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WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU THAT THE INTERNET CAN'T?

by Harry Salzman

January 30, 2012


HARRY’S WEEKLY UPDATE
A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET


WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU THAT THE INTERNET CAN’T?

Many people who are looking for a home today are accustomed to finding everything they need on the Internet. Admittedly, the Internet is a fantastic tool for finding everything from a receipe for brownies to a picture of your long-lost uncle. It can help you sell your car and buy a new one.

But, when it comes to real estate, although the Internet can show you listings for the 3225 homes that are for sale in the Pikes Peak area, it cannot tell you about one of the most important factors that should influence your decision to buy, namely the neighborhood.

What kind of ‘neighborhood’ information are we talking about? Well, you should know about the current sales in the neighborhood you are looking at. How well have sales prices held up compared with adjacent neighborhoods? Do the homeowners tend to move in and out frequently, or, are they long-term neighbors? Have prices tended to go down or up in recent years? Are most of the people in this neighborhood retired or young families with lots of small children?
How about the schools …Are they good or not-so-good?

This is the kind of information that could determine whether you will be happy or not in your new home. And it’s the kind of information that you can’t get from the Internet. In fact, you can’t get it from a Realtor who hasn’t been around for a while.

That’s where we can be of assistance to you. We have been active in every neighborhood in the Pikes Peak area for 40 years and are familiar with the ‘personality’ of ever neighborhood in the area. We can show you the market-value trends within each neighborhood and the pros and cons of the various locations within the area. In real estate, there is no substitute for experience …and that’s where we shine.

Give us a call at 598-3200 or 800 677-6683, to discuss your needs. You can’t get this kind of help from the Internet !!


EXISTING-HOME SALES SHOW UPTREND IN DECEMBER

Existing-home sales continued on an upward trend in December, rising for three consecutive months and remaining above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The latest data show home sales rose 5% in December, prompting Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist to state, “The pattern of home sales in recent months demonstrates a market in recovery. Record-low mortgage interest rates, job-growth and bargain home prices are giving more consumers the confidence they need to enter the market”.

For all of 2011, existing-home sales rose 1.7% to 4.26 million from 4.19 million in 2010.

NAR President, Moe Veissi states, “The American Dream of homeownership is alive and well. We have a large pent-up demand, and household formation is likely to return to normal as the job market steadily improves”.

Can we have an “Amen” to that ??

 

TWO MAJOR BANKS SLASH FORECLOSURE SALE TIMELINES

JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo trimmed their foreclosure timelines by as much as 100 days in the third quarter of 2012, helping to work though the major backlog of foreclosed homes, according to Moody’s Investor Service. This streamlining of the foreclosure process will come as welcome news to many prospective homebuyers who have been discouraged by the excessive time involved in obtaining bank approval for offers on homes in foreclosure. However, the foreclosure process can still take longer than many homebuyers are willing or able to accept.

We encourage prospective Buyers to contact us about any foreclosed properties they might be considering. In many cases we will be able to work with the lender to speed up the process, or, we might be able to find comparable homes that are not encumbered by the lengthy foreclosure process.

Call us at 598-3200, or, 800-677-6683 (MOVE).


HOUSING INVENTORY DOWN 22% FROM YEAR-AGO LEVELS

Realtor.com (Jan. 25, 2012) announced that the national inventory of for-sale single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses and co-ops dropped by 22.29% over the last year.

They also note that median list prices, which have remained essentially unchanged since June, are up by 5.03% nationally, on a year-to-year basis.

Each of these developments can be viewed as “a positive sign that the housing market is holding its own at the national level”, according to Realtor.com.

We should also point out that, as inventory shrinks, prices tend to rise (The old law of ‘supply and demand’), so, call us to get started on the search for your new home, before prices get any higher.

