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HARRY'S SPECIAL EDITION 2.26.16

by Harry Salzman

                                                            

February 26, 2016

 

HARRY’S SPECIAL EDITION

                                          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.

 

THIS IS NEWS THAT JUST COULDN’T WAIT….

So I got this article yesterday and just couldn’t wait to share it with you.  Not only that…I couldn’t actually believe it when I read it.  I’m going to quote the article verbatim—the news is just too good for all of us living in the Colorado Springs area.

As you will see, 3 of the top 20 hottest markets in the country are in Colorado and Colorado Springs is the 18th hottest housing market in the entire country! 

Now you can see why I just couldn’t wait to share this with you. 

A word to the wise...a hot market means things are moving fast and if you’re ready…NOW is the time.  I've been experiencing this frenzy myself over the last month with the majority of my clients.  So take a look at the article below and then just give me a call at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s get the ball rolling.

 

The 20 HOTTEST HOUSING MARKETS THIS MONTH

Daily real estate News, 2.25.16

The spring housing market may be off to an early start this year, especially in a handful of cities.

Nationally, buyer demand is high, despite a stubbornly low inventory of homes for-sale. This month saw list prices move up 1 percent over January, reaching $230,000. That is an 8 percent increase over a year ago, according to realtor.com®’s latest housing report.

“I would use the phrase ‘pent-up-demand’ liberally – we’re seeing it come through in the marketplace,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “The people who didn’t buy last year were frustrated because they were outbid or couldn’t find a home that met their needs. So they more or less took the holidays off, and are back with way more intensity.”

Realtor.com® pinpointed the hottest medium- to large-markets nationwide. Listings in these 20 places were viewed two to five times more often on realtor.com® than the national average, and homes are sold 44 to 78 more days quickly.

Here are the Top 20 Performing Markets for February 2016:

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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 2.22.16

by Harry Salzman

                                                            

February 22, 2016

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                         A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS PROVIDE MIXED BAG DUE TO SHORTAGE OF AVAILABLE LISTINGS

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

As you will see in the recently published Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for January 2016 for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings were down significantly for properties in both the single-family/patio homes and condo/townhomes categories.  With that came a pending sales increase of 73.9% for single-family/patio homes and 71.9% for condo/townhomes. 

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

The shortage of homes for sale is affecting communities all over the U.S. and it’s somewhat of a “Catch 22” in that those that want to move are afraid to list their homes because if they sell quickly, which has been the case in recent months—they might not be able to find the home they are wanting to buy due to the low number of listings. 

In recent weeks, I’ve seen more activity on available homes than I’ve seen in a long while and homes are selling quickly—many with multiple offers.  I’ll talk more about that in a moment.

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

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

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was up 30.4%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 1.2%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 47.5%.

If you have any questions concerning the report, please contact me.

 

METRO HOME PRICES ACCELERATE IN FOURTH QUARTER 2015

National Association of REALTORS®, 2.10.16

Fewer listings and a moderated sales pace had little impact on rising home prices during the final quarter of 2015, which picked up speed and showed continued growth in most of the U.S., according to the latest quarterly report by the NAR.

In 81% of measured markets, the median existing single-family home price increased, with 145 out of 179 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) showing gains based on closings in the fourth quarter compared with the fourth quarter 2014. 

For all of 2015, an average of 89% of MSAs saw increasing home prices, up from the average in 2014 (83%) and 2013 (88%).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says faster price growth reawakened in the final months of 2015 despite the pace of sales slowing from earlier in the year.  “Even with slightly cooling demand, the unshakeable trend of inadequate supply in relation to the overall pool of prospective buyers inflicted upward pressure on home prices in several metro areas,” he said.  “As a result, homeownership continues to be out of reach for a number of qualified buyers in the top job producing, but costliest, parts of the country—especially on the West Coast and parts of the South.”

The national median existing single-family home price in the fourth quarter was $222,700—up 6.9% from the fourth quarter 2014.  In comparison, while Colorado Springs saw its’ median existing single-family home price rise 5.6% year-over-year, our median price was $237,600—6.7% higher than the U.S. average. 

Our median home prices may not be escalating as much as some other areas of the country, but we did not see the enormous price fluctuations that those areas experienced during the recession and had fewer foreclosures.  The fact that our median prices are higher than the measured U.S. metro areas as a whole is a good thing for our community.

To view all 179 measured areas, please click here.

 

HOMEOWNERSHIP DREAMS ARE BEING PUSHED OUT OF REACH BY INVENTORY SHORTAGES

HousingWire, 2.10.16

As I mentioned earlier, low inventory is causing problems that make it difficult for both buyers and sellers.  And according to the above mentioned report from NAR the problem is not going to subside anytime soon. 

