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HOUSING INVENTORIES DROP, LIST PRICES RISE

by Harry Salzman

February 27, 2012


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


BABY BOOMERS MEAN BIG BUSINESS FOR EL PASO COUNTY
The Gazette (Feb. 24th, 2012)

Brent Green, CEO of Brent Green & Associates and an expert in generational marketing, discussed "Marketing to Baby Boomers" this week in Colorado Springs. His message was that El Paso County baby boomers could mean big business for those who figure out how to market and create new products and services for the generation with spending power.

Green was among a group of marketing and economic experts who spoke Friday at the Business of Aging Summit, sponsored by the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corps.

“Baby boomers are where the wealth and income are –they spend about $2.3 trillion a year and own about $28 trillion in assets. Colorado Springs had better think about how it will develop around this generation with deep pockets.”, said Green.

The boomer population in El Paso County increased nearly 40 percent from 2000 to 2010. That’s double the increase of the total population, according to a report from Innovations in Aging Collaborative and Tucker Hart Adams, from Summit Economics.

Colorado Springs has the assets to become an international test market and incubator for the “longevity revolution, a global business opportunity,” Green said. Boomers will be in search of lifestyle pursuits, adventure vacations and natural and energy efficient products.

And, 26 million of the boomers will relocate. With Colorado Springs being in the top ten targets for retiring boomers, that’s good news for our local housing market.

The business opportunities are endless, Green said. Sixty-seven percent of boomers believe the best years are still ahead of them. “Billions will be made in helping boomers live on their own,” Green said.

“Those who warn of economic catastrophes due to population aging too often peer into the future through a rear view mirror,” Green said. “I propose that the boomer future is robust with transformative business opportunities.”


WHAT’S GOING ON HERE??? ALONG WITH THE GROUNDHOG, THE OPTIMISTS ARE NOW COMING OUT

It has been a long time since we have read any optimistic predictions about the housing market, but this past week has seen some very upbeat news and articles about the real estate market in 2012. The following is a compilation of some of these optimistic articles:


THE WALL STREET JOURNAL SEES RISING HOME SALES AS A HEALTHY SIGN (WSJ Feb. 23, 2012.)

WASHINGTON—Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. rose last month to the highest level in nearly two years, and the inventory of unsold homes contracted to a level considered healthy by economists, positive signs for the housing market. Compared with January a year ago, sales rose 0.7%.

"We're slowly improving for the right reasons: more jobs, more credit availability and affordability of homes," said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist with PNC Financial Services Group.

Guy Berger, U.S. economist with RBS Capital Markets, wrote, “It seems that the housing sector may have turned the corner."


FEWER HOME OWNERS BEHIND ON PAYMENTS
Daily real estate News | Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The number of home owners behind on their mortgage payments dropped to the lowest level in three years, according to a report of data from the fourth quarter of 2011 released by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

"Mortgage performance is also improving faster than the overall economy," says Jay Brinkmann, MBA's chief economist.

The lower delinquencies serve as an important sign needed for a healing housing market.


HOUSING INVENTORIES DROP, LIST PRICES RISE
Daily real estate News | Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In a growing number of housing markets, sellers are facing less competition now compared to a year ago.
Inventory of for-sale homes has dropped by about 23 percent compared to this time last year and fell by 6 percent alone from December 2011 to January 2012, according to Realtor.com data.

Meanwhile, as inventory is falling, the median list price has been on the rise: up nationally more than 3 percent year-over-year.

“Over the past year, an increasing number of markets have registered year-over-year increases in median list prices while fewer markets have experienced year-over-year list price declines,” a statement by Realtor.com notes.


HOME SALES ON THE RISE: READY FOR SPRING BUYING SEASON?
Daily real estate News | Thursday, February 23, 2012

Existing-home sales rose 4.3 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million, marking the third gain for home sales in the last four months, the National Association of REALTORS® reports.