 

SOME MORE EXAMPLES OF THE POSITIVE TRENDS IN THE ECONOMY

• COLORADO’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DIPPED TO 7.9% IN DECEMBER, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the month before and a full point from the 8.9% in December 2010.
• FOURTH QUARTER U.S. GROWTH RATE OF 2.8% IS FASTEST IN 18 MONTHS, according to the Wall Street Journal. (Jan 28-29, 2012)
• DISPOSABLE INCOME ROSE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE EARLY 2011. (WSJ Sunday Jan. 28-29, 2012)
• CONSUMER SPENDING PICKED UP 2% IN THE FOURTH QUARTER. This compares with a 1.7% rise in the third quarter. Consumer spending represents about 2/3 of demand in the economy.(WSJ)
• Investment in residential and commercial real estate, equipment and software and inventories was up 20% in the fourth quarter (WSJ, Jan. 28-29, 2012)
• EXPORTS OF GOODS AND SERVICES WERE UP 4.7% IN THE FOURTH QUARTER (WSJ)
• IMPORTS OF GOODS AND SERVICES WERE UP 4.4% IN THE FOURTH QUARTER (WSJ)
• HOUSEHOLD SECTOR SPENDING ON GOODS AND SERVICES WAS UP 2% FROM THE THIRD QUARTER (WSJ)
• BUSINESSES INVESTING MORE AND LAYING OFF FEWER WORKERS (The Gazette Friday, Jan. 27, 2012) “Government figures released Thursday show that business are spending more on new equipment, inventory and capital investments", said Carl Riccadonna, an economist at Deutsche Bank. “The economy is growing and industrial capacity has not kept up”,
• HOMEOWNERS ARE SPENDING MORE MONEY ON FIXING UP THEIR HOMES. For example, Home Depot shares are up 58% since August. This matches their earnings multiple of January 2005, when the housing bubble was in full swing.

In the three months ended in November, home-improvement spending was 4.3% higher than a year before, according to the Census Department.

 

MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES NOT SCHEDULED TO RISE UNTIL LATE 2014… AT THE EARLIEST

(Wall Street Journal, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012) Federal Reserve officials said they expect to keep short-term interest rates near zero for almost three more years. That’s good news for both Buyers and Sellers of real estate.

The Fed also announced they might take more action to support the economy, if inflation stays under control and if recovery slows. A bond-buying program to push down long-term interest rates could be the next step.

However, keep in mind that, although mortgage interest rates are staying low, other charges and fees could increase the cost of buying a home, so, don’t delay your decision to get into that new home.

Call us at 598-3200, or 800 677-6683 (MOVE) to discuss this.

 

NAR SURVEY LOOKS AT FIRST-TIME BUYERS

The National Association of Realtors has issued its 2011 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Their survey of First-Time Buyers shows some interesting facts about those entering the real estate market for the first time. When compared to all Buyers, First-time Buyers tend to:

• Focus more on the monthly mortgage payment
• Focus more on convenience to friends and family
• Focus more on proximity to entertainment and leisure activities
• Rate energy-efficiency high on their list, but are not willing to spend an extra $20,000 just to get solar panels
• Be more willing to compromise on space. They will accept a smaller laundry room, without an attached mud room, a smaller master bedroom and a smaller walk-in closet. ….The median-size of first time buyers’ homes is 1,570 sq.ft.

But the one thing First-Time Buyers aren’t willing to compromise on …Buying a home that needs a lot of repairs.

First-timers don’t have any experience with home maintenance and tend to be afraid of renovations, so,… Sellers take note …Be sure to fix everything you can and make minor home improvements, if you want to appeal to First-Time Buyers.


ARE YOU RENTING? …MAYBE YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT BUYING !!

RealtorMag points out that the U.S. average for asking rents in 2011 came in at $1.061 per month.

If you are renting, and paying anything near that figure, you should give us a call to discuss buying a home. There are great homes out there that you could be living in and be paying less per month …and getting a break on your income taxes as well.

Call us at 598-3200, or, 800 677-6683 (MOVE).

 

SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

CLICK HERE to see the latest sales and listing statistics for the Pikes Peak are, issued by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors and be sure to call us, if you have any questions about the data.


And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 39 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf. Call us at 598-3200,or, 800 877-MOVE (6683).


JOKE OF THE WEEK

Bob was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was
really pissed.

She told him "Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the
driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE !!"

The next morning he got up early and left for work. When his wife woke
up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box
gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway.

Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, brought
the box back in the house.

She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Bob has been missing since Friday.

