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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 5.23.17

by Harry Salzman

May 23, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                            A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

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

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was up a fabulous 10.6%, which is a good sign that our housing market is continuing to appreciate.  If there were more listings, more people would be moving—either selling to trade up or buying for the first time and for investment purposes.

In the recently published April 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 11.8% for the single-family/patio homes and up 0.4% for condo/townhomes. 

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

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

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

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 33-page Local Market Update. I would highly recommend that you check out your own neighborhood, or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of what’s transpiring there.  I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Northgate, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

       

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

For questions about any of these reports or just to find out how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you, please give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com.

 

UCCS ECONOMIC DASHBOARD UPDATE

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business, 5.22.17

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

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

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

       

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

 

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

Housingwire, 5.19.17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bravo for us.

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 5.2.17

by Harry Salzman

May 2, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

A SIGN OF THE TIMES….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

LOCAL HOME SALE PRICES CONTINUE UPWARD…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

In comparing April 2017 to April 2016 in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

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

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

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

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  April 2017                             April 2016

Black Forest                            $529,500                              $435,000                      

Briargate                                  $390,000                              $322,500           

Central                                     $244,945                              $189,000

East                                          $244,500                              $215,500

Fountain Valley:                      $242,000                              $227,250

Manitou Springs:                    $386,500                              $322,500

Marksheffel:                            $296,500                             $259,900

Northeast:                               $275,000                              $250,000

Northgate:                               $439,950                              $433,450           

Northwest:                              $397,500                              $330,000        

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

Powers:                                   $255,000                              $240,000

Southwest:                              $290,000                              $246,000

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

West:                                        $245,500                              $240,000

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

 

SOME EXCELLENT “RULES” FROM THE 5280 MAY 2017 ISSUE

5280, MAY 2017

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Keeping current matters, 4.11.17

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

Don’t Become Trapped

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Know Your Options

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

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

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

 

Bottom Line?

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

 

UPDATED STATS FROM UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM

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

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

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

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

 

SKY SOX TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE

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

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

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

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

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 4.19.17

by Harry Salzman

April 19, 2017

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                            A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

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

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

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

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was up a whopping 10.9%, which is a good sign that the housing market is continuing to appreciate.  If there were more listings, more people would be moving—either selling to trade up or buying for the first time and for investment purposes.

In the recently published March 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 7.2% for the single-family/patio homes and up 14.6% for condo/townhomes. 

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

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

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

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 33-page Local Market Update.

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

         

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

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

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

 

HOME MORTGAGES:  RATES ARE UP BUT REQUIREMENTS ARE EASING

Keeping current matters, 4.18.17

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

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

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

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

Have requirements for attaining a mortgage actually eased?

Yes. Here are two examples:

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

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

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Bottom Line?

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

 

AND WHY ARE MORTGAGE RATES DROPPING AGAIN?

RealtorMag, 4.17.17

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

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

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

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

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

A word to the wise!

 

INVESTMENT RENTALS ARE STILL A BETTER BET THAN THE STOCK MARKET

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 4.7.17

by Harry Salzman

April 7, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

        A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

 

PLEASE NOTE:

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

 

 

LIFE IS STILL A BIT CRAZY IN THE real estate ARENA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

LOCAL HOME SALE PRICES CONTINUE THEIR UPWARD CLIMB…

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

In comparing March 2017 to March 2016 in PPAR:                       

 

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

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

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

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

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  March 2017                           March 2016

Black Forest                            $465,000                              $480,000                      

Briargate                                  $380,000                              $310,000           

Central                                     $225,000                              $200,000

East                                          $242,500                              $203,000

Fountain Valley:                      $230,000                              $218,500

Manitou Springs:                    $341,225                              $362,000

Marksheffel:                            $295,000                             $252,000

Northeast:                               $267,750                              $231,050

Northgate:                               $430,000                              $411,059           

Northwest:                              $397,500                              $365,000         

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

Powers:                                   $260,000                              $245,000

Southwest:                              $282,450                              $249,085

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

West:                                       $290,000                              $234,900

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

 

CENSUS SHOWS EL PASO COUNTY WITH LARGEST INCREASE IN STATE

The Gazette, 3.29.17

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

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

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

 

A LITTLE BRAGGING AND A WHOLE LOT OF THANKS…

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you, one and all.

 

UPDATED STATS FROM UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM

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

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

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

 

WHAT ABOUT DOWNSIZING?

Daveramsey.com, 3.28.17, keeping current matters, 3.21.17

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

SKY SOX TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE

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

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

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

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

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 3.20.17

by Harry Salzman

                                                            

March 20, 2017

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

SO THERE’S A “NEW NORMAL” YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT…

It’s been crazy out there in real estate Land in recent months and it’s getting more so by the day.  I’ve been filling you in on some of the quick turnarounds and higher than list price sales I’ve been involved in recently, and now we have another situation that I’ve not seen in this area before.

The shortage of available listings has caused a frenzy that has led to the quick turnarounds and higher than list offers, however, appraisers have not yet prepared themselves for this.  What I mean by that is when an appraiser looks at a home for the lender in order to justify the mortgage amount, the home needs to come in at close to or above the selling price.  Since homes are selling so fast and for so much, the appraisers have no real “comparables” – the price at which other similar homes have sold for. 

What this means to all of us is that the appraised value of many homes is coming in lower than anticipated.  That affects both the buyers and the sellers—and oftentimes that is the same person who is moving to trade up.  The difference between what a person is paying for a home and what the lender is willing to lend has to come out of the buyer’s pocket.  And sellers are affected the same as they have to accept less for their home to compensate for the appraisal unless they want to go through the listing process all over again. 

This is causing frustration on both sides.  I’m hoping that somehow the appraisers quickly become more aware of what’s going on in our market and will begin valuing homes at closer to what a buyer and seller agree is a fair price rather than on what homes “used” to be worth.  Our higher median sales prices are great for us but the appraisers and lenders need to keep a better pulse on what’s happening out there.

