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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 4.23.19

by Harry Salzman

April 23, 2019

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                                A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of 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.

 

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JUST WHEN I THOUGHT THINGS COULDN’T GET CRAZIER IN THE LOCAL housing market…

It’s been a wild couple of weeks in local residential real estate. The spring buying season is in full swing, but unfortunately for buyers…there just aren’t a lot of homes for sale. This isn’t just a local problem, as the sale of existing homes nationally fell 4.9% in March even with the low interest rates and booming job market and economy.  

According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, “It is not surprising to see a retreat after a powerful surge in sales the prior month. Still, current sales activity is underperforming in relation to the strength in the job markets.  The impact of lower mortgage rates has not yet been fully realized.”

On the other hand, home appreciation locally is good,with the average price increase greater than 3 percent and the median price increase greater than 5 percent, based on year-over-year numbers. When you compare that to the price increases nationally you can begin to understand that the Colorado Springs housing market is performing considerably better.  Colorado Springs is ranked #28 out of 178 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in terms of appreciation.  

Our relative strength is one good reason to be looking to buy-- either to sell and trade up or for first time or investment purposes.  And herein lies the problem.  The shortage of listings is making home purchases tougher than usual.  There are homes available, but you may not get your first or sometimes even second choice. You have to be vigilant in your search and jump right in when you find what you are looking for.  There’s no time to waste in making an offer, so you have to do your homework beforehand to know what you want, need and can afford. 

Let me tell you about the last eight days in my residential real estate life.  I’ve had a number of folks looking to buy, both for primary homes and for investment property.  The shortage of listings has made it very difficult.  

I had five deals in which offers were extended.  Two were for sellers and three for buyers.  ALL five escalated into bidding wars with price offers at over listing price!  Most of these were on the first day of listing.  And all were in the $300-350K range.  

In several instances I advised my sellers to walk away.  As someone who’s seen it all in my 47 years selling local real estate, I am aware when a good deal becomes not so good in terms of how it will affect my client in the future.  They may win the battle (bid accepted) but lose the war in terms of what the home is actually worth.  

Not all realtors have been around for as many cycles—up and down—that I’ve seen.  A seasoned realtor will know when it’s in the best interest of their client to walk away. As much as someone may want a certain home, it’s often better to take the extra cash and fix up another one rather than overpaying.

I’ve also been fielding cold calls from individuals looking for homes to rent.  A number of these folks either can’t afford or can’t qualify to buy at present.  Unfortunately, there just aren’t many rentals to be had. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve had a number of clients looking to buy investment properties—as many as I can find!  They are not getting any cheaper to buy, and again, there just aren’t many homes for sale, period.

If you’ve been considering a move, NOW is the time.  You obviously need to know where you might be going next since homes are selling so fast, but you will likely get top dollar for your present home, which will help with the down payment on the new one.  And with interest rates still historically low, it’s a win-win.

There are a number of things to consider depending on whether it’s a first-time purchase, a sale to trade up or if you are looking for a real estate investment.  Lucky for you—you’ve got me.  With my 47 years of experience and prior investment banking background, I can help you decide the right way to go for your individual situation.  I’ve seen it all and I know the ins and outs of writing an offer that at least stands the chance of a second look.  

If you, a family member or co-worker are ready to start thinking about making a move…I’m willing and ready to help.  Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s get the ball rolling.

 

COLORADO SPRINGS RANKED NUMBER 3 IN ‘BEST PLACES TO LIVE’ SURVEY

The Gazette, 4.9.19

In the U.S. News & World Report’s recent “Best Place to Live”, Colorado Springs was ranked third, just behind Denver and Austin, TX.  We traded places with Denver this year, but since both are Colorado cities in close proximity, it’s a win for both cities.

According to Devon Thorsby, real estate editor for U.S. New & World Report, “The fact that both Colorado Springs and Denver rank so highly and are within easy driving distance of each other shows that they are able to benefit from each other’s success. Denver continues to grow in population faster than the Springs, but home prices and rents are lower in Colorado Springs.”