SO, WHAT DOES OUR LOCAL SURVEY TELL US?

by Harry Salzman

January 23, 2012


HARRY’S WEEKLY UPDATE
A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET


SOUTHERN COLORADO ECONOMIC FORUM PREDICTS GROWTH IN 2012

Last Thursday, we had the opportunity to attend the economic forecast breakfast of the SCEF, at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. The event was sponsored by VectraBank. About 240 people attended the meeting which featured presentations by Ted Mossman, Pikes Peak Market President of VectraBank Colorado, Dr. Thomas Zwirlein, Professor of Finance at UCCS, and George Feiger, President and CEO of Contango Capital Advisors.

The SCEF is forecasting a 2-3% growth for our region in 2012, primarily as a result of the troops returning to our area from Afghanistan.

Dr. Zwirlein stated he was a little more optimistic than he was last fall, when the forum released its forecast for the year.
“National employment figures are improving, industrial production is looking better and the number of housing permits is getting back to a more normal level”.

By the end of the year, Colorado metro areas are expected to have recovered 48% of the jobs lost since the peak, on par with the recovery rate for all U.S. metro areas.

El Paso County is projected to create 23,000 jobs by 2019. Meanwhile, the population is expected to increase by 100,000. “We need 43,000 jobs to keep unemployment at its current level.” Dr. Zwirlein said. “We need 58,000 jobs to get it back to 5% unemployment.

The attendees at the forum seemed upbeat about the coming year, but agreed that our major problem will be creating more jobs.

 

AN OVERVIEW OF real estate MEDIA SHOWS THAT BETTER TIMES ARE NOW HERE

As we read the various resources for real estate news and information, it is obvious that the mood of the “experts” is upbeat. As evidence of this optimistic view of the Real Estate market, we offer these examples of recent news items:

• DECEMBER EXISTING-HOME SALES SHOW UPTREND (Realtor Magazine) ”Record-low mortgage rates, job growth and bargain home prices are giving consumers the confidence they need to enter the market. These are the early signs of what may be a sustained recovery.” (Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association Of Realtors)

For all of 2011, existing-home sales rose 1.7% to 4.26 million from 4.19 million in 2010, and are expected to increase 12% this year, following a 2% jump last year, according to Moody’s Analytics.

Single-family home sales increased 4.6% to an annual rate of 4.11 million in December, up from 3.93 million in November, and are 4.3% higher than the 3.94 million-unit pace a year ago.

NAR President Moe Veissisaid is quoted as saying, “More Buyers are expected to take advantage of market conditions this year. The American dream of homeownership is alive and well. We have a large, pent-up demand, and household formation is likely to return to normal, as the job market steadily improves. When people buy homes, they stimulate a lot of related goods and services”.

• BUILDERS FEEL THE MOST UPBEAT IN MORE THAN 4 YEARS (Realtor Magazine) Builder confidence is at its highest level since June 2007. For the fourth consecutive month, builder sentiment for newly-built, single-family homes was on the rise, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo housing market Index.

USA Today is quoted as saying, “Investors are starting to get optimistic about the possibility of a rebound too, and are turning to homebuilding stocks. These equities have recently outperformed the broader stock market, and the S&P 1500 homebuilding index has increased 38% since mid-October”.

• 2012 IS THE YEAR OF THE POLITICAL ECONOMY (RISMedia) “Consumers seem to have gotten out of their summer rut due in large part to improving labor market conditions and improving attitudes toward employment prospects and future income. As consumer sentiment shows signs of improvement, so do recent housing indicators, which are trending in a positive direction, with incremental improvement expected to continue through 2012.”

• HOT RENTAL MARKET OFFERS real estate OPPORTUNITY (INMAN NEWS) The Rental market has gotten hotter. Phillip Lee, co-founder and CEO of RentMatch is quoted as saying, “Buying a house has always been the American dream, but rentals are the American reality, right now. Economic uncertainty, credit histories marred by foreclosures and short sales, and strict lending standards have helped keep many potential Homebuyers off the market, contributing to a rental boom”.

This is good news for Investors, however, keep in mind that, because of low home prices and record-low mortgage rates, housing affordability is now at a 40-year high. So, because rents are rising and house payments are falling, it’s getting to the point where it makes more sense for people to buy. (Ed. Note. Give us a call at 598-3200, or 800-677-6683(MOVE), to explore your options. Now might be the right time for you to make that decision to buy).

