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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 4.18.18

by Harry Salzman

April 18, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                         A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

BY THE WAY..

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

AS HOUSE PRICES RISE, STRAINS EMERGE

The Wall Street Journal, 4.6.18 & 4.11.18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

BASEBALL TIME IS HERE AGAIN…

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

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

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

 

HARRY’S JOKE OF THE DAY:  

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

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

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

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 4.3.18

by Harry Salzman

April 3, 2018

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

           A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

And now for a few AMAZING statistics…

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

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

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

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

For more details, please see the following article.

 

MARCH 2018 WAS ANOTHER OUTSTANDING MONTH IN LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate

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

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

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

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

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

                        Condo/Townhomes:

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

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  March 2018                            March 2017

Black Forest                            $552,500                              $465,000                      

Briargate                                  $385,000                              $380,000           

Central                                     $250,000                              $225,000

East                                          $260,000                              $242,500

Fountain Valley:                      $267,000                              $230,000

Manitou Springs:                    $290,000                              $341,225

Marksheffel:                             $319,000                             $295,000

Northeast:                                $292,500                              $267,750

Northgate:                                $469,000                              $430,000           

Northwest:                               $389,500                              $397,500           

Old Colorado City:                  $230,000                              $250.500

Powers:                                    $295,635                              $260,000

Southwest:                              $300,000                              $282,450

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

West:                                        $343,000                              $290,000

 

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

RealtorMag, 3/22 & 3/26.18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 3.20.18

by Harry Salzman

March 20, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

           A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

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

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was an amazing 14.3%. The shortage of listings is helping to drive up prices and as I just mentioned, if there were more listings, more people would be moving—either selling to trade up or buying for the first time and for investment purposes.

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

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

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

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

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

 

THE NEXT real estate CRISIS:  A SHORTAGE OF NEW HOMES

The Wall Street Journal, 3.19.18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Gazette, 3.12.18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

SALES TAX IN COLORADO SPRINGS IS STRONG INTO 2018

The Gazette, 3.17.18

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

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

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 3.5.18

by Harry Salzman

March 5, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

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

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

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

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

ERA Shields Active Listing Inventory:

2017:  104

2018:   97

 

ERA Shields Total Showings:

2017:   171

2018:   380

 

Showings Per Listing Year Over Year:

2017:  1.64

2018:  3.92

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

And now for a few statistics…

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

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

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

For more details, please see the following article.

 

FEBRUARY 2018 WAS ANOTHER OUTSTANDING MONTH IN LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate

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

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

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

                       

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

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

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

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

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  February 2018                       February 2017

Black Forest                            $514,950                              $489,950                      

Briargate                                  $377,450                              $388,225           

Central                                     $230,000                              $180,000

East                                          $250,000                              $230,000

Fountain Valley:                      $265,000                              $230,000

Manitou Springs:                    $419,000                              $185,990

Marksheffel:                            $310,989                              $261,407

Northeast:                                $295,000                              $259,500

Northgate:                                $446,900                              $440,000       

Northwest:                               $392,500                              $395,000           

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

Powers:                                   $284,450                              $254,900

Southwest:                              $403,600                              $246,000

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

West:                                        $325,000                              $250,000

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

 

DASHBOARD FROM UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM

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

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

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 2.19.18

by Harry Salzman

February 19, 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.

THERE’S NO “NEW NORMAL” WHEN IT COMES TO RESIDENTIAL real estate ANYMORE…THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING

Every time I think things are going to stabilize for a bit I’m finding there’s something else either new or changing on the close horizon. 

I’ve always advised that it’s in your best interest to deal with a seasoned, knowledgeable real estate professional in all your transactions and now I’m telling you it’s essential.  When you work with me you’ve got my 45 plus years worth of experience, along with my background in investment banking, on your side and believe me when I tell you—you’re going to need every bit of it in order to close on a deal in today’s residential real estate market.

With a record low inventory in the Pikes Peak area, there are fewer options in most price ranges, especially for those listed between $250,000-350,000.  If you are looking, or thinking of looking, you can’t afford to wait.  Property values here are currently going up at about 1 percent a month and interest rates will continue to rise.  When you find a property that fits your wants, needs and budget you need to act quickly.  In fact, you’re going to need to make your first offer your best one—and oftentimes that means paying more than list price.  And even so, there’s no guarantee that the seller will accept it.  Bidding wars are becoming the norm and all-cash offers are taking precedence over others. 

My clients keep asking if I think prices are going to drop soon and I’m saying it’s not likely in the Colorado Springs area.  The last time prices dropped dramatically began around ten years ago, and that was mainly due to the sub-par mortgage situations that created so many foreclosures nationally.  That type of financing is no longer a concern and even when prices dropped back then, Colorado Springs fared much better than most of the rest of the country as we had far fewer foreclosures. 

When you add that to the fact that Colorado Springs is in the 2018 top ten lists of “hottest real estate market”, “best place to live” and more—it’s less likely that we will see price drops anytime soon.  These are also some reasons why we’ve seen such price increases of late. 

In the newly published NAR “Median Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes for Metropolitan Areas”, which ranks the top 177 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), the Median Sales Price for Colorado Springs was more than double that of the national average. 

Our median sales price increase year over year for the fourth quarter 2017 was 10.8% versus the national average of 5.3%.  This is a fairly good indicator that things are not going to change any time soon.  To view the report of all 177 MSAs, and see how we compare to other cities, please click here.

I wish I could report otherwise, but this is “life in the fast lane” for residential real estate.  Once we make an offer, both you and I need to be available to get it done as best we can.  I hate to see my clients disappointed but it’s happening more and more lately in this type of market.  That’s why you need to be open to neighborhoods you might not have looked at before or consider new construction as an option.  I’ve assisted a number of clients in new construction purchases lately but a consideration there is the time frame in getting the home built.  If you need to move immediately, new construction is probably not for you.  What I’m saying is that you need to consider everything BEFORE beginning your search.

