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ASKING TOO MUCH? REAL ESTATE AGENTS MAY NOT LIST YOUR HOME

by Harry Salzman

December 12, 2011

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


LOCAL JOBLESS RATE DROPS – AND 2012 LOOKS EVEN BETTER
Gazette, Wed. Dec. 7, 2011

The unemployment rate in the Colorado Springs area dropped in October to its lowest level in nearly two years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The local jobless rate fell to 9.2% in October from 9.3% in September, matching November 2009 as the lowest rate in the past two years.

Tom Binnings, a senior partner in Summit Economics, LLC, a local economic research and forecasting firm said, “We continue to see slight improvement in the local economy, despite the gloom-and-doom forecasts that the nation is going to head back into a recession because of the European debt crisis”.

Other experts were even more optimistic, with the University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business forecasting 23,000 more jobs in Colorado in 2012, on top of the estimated 27,500 jobs the state gained this year.

Service providers will supply most of the growth, according to the forecasts.


HOW IS HOUSING DOING? THE EXPERTS SAY THINGS ARE LOOKING UP

HousingWire (Dec. 12, 2011) reports that Barclays Capital predicts a housing recovery buoyed by improving job numbers and the fact that prices for undistressed homes will have stabilized without government support.

“In the absence of government homebuyer incentives, prices for non-distressed homes sales have stabilized for almost a year,” says Barclays analyst Stephen Kim. “This is the most important trend in the housing industry right now, and we are amazed at how little attention it has been getting from the media and the street. This stability on the part of non-distressed prices has occurred despite a very high share of distressed activity and continued declines in overall prices.”

Barclays said recent economic data – including higher job creation – point to some improvement potential in the sector.

Fannie Mae’s November National Housing Survey also sees a rise in consumer sentiment in November, as improved economic data pushed home price expectations into positive territory, for the first time in six months.

According to the Fannie Mae report, more respondents expect home prices to increase by at least 0.2% over the next year.

All of these factors are on the minds of voters as they approach the coming elections. In fact, in a recent survey by HouseLogic.com, the consumer website from the National Association of Realtors, voters say that jobs and the housing market will be two of the most important issues for them as they head for the polls in November.

With unemployment still high, it is easy to see why so many Americans are concerned about the job market, however, employment and the housing market are inextricably linked because economic growth and job creation cannot occur without a housing recovery.

Housing accounts for more than 15% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product – It’s a key driver of the national economy. Home sales generate jobs. In fact, NAR estimates that, for every two homes sold, one job is created. And new spending on homebuilding products, furniture, etc. also have a significant economic impact.



ASKING TOO MUCH? real estate AGENTS MAY NOT LIST YOUR HOME

In the Gazette, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, we were interviewed as to why local real estate listings are down to their lowest point in nearly seven years. In the article, we pointed out that home listings in November plummeted to 3,667 – the fewest in any month since 3,557 in January 2005. (See our Sales and Listings statistics, below).

As we noted in the interview, there are several reasons for the decline, but the most widespread reason is that homeowners are reluctant to list their homes at prices which are below their expectations. Unfortunately, in most cases, their expectations are too high, based upon the decline in values which the recession has caused.

The good news is that the decline in prices seems to have come to a halt, and many experts are predicting a modest rise in home prices in 2012. When that rise occurs, many homeowners who have been holding back will probably list their homes for sale, and the selection of homes available to Buyers will dramatically expand.

If you have been reluctant to list your home because you are concerned about the current market prices, give us a call to discuss the current value of your home. Prices vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and the market is changing daily. You might be pleasantly surprised to see what prices your home might bring.

Call us at 598-3200 or 1-800-677-6683 (MOVE).


LATEST SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS AS OF NOVEMBER 30, 2011

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.

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).

3 LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS EARN HIGHEST COLORADO GRADES

The Gazette (Dec. 12, 2011) informs us that three local school districts are among 18 statewide that received the highest marks under the Colorado Department of Education’s new accreditation standards.

For the second consecutive year, Academy School District 20, Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 and Lewis-Palmer School District 38 were deemed “accredited with distinction”.

Congratulations to our three champions and it is also encouraging to note that none of our local districts were given the lowest designation by the new accreditation system.


EDC LUNCHEON RECOGNIZES 22 LOCAL COMPANIES

On December 8, 2011, the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation recognized 22 owner/executives from local companies which had relocated to, or expanded their existing operations in the local area during 2011.

The awards luncheon was a good indication of how the EDC is helping to build our city and strengthen our economy.

To see more about these expanding companies, CLICK HERE

Nice work, guys. Keep it up.

 

COLORADO RANKS 9TH AMONG HEALTHY STATES

The Colorado Springs Business Journal reports that Colorado ranks ninth among states with a healthy population, according to America’s Health Rankings. That’s an increase of four spots from last year, and once again, Colorado was named the least obese state.

