Real Estate Information Archive


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by Harry Salzman


February 23, 2015


                                   A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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



It’s always a pleasure to share good news and as a local Realtor, it’s even more pleasurable to be able to provide positive statistics concerning real estate in the Pikes Peak area. 

I recently received the Final Quarter 2014 Statistics from both UCCS College of Business and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and am delighted to share them here with you. 

Despite the once-in-several-decades blizzard we are experiencing as this is being written, I can’t help but rejoice in knowing that you, my readers and clients, continue to have the possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in today’s housing and interest rate market.

As with all good news, there is a flip side.  In the case of the housing market, coming out of the recession means that the Fed will soon change direction and when that happens, interest rates are going to rise.  I’ve documented that in the last several eNewsletters, so suffice it to say—you’ve been forewarned. 

Anyone sitting on the fence about making a move, either from across town or across the country—NOW is the time.  There are fewer choices available, but I feel confident that I can help you find the right home for almost any of your wants, needs and budget.  Even if it’s just a subtle dream, give me a call at 598.3200 or email me at and let’s see if we can make that happen for you.  There’s never been a better time and remember—time is beginning to run out!



College of Business and Administration, UCCS, Southern Colorado Economic Forum, February 2015

The latest update on the El Paso County Economy, including housing trends, was published last week and you can click here to read the 10-page report in full.  Here are some of the highlights I thought you would find interesting:

  • The trend in home sales continues to improve, with a 3.8% increase year-over-year.


  • The December 2014 year-to-date number of sales was 11,197.  That’s 411 more than a year ago.


  • Active listings are 19.4% lower than a year ago, but the average sales price of a home sold is 7.3% higher than last year same period. The report notes that local home Buyers are equally, if not more, interested in buying existing homes than in building new ones.  The recent announcements regarding new company locations here will also likely impact housing.


  • Foreclosures were approximately the same number as in 2013.


  • Vacancies for multi-family housing dropped to 5.45% from 5.88% by year end, which is a positive indicator. Rental rates are continuing to rise.  The trend toward apartment and multi-family housing is continuing to rise and the growth of the UCCS student body is a factor in this increase.


The next several sections of the report include:

  • Colorado Springs Airport Trends
  • Employment Trends and Wages
  • Colorado Springs Sales Taxes
  • New Car Registration Trends

It is with pleasure that Salzman real estate Services, LTD is able to share these types of statistics and forecasts with you as soon as they become available, each and every quarter.  We have been a supporter of the Southern Colorado Economic Forum since it was created by the UCCS College of Business in 1996.  I would be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the detailed reports and how they might affect you personally or any question you might have concerning Real Estate in general.



The recently published Quarterly Report by the NAR indicates that the majority of the 174 metropolitan areas surveyed experienced a steady, but slightly stronger price growth in the fourth quarter of 2014. The median existing single-family home price increased in 86% of the measured markets. 

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says that improved sales activity compared to a year ago, along with tightened supply, contributed to faster price appreciation in the final quarter of 2014.  “Home prices in metro areas throughout the country continue to show solid price growth, up 25% over the past three years on average,” he said.  “This is good news for current homeowners but remains a challenge for buyers who are seeing home prices continue to outpace their wages.  Low interest rates helped preserve affordability last quarter, but it’ll take stronger income gains and more housing supply to help meet the pent-up demand for buying.”

The national median existing single-family home price in the fourth quarter was $208,700, up 6.0% from the fourth quarter of 2013. 

The NAR report uses “median” price and the UCCS report uses “average” price, but both scenarios indicate that Colorado Springs is experiencing good housing appreciation.  While the NAR report shows the national median price to have increased 6.0%, our median price increased 3.4%.  This is NOT a bad thing.  We did not experience the downturn in the housing market as horrifically as many parts of the country so we had less home equity to make up.  The good news is that we are slowly but surely increasing our median price of single-family homes and that is fabulous for those who want to sell and trade up or buy for the first time. 

To look at the 3-page report in it’s entirety and see how we compare to the rest of the 174 metro area surveyed, please click here.



Predictions for the labor market have been revised upward according to a survey of economists released last week—which most always means good news for the housing market.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve surveyed 39 economic forecasters and while their predictions regarding GDP and overall economic growth were changed little from a similar survey three months prior, the forecasts for job gains and labor markets were much improved. 

“It’s got to be positive for housing, because all your consumer numbers are going in the same direction,” said the managing director and chief economist with Wells Fargo, who was one of the panelists to participate in the survey.  “With more jobs, higher wages, and income growth, you always see an increase in consumer confidence.”

Coupled with the recent news of new companies relocating to Colorado Springs, this can only bring greater economic growth, and thus greater home appreciation to our local homeowners. 



Realtor.mag, 2.18.15

Historically low interest rates and a healthier economy will likely lure more homebuyers to the marketplace this Spring.