“Without a significant ramp-up in new home construction and more homeowners listing their homes for sale, buyers are likely to see little relief in the form of slowing price growth in the months ahead,” according to Lawrence Yun. 

From a local perspective, I’ve seen a number of different scenarios in recent weeks.  With rental rates continuing to rise there has been an increased interest in investment properties as well as those who are wanting to buy for the first time.  Many properties at the lower end of the market are seeing multiple offers as soon as they are listed.  Oftentimes investors with ready cash and the offer of quick closing times are creating problems for first-time buyers and others who are in competition with them. 

A recent investment client of mine wanted a home that had 12 offers on the day we viewed the home—ours being one of the 12.  It took some very clever negotiation on the part of me and the buyer to deliver an offer that the seller and his broker considered to be the best.  

To restate what I mentioned earlier, it can be difficult for someone who wants to sell and trade up to time it so that he is not left with no place to live!  Listed homes are going quickly and it’s not always easy to find exactly what you might want before your present home sells.  I’ve not seen quite this much activity in a long time and without more homes on the market it’s going to get even worse.

This is where having a knowledgeable, experienced real estate broker on your side is especially important.  It’s our job to figure out exactly what can be done to help you sell and trade up with the least possible stress on your part.  We know how to negotiate offers that get serious attention and help provide you with the options you need in order to make informed decisions.

If you are in the market to sell and trade up or buy for the first time or for investment purposes, please give me a call sooner than later and let’s come up with a strategy that could work for you in today’s market.  Interest rates are holding at historical lows and that can help offset the increase in home prices if you don’t wait too long. 

Call me at 598-3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s get the conversation started.

2016 housing market PREDICTIONS FROM TOP real estate AGENTS

RisMedia, 2.19.16

As a real estate Professional, I get asked quite often to predict where the market is going and it’s not always an easy answer.  If I had a crystal ball it might be easier, but since I don’t I would like to share with you what some of the top Real Estate Professionals across the U.S. are saying:

Is it a good time to buy or sell?

  • With mortgage interest rates finally starting to rise a bit, 2016 may be the last time in the foreseeable future to take advantage of these historically low rates.  Now is the time for first time buyers to make their move.

 

  • The volume of homes on the market has declined—this means there are often more buyers and not enough inventory of homes for sale.  If staged well, properly priced, and professionally marketed—it’s possible to get multiple offers and in some cases buyers overbidding the list price.

 

  • Values are up.  There is demand in the market.  According to the NAR Foot Traffic Report, there are more buyers out in the market right now than at any other time in the past three years.  Buyer demand continues to outpace supply of homes for sale.

 

What should I do if I’m ready to sell?

  • Don’t overprice your home—great choices still exist.

 

  • Make it shine and stand out from the competition.  With inventory being low, in order to get top dollar quickly, a few updates or touches that make the home feel more higher-end will yield more in the long run.

 

  • Declutter!  Also, hire a home stager and listen to what they have to say.  The return on investment is worth the cost.

 

What should I look for if I’m ready to buy?

  • First, make sure you are qualified, get your credit in order if needed and find yourself a qualified Realtor with credentials to prove it.  Look for an existing home, one that you would want to come home to, raise a family in or just be proud to own. Make it a dream come true.

 

  • Focus on your must-haves and don’t be too picky.

 

  • Do it earlier in the year so that you have a larger choice of inventory when people list after the holidays.

 

Should I make any changes in my home before I sell?  What are buyers demanding?

  • Buyers and sellers are starting to demand amenities that are energy-efficient, low emission and cost-effective like tank-less water heaters, solar panels, Nest®-type thermostats, low-water toilets and the like.

 

  • Quiet neighborhood.  Good schools and close proximity are a plus.  Updates in the kitchen, 2+ bathrooms.  A slice of “Americana”.

 

 

What’s happening in the real estate market this year? (this is why it’s so crucial to work with a real estate Professional who understands the local market)

  • Most agree with economists that interest rates, housing prices and rents will continue to rise in 2016.

 

  • Supply may get closer to demand in 2016 and with interest rates rising, it may slow buyer activity somewhat, but it will still be a strong market with prices and inventory beginning to stabilize.

 

  • As more Baby Boomers are able to sell the family home, they will continue to seek new, usually active lifestyle communities as their children leave the nest.  Both urban and suburban lifestyle-based communities will become increasingly more popular with these empty nesters as they look beyond their child rearing years and into the future.

 

These are just some of the answers from top agents around the country.  To find more detailed answers about the Colorado Springs area, please call me and I will be pleased to share with you the information the I continue to compile on a daily basis, both out in the field and in my extensive on-going research. 