Most potential sellers believe that waiting until spring is in their best interest and traditionally they would be correct.  NOT THIS YEAR.  Part of the “new normal” has disproved the traditional fact that buyer demand has seasonality to it.  Demand is very strong all over and the economy, job market improvement and interest rates have driven it to this point.  We shall see what happens as the rates start to rise, but I suspect the frenzy will get even worse before it settles into a more established pattern.

Now let me tell you about the local “new” construction market.  In recent weeks, I’ve had a number of clients who wanted new construction as they have the time to wait for a home to be built.  I visited a number of homebuilders for them to seek out the types of floor plans and prices that they wanted and after narrowing it down, we began our search.  When we got to the new home sites—another big surprise—a number of the lots and homes that we had wanted to consider were already under contract! 

That, folks, is exactly how quickly things are moving in the Pikes Peak real estate Market.  You will see if the following stories more of what’s happening both locally and nationally.

I realize this is a “mixed bag” of positive news shadowed by some “hiccups” but “where there’s a will there’s a way” they say and somehow I always can find a way to make things happen. 

If you’re ready to make a move or even see how this “new normal” might affect you, please give me a call sooner than later at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me put my special brand of personal service to work for YOU.

 

FEBRUARY 2017 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS PROVIDE RESULTS IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

In the recently published February 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 4.0% for the single-family/patio homes and up 19.9% for condo/townhomes. 

The median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was up 5.5%, which is a good sign that the housing market is continuing to appreciate.  If there were more listings, more people would be moving—either selling to trade up or buying for the first time.

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

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was down 8.8%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 5.5%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 28.9%.

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 33-page Local Market Update. These reports provide greater detail than the monthly “PPAR Monthly Statistics” that I share in the first eNewletter of each month.

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

If you have any questions about either of these reports please give me a call. 

 

COUNTY WEBSITE NOW LIVE AND PROVIDES EXCELLENT INFORMATION

The Gazette, 3.13.17

Looking for property information and other data, including census, sales and permit numbers in El Paso County?  County Assessor Steve Schleiker has great news for you.  A new website, years in the making, is now live and can provide you will all that information and more.

While the site is an especially important resource for the real estate community, Schleiker said “it can be utilized by a number of different offices and departments in El Paso County in getting information out to our citizens.”

He is hoping it will also be a useful resource for businesses or families interested in moving to the county who are now able to look up average property values, sales growth, population data, and even the number of parks and schools in areas of their choosing by using the map’s zoom function. 

To visit the site, go to www.elpasoco.com and click on the banner link across the top of the web page.

 

COLORADO SPRINGS JOB MARKET RANKS THIRD BEST IN THE COUNTRY

The Gazette, 3.14.17

And the good news just keeps on coming.

According to a survey by staffing firm ManpowerGroup, the Colorado Springs job market ranks as the nation’s 3rd best for the second quarter 2017.

The survey indicated that 28 percent of employers surveyed were expecting to hire and none planned layoffs.  The rest anticipated no change or weren’t certain of their plans.

This is the city’s best outlook in 10 years.  The outlook level in the second quarter 2017 is more than twice as strong as the first quarter’s 12 percent and up from 16 percent a year earlier.

 

3 QUESTIONS TO ASK IF YOU WANT TO BUY YOUR DREAM HOUSE

keepingcurrentmatters, 2.21.17

There’s so much talk about the housing market at present and though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

  1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This is truly the most important question to answer.  Forget finances for a moment.  Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home?  For most, the reason has nothing to do with the money. 

For example, a survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money.  They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of the space

What does owning a home mean to you?  What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home?  The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

  1. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report, from the NAR, the median price of homes sold nationally in December (the most recent data available) was $232,200, up 4.0% from last year.  The increase also marks the 58th consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

If we look at the numbers year over year, CoreLogic forecasted a rise by 4.7% from December 2016 to December 2017 nationally.  On a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $11,750 if you wait until next year.

What does that mean to you?

With prices increasing each month, it might cost you more if you wait until next year to buy.  Your down payment will also need to be higher in order to account for the higher price of the home you wish to buy.

  1. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices.  The “long term cost” of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates. 

The Mortgage Bankers Association, the NAR, and Frannie Mae have all predicated that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months.  We’ve seen evidence of that starting to happen as the Federal Reserve just increased their rates this month.

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home and answering these 3 questions will help you make that decision.

 

FED VOTES TO RAISE RATES:  THE HOUSING IMPACT

RealtorMag, 3.17.17

Last Wednesday the Federal Reserve starting picking up the pace by raising its key interest rate just three months after its last rate hike.  In announcing that short term interest rates will increase by one-quarter of a percentage point, they also suggested that two similar increases will occur later this year.

“If you think it’s been hard so far to find a home that fits your budget and your needs, it’s going to get worse,” say Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com’s chief economist.  “There will be even fewer homes for sale now.”

Homeowners who already have lower mortgage rates locked in may have less incentive to trade up or buy a new home.  Their increasing desire to stay put could continue to press already tight inventories of home for sale all across the country.

As of last Tuesday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.39 percent, according to Mortgage Daily News.  Last summer, rates were near record lows of 3.44 percent.

As long as rates keep changing slowly, “The small changes we’re seeing shouldn’t price too many people out of homeownership,” Smoke says, “But if you keep adding it on, it will price people out.”

There’s time to take advantage of what are still historically low rates, but that time may be running out.  If you’re looking to lock in a good rate, sooner rather than later needs to be your motto.

 

HARRY’S INTERESTING real estate FACTS OF THE DAY

The Hartford Courant, 2.21.17

  1. We hear a lot about foreclosure statistics and how many homes are “underwater” (meaning that the owner owes more on the house than it would sell for in the marketplace today).  Did you know that almost 30 percent of Americans own their home “free and clear,” without a mortgage?  That’s approximately 21 million households.