According to NAR’s latest housing report, Tight Supplies Put Home Prices On the Move:

“Interest rates below 4 percent, rising rents, and healthier local job markets are convincing more consumers to consider home ownership,” Chris Polychron, NAR President, said in a recent news release showing fourth-quarter 2014 home prices moving up.

Spring is always the “stellar” season for home buying and selling and this year portends to be bigger than usual.  As I mentioned earlier, interest rates are not going to stay down, nor are home prices.  The frenzy we saw last year was nothing compared to what I expect to see this Spring. 

First-time homebuyers with good credit are being afforded down payments as low as 3% through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and with rental rates rising, we also expect to see a number of investors rushing to find properties to provide rental income. 

Those who have seen increased home equity are finding that this is a good time to consider that move to a new home or neighborhood.  All in all, the time is right to consider what’s best for your personal housing situation.  As always, I’d be happy to help you sort out all the possibilities, so give me a call BEFORE the season gets under way.



Wall Street Journal, 2.6.15

Here are a couple of questions for homeowners who are tempted to borrow on their home equity to invest in the stock market.

  1. What is my tolerance for risk? 
  2. Do I have enough in reserve holdings to cover sudden swings in home values and the market?

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, over the past five years, the total return for the S&P 500, including dividends, averages out to 15.45% a year.  Meanwhile, the average annual interest rates on a home-equity line dropped from 5.41% in 2010 to 5.05% in 2014, according to  Considering that math, a $100,000 home-equity line held for the past five years would have cost a borrower $25,980, but invested in the S&P 500, that money could have more than doubled to $205,102.

It appears to be a great deal, but one needs to consider that it has also been during an unusual bull market, says David Blitzer of the Index Committee at McGraw Hill Financial’s S&P Down Jones Indices unit. 

“The last five years were not a typical five years; 2009 was pretty much the end of the recession, the bottom of the bottom,” he added.  “A rule of thumb (for annual total return) is 6% to 7%, or a double in 10 years.”

Blitzer says that investors need to accept that they could lose money over any given five years in the market, and that money would be borrowed against the equity in their home.  In other words, if home values plummet, a borrower could be out not only the money invested but owe more than the home is worth, he said. 

Most financial advisors suggest that potential borrowers consider all factors, including tax implications for dividends and capital-gains, as well as interest deduction on the interest of home equity loans.

Other factors include having the flexibility to sell an investment sooner or hold onto it longer, depending on stock market conditions.  Homeowners who know they are likely to move or sell the house within five years might not have that type of flexibility. 

“Typically, the stock market goes up and down faster and is more volatile than the housing market, even including the (recent) boom and bust,” Blitzer says.  “If you wait long enough, you are probably going to come out ahead in the stock market, but there are certainly some cases where five years are not long enough.”

A few more tips for those contemplating a home-equity line or loan:

  • Fees differ among lenders.  Potential borrowers who shop around may save.  Some lenders charge no fees for their home-equity products while others may charge closing costs, third-party origination fees, mortgage taxes and annual fees, according to Matt Potere, home-equity product executive for Bank of America.


  • Relationships may matter.  On the other hand, some banks may offer discounts to customers who already have other accounts.  For example, Bank of America Preferred Rewards members may save up to 0.375% on a home-equity-line interest rate.


  • Don’t forget AMT.  Taxpayers subject to the alternate minimum tax need to keep in mind that they won’t be able to deduct home-equity interest.

Our suggestion?  Since borrowing on home-equity for investment purposes can be a tricky thing, we believe it is ALWAYS prudent to first check with your financial and tax advisors PRIOR to making any decisions.  You want to make certain that borrowing for ANY type of investment, including stocks, bonds or rental property, is something that makes sense for your overall personal financial strategy.









by Harry Salzman


February 9, 2015


                        A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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



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

January in the Pikes Peak Area proved that the robust housing market appears to be continuing despite cold weather and post-holiday conditions.  Local residents are responding in a similar manner to folks all around the country as they realize better economic conditions than we’ve seen in several years.

The numbers here indicate that the combination of historically low mortgage rates and homes priced to sell are continuing to fuel this growth.  Listings in both categories continue to dwindle as many renters are finding a way to become homeowners, some for the first time, and many with the help of new low down payment requirements.

Here are some highlights from the monthly PPAR report.  Please click here to view the detailed 10-page report.  If you have any questions, please give me a call.