 

SUCCESS DICTATES COLORADO SPRINGS NO LONGER A ‘CHEAP’ PLACE TO LIVE

The Gazette, 4.19.19

A booming economy and hot real estate market that has helped create Colorado Springs as one of the nation’s most desirable cities has a downside, too.  The local cost of living is significantly higher than it was, as measured by several benchmarks, and is either equal to or somewhat greater than the national average for the first time since the late 1999’s and it continues to climb.

The cost of living in the Springs grew 7.1 between 2016 and 2017, more than twice as fast as the national average, ranking the city as the ninth-fastest growth among the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

Local costs increased even faster the following year at 19.5 percent, or 2 percentage points above the national average, ranking 14th.  This year, however, the cost of living has slowed, rising only 8.3 percent, or slightly more than half as fast as the national average of 14.1 percent and ranking 41st.

The Council on Community and Economic Research calculated that the cost of living in the Springs last year was 1.2 percent below the national average, while the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis listed the local cost of living in 2016--the most recent data available—at 0.6 percent below the national average.

There are a number of factors at work.  Colorado Springs has been ranked so high in various surveys such as “Best Place to Live”, “Best Place for Small Business”, “Most Beautiful City” and so many more.  These surveys along with the diligent work of our Mayor John Suthers and the City Council have convinced more companies to relocate here and with them come lots of folks looking to buy homes and contribute to our local economy.

Rising home prices are a byproduct of living in a desirable area, according to Bert Sperling, founder and CEO of Sperling’s Best Places, which ranks cities and towns by a variety of criteria.  Colorado Springs was ranked last year as the nation’s most desirable place to live by U.S. News & World Report.  

“The cost of living is going up quickly in Colorado; it is no longer an undiscovered gem.  Denver is increasing in desirability and livability, and Colorado Springs is also going that way.” Sperling said.  “People are gravitating to more affordable places that are also good places to live, and many are coming from higher-cost areas along the coasts, so they are reducing their cost of living from where they were.”

According to Dirk Draper, CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, a rising cost of living hasn’t yet made it too difficult for Colorado Springs employers to attract workers to fill openings, even low-wage entry-level positions.  However, the Chamber targets is economic development efforts at attracting employers who pay significantly more than the county’s average annual wage of nearly $50,000—last year helping to bring in more then 1,500 jobs paying an average annual wage of more than $62,000.

 

2019 ECONOMIC FORECAST…PROSPECTS FOR A RECESSION?

I just received this report from Summit Economics and wanted to share it with you on a timely basis.  They have been providing an annual forecast twice a year for almost ten years and their research helps individuals, organizations and communities to create futures that are more likely to sustain economic growth and wellbeing—even with fundamentals that they cannot control.

There is extensive data on Colorado that I believe might interest you and you can click here to get the full 19-page report.

If you have any questions, please give me a holler.  

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FEATURED LISTING:

HELP…I’M SOLD OUT OF LISTINGS…

Your home can be featured here.  Homes are selling so quickly that I’m all out of listings.  If you’re ready to sell, I’m ready to sell it for you.  Give me a call today.

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 4.8.19

by Harry Salzman

April 8, 2019

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                             A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of 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.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME…

It’s hard to believe that this month I’m celebrating my 47th year in the Colorado Springs Residential real estate arena.  It seems like yesterday that I transitioned from Investment Banking in Denver, made Colorado Springs my home, and started selling residential real estate.  

During those years I’ve met so many folks and had the pleasure of helping them realize all of their residential real estate dreams.  I’ve done it all—from land acquisition, new home sales, existing home sales and investment properties and all the while watching Colorado Springs grow to be the thriving city that we live in today.  

I for one am not surprised that our city continually makes all the top 10 lists when it comes to Best Place to Live, Best Place for Small Business, Hottest real estate Market, and so much more.  This is my home, too, and I enjoy relocating folks here from all parts of the globe.  

My career has also afforded me the opportunity to give back by participating on local government and Pikes Peak Association of Realtors (PPAR) committees, as well as serving the for-profit and non-profit community as a board member and in other capacities.   My recent two and a half year involvement in Plan COS resulted in a 20-year growth plan for Colorado Springs. 

As a founding sponsor of the UCCS College of Business Economic Forum, I’ve seen it grow over the last 22 years into an exceptional resource for local business and organizations. 

I’ve also had the pleasure of being a charter member of the RDC (relocation Directors Council), a national relocation organization, as well as having served as chairman.   