My job is to do the homework for you so that when you’re ready I will be able to provide you with the excellent customer service for which I’ve become known during my 43+ years in the local real estate arena.  Your goals become mine and I will always do my best to exceed your expectations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 2.8.16

by Harry Salzman

February 8, 2016

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                        A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

BRONCOS WIN PREDICTED BY REALTOR.COM®

Realtor®Mag, 2.5.16

Unless you live in a vacuum, you probably know by now that the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 yesterday and it’s a VERY happy day in Colorado as I write this.  Most certainly it’s a testament to how hard work and perseverance can get it done. 

But what you probably don’t know is that realtor.com®’s chief economist, Jonathan Smoke predicted this win last week.  “Although there is no economically driven correlation between the outcome of the Super Bowl and the housing market, we have found a promising real estate predictor for the Super Bowl that’s more effective than a coin toss”, he said.

Realtor.com® used January’s performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to predict the Super Bowl outcome.  “Out of the 49 games to date, this predictor has anticipated the outcome of the Super Bowl 82 percent of the time,” realtor.com® states.

Accordingly, this year the stock market ended last month down 5.5%, which realtor.com® says indicated that the Denver Broncos would win.  If the market had risen in January, the Carolina Panthers would have been the anticipated winners.

“History suggests a Denver win is also good for the overall housing market”, says realtor.com®.

“Denver’s past wins in the Super Bowl—in 1998 and 1999—were also strong for housing.  In 1998, home prices rose 6% and existing-home sales increased 13%, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®.  And housing starts surged 9%, with single-family starts alone up 12%.  In 1999, the housing market also showed rises, with home prices up 7%; existing-home sales increasing 3%; and housing starts inching up 2%.”

Here is a copy of the chart that was used to make this prediction:

Two good things to point out here: The Broncos won AND the housing market should statistically be on track for another good year. 

Good news all around.

JANUARY 2016 WAS THE 18TH STRAIGHT MONTH OF INCREASED LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate SALES

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

It’s beginning to sound like a broken record but in this case, that’s a good thing.  I am happy to report that prices and sales are continuing their upward climb for the Pikes Peak Region in the Residential real estate Market.

The Monthly Summary shows that total active listings continue their downward trend from the same month last year.  In fact, the total active listings for Single Family/Patio Homes are 1,923—the lowest number since PPAR began record keeping.

In the Cumulative Year-To-Date Summary you will see that total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes is up 33.5% over the year 2015 while Condo/Townhome sales are up 8.1% over 2015. (These are the same as the month-over-month totals since it’s only for the month of January this time.)

While this is continuing to create a bit of frenzy for buyers due to fewer available choices, new listings in January were slightly up in the Single Family/Patio Homes category. Condo/Townhomes for the same period were significantly down in both total active listings and new listings. 

We are experiencing another reduction in mortgage interest rates, which is apparently reflected in these numbers.  The stock market volatility and low oil prices have helped keep mortgage rates low and people are taking advantage of this before things change. 

There are fewer homes available in most neighborhoods and most price ranges, and those in the low and mid-range tend to go quickly.  Making a quick decision is a must in order to secure the home you want.

With fewer homes available, we are finding multiple bids, some even over asking price, and at present the average days on the market is a low 60. 

Again, what this means is that it’s more important than ever to know what you want, need and can afford prior to the hunt for a new home. There’s no longer the luxury of “let me think about it for a couple of days” at this time.

For those of you who have been thinking about selling to trade up, the timing couldn’t be better.  While there won’t be as many choices available, your home will most likely sell in record time and you can still take advantage of the low interest rates on your next home. 

Another factor to consider is that there will be more buyers competing for homes during the Spring buying season, so starting your search now could not only save you money, but could afford you a “head start” in the home buying search. 

To discover the options available for you, give me a call sooner than later and let’s see what we can do to make this happen.  I can be reached at 598.3200 or by email at Harry@HarrySalzman.com

Here are some highlights from the January 2016 PPAR report.  Please click here to view the detailed 14-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, as always, just give me a call.