 

  1. In the United States, there are five times as many vacant houses as there are homeless people.

 

  1. Warren Buffet is one of the richest men in the world, and he still lives in the same house he bought in 1958.  He paid $31,500 for it.

 

  1. In 2009, there were more foreclosures in the United States than there were marriages.

 

  1. In Scotland, homeowners paint their door red when the pay off their mortgage.

 

  1. In the United States, if you see a winged eagle over the front door, it may mean that the homeowners have paid off their mortgage.  The eagle symbolizes “freedom” from the mortgage payment.

 

  1. A homeowner’s net worth is over 30 times greater than that of a renter.

 

  1. Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd was a Great Depression era gangster who was viewed positively by the public.  When he robbed banks, he would destroy mortgage documents, which freed many citizen of their debts.

 

  1. Think your house is too small?  The typical home site in many developing countries is 75 square feet.

 

  1. According to the Aspiring Home Buyer Profile, conducted by the NAR in 1981, a typical first time buyer purchased a 1,700 square foot home, costing $70,000 ($201,376 in inflation and adjusted dollars).  In 2006, at the height of the market and before the “burst of the bubble” (and the era of McMansions), a typical first time homebuyer purchased an 1,815 square foot home, costing $214,000.  In the 2016 survey, purchased homes were 1,650 square feet and cost $182,500.

 

  1. Eight out of 10 non-homeowners indicate that owning a home is part of their American Dream.

 

  1. Being unable to afford to buy is the number one reason non-owners list as to why they don’t.

 

  1. The average mortgage down payment for homebuyers has been 6 percent for first time buyers for the last three years running.

 

  1. Those in the business point out that unrealistic expectations about how much of a down payment is necessary to purchase a home have kept credit worthy borrowers with manageable levels of debt from exploring the prospects of buying a home.

 

  1. Ninety percent of those that responded to the 2016 NAR Survey indicated that they worked with an agent to buy or sell a home, rather than go it alone.

 

  1. Some doorknobs disinfect themselves, including lead, iron, silver, aluminum and copper.  The best material to use for a self-disinfecting doorknob?  Brass.

 

FEATURED LISTING

 

“THIS SPACE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR LISTING”

 

I’m all sold out.  I can’t keep a listing around for long so if you’re ready to sell—I’m ready to list. 

Just give me a call today and we can get you headed toward a new home.

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 3.6..17

by Harry Salzman

March 6, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                        A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

LOCAL HOME SALE PRICES ARE WAAYY UP…

If you are a local homeowner you’ve got a lot to celebrate.  In comparing February 2017 real estate average and median sales prices to February 2016—they are up—up—up.  That should put a big smile on your faces.

In the Single Family/Patio Home category, average sales price in February was $301,385 and median sales price was $255,000.  In the Condo/Townhome category the average sales price was $182,241 and the median sales price was $180,000.  This continues to be a Sellers Market with homes selling at 99.7% of listing price and a low average of 38 days on the market

As you will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary, total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes are down 0.6% and up 7.6% respectively for year-over-year.  This number would have been much higher if we had more listings.  (For example, in Single Family/Patio Homes we had 7,065 active listings in July 2007.  January 2017 was an all-time low at 1,331.) 

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are down 23.8% for Single Family/Patio Homes and 15.9% for Condo/Townhomes, continuing a downward trend that tends to favor sellers.  New listings are up 1.8% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 15.1% for Condo/Townhomes. 

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

While substantial home price growth is being seen all over the country, according to David M. Blitzer, S & P Dow Jones Index Committee chairman and managing director, it’s “not alarming” because it is being driven by the lack of inventory as well as the continued low interest rates.  That is an entirely different scenario than we had prior to the 2007 housing bust, which is a good thing for us all.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR, says that Americans’ interest in purchasing a home is at the highest level since the Great Recession.  More households are feeling confident about their financial situation, and job growth is strong.  However, despite their optimism, more buyers are faced with limited choices due to the shortage of homes for sale, which is driving up prices.

I’m finding a number of things in recent days:

  • Homes, particularly in the $300,000 and under range, are getting multiple offers as soon as they are listed on MLS—many over listing price, with no contingencies and with quick turnaround times.

 

  • 32% of the active listings on single family/patio homes are in that under $300,000 range.

 

  • Quite a number of folks are turning to new construction if they are in a position to wait for their home to be built.

 

  • Folks are worried about the inevitable interest rate increases and those who have been sitting on the proverbial “fence” are thinking about making a move NOW to sell and trade up.

 

  • There are lots of people interested in looking for investment properties with a number of them wanting multiple properties. Along with the lowest home ownership rate in years providing many folks who want or have to rent come increased rental rates that benefit the landlords.  If this is something you have considered or want to investigate, give me a call and let’s see if it can work for you, too.

There is a lot of movement beginning to happen at once.  I have spent a lot of time doing research on most types of new construction so that once I know what my clients are looking for I can take them to see the properties that meet their wants, needs and budgets. 

You might not be aware, but—this service is at no additional cost to the buyers.   My special brand of customer service includes doing the research so that I can take you to see exactly what you are seeking, without having to go look at each new development by yourself. 

Another advantage is that I know the “right” questions to ask the builders so that there are no surprises later on.  This is something I’ve been doing for almost 45 years so you might say I’ve got just a bit of experience in this arena!

Whether you’re in the market for a new home, an existing home or an investment property—I can help you with it all.  Let me remind you again that if you are planning to sell and trade up you need to have a plan.  Your present home will more than likely sell quickly so you must know where you are going next.  Getting preapproved from your lender of choice is also a requirement before you even begin the search for a new home.  When you find what you are looking for you won’t have the luxury of thinking about it or taking time to get a loan approval.  There will be other offers for the sellers to choose from and yours will go to the bottom of the pile.  I don’t tell you this to frighten you—it’s just how things are these days and I want my clients to be as prepared as possible.