In comparing January 2015 to January 2014 in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1082, Down 10.9%
  • Number of Sales are 636, Up 6.7%
  • Average Sales Price is $261,310, Up 11.4%
  • Median Sales Price is $235,250, Up 11.0%
  • Total Active Listings are 2,470, Down 23.5%


  • New Listings are 164, Up 16.3%
  • Number of Sales are 99, Up 30.3%
  • Average Sales Price is $176,602, Up 2.8%
  • Median Sales Price is $142,000, Up 6.8%
  • Total Active Listings are 297, Down 15.6%



                                                Median Sales Price             Average Sales Price

Black Forest                            $399,950                              $381,200

Briargate                                  $320,375                             $332,734        

Central                                     $182,500                              $209,461

East                                          $186,400                              $195,890

Fountain Valley:                      $218,169                              $217,889

Manitou Springs:                    $171,000                              $171,000

Marksheffel:                             $246,000                              $252,813

Northeast:                                $213,000                              $218,546

Northgate:                                $368,000                              $409,786

Northwest:                               $279,700                              $309,155

Old Colorado City:                  $225,000                              $262,746

Powers:                                    $235,250                              $237,317

Southwest:                              $234,000                              $336,791

Tri-Lakes:                                $412,000                              $432,866

West:                                        $201,000                              $330,971

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



Business Week, 8.10.74

While going through my archives, I came across an article from August 1974—more than 40 years ago.  It was published in the Personal Business section of the old Business Week magazine and I thought you might find it as interesting as I did, both then and now.

The section titled It Doesn’t Pay to Wait to Buy a House”, talks about how for those who might have been scared out of the housing market due to tight money and high interest rates, then would be the time to take a look at what a new home would cost “today”.  It states:          

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the cost of the average single family home is $35,800 this year compared with $25,600 in 1969.  And mortgage rates have risen to 9.5% to 10% today against 8% five years ago.”

What can I say?  I’ve always been an advocate of “the time to buy is NOW”, and this article backs me up perfectly.  You can no longer find a home for those kind of prices, but today’s mortgage interest rates are historically low.  Who could have imagined back in 1974 that in 2015 we would see 30-year fixed rates as low as 3.38%? 

Those interested in a little “blast from the past” can view the Business Week article by clicking here.  I know you’ll find it interesting.  Just as interesting as those folks 40 years from now who will look back and not believe that we could actually finance a home for under 4%.

One thing I can tell you for sure...the interest rates aren’t going to stay this low forever.  With the economy improving along with the job market, the Fed is sure to raise the cost of money to hold back inflation and with that--up goes the mortgage interest rates. 

As you can see from the PPAR statistics, the number of available homes is continuing to decline as folks realize the current low rates aren’t a “sure thing” for the future.  While there are fewer listings, there are always homes available to meet most needs, wants and budgets.  If you are still on the fence, I wouldn’t advise waiting a lot longer.  Why not give me a call today and let me run the numbers and see if we can make it the “right time” for you.  I can be reached at 598.3200 or by email at .



LA Times, 2.15, The Gazette 2.1.15

According to the U.S. Census Report, the national home ownership rate fell last quarter to the lowest level in two decades. 

Despite the housing recovery of recent times, the ownership rate has been on a steady decline since the housing boom of the last decade. This has been attributed to families struggling to purchase a home because of home prices rising faster than incomes in recent years, along with tighter lending standards.

Analysts are hopeful that the housing market will pick up again this year after a slow 2014.  Job growth in 2014 was the strongest since 1999 and mortgage interest rates are still low.  On top of that, the government is taking steps to ease lending standards, with new programs from both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac intending to back loans with down payments as low as 3 percent.

So, once again, if you or anyone you know has been left out of home ownership in recent times, now could be the perfect time for getting back in the market or purchasing a home for the first time.  Just give me a call and let’s find out if we’ve got the answer to your home ownership dreams.



  • Mortgage Rates Fall Again.  Average rates fell again for the week ending February 5:

--30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.59 percent

--15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.92 percent

--5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.82 percent

--1-year ARMs averaged 2.39 percent


  • Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now.  Homebuyers need to move fast if they want to spend less, according to Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at  “Delayed purchases will only result in higher monthly payments as prices and rates rise,” Smoke wrote. is forecasting that affordability may decline as much as 10 percent over the year.

“Right now, the Fed is using the word ‘patient’ to describe its approach to picking the time to raise the target rate,” Smoke notes.  “However, when the Fed ‘loses patience’, rates will go up at least 20 to 40 basis points in anticipation of the target rate officially going up…so, Buyers beware:  The clock on these low mortgage rates may be ticking.”


  • Millennials Move Toward Home Ownership.  Young couples and singles in their late 20’s and early 30’s are making a belated entry into the home-buying market according to several recent housing reports.  Rising rates, moderating home prices and new, lower down payment requirements are providing good reasons for these individuals to now enter the market. 

Jonathan Smoke has called 2015 the “year of the millennial” in real estate.  He says that home Sellers should be encouraged by this, particularly those who own affordable home and are looking for a long-over-due upgrade.  With the move by many lenders to permit smaller down payments on home purchases, more millennials will likely make a move and that means home Sellers “who’ve been sitting on equity in entry-level homes can finally upgrade to bigger homes and retirement homes.”











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Photo of Harry A Salzman Real Estate
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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