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

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

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

 

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

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

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

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was a whopping 12.1%. The shortage of listings is helping to drive up prices and as I just mentioned, if there were more listings, more people would be moving—either selling to trade up or buying for the first time and for investment purposes.

In the recently published January 2018 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were up 6.5% for the single-family/patio homes and down 9.9% for condo/townhomes. 

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

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

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

 

WHEN A PICTURE SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS:

Rismedia, 2.17.18

As I’ve been saying it would for some time now….the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is rising swiftly, at 4.38 percent this past week, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey.  The average 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.32 percent the week before.

Concurrently, the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.84 percent last week, up from 3.77 percent the week prior.  The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable mortgage rate was 3.63 percent, up from 3.57 percent the week before.

According to Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, “Wednesday’s Consumer Price Index report showed higher-than-expected inflation; headline consumer price inflation was 2.1 percent year-over-year in January—two-tenths of a percentage point higher than the consensus forecast.”

“Inflation measures were broad-based, cementing expectations that the Federal Reserve will go forward with monetary tightening later this year.  Following this news, the 10-year Treasury reached its highest level since January 2014, climbing above 2.90 percent.  Mortgage rates have also surged.  After jumping 10 basis points last week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose six basis points—it’s highest level since April 2014,” he added.

Lenders are more recently starting to tailor mortgage loans to the individual borrowers, which is certainly going to help with the rates rising so quickly.  There are a number of options available and I can help direct you to a lender that will work with your particular needs and budget.

Once again though…now is NOT the time to wait.  What was historically down is on its way up and you don’t want to be priced out of the home you want due to higher mortgage interest rates.

 

BIDDING WARS PUT ON AUTOPILOT

The Wall Street Journal, 2.16.18

In heated bidding wars, there is a weapon that may help ensure victory:  an escalation clause. 

It’s an addendum to a real estate contract, typically when the offer is made, in which the prospective buyer says, “I will pay X dollars for this house, but if another buyer submits a verifiable bid that’s higher, I will raise my offer in increments of Y dollars to a maximum price of Z.”

These clauses are particularly useful in today’s competitive market where we are seeing multiple bids.  If a bidding war erupts on a home, the escalation clause will automatically raise the buyer’s offer on the house by the predetermined increment, up to the maximum amount the buyer authorizes. 

This eliminates the back and forth of offer and counteroffer and helps the buyer avoid paying too much for a house by getting caught up in the frenzy of a bidding war.  But they can also be risky for buyers who use them.

“A buyer can think of an escalation clause as a ‘have your cake and eat it too’ clause,” say David Reiss, a Brooklyn Law School professional who specializes in real estate.  “But in real estate, as with cake, it is hard to have it all.”

One concern is that the buyer is tipping his hand to the seller by using an escalation clause, Prof. Reiss says. By indicating the maximum amount he will pay for the house the buyer is revealing the fact that he is willing to pay more. 

Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking of using an escalation clause:

 

  • Be aware of the mortgage.  If an escalation clause is invoked, buyers may need additional cash on hand for a larger down payment.  The escalated price can also affect the type of mortgages available to the buyer—as well as the appraisal, which may not match the escalated price.  It would be advisable to have a higher pre-approved amount from the lender prior to using an escalation clause.

 

  • Feel out the seller first.  Some agents and sellers do not think escalation clauses are fair and they may react unfavorably to one.  It helps to know their position before blindly using this strategy or the seller may not consider your offer. 

 

  • Get it in writing.  Buyers should specify the type of documentation the seller must provide before the escalation clause kicks in.  For example, the escalation clause could specify that the seller must provide a copy of the highest offer received.

 

NO NEED TO PANIC OVER STOCK MARKET MAYHEM

RealtorMag, 2.6.18

The housing market won’t be deeply affected by the sharp decline in stocks over the last week because underlying economic fundamentals remain strong, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  Jobs are being created, workers are seeing wage gains and there’s no recession on the horizon.  Those data trends don’t support the theory that the stock market dip indicates a larger underlying problem with the economy, says Yun.

At present, the effect of the dive in stocks in mainly psychological.  But if it becomes a prolonged slowdown it could cut into the buying power of households who have exposure to stocks—and many do, primarily through 401(k) and other investment accounts.  It could also lead to job and wage cutbacks, but Yun says it’s premature to draw any conclusions.

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 2.5.18

by Harry Salzman

February 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.

LOTS OF CHANGES IN THE ECONOMY THIS PAST WEEK…BUT LOCAL real estate JUST KEEPS ON TRUCKIN’…WITH MEDIAN HOME PRICES AT RECORD HIGHS

At the risk of sounding redundant, I can’t believe the pace at which we are experiencing so many changes locally.  In my almost 46 years in local residential real estate, I’ve never seen anything like what we now experiencing.  The PPAR statistics in the next article will show you just how much growth we’ve seen over the past year.

In January 2018, Colorado Springs was once again named one of the “Top Performing Markets”, coming in at Number 4 according to realtor.com.  This is no surprise to those of us here in residential real estate.  And it’s evident to most buyers and sellers in this market too.

The days of the spring “buying season” are gone, along with the relative “bargains” one might find by looking for a new home in early January or February.  “Buying Season” is now a yearlong event and bargains are no longer on the table for the most part. 

I’ve been predicting for more than a year that the mortgage interest rates were not going to stay historically low forever and in the past week we’ve seen them increase by 3/8-1/2 percent.  FHA/VA rates for a 30-year-fixed mortgage went from 3 ¾% to between 4% and 4 1/8 % and Conventional loans from 4% to 4 3/8-1/2% in the last week.  The Federal Reserve has indicated there will be 3 or 4 more rate increase this year, so expect mortgage interest rates to follow suit. 