A recent example is a former client who wanted to sell and trade up.  I advised them NOT to list their present home until they had an “accepted offer” on one they wished to buy because I knew their home would sell fast.  Well, sure enough, the buyer found another home and we got the offer accepted quickly.  I put their present home on the market the next day and it sold the day after!  That’s the kind of craziness we are seeing today.  It’s a “new normal” to say the least.

So…a word to the wise should be sufficient.  That, and giving me a call at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com to get the ball rolling.  I’m going to get it done for you “one way or another” and to your complete satisfaction.  That’s my motto—and it’s on the wall in my office—because my commitment to my clients is most important to me and the reason my repeat business is so good.  I WILL get it done for you, with as little stress and problems as possible. 

 

LOCAL real estate SALES SLIGHTLY DOWN…BUT ONLY BECAUSE OF LOW INVENTORY

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

Here are some highlights from the February 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 February 2017 to February 2016 in PPAR:                     

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,273, Up 1.8%
  • Number of Sales are 800, Down 8.0%
  • Average Sales Price is $301,385, Up 11.5%
  • Median Sales Price is $255,000, Up 6.3%
  • Total Active Listings are 1,342, Down 23.8%

                        Condo/Townhomes

  • New Listings are 175, Up 15.1%
  • Number of Sales are 126, Down 3.8%
  • Average Sales Price is $182,241, Up 6.5%
  • Median Sales Price is $180,000, Up 16.2%
  • Total Active Listings are 122, Down 15.9%

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  February 2017                        February 2016

Black Forest                            $489,950                              $405,000                       

Briargate                                  $388,225                              $317,250        

Central                                     $180,000                              $179,900

East                                          $230,000                              $192,000

Fountain Valley:                      $230,000                              $222,000

Manitou Springs:                    $185,990                              $267,500

Marksheffel:                             $261,407                             $270,000

Northeast:                                $259,500                              $247,400

Northgate:                                $440,000                              $360,000          

Northwest:                               $395,000                              $319,500         

Old Colorado City:                  $236,500                              $191,000

Powers:                                    $254,900                              $233,000

Southwest:                               $246,000                              $162,000

Tri-Lakes:                                 $485,000                              $450,000

West:                                        $250,000                              $262,450

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

 

YELLEN SAYS FED RATES WILL INCREASE

Dsnews.com, 3.3.17

According to her last public remarks prior to the March 14-15 meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen announced plans to increase the federal fund rate.

“We currently judge that it will be appropriate to gradually increase the federal funds rate if the economic data continue to come in about as we expect,” she said at a speech in Chicago and according to prepared remarks found at Business Insider.

Whether or not these increases come at the March meeting or later in the year remains to be seen, but Credit Suisse finds it probable that it will be sooner than later.  James Sweeney, managing director of Credit Suisse said at the end of last week:

“In response to these developments the market implied probability of a March hike has risen from 25 percent on February 1st to over 75 percent now.  This market action could be self-fulfilling, because it undercuts claims that the Fed needs to use a meeting to ‘prepare the market’ for an upcoming hike.”

What does this mean to you?  Well, for starters, the mortgage interest rates will rise accordingly.  If you are looking to get preapproved at today’s rates, you will need to hurry.  No one knows how much of a hike the fed funds will get, but most economists are saying it’s going to happen.  I’ve been telling you this for over a year now, and while they have not moved too swiftly during that time, an increase is inevitable.  Each increase in the mortgage rate will mean a larger monthly payment for the length of the loan.  It may not be a lot, but over the term of the loan it could add up to a substantial amount.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

“NEW” HOMES ARE ABOUT TO GET PRICIER

realtormag.com, 3.1.17

The reason for my sharing this information is due to my visit last Friday to check out nine models at local homebuilders for my clients.  Homebuilders traditionally increase home prices in the spring.  This year, according to the builders I met with, it appears that prices will be going up in the very near future due to a large buyer demand as well as the facts listed below.

Since this is an avenue many folks are considering due to the limited available listings, it is likely a good idea to start your search with me sooner than later.  We can lock in prices before they increase which can help offset any increasing interest rates that may happen. 

According to the article I read, new homebuilders are getting increasingly concerned about the price of building materials.  In 2016, this was low on their list of concerns, but it’s now one of their top five. 

The increased cost of lumber is the chief catalyst.  “Negotiations on a new softwood lumber agreement between the United States and Canada ground to a halt at the end of 2016 and likely are stalled pending the results of an investigation into unfair import practices requested by the U. S. Lumber Coalition,” the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports. 

Homebuyers will likely see price hikes because of this.  According to NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market Index, builders cited the following as the 10 most significant problems they expect to face in 2017:

  1. Cost/availability of labor:  82%
  2. Cost/availability of developed lots:  67%
  3. Impact/hook-up/inspection or other fees:  61%
  4. Building material prices: 60%
  5. Federal environmental regulations and policies:  52%
  6. Local/state environmental regulations and policies:  52%
  7. Regulation of banking/financial institutions:  48%
  8. Development standards (parking, setbacks, etc):  47%
  9. Inaccurate appraisals:  46%
  10. Health insurance:  40%

 

STATISTICS FROM THE UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM SHOW MORE GOOD NEWS

UCCS Economic Forum, 2.23.17

I just received the January statistics from the UCCS Economic Forum and, as always, want to share them with you.

The charts, which you can access by clicking here, will provide you with graphic detail about how we as a city, as well as El Paso County, are doing in many areas that affect our economy and growth.  You can also see how we are doing locally in comparison to the U.S. in general. 

If you have any questions about these graphs, or about any of the information I’ve shared in this eNewsletter, please give me a call at 598.3200.

 

HARRY’S THOUGHT OF THE DAY

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 2.21.17

by Harry Salzman

                                                            

February 21, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                                       A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

LOCAL real estate NUMBERS REMAIN EXTREMELY POSITIVE

I am happy to report that things have NOT slowed down and the local real estate market—as well as that nationally—continues it’s rapid pace.