“The uptrend in home sales is in line with all of the underlying fundamentals – pent-up household formation, record-low mortgage interest rates, bargain home prices, sustained job creation and rising rents,” NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says.

While sales ticked up, inventories of for-sale homes also continued to show improvement, NAR reported. At the end of January, total housing inventory fell 0.4 percent to 2.31 million existing homes for sale, which represents a 6.1-month supply at the current sales pace.

Unsold listed inventory has steadily dropped since reaching a peak of 4.04 million in July 2007. It now is 20.6 percent below where it was a year ago, NAR reports.

Housing Affordability Improves

As home prices have fallen and mortgage rates at all-time record lows, housing affordability is at some of its highest levels on record.

“Word has been spreading about the record high housing affordability conditions and our members are reporting an increase in foot traffic compared with a year ago,” says NAR President Moe Veissi. “With other favorable market factors, these are hopeful indicators leading into the spring home-buying season. We’re cautiously optimistic that an uptrend will continue this year.”


EXISTING-HOME SALES RISE AGAIN IN JANUARY, INVENTORY DOWN
real estate Trends - February 23, 2012

Existing-home sales rose in January, marking three gains in the past four months, while inventories continued to improve, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million in January from a downwardly revised 4.38 million-unit pace in December and are 0.7 percent above a spike to 4.54 million in January 2011.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said strong gains in contract activity in recent month’s show buyers are responding to very favorable market conditions. “The uptrend in home sales is in line with all of the underlying fundamentals— pent-up household formation, record-low mortgage interest rates, bargains home prices, sustained job creation and rising rents.”

Total housing inventory at the end of January fell 0.4 percent to 2.31 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.1-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 6.4-month supply in December.

Total unsold listed inventory has trended down from a record 4.04 million in July 2007, and is 20.6 percent below a year ago.

“Home buyers over the past three years have had some of the lowest default rates in history,” Yun says. “Entering the market at a low point and buying at discounted prices have greatly helped in that success.”

In light of all these optimistic reports and predictions, the bottom line for our readers is:

If you are a Seller, you should consider putting your home back on the market as soon as possible. With inventories falling, you won’t have as much competition as you have had in recent years and your home will attract more attention. Keep in mind, however, prices are trending up, so give us a call to help you price your home properly.
Call us at 598-3200 or 800 677-6683(MOVE)

If you are a Buyer, it’s becoming obvious that the home you buy today will be worth more tomorrow, so don’t wait around for lower prices. They probably won’t happen. ….And, the longer you wait, the smaller inventory you will have to choose from.
Call us at 598-3200 or 800 677-6683(MOVE)

 

INVESTORS, TAKE NOTE !!! THE NEW TAX ON SOME INVESTMENT INCOME BEGINS JANUARY 1, 2013

We received a lot of response from our readers about our article in our last Weekly Update concerning the new tax on some investment income. Apparently, this new tax did not receive much publicity in the general media and it took some investors by surprise. So, in case you missed the article, we are reprinting it here:

New tax legislation will affect some real estate income, beginning January 1, 2013. This new tax will affect some, but not all real estate transactions and holdings. Because this is a complicated tax, you should consult with your CPA about its possible effects upon you and your holdings.

Bottom line: If you are planning to sell any investment property, this new tax might affect your decision regarding the timing of the sale. NAR has developed a complete analysis of how the new law might affect you. To see a copy of this informative analysis, CLICK HERE

SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

The most recent PPAR statistics regarding sales and listings in the Pikes Peak area will provide you with extensive data to assist you with your decision about buying or selling your home. We would be happy to discuss these statistics with you and to review the sales history of the neighborhoods that interests you.. Just call us at 598-3200 or 800 677-6683(MOVE)

Click here to see the most recent statistics.

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


THE IMPORTANCE OF WALKING

Walking can add minutes to your life.
This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $4,000 per month.

My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60.
Now he's 97 years old and we have no idea where the hell he is.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing...

I joined a health club last year, spent about 250 bucks. Haven't lost a pound.
Apparently you have to go there!

Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

I do have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say,
'Well, he looks good doesn’t he?'

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years,...... just getting over the hill.

We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

AND

Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a bar with a Happy Hour ….
and by the time I leave, I look just fine.

You could run this over to your friends ….But just e-mail it to them …It will save you the walk!

Keep walking! And, have a good laugh

February 20, 2012


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


THE “QUE” SAYS COLORADO SPRINGS ECONOMY IS THE STRONGEST IN TWO YEARS

The College of Business of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has just released its quarterly Update and Estimates for our local economy. This quarterly report, commonly referred to as the “QUE”, has become the authoritative source for information about how our local economy is doing and where it is headed. The following comments about the recent QUE are extracted from the article in the Colorado Springs Business Journal, which reviewed the latest report.

Fred Crowley, chief economist for the Southern Colorado Economic Forum, says, “There are signs that people are ready to spend. The El Paso County economy showed its strongest growth in two years and it did so without artificial efforts like home-buying incentives programs or reinvestment job act money. This time, the economy showed improvement all on its own.”

The report shows strong increases in single-family home sales, car sales and wages. “All of these are really strong indicators”, emphasized Crowley.

“First and foremost, single-family home sales are up 30%. This is a huge number. Single-family permit activity was higher in 10 of the last 12 months and home prices are heading up, while foreclosures continue to head downward. These figures all indicate that the housing market is on its way to becoming stable. …something that did not exist in the last two years.” Crowley stated.

And, there’s good news for the city, too. .In December, sales tax revenues were up 7.1% from a year earlier, to a record $13.4 million. Overall, sales tax collections for the year were up almost 4%.

Crowley summarized, “The local economy is much stronger than I thought it would be. Overall, the news is very positive”.

It looks like our local economy is headed back up….That’s great news !!!

If you would like to see the complete quarterly report (The Que), CLICK HERE.


COLORADO SPRINGS NAMED IN TOP TEN FOR DATA CENTER relocation

The Boyd Company, a New Jersey-based firm that’s established itself as an industry authority for corporate relocations and expansion, places Colorado Springs in the top 10 cities for data security – an industry that’s booming thanks to new banking rules, a digitized health-care industry and high-profile cases of hackers who steal information.

“Colorado Springs has a number of the qualities that match what data companies are looking for, including low operating costs, a strong telecommunications infrastructure and a well-trained workforce” said John Boyd, the firm’s principal.

“The geographical location of Colorado Springs keeps it safe from natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes and data centers would be a good financial partner for the Springs”, Boyd said “because they bring in millions in construction work, offer jobs that pay about $80,000 a year and contribute to the tax base”.

“The government is going to want to get out of the high-cost areas like Washington D.C., New York City and the Bay Area and head inland in favor of more affordable land and operations costs”, Boyd Said.

As for location, Boyd noted, “Colorado Springs is 52% more likely to attract data centers than any other city. And companies looking to build data centers may look favorably because of the number of data centers that already are located here. (Federal Express, Hewlett-Packard, Quantum, Wal-Mart, etc.).”

“We do have quite a few data center projects in the pipeline and, in our judgment, over the course of the next year or so, you will see expansion happening here”, Boyd concluded.

That’s great news for our area.


IS THE NATIONAL ECONOMY RISING? THE STOCK MARKET SAYS, “YES”

On Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, the Wall Street Journal featured an article titled, “Dow Ends Near 4-Year High”. The WSJ credited the rise to signs of an accelerating economic recovery and glimmers of hope on the Greek debt crisis.

If traditional wisdom is correct, the stock market usually indicates what the state of the economy will be for the next 2 quarters. If that’s correct, we can expect the national economy to rise through September of 2012.

That’s good news for the nation and it coincides with the predictions about our local economy that were published in the most recent quarterly report from the UCCS College of Business, (See Above)


HOUSING AFFORDABILITY REACHES NEW RECORD HIGH

Housing affordability rose to a record high during the fourth quarter of 2011, which means that a home buyer’s purchasing power is greater than it has ever been before, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

The Index showed that 75.9% of all new and existing homes sold in the fourth quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,200. This marks the highest percentage recorded in the index’s 20-year history.