The rankings are published by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention.

The state earned the Above-average ranking because of low levels of air pollution, lower levels of obesity and low prevalence of diabetes.

However, the report also states that our state has 814,000 obese people, an increase of 360,000 individuals over the past 10 years.

Overall, the country did not improve in health standards, meaning that there was a total balance between improvements and detriments in all 23 areas measured.

 

HEY, IT’S THE SLOW TIME OF THE YEAR – COME VISIT US AND HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE !!

This is the slow time of the year for Realtors, and most people are not looking to move or to list their homes for sale during the holidays, so we are getting lonely. Give us a call and come by for a visit and a cup of coffee !!

We appreciate our readers and we enjoy hearing from you. We get a lot of comments and suggestion about our weekly update and we want to tailor our weekly update so as to give you the most helpful real estate information available. Your input will help us improve the eNewsletter.

As a matter of fact, several of our readers have asked us where we get the information that we publish in these emails. Well, here is a partial list of the publications and sources we read on a regular basis, in order to keep abreast of the market for our eNewsletter readers:

Natl. Assoc. of Realtors news
Colo. Assoc. of Realtors news
Pikes Peak Assn. of Realtors news
The Gazette
Wall Street Journal
Bloomberg Businessweek
Forbes Magazine
Worldwide ERC (relocation Industry)
Housing Wire
Inman News – Daily
Colo. Springs Business Journal
DS News – Daily
relocation Directors Council
RIS Media – Daily
UCCS Quarterly Updates and Estimates (The Que)

And, if you would like us to add anyone to our subscription list (It’s free), just let us know.

 

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

When Prince Phillip was visiting the United States recently, the Commandant of West Point invited him to visit West Point, review the troops and see some of our modern weapons.

The parade commenced with a battalion of tanks, followed by a division of infantry, followed by armored personnel carriers and mobile artillery. There were mobile ballistic missile launchers, electronic jamming vehicles, and throughout the entire time the formations were overflown by squadrons of the most advanced interceptors, fighters, and long-range tactical and strategic bombers.

Prince Phillip was suitably impressed. Then he noticed that, way back at the end of the parade, there was a disorganized, messy bunch of men in rumpled suits tagging along behind the last artillery pieces.

"Who are they?" he asked.

"Ah," said the General, "those are our economists!"

"But what are economists doing in a military parade?” asked Prince Phillip.

"Your Highness” replied the General, "The rest of our weapons can wipe out specific targets, but those men can destroy an entire country”

"Black Friday" is still available for Real Estate Buyers

by Harry Salzman

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


"BLACK FRIDAY" IS STILL AVAILABLE FOR real estate BUYERS

The great deals that Buyers line up for at retail stores on the day after Thanksgiving are still available in spades for real estate Buyers.

In real estate, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the slowest time of the year. Most people are so busy buying presents and Christmas trees, that they don't have time to buy houses.

So, if you're a prospective Buyer, this time of the year presents a great opportunity to get some wonderful deals on houses. Not only are prices and mortgage rates low, but Sellers are not getting any offers, so they are very eager to negotiate with the few prospective shoppers who are willing to buy during this slow time of the year.

Now, if you're a Seller, this means that you should make sure you are making your home look as good as possible during this slow time of the year. Price it right and make it look good, both inside and outside.

Most real estate professionals advise Sellers to list their homes during the holiday season rather than waiting, citing more serious Buyers and less competition among properties, according to a recent survey.

In their recent survey of 429 real estate professionals, Holiday Home Selling Survey found that 60% said they would always advise a Seller to list a home during the holiday season and agreed that "it's a good time to sell".

The vast majority of respondents, 79 %, said more serious Buyers were one of the biggest benefits of listing during the holidays, while 61 percent said less competition among homes was a plus.

But the biggest challenge, noted by 63% of respondents, was keeping a home "open house ready," meaning clean and staged, during this time of year.

The majority of respondents, 74 percent, said pricing a home to sell was even more important during the holiday season, and 40 percent said staging a home was more important at this time of year. Nearly a third said being flexible with contract terms such as move-in dates and when closing costs were paid was more essential during the holidays.

The way a home is staged during this time of year is also significant, according to the survey. Almost all respondents said they advised Sellers to put up some seasonal decorations.

Eighty percent of respondents said they encourage Sellers to light their fireplace when staging a home during the holiday season, while 62 percent said they suggested Sellers update outdoor lighting because the Buyer is more likely to see the home at night due to shorter days.

Other popular staging advice for Sellers included using winter-scented home fragrances before an open house, making the home feel more cozy through reading nooks and blankets on couches and beds, setting the table to showcase holiday entertaining, and playing seasonal music that is not specific to a particular holiday, the survey said.

If you would like to find your new home before Christmas, or sell your new home before the end of the year, just call us at 598-3200, or, 800-677-MOVE (6683).