• CORELOGIC SAYS HOUSING MAY TURN THE CORNER IN 2012 (DSNEWS) Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist, says housing statistics and the duration of the downturn indicate 2012 may be the year the housing market begins to turn the corner.

“The time is right in 2012 for prices to begin growing again”, Fleming said, “and housing affordability will put a floor under any further significant declines”.

• FREDDIE MAC APPROACHES 2012 WITH ‘CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM’ (DSNEWS) Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac, says Freddie Mac expects a 2%-5% increase in home sales in 2012, according to the GSE’s U.S. Economic and housing market Outlook for January. He states, “Housing is starting to raise hopes for continued gradual economic recovery”.

Citing a survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association, Mr. Nothaft points out that, “Almost 80% of households say now is a good time to purchase a home”.

• SALES STIR HOPE FOR housing market (The Wall Street Journal Jan. 21, 2012) The article points out that the increase in sales in 2011 was the result of low mortgage-interest rates, low prices, active Investor-Buyers and increasing consumer confidence. As a result, the supply of homes listed for sale is at the lowest level since 2006 and offers a glimmer of hope that the housing market could be starting to climb out of the downturn. ..(Ed. Note: That’s certainly the situation in Colorado Springs. Surveys show that we are better off than most other major metropolitan areas in the U.S and are more likely to see a quicker recovery.).


SO, WHAT DOES OUR LOCAL SURVEY TELL US?

Now, all of the above-referenced sources have been fairly accurate in the past in identifying trends in housing, but we have an even better measure of the condition of the local housing market, namely, the annual, official- but-unscientific, Harry Salzman Survey of Home Improvement Stores. We take this survey by asking the Managers of our local Lowe’s, Home Depot and Ace Hardware outlets a simple question……We ask them, “How’s business?”

Last week, as we conducted this survey, the answers of all of these Managers were unanimous. “Business is booming”, they tell us.

“Homeowners are fixing up their homes like we haven’t seen in a long time. They seem to feel better about the future and they are now willing to put more money in their homes …either to get them ready to sell, or, just to enjoy their homes more”.

These comments reinforce the article in the Wall Street Journal (Friday, Jan. 20, 201) that declared, “HOMEOWNERS STOP WAITING TO SPRUCE UP”. The article points out that, “…Americans are stepping up spending on home improvements for the first time in years”.

The bottom line is that consumers seem to be more confident in the economy and are willing to start spending, again. That results in more local jobs and more tax revenues to pay for local government services.

2012 is beginning to look really good. It’s about time !!!!

 

LATEST STATISTICS

CLICK HERE to see the latest Sales and Listing statistics for the Pikes Peak area.

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 39 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf. Call us at 598-3200,or, 800 877-MOVE (6683).


JOKE OF THE WEEK

LEXIPHILES WILL LOVE THESE

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles , U.C.L.A.
The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.
The batteries were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
A will is a dead giveaway.
If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest
Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now
If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
Acupuncture: a jab well done.

 

PPAR RELEASES YEAR-END REAL ESTATE STATISTICS

by Harry Salzman

January 16, 2012


HARRY’S WEEKLY UPDATE
A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET


PPAR RELEASES YEAR-END real estate STATISTICS

The Pikes Peak Association of Realtors has just released the 2011 Sales and Listing statistics for the Pikes Peak area. Here are some of the more significant statistics contained in this year-end PPAR report:

• The total number of single-family home sales in 2011 was up 3.3% over 2010 (8459 vs. 8185)
• The number of home sales in December of 2011 (651) were 3.5% higher than December of 2010
• 2011 was the sixth-straight year of year-over-year increases in sales
• The average sales price for a home in 2011 was 4.9% less than in 2010 ($217,829 vs. $229,152)
• Our “For Sale” inventory as of Dec.31, 2011 was 24.1% less than it was in 2010 (3285 vs. 4327)
• In December of 2011, the typical local home sold for 97.5% of the Sellers’s listing price.

One big reason for the reduction in inventory is probably that many Sellers have removed their homes from the market, either because they were not highly motivated to sell, or, because they were not willing to list their homes at a realistic price.