As I’ve mentioned in the past few months, this is definitely a Seller’s Market and will likely remain so until the number of active listings increase.  This is especially true in the below $300,000 range where I’ve been seeing multiple offers on most properties—and many OVER the asking price. 

While interest rates have gone up slightly but not yet significantly—that, and the increased equity most folks are seeing in their present homes—are driving this current market.  The Federal Reserve is talking about raising rates at their March meeting due to the improved economy nationwide, so that’s another reason folks are pressing on at present.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign—well here it is.  NOW is the time to make your move.  Home prices are continuing their upward climb and interest rates may soon be joining them.  While a new home may cost you more than it might have a year ago, the value of your present home has most likely also increased.  The biggest determination for most folks is the monthly mortgage payment and the lower the interest rate, the lower the monthly payment.  Even a nominal fluctuation can mean a higher monthly cost, so if you’re seeking an historically low interest rate I wouldn’t suggest waiting much longer. 

Along that same note, when you decide to start your search for any type of real estate—either as a primary, secondary or investment property—it’s imperative to get pre-approved by your lender and know beforehand exactly what you want, need and can afford.

I find that the best-written offer is often the one that my clients want to accept and that’s where my almost 45 years in the local real estate arena becomes a boon for you.  My investment banking background, along with my many years of experience, allows me to write a contract that has an excellent chance of being accepted. 

In today’s market of multiple offers and quick acceptance, it’s especially crucial to put your best foot forward so to speak.  I do that and more.  My sellers can wade through multiple offers and discover why some are much better than others depending on the timing, financing, and other factors due to my extensive experience. This is just part of my special brand of customer service.

My advice?  I’ll say it again.  If you’ve even considered wading into the real estate market as either a buyer, seller or both—now’s the time to jump in with both feet.  Many folks don’t know the current market value (CMA) of their home so aren’t aware of the avenues open to them in today’s market. 

So if you’ve got the questions, I’ve got the answers.  Just give me a call today at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how you can best make all this positivity work for you.

 

JANUARY 2017 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS PROVIDE RESULTS IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

In the recently published January 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 15.4% for the single-family/patio homes and up 21.4% for condo/townhomes.  

The median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was up 9.3%, which is a good sign that the housing market is continuing to appreciate.  If there were more listings, more people would be moving—either selling to trade up or buying for the first time.

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

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was up 11.6%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 9.3%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 33.4%.

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 33-page Local Market Update. These reports provide greater detail than the monthly “PPAR Monthly Statistics” that I share in the first eNewletter of each month.

While the spring buying season hasn’t yet begun, you can see why now is a great time to list your home.  The only drawback, as I’ve mentioned time and again, is that you need to have an idea of where you want to go because your home will likely sell much quicker than it might have in the recent past.

If you have any questions about either of these reports just give me a holler.  

 

**HERE IS MORE TERRIFIC NEWS ABOUT OUR housing market**

COLORADO SPRINGS MEDIAN HOME PRICES RISE CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN U.S. AVERAGE DURING 4TH QUARTER 2016

NAR 2.17

In the 4th Quarter 2016, metro home appreciation picked up speed, prompting the majority of metro areas to soar to new record highs with some home prices, according to the latest survey results of the top 178 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) by the National Association of Realtors®.

Colorado Springs showed a median sales growth quarter-over-quarter of 8.5%, which was 49% greater than the U.S. average of 5.7% for those surveyed.  This is such good news for us and is indicative of the increased job market and continued consumer confidence locally. 

“Buyer interest stayed elevated in most areas thanks to mortgage rates under 4 percent for most of the year and the creation of 1.7 million new jobs edging the job market closer to full employment,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.  “At the same time, the inability for supply to catch up with this demand drove prices higher and continued to put a tight affordability squeeze on those trying to reach the market.”

Nationwide, a boost in home prices and mortgage rates at the end of the year slightly weakened affordability, compared to a year ago.  That came despite a solid uptick in the national family median income. 

According to Yun, “Even a pick-up in wage growth may be insufficient to compensate the impact of higher mortgage rates and home prices and increased homebuilding will be crucial to alleviate supply shortages and stave off the affordability hit.”

Fortunately, our local numbers are still great and our new homebuilding starts are at a 10-year high.  I might add that if a “new” home is what you are seeking, I would be very happy to show you what we have available in the Pikes Peak area.  It doesn’t cost you anything to have a professional like myself available to take you around to various homebuilders and we know the “essential” questions you might need answered if this is something you are considering. 

To view the entire 4th Quarter Survey of all 178 MSAs, please click here.  You might find it interesting to check out other cities where you have family or where you have lived in the past to see just how terrific our growth really is.  And…if you are currently considering a move here, this will help you see just how great an idea that will prove to be.

 

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER…THE REAL COST OF RENTING V. BUYING

Keeping Current Matters, 2.17.17

I am asked almost daily about the “value” of owning a home v. renting. While there are many factors at play in both situations, I’ve come to learn that what’s obvious to me can be totally foreign to someone else.  For that reason, I like to provide as much information in that area as I can. 

This Infographic provides some current data:

Some Highlights:

  • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a close decision.
  • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (30%), vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (15%), the choice becomes obvious.
  • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you could use your housing costs to own a home of your own!

I’d also add that there are many reasons why some folks need to rent at any given time in their lives.  That’s why I have so many clients who have been buying one or more investment homes to rent.  If you have considered becoming a landlord by adding real estate to your investment portfolio, please give your financial and/or tax advisor a call and then call me.  I can share the ins and outs of being a landlord as this is something I’ve done for years.  And if this is something that’s right for you—I can lead you in the right direction to find an investment property.

 

HOME PRICE INSIGHTS REPORT

CoreLogic 2.7.17

I thought you might find this report from CoreLogic entitled Home Price Insights Report from December 2016 very interesting. The highlights include:

  • Home prices nationally increased 7.2% year-over-year
  • CoreLogic projects an increase of 4.7% year-over-year in 2017
  • Colorado was one of 15 states and the District of Columbia that reached new highs in home appreciation in 2016

You can read the report in its entirely by clicking here.  