I tell you this so you are not caught off guard, but I also want to emphasize that with median home prices rising so quickly, equity is building much faster than it has in the past, so your home investment today should offset the marginally rising prices.  Even at 5%, interest rates on a 30-year-fixed rate mortgage are still much lower than in the not so distant past.

Let me take a moment to tell you why it’s more crucial than ever to work with a real estate professional like myself, one who has many years of experience and has worked with clients through all the ups and downs of market trends.  It’s essential to work with someone who understands the economic cycles and can help you navigate more easily through the necessary steps to insure you are getting the most for your hard-earned dollars.  My investment background gives me a step-up but more importantly, my almost 46 years in this market can help make the difference between a successful home-buying and selling process or not.

Between the increasing interest rates and lack of available listings, it’s no longer prudent to wait if you’ve been sitting on the fence about selling to trade up or to purchase for the first time or investment purposes.  It’s still quite the “seller’s market”.  However, I want to again remind you that if you’re looking to sell, it’s important to know where you will live next since your present home will likely sell much faster than you might have anticipated. 

And for you investors out there, this is an excellent time for you as well.  Increasing interest rates and home prices will make it more difficult for some first time buyers to get into home ownership, so rental properties will be in demand. 

I am available to help you in determining any and all of these things. Having someone like me on your team makes the entire home buying and selling experience one that will be as stress-free as possible.  Simply give me a call today at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me put my special brand of customer service to work for you.

And now for a few statistics…

Homes are selling at 99.4% of listing price with the average days on the market at a low 36.  This continues to be great news for both buyers and sellers, despite the fact that interest rates have started to rise.

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

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are down 7.1% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 31.1% for Condo/Townhomes, continuing a downward trend that tends to favor sellers.  New listings are up 20.1% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 7.1% for Condo/Townhomes.  The reality is that total active listings are at a record low and are a factor in the median price escalation. 

For more details, please see the following article.

 

JANUARY 2018 WAS ANOTHER OUTSTANDING MONTH IN LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate

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

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

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

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,163, Up 20.1%
  • Number of Sales are 938 Up 3.3%
  • Average Sales Price is $332,834, Up 11.4%
  • Median Sales Price is $295,000, Up 11.3 %
  • Total Active Listings are 1,236, Down 7.1%
  • Months Supply is 1.3

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 170, Down 7.1%
  • Number of Sales are 142, Up 9.2%
  • Average Sales Price is $218,832 Up 10.1%
  • Median Sales Price is $196,750 Up 10.8%
  • Total Active Listings are 84, Down 31.1%
  • Months Supply is 0.6

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

 

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  January 2018                          January 2017

Black Forest                            $514,950                              $470,000                       

Briargate                                  $379,950                             $389,900          

Central                                      $240,000                              $200,000

East                                          $256,000                              $229,000

Fountain Valley:                      $255,000                              $239,000

Manitou Springs:                    $245,000                              $368,000

Marksheffel:                            $306,250                             $302,500

Northeast:                                $293,000                              $251,000

Northgate:                                $447,500                              $443,686          

Northwest:                               $368,000                              $326,818           

Old Colorado City:                  $310,000                              $229,000

Powers:                                    $295,000                              $269,900

Southwest:                              $324,000                              $345,000

Tri-Lakes:                                $485,000                              $437,225

West:                                        $271,750                              $232,500

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

 

MILLENNIALS STARTING TO FIGURE HEAVILY IN MANY AREAS—MOST ESPECIALLY IN COLORADO SPRINGS

The Wall Street Journal, 1.31.18, The Gazette,2.4.18

The U.S. homeownership rate rose in 2017 for the first time in 13 years, driven by young buyers who overcame rising prices, tight supply and strict lending conditions to purchase their first home.  The homeownership rate rose to 64.2% from 63.7% a year earlier.

This annual increase marks a crucial turning point because it comes after the federal government reined in the “bubble-era” policies that encouraged banks to ease lending standards to boost homeownership.

Susan Wachter, a professor of real estate and Finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania said, “This is market, market and market…There’s no government incentive program in sight that is having this effect.  This is back to basics.”

And what’s driving this?  In one word:  Millennials.  The more than 75 million people born between 1981 and 1997 are the largest home-buying generation since the baby boomers and they are favoring ownership over renting.  They are getting married, starting families and wanting to start building equity for the future.  Owning a home can help them in the equity building and in financial planning for their futures. 

And for Colorado Springs?  Millennials are moving to Colorado Springs at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country, according to a study recently released by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

Our millennial population increased by 14.7% from 2010 to 2015, with San Antonio placing second at 14.4% and Denver third at 12.8%.

In 2015, Colorado Springs’ population featured the sixth-highest proportion of millennials—26.4%.  The nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas were the cities used in these studies.

According to William H. Frey, senior fellow at Brookings and the report’s author, “Millennials are already making an indelible impact on the nation, as the most diverse—and now largest—adult generation.  As the bridge between a whiter, older America and the multi-hued country we are becoming, millennials will pave the way for generations behind them as workers, consumers and leaders in business and government in their acceptance by and participation in tomorrow’s more racially diverse nation.”

 

ASSESSING THE STATE OF THE HOUSING UNION

Rismedia.com, 1.28.18

In 2018, the challenge for the housing industry will be balancing bursting demand with the severe shortage of supply, according to realtor.com’s State of the Housing Union, released in-step with the U.S. State of the Union last week.  As with last year, first-time buyers will have the hardest time, with so little in their price point.

“The macro-factors that have defined real estate in recent years—strong demand and weak supply—continue to set the tone for the industry,” said Joseph Kirchner, senior economist for realtor.com.