And on and on…

Most importantly, though, I could not have done any of it without your confidence and trust in allowing me to help facilitate what for many is their biggest financial asset.  

I recognize every client has needs, wants and budget requirements specific to them and I work diligently to put my special brand of customer service to task in helping find the right fit for each individual situation.  

An extra special part of having been in business for so many years is seeing children and grandchildren of my clients grow up and having them contact me when they are ready for their first home purchase.  It means a lot that these family members remember me and want me to assist them too.

This has been such a great ride…and I’m not relinquishing the driver’s seat because I’ve still got a lot more miles left in me! 

In today’s home market it’s more essential than ever to have a seasoned professional on your side.  One that knows the ins and outs of not only finding the right property but one that can negotiate an offer that has a good chance of getting accepted.  And that’s no easy feat in a climate of multiple offers and fewer listings, as well as over list price offers. 

I like to think that besides being “The real estate Therapist”I also have the “Power of Credibility”on my side.  I’ve been told time and again by clients that they know I make their personal goals mine.  I’m on their side and as most of you are aware, I like to be on the winning side.  I know how to get things done, but also know when to advise my clients to walk away when it’s in their best interest to do so.

If you, a family member or co-worker are ready to start thinking about making a move…I’m willing and ready to help.  Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s get the ball rolling.

 

MARCH 2019 AGAIN BROUGHT GAINS IN HOME VALUES AND LOWER NUMBER OF SALES

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

Here are some highlights from the March 2019 PPAR report. 

Just a reminder that the PPAR report is in a new format and no longer provides a look at the monthly stats for each neighborhood.  However, if you are interested in what’s happening in your individual neighborhood, I can provide it to you through other means.

Please click here to view the detailed 9-page report, including charts. If you have any questions about the report or to find out how it relates to your individual situation, just give me a call. 

In comparing March 2019 to March 2018 for All Homes in PPAR:

                                                               

                                    Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,525, Down 13.3%

·       Number of Sales are 1,224 Down 0.6%

·       Average Sales Price is $350,934 Up 3.0%

·       Median Sales Price is $315,000 Up 5.0%

·       Total Active Listings are 1,461 Up 6.6%

·       Months Supply is 1.2, Down 11.5%

 

                                     Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 216, Down 20.0%

·       Number of Sales are 169, Down 3.4%

·       Average Sales Price is $237,368, Up 12.3%

·       Median Sales Price is $220,000, Up 5.5%

·       Total Active Listings are 132, Up 36.1%

·       Months Supply is 0.8, Down 10.5%

 

At the start of each year I look into my “crystal ball”and try to determine what I believe will be a true picture of home appreciation for that year.  In January 2019 my prediction was for the local home market to show an appreciation of 5 ¾ - 6 ¾ % this year.  I believe we are on track for that.

Spring buying has started off slowly due to the inclement weather we’ve had but I believe it will pick up and those who are looking to move and trade up will have plenty of takers for their present home. The days of multiple offers, many accepted almost immediately after listing, are still here and it’s making things difficult—especially for first time buyers.  

It is important to know where you want to live next because if you list your present home it will likely sell much faster than you might imagine.  There are still homes available in most price ranges, but they go fast, so having me on your side can give you an advantage.  

If a newly constructed home is in your future, I can assist here, too.  I’m familiar with most of the new construction in the city and can help you with site and plan selection as well as helping you find the best financing for your individual needs.  And—did I mention that I provide it all at no additional cost to you? 

Now a look at more statistics…

 

MARCH 2019 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR LOCAL TRENDS IN DETAIL

Colorado Association of REALTORS® ,Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

Providing greater detail than the above report, this provides information on both Colorado Springs and Teller counties for residential real estate.  

It is broken down by geographical areas and you can look to see how your geographic area is doing in terms of sales, prices, and more.  

     The “Activity Snapshot” for all residential properties in El Paso and Teller counties shows the Year to Date one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties were Down 2.3%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was Up 5.4%
  • Active Listings on All Properties were Down 9.5%

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the geographic area of your choice from the 18-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own area or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. 