 

ANOTHER FEATHER IN OUR CAP…SPRINGS COST OF LIVING IS LOWEST IN 5 YEARS

The Gazette, 2.10.17

In 2016, the cost of living in Colorado Springs was just 94% of the U.S. average, according to an annual survey by the Council for Community and Economic Research. This was down from 95.3 percent in 2015 and the lowest since costs in the Springs were 92.5 percent of the national average in 2011.

Local housing costs were 97 percent of the national average last year compared with 99.4 percent of the average the previous year.  Utility costs here were 72.5 percent of the national average in 2016, down from 84.3 percent of the average in 2015.  The index measuring miscellaneous goods and services also fell, while components measuring groceries, transportation and health care all were higher, but make up just 27.2 percent of the overall index.

Housing moved downward because the average local principal and interest payment fell 2.3 percent last year, while it remained unchanged nationwide.  Utilities in the Springs declined sharply because the average local home energy cost fell 9.1 percent, or nearly three times the 3.4 percent nationwide drop during 2016. 

Costs in Denver and Pueblo moved higher.  Denver costs were 110.4 percent of the national average in 2016, up from 109.6 in 2015 while Pueblo costs were 86.4 percent of the national average in 2016, up from 85.6 percent in 2015.

So, once again, another good reason to celebrate living in Colorado Springs.

 

I’M SPEAKING BEFORE THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ON THURSDAY

If you’re in town and want to hear me live and in person when I give my State of real estate in Colorado Springs Report to the El Paso County Commissioners, come on down on Thursday morning at 9:30 to 202 South Cascade.  It is an open meeting and I will be presenting an updated version of the material that I shared with you several weeks ago from my report to the Colorado Springs City Council.

 

HARRY’S THOUGHTS OF THE DAY

 

 

Happy Valentine's Day

by Harry Salzman

February 14, 2017

 

HARRY’S VALENTINE’S GREETING

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to wish all of you a very sweet

Valentine’s Day!

Home is Where the Heart is…

…and I am thrilled to be able to play such an important part in helping to give your heart a home.

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 2.6.17

by Harry Salzman

February 6, 2017

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                       A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

THE LOCAL housing market JUST KEEPS ON ESCALATING…IN SALES AND PRICES

Wow.  Let me say it once again...WOW. 

I’m just astounded at the pace of the local real estate market in terms of both sales and appreciation.  In my almost 45 years of selling real estate in the Pikes Peak area I’ve never seen anything like what we are now experiencing.  And this is January we are talking about—a normally slow time as folks gear up for the spring buying season.  I’m now convinced that conventional wisdom about the “best” time to buy and sell are no longer part of the equation.  In past years, researchers have found that in general, January and February were the top months for those looking to get a bargain. 

However, this year is gearing up to be different.  According to Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com’s chief economist, buyer demand has remained high throughout the fall and home prices did not take their usual dip this January.

I’ll give you a very recent example.  Last Monday afternoon I listed a home and within hours we had seven offers and stopped accepting them at 6 pm that same day.  Most were for over the asking price and with significant down payments.  The following morning the seller accepted one of the offers.  Yes, folks, this is becoming the “new normal” and I’ve been telling you this was going to happen for quite a while now.  It’s most definitely a “sellers market” and likely to remain so for some time. 

With interest rates on the rise but still historically low, many folks are finally realizing that if they want to take advantage—NOW is the time.  Waiting will only cost you.  Not only in interest rates, buy also in the price of the replacement home.  Yes, you will get more for your home, but the next one will also cost you more and that will directly affect your monthly payments. 

My suggestion?  If you’ve even considered selling to trade up or move to a new neighborhood, don’t delay.  And again—know in advance what your wants, needs and budget requirements are so that you can make an offer when you find “the one”.  There just isn’t an option of “let me think about it” any longer.  Loan pre-approval from your lender of choice is most definitely a requisite before making an offer.

I am available to help you in determining all of these things.  As many of you have experienced, when it comes to making an offer that will stand out and likely be accepted—I’m a pro at this.  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 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me put my special brand of customer service to work for you.

Something else to consider in this rapidly escalating market—it’s important to know the approximate Current Market Value (CMA) of your present home or your rental properties.  With home values going up so quickly, it’s quite possible your Homeowners Insurance isn’t what it should be and might need to be increased.  Give me a call and I’ll be happy to give you a good idea of what your home is worth in today’s market.  Then give your insurance agent a call to make sure you’ve got the right amount of coverage based on the current value of your home.

January PPAR statistics show the Pikes Peak housing market continuing to perform extraordinarily well and we now have 30 consequent months of year-over-year increased local Residential real estate sales. 

Homes are selling at 99.3% of listing price with the average days on the market at 43.  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 6.9% and 21.5% respectively for year-over-year.

The Monthly Summary shows that compared to a year ago, total active listings are down 30.8% for Single Family/Patio Homes and 17.0% for Condo/Townhomes, continuing a downward trend that tends to favor sellers.  New listings are down 13.0% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 38.6% for Condo/Townhomes.

For more details, please see the following article.