In comparing January 2016 to January 2015 in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,113, Up 2.9%
  • Number of Sales are 849, Up 33.5%
  • Average Sales Price is $263,678 Up 0.9%
  • Median Sales Price is $237,000, Up 0.7%
  • Total Active Listings are 1,923, Down 22.1%

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 132, Down 19.5%
  • Number of Sales are 107, Up 8.1%
  • Average Sales Price is $169,438 Down 4.1%
  • Median Sales Price is $163,495, Up 15.1%
  • Total Active Listings are 147, Down 50.5%

 

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

 

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                January 2016                          January 2015

 

Black Forest                            $468,000                              $399,950

Briargate                                  $341,500                              $320,375         

Central                                     $226,750                              $182,500

East                                          $186,000                              $186,400

Fountain Valley:                      $219,000                              $218,169

Manitou Springs:                    $284,000                              $171,000

Marksheffel:                             $258,750                             $246,000

Northeast:                                $223,000                              $213,000

Northgate:                                $419,202                              $368,000         

Northwest:                               $303,500                              $279,700

Old Colorado City:                  $216,500                              $225,000

Powers:                                    $229,000                              $235,250

Southwest:                              $252,000                              $234,000

Tri-Lakes:                                 $427,000                              $412,000

West:                                        $218,000                              $201,000

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

 

JANUARY HOUSING DATA INDICATES STRONG 2016 OUTLOOK

RisMedia, 2.23.16

Year-over-year trends point to this spring as being the busiest since 2006 in growth and sales of residential real estate. 

While the housing market nationally followed a typical January pattern of cooler demand, reduced inventory and slower market velocity than during the warmer months, 2016 is off to a strong start with robust year-over-year growth. 

January median home prices are expected to show a substantial increase of 8 percent year-over-year.  Homes are selling 4 percent faster this year when compared to last year. 

According to Jonathan Smoke, “Our initial readings on January affirm the positive growth we expect to see in the residential real estate market in 2016.  Our traffic, searches and listing views exhibited the January ‘pop’ we saw last year, which made for a strong spring.  In addition, a large number of prospective buyers have been telling us since the second half of 2015 that they plan to purchase in the spring and summer of 2016.”

In order for this to happen we need to see more inventory nationally, as well as here in Colorado
Springs.  The decline in the stock market has been very positive for the housing market and low interest rates—25 basis points (or more) lower than at the end of 2015—are contributing to this. 

So one more time—if you’re thinking of selling and trading up—THIS IS THE TIME.  You can expect to get good value for your present home and while interest rates are still historically low you will find that even with increased prices on your new home, the monthly payment may be less than you imagined. 

Call me today and let’s see how we can make this all work out in your favor.

 

THE “HAPPPIEST” STATES IN THE U.S.

Realtor®Mag, 2.2.16

According to the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Hawaii was named the number one spot as the “Happiest” state in the country.  Colorado placed number four. The Index measures the well-being of states across five elements:  purpose, social, financial, community and physical.  Life evaluation—how Americans rate and perceive their lives—surged to a record high in the Index.

“Well-being in the U.S. exhibits regional patterns, with the northern plains and mountain west reporting higher levels of well-being, along with some western states and pockets in the northeast and Atlantic states”, according to the report. 

Here are the states that scored the highest in well-being, according to the Index:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Alaska
  3. Montana
  4. COLORADO
  5. Wyoming
  6. South Dakota
  7. Minnesota
  8. Utah
  9. Arizona
  10. California
  11. Texas
  12. Florida
  13. Wisconsin
  14. Iowa
  15. North Dakota

 

WHY DO AMERICANS CONSIDER MOVING?

Keeping current matters, 1.15.16

Some Highlights

  • In a recent Harris Poll, Americans listed “change in climate/weather” as their top reason for wanting to relocate
  • 41% would move for a better job opportunity
  • Being closer to loved ones filled out 3 of the top 6 reasons why Americans move

HOMEOWNERSHIP NUMBERS SHOW SLIGHT GAIN

The Wall Street Journal, 1.28.16, Realtor®Mag, 2.2.16, Housingwire, 1.1.16

An improving economy and a slight easing in access to credit are attributed as reasons for the rise in home ownership during the past two quarters. 

While homeownership in the U.S. remains at near the 48-year low of 62.4% in the second quarter of 2015, there was a slight increase from 63.7% in the third quarter to 63.8 percent in the last.  This is still far below the peak of 69.1% at the end of 2004.

Latest Census data shows home ownership to be highest among people over the age of 65, with home ownership among those under 35 remaining the lowest.  Americans aged 35 to 44 increased their homeownership from 58.8% to 59.3% in the latest quarter.

One of the reasons the homeownership rate could be rising is that some of the nine million owners who lost their homes to foreclosure, short sale or another distressed event could finally be returning to the market. 

According to what Matthew Pointon, U.S. property economist for Capital Economics, Ltd. told Bloomberg Business, “We expect it to rise very gradually over the next few years.”

Hopefully we can help find new ways for recent college grads to be able to afford homes, despite lack of credit and/or student loan debt pressures that are currently holding them back. 

 

HARRY’S JOKE OF THE DAY (maybe not so funny, but true nonetheless)

 

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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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