                              $275,000

Southeast:                                $232,000                              $207,000

Southwest:                               $357,000                              $333,500

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

West:                                         $297,500                              $270,000

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

 

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

Keeping current matters, 7.26.18

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

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

Here are four key metrics that will explain why:

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

 

  1.  Home Prices

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

From the latest data available:

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

 

  1. Mortgage Standards

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

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

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

Their July Housing Credit Availability Index revealed:

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

 

  1. Foreclosure Rates

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

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

2003:  203,320 (earliest reported numbers)

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

Today:  76,480

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

 

  1. Housing Affordability

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

They explained further:

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

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

Bottom Line:

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

 

HOMEOWNER RATE INCHES UP

The Wall Street Journal, 7.27.18

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 7.24.18

by Harry Salzman

July 24, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

RESIDENTIAL real estate IN COLORADO SPRINGS IS STILL BOOMING…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Pikes Peak REALTORS®Services Corp., 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

LOCAL SALES TAX MAKES BIG GAINS

The Gazette, 7.19.18

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

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

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

 

THE BENEFITS OF A LOCAL MORTGAGE LENDER

The Wall Street Journal, 4.27.18

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some other tips to consider:

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

 

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

 

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

 

HOMEOWNERS ARE UNDERINSURED AS HURRICANE SEASON OR ANOTHER NATURAL DISASTER OCCURS

The Wall Street Journal, 7.19.18

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

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

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

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

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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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