 

JANUARY 2017 WAS THE 30TH STRAIGHT MONTH OF INCREASED LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate SALES

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

Here are some highlights from the January 2017 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 2017 to January 2016 in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 968, Down 13.0%
  • Number of Sales are 908 Up 6.9%
  • Average Sales Price is $298,774 Up 13.3%
  • Median Sales Price is $265,000 Up 11.8%
  • Total Active Listings are 1,331, Down 30.8%

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 183, Up 38.6%
  • Number of Sales are 130, Up 21.5%
  • Average Sales Price is $198,784 Up 17.3%
  • Median Sales Price is $177,500 Up 8.6%
  • Total Active Listings are 122, Down 17.0%

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  January 2017                          January 2016

Black Forest                            $470,000                              $468,000                      

Briargate                                  $389,900                              $341,500          

Central                                     $200,000                              $226,750

East                                          $229,000                              $186,000

Fountain Valley:                      $239,000                              $219,000

Manitou Springs:                    $368,000                              $284,000

Marksheffel:                            $302,500                             $258,750

Northeast:                               $251,000                              $223,000

Northgate:                               $443,686                              $419,202          

Northwest:                              $326,818                              $303,500           

Old Colorado City:                 $229,000                              $216,500

Powers:                                   $269,900                              $229,000

Southwest:                             $345,000                              $252,000

Tri-Lakes:                               $437,225                              $427,000

West:                                       $232,500                              $218,000

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

 

COLORADO SPRINGS IS ON A ROLL…

Our unemployment rate is the lowest since 2001.  

Homebuilding starts continue to rise, following their 10-year high in 2016. 

Foreclosures are the lowest they’ve been in 15 years.  

All of this is reflected in the fabulous health of our real estate market. 

I’d like to give a big shout-out to Mayor John Suthers, the City Council, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Chamber/EDC for an outstanding job of promoting our city and working together to achieve such stellar results.  Bravo to all.

 

MILLIONAIRE TO MILLENNIALS:  BUY A HOME

Keeping Current Matters, 1.5.17

In January, CNBC ran an article quoting self-made millionaire David Bach explaining that not purchasing a home is the “single biggest mistake millennials are making” because buying real estate is “an escalator to wealth”.

Bach added:

If millennials don’t buy a home, their chances of actually having any wealth in this country are little to none.  The average homeowner to this day is 38 times wealthier than a renter.”

In his bestselling book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” he does the math:

“As a renter, you can easily spend half a million dollars or more on rent over the years ($1500 a month for 30 years comes to $540,000) and in the end wind up just where you started—owning nothing.  Or you can buy a house and spend the same amount paying down a mortgage, and in the end wind up owning our own home free and clear!”

These ideas aren’t new—but millennials today are set to be the first generation that aren’t as well off as the previous generation and some of that has to do with homeownership.  My advice?  If you are the parent of a millennial and are able, do what you can to find a way to help in this area.  Lenders now allow down payments to come from family members and their lending requirements have changed for first-time home buyers to make it easier to obtain approval. 

If you have any questions about this or how to go about getting more information, please give me a call and I’ll do my best to help.

 

AND TO THOSE INTERESTED IN RENTAL PROPERTIES…

As you can see from the above articles, the time couldn’t be better to buy a home or two for investment purposes.  Rentals are just like any other home—they continue to escalate in value while providing the owners with increasing monthly income to help defray the cost of owning the home. 

And as I’ve said before, being a landlord is not for everyone.  However, in today’s market, if you’ve ever considered this option as an addition to your investment portfolio, maybe it’s time for us to visit and discuss whether or not it could work for you.  Give me a call at 598.3200 and let’s chat.

 

HARRY’S THOUGHTS OF THE DAY:  (I read several of these in high school and followed the advice personally prior to even getting into the real estate business!)

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 1.23.17

by Harry Salzman

January 23, 2017

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                            A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

 

HAPPY MONDAY TO ALL…

It’s a beautiful day here in Colorado Springs and I’m getting ready to present my annual forecast to the City Council this afternoon.  I do this on behalf of the Pikes Peak Area Realtors each year and this year I thought you also might  be interested in the “State of the real estate Market”.  As I’ve been telling you in recent issues, the local real estate market is HOT..HOT..HOT.

Below is the outline of my presentation and a list of the attachments.  You can select any of the attachments to download for perusal at your convenience.  If you have any questions about my presentation, or any other real estate concerns, please call me at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com .

 

 

Presentation to Colorado Springs City Council

January 23, 2017

 

by

Harry A. Salzman,

The real estate Therapist

REALTOR® Emeritus/CRS, CRP, E-Pro, CNE

 

ERA Shields/Salzman real estate Services

 

 

Overview and Update of Colorado Springs Residential real estate and a Forecast for 2017

 

 

This presentation is on behalf of the membership of:

 

 

Overview and Update of Colorado Springs Residential real estate and a Forecast for 2017

We all know Colorado Springs is a great place to live. And if you have been in the real estate market or known someone who has bought or sold in the past year, you are aware that the 2016 market was HOT. This tells us that other people think Colorado Springs is special as well.

It’s natural to wonder, “Is this just the beginning of a positive trend?” “Will this growth last?” “What is around the corner?” This afternoon we will discuss the relative strength of Colorado Springs to the U.S. and I will provide a real estate forecast on behalf of PPAR for the Colorado Springs region.

 

  • Homeownership continues to be a reliable and stable method for building wealth. (Exhibit A)

 

  • Wealth-building through real estate, primarily home-ownership, out-performed wealth-building through stock ownership.

 

  • While many Americans remain frustrated by the slow movement of the economy, rising home values present a positive direction.

 

  • Nationally the homeownership rate is at 63.5% (Exhibit B)

 

 

  • Home prices are projected to continue to rise (Exhibit C)

 

  • Nationally, home prices are projected to rise by 5.2%

 

  • As of September 2016, Colorado had the 3rd largest year-over-year home price appreciation at a rate of 8.6%

 

 

  • Rising home prices is great news if you own a home, but what if you don’t? (Exhibit D)

 

  • Increasing home prices is a sign of the on-going housing recovery

 

  • Affordability becomes a concern as prices continue to rise

 

  • Some American families will become priced out of homeownership

 

  • Renter households will also rise

 

  • Rental rates increase as demand outpaces rental supply

 

  • Student debt stands in the way of homeownership for young adults. (Exhibit D-1)

 

 

  • The role of the shortage in housing inventory (Exhibit E)

 

  • The country is short by 8.3 million housing units

 

  • The shortage of housing inventory is the principle reason home prices have been outpacing people’s income growth for the past 5 years