 

U.S. MORTGAGE RATES POST BIGGEST DROP IN A DECADE

The Gazette, The Associated Press, 3.29.19,The Wall Street Journal, 3.23.,2019

Buying a home became a lot cheaper, thanks mostly to the Federal Reserve decision several weeks ago to put its interest rate hikes on hold for now, and possibly for the rest of the year.

After their announcement, Freddie Mac reported that the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 4.06 % from 4.28% the previous week. That was the steepest weekly drop in a decade!

Lower rates, slowing home price increases and a slight increase in available homes appear to be a boon to home sales after a slight slowdown nationally last year.

Potential buyers are rushing to take advantage of rates that they had doubts they would ever see again.  Cheaper borrowing costs can make a big difference in what folks can afford, and it can make it easier for buyers to qualify for loans.  Economists expect sales will continue to improve this year, especially due to the steady job market and pay growth, both of which make a home purchase more affordable.

Also, in the U.S., sales of previously owned homes posted their largest monthly gain since 2015 in February—a sign that lower mortgage rates and more attractive prices are helping to lure buyers back to the market.  Existing homes sales nationally rose 11.8% in February from the prior month—the second-strongest monthly gain in homes sales ever.  

However, with sales volume 1.8% less than it was a year ago, the market is recovering, but at a slower pace than in 2017 and early 2018.

Locally, the cheaper cost of borrowing is a definite plus, but we still have a pretty tight market and most listed homes are selling swiftly. Hopefully we will see more listings this spring buying season and that will help those who are currently wanting to purchase a home.

 

SELLING IN APRIL COULD SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY

Rismedia’s Housecall, 3.20.19

Sellers are often faced with the difficult questions of “When should I list my home for sale?”  Each season has its pros and cons.  The winter months are slower, therefore less inventory competition.  The spring market, however, has buyers coming out in full force.  

Based on several factors—including trends in median listing prices, property views on realtor.com, home price drops, median days on the market and the number of listings on the market in the last three years—realtor.com determined in a new report that the best time to sell, on average, is the first week of April.  Why? Competition is still low, but buyers are out in droves, snapping up homes and driving up home values.  

The following shows this in graph form:

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While June is considered the peak of home-buying season, realtor.com’s report found that the first week of April is best for sellers looking to maximize list price, and also reduce the risk of price cuts and competition from other sellers, according to Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com.

“Given the time it takes from listing to close, putting a home on the market in early April positions sellers to attract buyers seeking to close and move before the beginning of school year,” she said.

The inclement weather locally has kept the spring buying season from starting quite as early this year, but a word to the wise…it’s going to pick up…especially with favorable mortgage loan rates, therefore the “early bird gets the worm” so to speak.

 

20 TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR SALE THIS SPRING…AND INFOGRAPHIC

Keeping current matters, 3.22.19

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Some Highlights:

  • When listing your house for sale, your top goal will be to the get house sold for the best price possible.
  • There are many small projects you can do to ensure this happens.
  • Your real estate agent (me!) will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market and is a great resource for finding local contractors and others who can help.

 

WHY YOU SHOULD REALLY CONSIDER STAGING YOUR HOME 

Rismedia Housecall, 3.22.19

In a recent NAR “2019 Profile of Home Staging” report, 83 percent of buyers’ agents agree that staging your home makes it easier for homebuyers to see themselves living in it.

Also, according to the report, more than half of sellers say that staging your home will decrease the amount of time your home stays on the market.

“Buying a home is more than a financial decision; it is an emotional decision as well,” says John Smaby, NAR President.  “Buyers aren’t just making an investment in a property.  They are purchasing a place to call home, to raise their children; to begin a new chapter; or to retire to a new season of life.”

Here are several graphs to illustrate the report:

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If you have any questions about staging your home, please give me a call.  I’ve had considerable experience with this and can get you to the professional staging folks who are best suited for your situation.

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM REPORT SHOW INCREASED CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business, updated 3.28.19

As always, I like to share with you the updated reports I receive due to my sponsorship of the UCCS Economic Forum.  These reports show in graphic form the “Big Picture” of the U.S. in general as well as the local outlook.

Included in the local statistics are: Local Employment/Wages and other employment factors as well as demographics of Population Growth, real estate Sales, Tourism and more.

Click here to view this informative report can be seen in its entirety. If you have any questions, please give me a holler.

 

 

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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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