The current 2.5% difference between listing prices and sales prices indicates that today’s Sellers are being more realistic about their expectations. Because “All real estate Is Local” you would be wise to consult with a qualified Realtor who has experience in your specific neighborhood, before you list your home. We would be happy to assist you with that task.

If you would like to find out what a realistic selling price for your home would be in today’s market, just give us a call. We would be happy to discuss a realistic price for your current home, for your next home, or for an investment property. Call us at 598-3200, or, 800-677-6683 (MOVE). There are a lot of excellent deals out there right now.!!!

All-in-all, the year-end numbers give us reason to believe that 2012 will be a better year for real estate than 2011 was. The statistics and the experts agree that 2012 should show a modest rise in sales and prices (probably around .2% in 2012 and .3-.4% in 2013).

To see a complete copy of the PPAR Sales and Listing statistics for December, 2011, CLICK HERE

 

HOME AFFORDABILITY NOW AT 1971 LEVELS ….WOW!!!

Realtor Magazine (Jan. 11, 2012) tells us that, because of falling home prices and record-low mortgage rates, home affordability is at 1971 levels, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Home owners are bringing in nearly double the median income they need to cover the cost of an average home, HousingPredictor reports.

Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said, “With interest rate at historically low levels and markets across the country beginning to improve, home ownership is within the reach of more households”.

As a result of these factors, home sales have been ticking up, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Some of the other signs that things are getting better;

• Clear Capital says home prices in 2012 will go up slightly (0.2%). This will represent the first rise since 2006 and will put national home prices near levels not seen since 2001. Half of the 50 major metro markets included in the ClearCapital annual survey are expected to post gains for the year.
• Foreclosures across the U.S. decreased 34% in 2011, according to RisMedia. In fact, December activity hit a 49 month low, even though scheduled auctions were up in the fourth quarter.

And don’t forget, another positive factor to consider as you make your decision about buying that new home is the deductibility of your mortgage interest payments. As an example, if you are in a 28% tax bracket and your mortgage interest rate is 3.75%, your mortgage interest deduction would effectively reduce your mortgage-interest expense to 2.75% out of your pocket. That really makes home ownership a realistic possibility for many people.

Also, as you consider buying that new home, you might consider is a 15 year mortgage, rather than the traditional 30 year mortgage. Depending upon your circumstances, the 15 year mortgage can cut your mortgage interest rate even further. Here again, we will be happy to explain all of your options and the tax advantages that are available to you.

Give us a call at 598-3200, or 800-677-6683(MOVE).

 

WHAT ARE SELLERS DOING TO MAKE THEIR HOMES MORE ‘BUYER FRIENDLY’ ?

Some of the ‘extras’ that Sellers are now using to ‘sweeten the deal’ are:

• Reducing prices
• Paying closing costs
• Making deferred repairs
• Buying home warranties
• Paying originations fees or points

Sellers are also using ‘staging’ to make their homes more appealing to prospective Buyers.

Give us a call to discuss how we might market your home to make it a more appealing prospect for Buyers.

 

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IS RISING

Here are some interesting results from the recent Fannie Mae national housing survey :

• Most respondents believe home prices will edge up at least 0.8% in 2012.
• 40% expect their financial situations to improve in 2012
• More than 20% said their incomes are significantly higher than they were a year ago

Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan summarized the survey results by saying, “There is marked improvement in consumer sentiment regarding the direction of the economy, personal finances and future home price expectations”.

Ironically, “This increase in optimistic Americans is tempered by overall consumer attitudes that remain at depressed levels with more than two-thirds of those interviewed saying the economy is heading down the wrong track”.

So, what’s the bottom line? You tell me!!!

 

MORTGAGE RATES STILL HOLDING, BUT WHAT HAPPENS IF FHA GETS IN TROUBLE?

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing mortgage rates easing to new all-time record lows. The average for the 30-year fixed mortgage rate has been below 4% for six consecutive weeks.

At the same time, the FHA’s cash reserves have shrunk and that agency may have to seek a capital infusion from the taxpayers, if the housing slump continues, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. (Jan. 15, 2012).

If the government does end up giving FHA additional funds, then we can expect mortgage rates to rise, which would negatively affect he entire housing market.

Bottom Line: If you are thinking of buying a home, you had better buy now, before rates start going up.