The issues include builders who have been burdened by construction costs and lack of labor, and have concentrated on higher-priced homes.

“Builders will need to focus more on homes geared for moderate incomes, partner with government on initiative to transform distressed urban neighborhoods and overcome labor shortages through a combination of workforce development training and pressure to ease artificial restrictions on the supply of labor,” Kirchner says.

The shortage of inventory made prices rise, but sales struggle in 2017, according to data from realtor.com.  Nationally, appreciation was at an average of 5.8%, while pre-owned sales eked out a 1.1 percent gain.  Comparing Blue and Red States:

 

A significant factor here is tax reform.  In 2017, 2.5 percent of blue state mortgages were over $750,000—the limit on the mortgage interest deduction (MID) under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will apply to loans obtained on or after December 15, 2017.  Only 0.4 percent of red state mortgages were over the threshold.

“The new tax law that caps the mortgage interest deduction and the deductibility of state and local taxes can be expected to impact the upper-end market in 2018—precisely how and the extent of which remain to be seen,” say Kirchner.

 

HOME PRICES:  WHAT GOES UP ISN’T COMING DOWN SOON

Themreport, 1.23.18

According to the Winter 2018 edition of The Housing and Mortgage Market Review, released by Arch Mortgage Insurance Company, if current analyses are any indication, home prices in the nation aren’t heading south anytime soon.  Among the assessments, U.S. housing prices will keep climbing by 2 to 6 percent yearly, especially in the entry-level space.

“With interest rates and home prices both on the rise, first-time homebuyers—largely millennials—may want to consider making the jump from renting to owning sooner rather than later,” said Dr. Ralph G. DeFranco, Global Chief Economist, Mortgage Services, Arch Capital Services, Inc.  “Our research shows few signs of a housing bubble because the typical warning signs aren’t present.  Overall, the shortage of housing paired with a robust job market should keep the housing market strong and growing, short of an unexpected event and despite the contrary pressures that may be created by the tax bill.”

“The Estimated Fundamental Home Value Index spots housing bubbles by evaluating home prices across 50 states and 401 metro areas and “suggests that the average probability of home price declines in America’s 401 largest cities remains unusually low, at 5%.” 

Note to those of you thinking you might buy when prices go down---don’t be counting on that—there are no signs that we will see this happen in the forecasted future.

 

BUYING IN A SELLER’S MARKET:  WHO’S THE WINNER?

Rismedia.com, 10.17.17

I came across this information in October and it’s just as applicable today as it was then, so wanted to share it with you. Many of this is what I’ve been telling you for some time now.

These are some things that are especially good to know in a “Seller’s Market” like we’re presently experiencing:

  • Time is valuable.  Buyers have fewer options today and this means more competition because there aren’t as many homes to look at in their price points.  Buyers need to know what they want, need and can afford.  If you know you absolutely need three bedrooms, you’ll need to ignore looking at that two bedroom house or risk losing out on better opportunities.

You also need to be prepared to make offers quickly.  Buyers without a preapproval will not be considered and will likely miss out on highest and best deadlines by the time they obtain one.  On the other hand, sellers will have an easier time selling their home.  If in good condition, their home will likely be the cream of the crop during these low-inventory times.

 

  • Offers are aggressive.  In a seller’s market, buyers will often have to deal with multiple-offer situations.  If they don’t bring their best offer to the table, they will most likely lose out.  Sellers can also prioritize stronger terms.  They may decide to go with a lower offer if the buyer can close faster or is putting more money down.

A combination of the highest purchase price with a 20 percent down payment and a reliable lender is usually the winner.  Of course, you can’t forget that cash is king.  An all-cash offer will likely trump any others on the table.

 

  • Negotiations are a game changer.  Unfortunately, buyers may lose some negotiating power in a seller’s market.  Unless the seller is incredibly motivated to get rid of their property, they may take advantage by refusing to take care of some inspection items.  Buyers should be wary of asking for too much, as even big-ticket items may not be taken care of.  Unless something is a safety or health hazard, it shouldn’t even be brought up.

Sellers may also decide to be more selective about what they are leaving with the house.  They may decide not to include appliances such as a refrigerator, dishwasher or washer and dryer.

Even small things like tone in a negotiation email should be taken into consideration.  Alienating the sellers this early in the game can force them to go with a backup offer.

 

  • real estate agents are essential.  Even though a seller’s market clearly tips the scale in one direction, buyers are more likely to lose out if they are not working with an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent.  Likewise, sellers may not even be aware of their advantage without the help of a real estate professional.  Agents will advocate for their clients—whether they are buyers or sellers—by helping them get as much as possible during sale price and inspection negotiations.

Things that might not seem significant—such as getting all of the paperwork submitted correctly, sending emails to the opposing agent and doing due diligence on the property—can make a huge difference in a seller’s market.

 

DASHBOARD FROM UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM

Please click here for a look at the detailed charts from the UCCS Economic Forum updated on January 23, 2018.  These show economic trends for the country as well as for El Paso County and cover such areas as housing, cost of living, consumer sentiment, job market and more.

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

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 1.22.18

by Harry Salzman

January 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.

THE YEAR IS STARTING MUCH AS LAST ONE ENDED FOR RESIDENTIAL real estate…

Lots of good news still coming our way—the one-year change in the median sales price of all properties sold in El Paso and Teller Counties was +10.4%.  A number of companies and their employees, as well as those simply wanting to relocate here, are eyeing Colorado Springs due to all the reasons we who live here experience—wonderful weather, exceptional work-life balance, relatively low cost of living, inclusion in many “top 10” lists of best places to live and not nearly the traffic problems of Denver or other larger cities--and so much more. 