Considering today’s low prices, low mortgage-interest rates and high inventories of available homes, it’s obvious that now is the time to buy your new home, or to acquire that rental property.

Call us at 598-3200, or, 800-677-6683, to discuss this opportunity.


INVESTORS, TAKE NOTE !!! NEW TAX ON SOME INVESTMENT INCOME BEGINS JANUARY 1, 2013

New tax legislation will affect some real estate income, beginning January 1, 2013. This new tax will affect some, but not all real estate transactions and holdings. Because this is a complicated tax, you should consult with your CPA about its possible effects upon you and your holdings.

Bottom line: If you are planning to sell any investment property, this new tax might affect your decision regarding the timing of the sale. NAR has developed a complete analysis of how the new law might affect you. To see a copy of this informative analysis, CLICK HERE.

 

WHEN THE BOOMERS BAIL – A COMMUNITY ECONOMIC SURVIVAL GUIDE –

The Senior Resource Council, the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and the EDC are combining to present this month’s Business of Aging Summihas t luncheon. The featured speaker will be Mark Lautman, an economics expert and author of “When the Boomers Bail”, a book which addresses the issue of what communities can do to attract and keep entrepreneurs and young professionals.

Lautman’s approach to the problem of attracting and retaining workers in a labor-starved market is to analyse exit interviews, and then figure out “What things can be fixed and what”.

The luncheon will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2886 S. Circle Drive on February 23, 2012.

To register, go to www.coloradospringschamber.org and click on Calendar of Events.


SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

Click here to see the latest PPAR statistics regarding area sales and listings And be sure to give us a call, if you have any questions, or would like to discuss these statistics in more detail.

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

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


* The problem with political jokes is they get elected. ~Henry Cate, VII

* We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~Aesop

* If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these speeches, there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven. ~Will Rogers

* Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato

* Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~Nikita Khrushchev

* When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

* Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. ~Author Unknown

* If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~Jay Leno

* Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~John Quinton

* Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer

* The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn, fix all your problems, just give us your money. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it. ~P. J. O'Rourke

* I offer my opponents a bargain: If they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. ~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952

* A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country. ~Texas Guinan

* Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so. ~Gore Vidal

* I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. ~Charles de Gaulle

* Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. ~Doug Larson

* There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

 

February 13, 2012


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


NOTABLE QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
Jack Welch


JOB MARKET GETTING BETTER? WSJ SAYS IT IS ….IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SELL

The Wall Street Journal (Friday, Feb. 10, 2012) featured an article titled, “Job-Market Bellweather Strengthens”, in which the author points out that “The number of people applying for benefits each week has fallen steadily in recent months and is now down to levels not seen since the early months of the recession, a sign that hiring has accelerated. If claims stay where they are, there is no reason to think the trend of 200,000-plus monthly growth (in jobs) can’t continue” says the author.

In a related article, the Gazette (Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012) points out that job openings approached a 3-year high in December, as Companies and governments posted 3.38 million job openings. That’s up from the 3.12 million advertised in November and nearly matches the three-year high reached in September. December job openings in the private sector reached the highest point in almost 3 ½ years, according to the Labor Department.

It is worthwhile to note, however, that the jobs that are available are for people with marketable skills. They include everything from doctors and electronic technicians to diesel mechanics. The outlook for graduates with degrees in English, Political Science and Interpretive Dance doesn’t look very promising.

Bottom line: If you have a child just graduating from high school. It might be a good idea to offer him/her a deal. You’ll put them through college, if they agree to graduate from a diesel mechanics’ school first.


WHAT DO THE RECENT FIGURES ON MEDIAN HOME PRICES TELL US?

On Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, the National Association of Realtors released the data on Median Sales Prices of existing single-family homes for 149 of the major US metropolitan areas in 2011. As we study these statistics, it is obvious that the national, median price for homes is stabilizing. Many of the metropolitan areas that showed the biggest dip in home values during the recession are coming back, and actually showed a dramatic rise in value in 2011.

Communities like Fort Myers, FL (up 25.58%) and Detroit Michigan (up 9.83%) which were hard-hit by the recession are showing healthy increases in home values. Nationally, although home prices continued to drop during 2011 (-4.2%), the pace of decline has slowed and, in many places, has started to rise from the ashes (although Phoenix still showed a 10.2% drop).

Colorado Springs, because we did not suffer the disastrous decline in home prices that many other communities experienced during the recession, did not have as deep a hole to climb out of, so our median prices tended to follow the national trend more closely (-6.5%), however, there are strong indications that 2012 will see our local home-prices stabilize and begin to grow again.

Housing inventories are shrinking, mortgage rates are historically low, housing affordability is at record highs and the job market is slowly improving.

Existing-home sales have been edging up in recent months, and for-sale housing inventories were at nearly 2.4 million units in December, reaching its lowest point since 2005, according to NAR.

The National Association of Home Builders is also predicting an improvement this spring. They predict an increase in building of 18%, after facing their lowest growth on record in 2011.

However, the threats to housing recovery still loom. Strict mortgage lending is keeping some buyers on the sidelines and foreclosures continue to put downward pressure on home prices in many markets.

Celia Chen, senior housing economist with Moody’s Analytics, predicts that “Ultimately, by the end of this year, we should see the housing market on a more solid footing”

That sounds good to us !!!!

 

THE FED CALLS FOR NEW POLICIES TO HELP HOUSING ….LIKE THE RECENT FORECLOSURE DEAL

The Wall Street Journal (Friday, Feb. 10, 2012) quotes Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as calling for new policies to help the nation’s housing market, saying it was an impediment to economic recovery.

“We need to continue to develop and implement policies that will help the housing sector get back on its feet” he said.

Mr. Bernanke’s remarks were made in a speech to the National Association of Homebuilders and came a day after the announcement by government officials of a $26 billion settlement over alleged foreclosure abuses that will, in part, offer reductions in loan principal to some homeowners.

Under the terms of this settlement, Colorado will receive $204.6 million worth of relief for homeowners. That includes $73.3 that will be available to grant principal reductions on loans to make mortgage modification possible.

“This settlement will not solve every problem with the housing market, but it goes a long way to helping homeowners in distress now and leveling the playing field for consumers”, said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bernanke said the central bank was “intensely focused” on improving credit conditions.

Bottom Line: We urge our readers to advise any of their friends, relatives and neighbors who might have had any foreclosure concerns to contact their lender to see if this settlement could help them.


INVESTORS, TAKE NOTE !!! RENTS ARE PREDICTED TO CONTINUE TO RISE

The Gazette (Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012) tells us that rents at Colorado Springs apartments hovered near a record-high in late 2011 …part of a two-year climb in renter costs that’s expected to continue to rise as demand for multifamily properties remains strong, industry experts say.

Colorado Springs’ monthly rents averaged $775.44 in the fourth quarter of 2011, about $37 more than the same period in 2010, according to a report released Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing and the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado. It was the eighth consecutive year-over-year quarterly increase in rents, the report showed.

Rents are up because demand is on the rise. This is a result of thousands of homeowners who have lost their homes to foreclosure and other prospective homeowners who can’t qualify for a mortgage because of tougher borrowing requirements by lenders.

This higher demand for rentals has also resulted in triggering construction of several apartment projects in Colorado Springs, Fountain and Monument.

The bottom line for our readers is that you should consider investing in rental property. Realtor Magazine, in their Jan/Feb. issue, lists rental properties as one of the strongest areas for growth in 2012. The return on investment from your rental property could easily outmatch the income you are now realizing from any of your other investments.

Call us at 598-3200,or, 800 877-MOVE (6683) to discuss this.