EL PASO COUNTY APPROVES PLAN TO EASE RESTRICTIONS ON BUSINESS

On Thursday, the Barriers to Business committee brought its first set of recommendations to the El Paso County commissioners, who unanimously approved them. The vote reduces the number of commercial and industrial zones in unincorporated areas of the county from five to three, and axes a five-year limit on special uses and variances.

The changes give businesses more opportunity to go into areas where they might not have been allowed before, and lessens the need for special hearings, application fees and a whole lot of forms.

Commission chair Amy Lathen said, “It’s more common sense and it eliminates time, paperwork and cost. It gives businesses more opportunity, but does it while preserving the master plan of the area”.

Bottom line: To us, it sounds like a step forward in attracting more businesses to our area. Good work, guys!!

 

NEW MERGED CHAMBER/EDC HOPES TO FOCUS ON EDUCATION

In a “State of Education” luncheon on Wednesday, Dave Csintyan, president and CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, said the business community needs to partner with public schools to ensure a well-trained future workforce. “Our newly merged organization has to be thematically relevant and part of that should be education” he stated.

Csintyan said he realized the importance of the business community’s input when he recently encountered a young store clerk who couldn’t figure out how to make change for an $18.16 purchase from a $20 bill.

Dr. Nicholas Gledich, Colorado Springs School District 11 superintendent, said he welcomes the business community involvement in the schools. The economic benefits to the business community of graduating 100% of the student body equal millions of dollars, he stated. In Colorado Springs, 2,000 students dropped out of the class of 2010, he said. If half of those graduated they would have contributed $11 million to the economy.

Sounds like all of us would benefit if the Chamber could help our school districts improve their graduation rates.


And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 39 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf. Call us at 598-3200,or, 800 877-MOVE (6683).


JOKE OF THE WEEK

"Do you believe in life after death?" the boss asked one of his employees.
"Yes, sir," the clerk replied.
"That's good," the boss said. "After you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother's funeral, she stopped in to see you."

 

Jan.9, 2012

HARRY’S WEEKLY UPDATE
A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET


HOW ABOUT THEM BRONCOS !!!! WHAT A WAY TO START THE YEAR !!!


WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH real estate IN COLORADO SPRINGS IN 2012?

Many of our friends and clients ask us for our prediction of where real estate is going this year. So, here's our take on what's going to happen.

First of all, Colorado Springs real estate has not felt the recession as badly as most other parts of the country. Add to that the fact that we are better poised for a recovery than most other cities. As we cited in previous issues, both Forbes and Kiplinger have listed Colorado Springs as one of the top ten places where recovery will be the fastest.

So, based upon the national picture, the local picture and my 39 years of experience in our local market, my opinion is that we should see a marked increase in home-values and home sales in 2012. As evidence that this increase will take place, just consider the following factors:

• Both National and local statistics indicate that we have reached bottom, where home-prices are concerned. NAR is projecting an increase in home values of 2% in 2012, 3% in 2013 and 4% in 2014. My prediction is that we will exceed those increases by at least another 1%.
• In Colorado Springs, there is an increasing demand for housing based upon an increase in our military population (with hundreds of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan) plus our typical population increase because of retirees (our city is one of the prime retirement cities in the country) and a slow but steady increase in businesses (as a result of our city council actively promoting our city nationally).
• There is a sizable pent-up demand for housing because of tight mortgage credit conditions which have been artificially holding back sales for several years….and the government is eagerly seeking to loosen up the requirements for borrowers (See “FED URGES ACTION ON EASING LENDING RESTRICTIONS”, below)

The bottom line is that the Colorado Springs real estate market looks very good in 2012, for Homeowners, Homebuyers, Homesellers and Investors alike.

Call us to discuss what these trends could mean for you. 598-3200, or, 800-677-6683(MOVE).


EXISTING HOME SALES CONTINUE TO CLIMB IN NOVEMBER

Realtor Magazine reports (12/21/2011) that existing home sales rose again in November and remain above a year ago, according to NAR.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said more people are taking advantage of the buyers' market. "Sales reached the highest mark in 10 months and are 34% above the cyclical low point in mid-2010 ....A genuine recovery appears to be developing. We've seen healthy gains in contract activity, so it looks like more people are realizing the great opportunity that exists in today's market for buyers with long-term plans".