However, things would be far better if there were more homes to sell.  Home prices are continuing to rise but listings are still at an all time low for the Pikes Peak region and most of the USA. That is contributing to the frenzy that’s still affecting many homebuyers.

It’s taking most folks longer than usual to find a home for a number of reasons.  With so few listings, we are continuing to see multiple offers, all-cash offers, and very quick turnaround times.  Low interest rates have afforded buyers to look at higher priced homes and renters are looking to buy due to high rental rates nationwide.  This is making things a little more difficult for buyers, sellers and real estate agents alike. 

I recently read that nearly one quarter of 2017 U.S. home sales were above the asking price:

  • On average, homes that sold above their list price went for $7,000 over the asking price
  • The share of U.S. home sales that were above the listed price increased from 17.8 percent in 2012 to 24.1 percent in 2017
  • The typical price increase for homes that sold above the listed price was 3.1 percent

I’ve seen this with most of the bidding wars lately—folks are just worried that they won’t get into homes before interest rates increase or home prices go even higher.

Those who are wanting to sell and trade up are waiting to find their new home prior to listing their present one because it’s very likely that the present one will sell quickly and they could be “homeless” if they don’t know where they might go.

Folks relocating here or purchasing for the first time are seeing fewer homes that fit their needs, wants and budget due to the shortage of available existing homes.  And the ones who are seeking new construction are finding that lots are selling quickly and prices are starting to escalate due to shortages of building materials, likely caused by the rebuilding going on due to the fires in California and the hurricanes on the east coast and Texas.  This is bound to affect new home building across the country for some time to come.

That being said--there are still home options available in most price ranges and in most neighborhoods.  It may take a bit longer to find what you want, or you may turn to new construction as an option, but you will find the perfect home for you. 

If you are thinking of selling to trade up, buying for the first time or for investment purposes, just give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me help make all your residential real estate dreams come true.

 

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

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

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

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was 10.4%, a good sign that our housing market is still continuing to appreciate.  The shortage of listings is helping to drive up prices and as I just mentioned, if there were more listings, more people would be moving—either selling to trade up or buying for the first time and for investment purposes.

In the recently published December 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were up 3.9% for the single-family/patio homes and up 17.0% for condo/townhomes. 

The slight uptick in listings is great news and possibly due to sellers realizing that it’s a great time to put their home on the market.  Doing so earlier than the “traditional” spring selling season gives them a head start—especially since the number of listings is so low.  Again, let me remind you that if selling to trade up is in the cards for you, be aware of how quickly your present home will likely sell. 

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

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was down 3.2%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 10.4%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 24.6%.

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, Northgate, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

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

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.

 

TAX REFORM IMPACT AND PRICE OUTLOOK

Nar.realtor, 1.15.18

The new tax law is already in effect and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has come out with their estimate of how home prices will trend in 2018.  The new tax law reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt and limits the deductibility of the real estate tax up to $10,000.  These provisions are expected to have an impact on the housing market, and possibly negatively in the states with very high home prices.

The good news for us is that NAR is projecting Colorado to be number one in experiencing the strongest prices gains in 2018—approximately 5.9%, compared to a one to three percent gain nationally in 2018.

That’s just one more list we are on top of, and certainly one that should bring a smile to all your faces.

 

INTEREST RATES AND DOWN PAYMENTS

Rismedia, 1.3.18, The Wall Street Journal, 1.19.18

As mentioned earlier, interest rates are starting to inch up.  The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate changed to 4.04 percent this past week, up from 3.99 percent the week prior.  This is the first time the rate has risen above 4 percent since last May. 

Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research at NAR, is forecasting at least three more short-term rate increases this year.  He expects 30-year fixed rate mortgages to rise to 4.5% by the fourth quarter of 2018—and 4.8% by the end of 2019.

Down payment decisions are now a bigger factor than usual for several reasons.  Low inventory nationally is pressuring some folks to make a bigger down payment to gain a competitive edge, but the possibility of rate increases and the new tax regulations may also affect how much buyers put down. 

In addition to this, jumbo loan limits on mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have increased.  For 2018, in most of the U.S., mortgages of up to $453,100 are eligible for purchase by Fannie and Freddie, up from $424,100 in 2017.  In high cost areas such as San Francisco and New York, the conforming loan limit is now $679,650, up from $636,150 in 2017.  Therefore, a loan that may have been termed a “jumbo” last year may now be conforming—a matter that may affect mortgage rates and terms.

This can be a bit much to take in and that’s why you have me as your realtor.  My investment banking background and knowledge of the current mortgage market gives me and my clients a distinct edge when it comes to finding the best financing for specific needs and budgets. 

For a better understanding of what all this might mean to you personally, let’s get together and talk about it.  I can be reached at 593.1000 and will gladly explain it to you.

 

COST V. VALUE:  THE HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS WITH THE HIGHEST ROI IN 2018

The average return on investment (ROI) for home improvement projects dipped across the board with “upscale” projects taking the biggest hit, according to Remodeling Magazine’s newly released “Cost vs. Value Report for 2018”. 

The report which measures the average cost of 21 popular remodeling projects and their average resale value one year later, found that garage door replacement has the highest ROI at 98.3% (up from 85% year-over-year).  Backyard patio jobs garner the lowest ROI, at 47.6% (down from 54.9% year-over-year).

Craig Webb, the magazine’s editor-in-chief and manager of this report, said the reason for the sweeping decrease in ROI isn’t immediately obvious, but notes that it’s likely related to the strength of the housing market currently.

“It’s not clear if…nationwide affordability concerns are leading (real estate) pros to question the value of renovations that would make a house even more expensive at resale,” says Webb.

However, since the report was generated prior to the country being struck with several natural disasters, including massive forest fires and hurricanes, there is a silver lining here.  Since those occurrences, building supplies and the price of skilled labor has increased, but that’s expected to change over the course of 2018.  As a result, you should expect to see the ROI of most of these projects level out by year-end.