 

SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS
 

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

And be sure to give us a call, if you have any questions, or would like to discuss these statistics in more detail. Call us at 598-3200, or, 800 677-6683.

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

I don’t get to travel much !!

I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work. I live close so it's a short drive.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have, however, been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

And, sometimes I think I am in Vincible but life shows me I am not.

People keep telling me I'm in Denial but I'm positive I've never been there before!

I have been in Trouble many times; the older I get, the easier it is to get there and my honey arranges many of those trips, it seems. I actually kind of enjoy it there.

So far, I haven't been in Continent; but my travel agent says I'll be going soon.

Want to know something that you didn't know before?

by Harry Salzman

February 6, 2012


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


21st ANNUAL IREM BREAKFAST PRESENTS ROSY ECONOMIC FORECAST

On Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, along with about 275 other attendees, we attended the Institute of real estate Management’s 21st Annual Breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel. The meeting featured speakers from the real estate profession and from the City of Colorado Springs’ Economic Vitality Division.

Their annual forecast included overviews of all aspects of the real estate market ….Multi-family, residential, commercial, etc. The consensus of the speakers was that our local real estate picture is improving, with some segments growing faster than others, and we were especially pleased to hear their optimistic view of our local residential real estate market.

Some of the factors that were noted as boosting our local residential real estate market were:

• Inventory of homes is down (3,157- the lowest total for any month since 3,116 listings in Feb. 2002)
• Foreclosures are down
• Short sales are down
• Interest rates are down
• Unemployment is down
• Troop levels at Ft. Carson are growing
• Consumer confidence is growing

As for rentals, rental occupancy is currently at 94% and pressure increases daily for higher rents. Since 2006, monthly rental prices have risen steadily, from $909 in 2006 to $1163 in 2011. The average lease price (rent) is up 18%. These factors all lead the experts to say, “Buy rentals now and hold them as they increase in value”.

In our current market, the strategy that many experts are recommending for investment buyers is based upon the fact that single-family home prices went up 12.6% in the second half of 2011, while prices for condos and townhouses during that same period have not yet started to rise, but appear to have bottomed-out.

If we had to boil all of the presentations down to a single strategy for our readers, it would be to give serious consideration to:

• Upgrading to a better home, without significantly increasing your monthly payment. (If you can afford a $1000 mortgage payment monthly for 30 years, the current low prices and low mortgage rates would enable you to buy a $250,000 home right now) ……. and,
• Retain your current home as an investment property, rather than selling it ……..Or, at least
• Refinance right now, to take advantage of the current, record-low mortgage rates.
• Keep in mind that, if you wait too long to buy, hoping that prices will go down, you might wind up spending a little less for your house, but a lot more for your mortgage.

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


BUILDING PERMITS UP IN 2012 AND LOCAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE STAYS AT 9%

The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department reports a January 3.7% gain in single-family building permits over January of 2011. John Cassiani, board president of the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs, stated, “The economy is getting better. You’ve got a lower unemployment rate in Colorado and in Colorado Springs, and I just think all the signs out there seem to be positive in terms of getting the housing industry back in the right direction.”

In a related story, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the latest 9% unemployment rate in November and December remains the lowest in more than two year and is down sharply from a record 10% last February.


FEWER FORECLOSURES LOCALLY IN JANUARY

Fewer homeowners fell into foreclosure in January in the Colorado Springs area, which continued a trend of reduced foreclosure activity during 2011, according to Tom Mowle, head of the El Paso County Public Trustee’s Office.

Mr. Mowle stated, “The people who have taken out loans the last four to five years will be less likely to find themselves in default and the people who took out the creative loans six to eight years ago have either been renegotiated with lenders or fallen into foreclosure”

Foreclosure sales in El Paso County totaled 2,060 last year, down 21.7% from 2010.


SPRINGS COST OF LIVING STILL BELOW U.S. AVERAGE

Living costs in Colorado Springs were 6.8% below the national average during 2011, according to a survey by the Council for Community and Economic Research.