 

  • From 2011 to 2016, the median home price will have risen 42% while the median household income gain will have risen only 17%

 

  • An increase in supply is needed to slow the rate of home price growth

 

  • In order to bring the inventory of homes for sale to a more balanced market, more housing starts are needed

 

  • Economists project a national housing shortage for at least 4 more years

 

 

 

  • Post-election market gains and increases in interest rates indicate rising confidence across investors, consumers, businesses, economists, and homebuilders

 

  • Pro-growth policies take time to benefit the economy

 

  • Short-term, rising interest rates and home prices present challenges for home buyers

 

  • Long-term, stronger economic growth results in increased incomes, affordability, and ongoing housing recovery

 

 

  • Not surprisingly, politics plays a role in consumer confidence. (Exhibit G)

 

  • Republicans tend to feel positive toward the market while Democrats feel less positive

 

  • Colorado Springs ranks 6th in the nation for top housing markets based on political leaning (and therefore market confidence), affordability, and employment opportunity

 

 

  • Top Housing Trends for 2017 – Realtor.com (Exhibit HDespite a more moderate housing market nationally in 2017, strong local economies and population growth will continue to fuel the nation’s top markets

 

  • Home prices are anticipated to increase 3.9%

 

  • Interest rates are expected to reach 4.5%

 

  • Colorado Springs ranks #12 of the 100 top metros in forecasted gains in price (4.8%) and sales (6.7%)

 

  • Nationally, western cities continue to lead the nation in prices and sales

 

  • Millennials and boomers dominate the market

 

  • Midwestern cities will continue to be hotbeds for millennials

 

  • Nationally there will be a slowing in price appreciation

 

  • Limited inventory continues to fuel fast-moving markets

 

 

 

  • Fannie Mae anticipates interest rates to increase to 4.2% by year-end.

 

 

 

  • As mortgage rates increase, demand decreases

 

 

  • More Good News for Colorado Springs

 

  • Colorado Springs has been ranked #5 in Best Places to Live as ranked by U.S. News & World Report (Exhibit K)

 

  • Ranking based on Job Market, Value, Quality of Life, Desirability, and Net Migration

 

 

  • Colorado Springs ranked #14 in Hottest Housing Markets by Realtor.com (Exhibit L)

 

 

 

 

  • Median Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes (Exhibit N)

 

  • National Growth: 5.2% appreciation

 

  • Colorado Springs Growth: 8.9% appreciation

 

 

  • 2016 SFR uses: 200403 in El Paso County, 132763 in the City

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • As of the 3rd Quarter, there was an increase of 22% in building permits for single family, detached homes

 

  • As of the 3rd Quarter, there was a 13.7% increase in year-to-date home sales

 

 

  • Harry’s Forecast…

 

  • 2016 was the best year ever with 15,319 closings

 

  • I predict 2017 is going to be just as incredible

 

  • Strong job growth, interest rates, and a shortage of inventory will continue to fuel home appreciation and sales activity

 

  • Job growth is the #1 indicator in a strong housing market.  It is being predicted that job growth will drop slightly but will still be “very strong” over the next two years

 

  • Amazing interest rates are still part of the equation.  While an increase in rates has been predicted, they will still be in the historically low range.

 

  • Median Sales Price expected to appreciate 5 ¾ - 6 %

 

  • Unknown changes from the Federal Government regarding Dodd-Frank

 

  • How long will this hot market last?  With strong job growth in the local economy and continued historically low interest rates, expect to see positive price appreciation, albeit at a more reasonable level, starting in late 2017 going forward.

 

  • Now is the time, more than the past, for home ownership.

​​

 

City Council 2017

Index of Exhibits

 

  • Exhibit A – Article from the Wall Street Journal, 12.9.16, “Household Wealth Rises to a Record”

 

  • Exhibit B -- U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, 10.27.16, “Quarterly Residential Vacancies and Homeownership, Third Quarter 2016.”

 

  • Exhibit C – CoreLogic U.S. Home Price Insights Report 9.16

 

  • Exhibit D – RISMedia, 1.1.17, “Housing Value at Record-High: Will Buyers Be Able to Keep Up?”

 

  • Exhibit D-1 – Article from the Wall Street Journal, 1.19.17, “Student-Debt Picture Darkens”

 

  • Exhibit E – Forbes 12.13.16, “Four More Years? No Quick End In Sight For The U.S. Housing Shortage.”

 

  • Exhibit F – Fannie Mae 12.20.16, “Confidence Improves at the Prospect of Pro-Growth Policies.”

 

  • Exhibit G – RISMedia, Housecall Blog, 12.12.16 “Surveying the American Dream: Housing Optimism Swings Post-Election”

 

  • Exhibit H – Realtor.com, 11.30.16, “Realtor.com® Forecasts Post-Election Economy to Result in Higher Mortgage Rates While Housing Delivers Slower Gains in 2017.”

 

  • Exhibit I – Fannie Mae 12.16, Housing Forecast December 2016

 

  • Exhibit J – Wall Street Journal, 1.12.17, “Demand for Mortgages Takes a Hit.”

 

  • Exhibit K – U.S. News & World Report 1.2017, “Best Places to Live” and “Best Places to Live Methodology”

 

  • Exhibit L – REALTORMag, Realtor.com 12.22.16, “Hottest Housing Markets in December”

 

  • Exhibit M – National Association of Realtors, 12.7.16, “The 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.”

 

  • Exhibit N – National Association of Realtors 12.16, Median Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes for Metropolitan Areas

 

  • Exhibit O – Pikes Peak Association of Realtors 12.16, Listing and Sales Summary

 

  • Exhibit P -- PPMLS Monthly Indicators for El Paso & Teller Counties, Nov. 2016

 

  • Exhibit Q – PPMLS Local Market Update, Nov. 2016

 

  • Exhibit R – UCCS Quarterly Economic Update, Nov. 2016

 

 

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

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