Despite these events, some longtime trends continued through the new year.  Remodeling is still far more cost-effective than replacement, but according to real estate pros, replacing is still the way to go.  This year, there’s a 20-point difference in ROI:  76.1% for replacement jobs, versus 56% for remodeling.

Nationally, when it comes to renovation ROI, curb appeal still wins out. 

Here are the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “midrange” cost category:

Manufactured Stone Veneer  (97.1% ROI)

Entry Door Replacement (Steel)  (91.3% ROI)

Deck Addition (Wood)  (82.8% ROI)

Minor Kitchen Remodel  (81.1% ROI)

Siding Replacement   (76.7% ROI)

 

The top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s ‘upscale” cost category are:

Garage Door Replacement    (98.3% ROI)

Window Replacement (Vinyl)   (74.3% ROI)

Window Replacement (Wood)  (69.5% ROI)

Grand Entrance (Fiberglass)    (67.6% ROI)

Bathroom Remodel  (56.2% ROI)

 

Nationally, and on the complete other end of the spectrum—here are the five projects with the lowest ROI in the “midrange” cost category:

Backyard Patio  (47.6% ROI)

Master Suite Addition  (56.6% ROI)

Major Kitchen Remodel  (59% ROI)

Bathroom Addition  (59.9% ROI)

Deck Addition (Composite)  (63.6% ROI)

 

The five projects with the lowest ROI in the “upscale” cost category are:

Master Suite Addition  (48.3% ROI)

Major Kitchen Remodel  (53.5% ROI)

Bathroom Addition   (54.6% ROI)

Bathroom Remodel   (56.2% ROI)

Grand Entrance  (Fiberglass)  (67.6% ROI)

The 2018 Cost vs. Value Report compares, across 149 markets, the average cost of 21 popular remodeling projects with their average value at resale one year later.  Average resale value is calculated based on estimates provided by real estate professionals. 

Once again, any questions?  You know where to find me.

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 1.9.18

by Harry Salzman

January 9, 2018

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

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Here’s wishing you and yours a healthy, Happy New Year and a hope that all your residential real estate dreams come true.

2018 is starting off the same way 2017 ended for me—it’s been busier than I can ever remember at this time of year.  While that’s great news for Colorado Springs, it is making my job and those of my buyers a bit harder as there are so few available homes on the market.

This trend is continuing to put a lot of pressure on both buyers and sellers in terms of decision-making, but NOW is still a great time to buy AND sell.

Realtor.com has predicted that Colorado Springs will continue to be one of the nation’s hottest housing markets in 2018—making the top 10 for another year.  This is likely the result of our excellent work/life balance, lower cost of living than in many other areas of the country and robust economy.  These are the same factors that are keeping our inventories so low and causing multiple offers, etc.  People simply want to live here for a multitude of reasons.

The December 2017 report from PPAR shows that homes are selling at 99.6% of listing price and a very low average of 31 days on the market. And even more amazing is that the median sales price of Single Family/Patio homes has increased by 11.8% year over year and is up 8.0% for Condo/Townhomes.

With homes selling within days of being listed and sometimes sooner than that, if you are planning to sell your home, you need to know where you are planning to go next because the short turnaround times don’t give you a lot of leeway to decide after the sale.  It’s best to find your next home prior to listing your present one at this time.

As much as I hate for my clients to face disappointment per a possibility of multiple offers, it’s now a regular thing.  That’s why you need to keep an open mind to look at properties in areas where you might have not considered in order to find what you want, need and can afford.  Even when it comes to purchasing a newly constructed home, I’m seeing lot choices going quickly and with multiple offers, so making an informed decision is essential no matter what you are seeking.

Homeownership rates are continuing to rise in this tight market as more people are finding a way to purchase a home despite all of the above-mentioned obstacles.  This can be partially attributed to the high rental rates but most likely because prices are quickly escalating and interest rates are sure to follow.  Folks just don’t want to be left out if at all possible.

Despite all this, there are still homes available in most neighborhoods and in most price ranges.  If you are in the market—either as a first-time buyer, as a trade-up buyer or for investment purposes, please give me a call sooner than later.  I can be reached at 593.1000 or by email at Harry@HarrySalzman.com .

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

 

SALES AND PRICES KEEP ESCALATING DESPITE LOW INVENTORY

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

You will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary that total sales numbers year-over-year in Single Family/Patio Homes are up 6.7% and 11.2% for Condo/Townhomes.

Year-over-year, new listings are up 2.9% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 4.7% for Condo/Townhomes. It appears that those who have been thinking of listing their home are beginning to realize that it is certainly going to get a lot more attention in this type of sales environment.  Just remember if you are considering listing your home that it’s likely to sell fast, so once again…you need to be prepared for that inevitability.

Here are some highlights from the December 2017 PPAR report.  Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

In comparing December 2017 to December 2016 in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 846, Up 10.9%
  • Number of Sales are 1,206, Down 2.4%
  • Average Sales Price is $323,149, Up 12.5%
  • Median Sales Price is $285,000, Up 11.8%
  • Total Active Listings are 1,350, Down 12.1%
  • Months Supply is 1.1

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 131, Up 26.0%
  • Number of Sales are 160, Up 0.6%
  • Average Sales Price is $195,356, Up 2.5%
  • Median Sales Price is $191,200, Up 8.0%
  • Total Active Listings are 80 Down 42.9%
  • Months Supply is 0.5

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  December 2017                      December 2016

Black Forest                            $432,000                              $455,000                     

Briargate                                  $381,000                              $350,000           

Central                                     $231,000                              $208,950

East                                          $243,500                              $225,000

Fountain Valley:                      $261,500                              $224,300

Manitou Springs:                    $350,000                              $370,500

Marksheffel:                             $341,500                             $311.000

Northeast:                                $285,000                              $250,000

Northgate:                                $415,000                              $442,927           

Northwest:                               $425,000                              $335,000          

Old Colorado City:                  $230,000                              $236,500

Powers:                                    $280,000                              $249,900

Southwest:                              $355,000                              $262,500

Tri-Lakes:                                 $454,500                              $445,000

West:                                        $282,400                              $250,000

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

 

HARRY’S ANNUAL PRESENTATION TO THE COLORADO SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL

As many of you are aware, I make a presentation to the Colorado Springs City Council each year detailing the residential real estate events of the past year and give my thoughts as to where I believe we are going in the year ahead.