“The cost of living here remains well below the national average, which has always been a strength for Colorado Springs”, said Tom Binnings, a senior partner with Summit Economics, a local economic research and consulting firm.

Local utilities costs still remain 9.4% below the national average, while our overall energy costs are the lowest in the state. Dave Grossman, a spokesman for Colorado Springs Utilities stated, “the average monthly residential electric bill rose last year to $65.77, while the average natural gas bill fell 2.3% to $48.28.

Local costs for housing and transportation also moved further below the national average.


HERE’S SOME MORE LOCAL GOOD NEWS

According to the Gazette, in Colorado Springs in January:

• Initial claims for unemployment were down 3.7%
• The unemployment rate was down to 9%
• New auto and truck registrations were up 35.2%
• Foreclosure filings were down 16.4%


DID YOU KNOW THAT JANUARY IS THE BEST MONTH TO BUY A HOME?

In reviewing the sales statistics for the past 20 years, we notice that January is the slowest sales month in every year. In every January there are fewer sales and the average selling price is at its lowest level for the year. This January, for example, sales totaled 474, which was 3% more than last January. The median price was $172,250. There were 3157 listings available (which is 27% fewer than last year [4326] and represents the lowest number of available homes since February of 2002. 86% of all sales in January were below $299,999.

After January, both sales and prices start to go up, so call us to take advantage of the lowest prices you will see in 2012.


SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

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

And be sure to give us a call, if you have any questions, or would like to discuss these statistics in more detail.

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

 

THINKING OF BUYING A FORECLOSURE? BE SURE TO ASK THESE 4 QUESTIONS
Daily real estate News | Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Foreclosures can offer big bargains, but buyers need to be careful that they don’t get over their heads in purchasing a home that may need more repairs than they bargained for.

Foreclosures are usually sold as-is, and homes that are left vacant standing too long can have a lot of maintenance problems.

real estate experts suggest buyers consider the following questions:

1. How long has the home been vacant? Be cautious of a foreclosed home that has stood vacant for more than a few weeks or had its utilities shut off a long time. Marvin Goldstein, a home inspector for many foreclosed properties, says a home can deteriorate quickly when heating, cooling, electricity, and running water have been turned off for a while.
2. How old is the home? Goldstein says that homes that are more than 50 years old may have a failing plumbing system or inadequate electrical wiring.
3. How does the home look? Are there broken windows, gutters hanging down, or damaged siding? “Trust your instincts. If the house looks bad from the outside, it's probably worse than you think,” Goldstein said.
4. Is there anything missing? Sometimes former owners remove anything of value from the home, such as built-in light fixtures, bathroom tile, water heaters, air-conditioning units, and hardwoods, says Bill Jacques, president-elect of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Housing experts encourage buyers to get a home inspector to look at the property, even if it is sold as-is, so that home buyers know any repairs needed and cost estimates before they purchase the home.

“Buying a bank-owned home gives you the opportunity to enter the market at a very low price level,” says Dorcas Helfant, a past president of the National Association of REALTORS®. “You can find terrific values among foreclosures, especially if they're not in too bad shape. But, remember, these houses are discounted for a reason.”

Editor’s note: We totally agree with the 4 points made in the article and, for many years, we have consistently worked with our clients to address these problem areas. We also suggest that you call us, if you are considering buying a foreclosed home. We have access to a lot of information that does not appear in the listing and would be happy to share it with you.

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

WANT TO KNOW SOMETHING THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW BEFORE?

"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand
And "lollipop"is the longest word typed with your right hand.
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.
The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' , and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).
There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous
There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."
TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
Almonds are a member of the peach family.
An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain. (I know some people like that also)
Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.
Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.
Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!
Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
The cruise liner, QE 2 moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.
There are more chickens than people in the world.
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
All the ants in Africa weigh more than ALL the Elephants!!

Now you know (a little) more than you did before!!

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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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