GAZETTE REPORTS "housing market IN POSITIVE TERRITORY"


On Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, the Gazette reported that the pace of homebuilding increased last month in the Colorado Springs area while foreclosure filings fell, continuing a positive trend for the local housing market over the past few months.

Single-family homebuilding permits in El Paso County totaled 122 in November, up 27.2% from the same month last year, according to figures released Thursday by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. Year-over-year permit totals have increased in five of the past six months.

Local economists and housing officials track single-family permits as a measure of the health of the building industry and economy. When the economy is going well, permits are on the rise; when the economy goes south, so does the pace of homebuilding.

Permits are also tracked by local governments; lumber, drywall and other building materials that are purchased to construct houses generate millions in sales tax revenues that governments use to fund their annual budgets.


THERE’S GOOD NEWS IN THREE MORE AREAS

Three recent news stories all point to the fact that things are looking up.

First, NAR reports that the inventory of homes for sale is getting smaller. That's an indication that the glut of foreclosed properties which was artificially distorting inventories and prices is being absorbed by the market. That's good news. It means the real estate market is returning to normal.(The 'not so good' reason for this shrinking inventory is that some potential Sellers are 'underwater' with their mortgages and are waiting for their equity to come back, before they list their homes for sale. However, the rising prices of homes for sale could solve that problem within the next year.)

In fact, just this week we were interviewed by the Gazette to comment on the shrinking inventory of homes for sale and we pointed out that our current inventory of available homes (3667) is actually the lowest it has been since January of 2005, when it was 3725.

The Second piece of good news is that there was a jump in pending home sales in October.

Realtor.org. November 30, 2011, reports that pending home sales rose strongly in October and remain above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, surged 10.4 percent to 93.3 in October from 84.5 in September and is 9.2 percent above October 2010 when it stood at 85.5.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said improved contract activity is a hopeful sign. “Home sales have been plodding along at a sub-par level while interest rates are hovering at record lows and there is a pent-up demand from Buyers who normally would have entered the market in recent years. We hope this is indicates more Buyers are taking advantage of the excellent affordability conditions,” he said.

“Many consumers are recognizing that home Buyers in the past two years have had one of the lowest default rates in history. Moreover, continued inventory declines are another healthy sign for the housing market,” Yun added.

Locally, home sales totaled 758 in October, a 20% jump over the same month last year. It was the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in home sales.

The third piece of good news is that the Wall Street Journal (Dec. 1, 2011) reported that private businesses added 206,000 jobs in November, according to their latest survey.

So, SMILE !!!! Things are getting better every day !!!


STRONG TEMPTATIONS FOR HOME BUYING

Daily real estate News | Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The monthly cost of owning a home is more affordable now than in the past 15 years, and is less expensive than renting in numerous cities, according to The Wall Street Journal’s third-quarter survey.


Low home prices mixed with low mortgage rates—hovering at 4 percent or even lower—are creating an appealing Buyer’s market, analysts say. For example, buyers today have a 77 percent increase in their borrowing power compared to 1991, The Wall Street Journal points out that, in 1991 a $1,700 mortgage payment allowed a borrower to take out a $200,000 mortgage, whereas today the home owner taking advantage of current low rates can get a $350,000 loan for that same mortgage payment amount.


To illustrate, in 1991, a $1,700 mortgage payment allowed a borrower to take out a $200,000 mortgage, whereas today the home owner taking advantage of current low rates can get a $350,000 loan for that same mortgage payment amount.

In the 28 cities that The Wall Street Journal tracked, it found monthly mortgage payments on the median-priced home—including taxes and insurance—to be lower than the average rent levels in 12 of the metro areas.

Nationwide, apartment rents are expected to rise by about 4 percent this year, which may make the owning vs. renting picture tilt even higher, according to some analysts.

 

BOOMERS MORE WILLING TO HELP KIDS WITH DOWN PAYMENTS
Daily real estate News | Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Two-thirds of baby boomers say they want to help their children or grandchildren with a home down payment, according to a study of more than 1,000 baby boomers age 45 and up conducted by Meredith Research Solutions for Better Homes and Gardens


In fact, one in five boomers surveyed say they've already loaned their children money, cosigned a mortgage, or given a cash gift for a down payment on a home.

Even baby boomers not considered wealthy are willing to offer help on down payments. While baby boomers who make more than $75,000 a year were found to be the most willing to offer help, 46 percent of baby boomers who make less than $75,000 per year say they also plan to help their child with a future home purchase, according to the survey.

So why are baby boomer parents so willing to help their children out with a home down payment? About 75 percent of boomers said they believe owning a home is a good investment for their children, and 58 percent said they think it’s still part of the American dream.


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).

LATEST SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS AS OF NOVEMBER 30, 2011

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.

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

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Harry A Salzman
ERA Shields / 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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