I represent the Pikes Peak Realtors Association (PPAR) when doing so and love having the opportunity to address our local government with not only the concerns of PPAR but also those of you, my clients, who are constantly providing me with ideas and suggestions on what you would like to see in your neighborhoods and the city in general. 

You can click here to see a copy of the slides I presented.  I believe you will find the information contained in them quite enlightening and it will help you understand why owning real estate is a fabulous opportunity for the growth of personal wealth. 

If you have any questions, I would be happy to discuss any and all of this with you.  Just give me a call at 593.1000.

 

 

HARRY'S HOLIDAY GREETING

by Harry Salzman

  

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 12.6.17

by Harry Salzman

December 6, 2017

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.

ALMOST GOODBYE TO 2017…

IT’S BEEN A WILD RIDE AND IT APPEARS THAT 2018 WILL BE MORE OF THE SAME

As this year comes to a close, I must say that I cannot ever remember the local residential real estate market to be quite like it’s been in 2017.

Yes, most homes are continuing to sell as soon as they are listed and in the lower price ranges we are still seeing multiple offers and bidding wars.  The shortage of available homes and still historically low interest rates are the driving forces behind this surge.  With Colorado Springs making the “Top 10” lists for so many things, I don’t expect this frenzy to stop anytime soon. 

In fact, Realtor.com predicts that Colorado Springs, already on track to break home sales records for 2017, will continue to be one of the nation’s hottest markets in 2018—coming in at number 8.

Our local job growth, thriving economy and relative low cost of living, coupled with high marks on the “best place to live and play” index is also contributing to the increased median home prices.

Sales of newly built homes are continuing to rise, driven in part by demand for entry-level homes.  This supports the longer-term positive trend in the market and is helping boost the homeownership numbers.  Folks are realizing that rental rates are escalating with no real benefit to anyone but the one who owns the home and/or apartment.  It is proving much cheaper to own than rent and people are finding a way to do that if at all possible.  There are more ways than you might imagine for getting into a starter home, or to sell and trade up.  If this is something you are thinking of, please give me a call and let me help make that a reality. 

The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday that the U.S. economy is headed into the final stretch of 2017 powered by one of the sturdiest periods of growth in it’s nine-year expansion. The article cited new home sales rising in October to a 10-year high and contracts signed for existing homes rebounded strongly in October after several months of declines.  Consumer confidence has also risen for five straight months to a 17-year high, according to the Conference Board.

All in all, it’s been a great year for all local homeowners and I’d like to thank you for the confidence you’ve continued to place in me when it comes to helping make your residential real estate dreams come true.  It has been my pleasure this year, as always, to provide my “special brand of customer service” to suit your individual needs, wants and budget and I look forward to assisting you, your family members or co-workers again in the coming year.

 

WOW…WOW…AND ANOTHER WOW.

The most recent report from PPAR came out on yesterday afternoon  and shows that  homes are selling at 99.5% of listing price and a very low average of 33 days on the market. And even more amazing is that the average sales price of Single Family/Patio homes has increased by 10.1% year over year and is up 13.0% for Condo/Townhomes.  This trend is continuing to put a lot of pressure on both buyers and sellers in terms of decision-making, but NOW is still a great time to buy AND sell.

With homes still selling within days of being listed, if you are planning to sell your home, you need to know where you are planning to go next because the short turnaround times don’t give you a lot of leeway to decide after the sale.  It’s best to find your next home prior to listing your present one at this time.

As much as I hate for my clients to face disappointment per a possibility of multiple offers, it’s becoming a regular thing.  That’s why you need to keep an open mind to look at properties in areas where you might have not considered in order to find what you want, need and can afford.  Even when it comes to purchasing a newly constructed home, I’m seeing lot choices going quickly and with multiple offers, so making an informed decision is essential no matter what you are seeking.

Homeownership rates are continuing to rise in this tight market as more people are finding a way to purchase a home despite all of the above-mentioned obstacles.  This can be partially attributed to the high rental rates but most likely because prices are quickly escalating and interest rates are sure to follow.  Folks just don’t want to be left out if at all possible.

Despite all this, there are still homes available in most neighborhoods and in most price ranges.  If you are in the market—either as a first-time buyer, as a trade-up buyer or for investment purposes, please give me a call sooner than later.  I can be reached at 593.1000 or by email at Harry@HarrySalzman.com .

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

 

SALES AND PRICES KEEP ESCALATING DESPITE LOW INVENTORY

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

You will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary that total sales numbers year-over-year in Single Family/Patio Homes are up 4.9% and down 8.2% for Condo/Townhomes.  You will also see that the median home price in all listed neighborhoods increased in value year-over-year.  This is not always the case, but it’s apparent that our hot real estate market is affecting most all of our neighborhoods in a positive way.

Year-over-year, new listings are up 8.9% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 0.6% for Condo/Townhomes. It appears that those who have been thinking of listing their home are beginning to realize that it is certainly going to get a lot more attention in this type of sales environment.  Just remember if you are considering listing your home that it’s likely to sell fast, so once again…you need to be prepared for that inevitability.