This is all great news !!!

 

MORTGAGE RATES MATCH RECORD LOWS THIS WEEK

Daily real estate News reports (Jan. 6, 2012) that, for the fifth consecutive week, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have averaged below 4%, which was unheard of until a few months ago.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages are averaging 3.91%, compared with 4.77% one year ago.
15-year fixed rate mortgages are averaging 3.23%, compared with 4.13% one year ago.

If you have not refinanced, you should seriously consider it. You could save hundreds of dollars a month.

Call us, if you would like to discuss this opportunity, at 598-3200,or 800 677-6683(MOVE).

 

COLORADO SPRINGS NUMBER OF FORECLOSURES FALLS AND BUILDING PERMITS PREDICTED TO RISE

The Gazette (Jan.4, 2012) reports that foreclosure filings in 2011 fell 25.4% in 2011, compared with 2010. This means that fewer homeowners were in trouble with their mortgages. Public Trustee Tom Mowle says he expects that trend to continue.

This reduction in foreclosures is accompanied by a forecast by the board president of the Housing and Building Association, John Cassiani, that there will be a 55 – 10% increase in building permits in 2012.

“It’s not going to be a rapid jump, but I think the uptick has started”, Mr. Cassiani said.

Considering both of these trends, things are looking very good for 2012 !!


AREA JOBLESS RATE DROPS TO LOWEST LEVEL IN 2 YEARS

The Gazette reports (Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012) that the Colorado Springs-area unemployment rate fell in November to its lowest level in more than two years. The area jobless rate fell to 9%, matching September 2009 as the lowest rate in the past 26 months.

At the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, a spokesman said that they are seeing a lot of recent hiring by call centers, a few high-tech companies and some seasonal jobs, such as landscaping. Sales and banking are also strong areas for hiring.


FED URGES ACTION ON EASING LENDING RESTRICTIONS

The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, Jan 5, 2012) reports that the Federal Reserve, in an unusual foray into housing policy, has called for more aggressive action from Congress to loosen mortgage-lending standards. The Fed stated that tight lending policies were holding back the recovery. They also urged more aggressive use of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to support a housing recovery.

The Fed's argument is that, although mortgage rates have been at record lows, there are many borrowers who have not been able to take advantage of the low rates because of blemishes on their credit histories, uneven incomes, or because their home values have left them with no, or very low equity.


And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 39 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf.

And, if you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Program, please contact us.

LATEST STATISTICS

CLICK HERE to see the latest statistics about real estate sales and listings in the Pikes Peak area. Note that these statistics are generated every month by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors and they are one of the important tools that we use in assisting Buyers and Sellers to establish realistic listing/buying prices. Also note that the data is broken down into specific neighborhoods in the Pikes Peak area.

Some of the more pertinent data contained in these statistics are median and average prices and price spreads within neighborhoods.

As you can see from the statistics, the local market, mortgage rates and trends are constantly changing, even within our local neighborhoods. That’s why you should seek help and advice from a reliable, professional Realtor.

If you are looking for a new home or an investment property, we can show you how to receive the most current listings sent directly to your computer
We would be happy to discuss these statistics with you and to answer any questions you might have about how they can be used. Just give us a call at 598-3200, or, 800 877-MOVE (6683).

JOKE OF THE WEEK


So, Brett Favre dies and goes to heaven. Because he was such a famous person, God himself shows him around. After showing Brett all of the sights, God shows Brett what his home will be for all eternity….. a beautiful cottage, with a Packers flag in the front yard.

Brett thanks God, but then notices the house next door, which is a huge mansion with a swimming pool, a four car garage, a heliport in back, several orange and blue banners hanging from the porch and a giant Broncos flag flying from a pole in the front yard.

Brett says, “Lord, I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but I played in the NFL for many years, was MVP for several seasons, I won several Super Bowls and still own many passing records. …and I end up with this little cottage in Heaven? Tim Tebow, on the other hand has only won one measly playoff game, and he gets that huge mansion? ..It just doesn’t seem fair. !!!

God replies, “Oh no, Brett. You don’t understand. That mansion isn’t for Tim Tebow …That’s my house “

 

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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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