Here are some highlights from the November 2017 PPAR report. Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts.

In comparing November 2017 to November 2016 in PPAR:

                     Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,080, Up 8.9%
  • Number of Sales are 1,255, Up 4.9%
  • Average Sales Price is $317,368 Up 10.1%
  • Median Sales Price is $280,000 Up 9.1%
  • Total Active Listings are 1,643, Down 15.0%
  • Months Supply is 1.3, down 3.0

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 162, Down 0.6%
  • Number of Sales are 167, Down 8.2%
  • Average Sales Price is $205,174, Up 13.0%
  • Median Sales Price is $187,000, Up 12.6%
  • Total Active Listings are 100, Down 43.8%
  • Months Supply is 0.6, down 5.3

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  November 2017                     November 2016

Black Forest                            $470,500                              $424,500                     

Briargate                                  $369,500                              $353,250           

Central                                     $234,750                              $212,500

East                                          $244,000                              $220,000

Fountain Valley:                      $247,000                              $234,450

Manitou Springs:                    $365,900                              $322,000

Marksheffel:                             $331,539                             $259,900

Northeast:                                $271,400                              $260,000

Northgate:                                $430,042                              $400,000           

Northwest:                               $389,950                              $388,000           

Old Colorado City:                  $289,000                              $233,750

Powers:                                    $275,000                              $243,750

Southwest:                               $302,000                              $265,500

Tri-Lakes:                                 $455,000                              $446,750

West:                                        $240,000                              $213,900

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

If you have any questions about these reports and how they might relate to you and your future housing plans, please give me a call at 593.1000.

 

SOME FORECASTS FOR 2018…

Rismedia.com, 11.29.17, The Wall Street Journal, 12.1.17

In a recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Colorado Springs is once more listed as one of the cities where considerable price and sales gain will be seen.

By the way, given the November PPAR statistics I just shared with you and their year-over-year comparisons, I believe our local market will out perform the national predictions shown here.  Furthermore, the housing appreciation in Colorado Springs should more than likely be two times greater than the 3.2% national forecasted home value indicated below.

The following inforgraphic from realtor.com will show you some of their predictions for the coming year:

Realtor.com anticipates that mortgage rates will continue to grow along with home prices, averaging 4.6 percent and possibly reaching 5 percent by year-end.  Interestingly though, more first-time homebuyers were able to get an FHA mortgage this year than last, despite a slight uptick in rates. 

One caveat is tax reform.  These forecasts were made prior to the House bill passing and the Senate bill being voted on; as such, realtor.com cautions that certain cuts--among others, the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local tax deduction--could lead to less in the way of prices and sales.

 

5 HOUSING TRENDS TO WATCH FOR IN 2018

Realtormag, 11.29.17

According to realtor.com’s 2018 National Housing Forecast, home shoppers may have it a bit easier in 2018 because inventory constraints of for-sale homes and rising prices may finally start to ease.

“Next year will set the stage for a significant inflection point in the housing shortage,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com.  “Inventory increases will be felt in higher priced segments after spring home buying season, which we expect to take hold and begin to provide relief for buyers and drive sales growth in 2019 and beyond.”

But again, the big wild card for 2018 will be any impact from the proposed tax reform legislation, which is currently being debated by Congress, realtor.com adds.

Here is an abbreviated closer look at realtor.com’s five housing prediction trends for 2018:

  1. Inventory to start increasing:  Positive year-over-year inventory growth by the fall of 2018—which will be the first time since 2015, the majority of which will be in the mid-to-upper-tier price points, which includes homes priced above $350,000.  On the other hand, recovery in the starter home market will likely linger since levels are “significantly depleted by first-time buyers”.

 

  1. Price appreciation to slow:  Home buyers will likely see home prices moderate in the new year.  The majority of the slowing price appreciation will be centered in the higher-priced ranges as more inventory becomes available.  Entry level homes will likely continue to see price gains due to a larger potential buyer pool as well as a more limited number of homes for sale in this price range.

 

  1. Millennials to gain market share:  The largest cohort of millennials are expected to turn 30 in 2020.  “Millennials are a driving force in today’s housing market,” says Vivas.  “They already dominate lower price home mortgages and are getting close to overtaking older generations for mid-and upper-tier mortgages.  While financially secure in general, their debt to income ratios have started to increase as they compete for higher priced homes.”

 

  1. The South to lead in sales growth:  Realtor.com forecasts that Southern cities will top national averages in home sales growth in 2018. 

 

  1. Tax reform wild card:  Tax reform could dampen 2018 sales and price forecasts, realtor.com reports.  “While the ultimate impact of tax reform will depend on the details of the plan that is finally adopted, both versions include provisions that are likely to decrease incentives for mobility and reduce ownership tax benefits,” realtor.com reports.  “On the flip side, some taxpayers, including renters, are likely to see tax cuts.  While more disposable income for buyers is positive for housing, the loss of tax benefits for owners could lead to fewer sales and impact prices negatively over time with the largest impact on markets with higher prices and incomes.”

 

AND THE GOOD NEWS JUST KEEPS ON COMING…

A big plus for those seeking jumbo conventional and VA loans—beginning next month (January 2018) the jumbo/conforming limits will increase considerably.  This chart below illustrates the new limits, which are increasing for only the second time in 11 years.  The first increase came last year.

 

UPDATE FROM THE UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM (11.30.17)

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business

As always, I am providing you a look at the report I receive from the UCCS Economic Forum, which will give you not only the “Big Picture” of the U.S. Economy, but also how things are shaping up locally. 

To view the report, please click here If you have any questions, please give me a holler. 

 

 

 

 

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Harry A Salzman
Salzman Real Estate Services
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Colorado Springs CO 80919
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