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by Harry Salzman

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May 28, 2013




                                     A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market







A day after the “official” holiday, I’m still thinking of all the celebrations and memorial tributes I witnessed this past weekend.  We may only celebrate our servicemen and women who lost their lives for our country one day a year, but I’m thankful each and every day that I can wake up safe because of the tremendous sacrifice they made.  I’m also aware of the family members who spend lifetimes without their spouses, brothers, sisters, and fathers because of these sacrifices and I hope they get some happiness from realizing what heroes these men and women are to me and so many others.





I recently received this quarterly update as of April 2013 on the El Paso County Economy from the UCCS College of Business and wanted to share it with our Readers.  The full report is 17 pages long and you can click here to read it in full.  Here are some of the highlights I thought you would find interesting:


  • The best performing indicators were new single family permits (up 43.1%), new vehicle registrations (up 40%), Colorado Springs sales and use tax collections (up 8.5%) and consumer sentiment (up 3.1%).


            In MLS Activity:


  • The trend in home sales continues to improve.  Through April, there were 618 (25.2%) more homes sold than the same period in 2012.  This is a significant departure from the weak sales trends over the last five years. 


  • The demand for housing remains strong through April 2013.


  • As of April 2013, there were 451 (13.3%) fewer homes listed for sale than there were in April 2012.  This is part of a consistent trend for over a year.


  • Prices have been trending up since early 2011.


The next several sections of the report include:


  • Colorado Springs Airport Trends
  • Colorado Springs Sales Taxes
  • New Car Registration Trends
  • Employment Trends and Wages
  • National Expectations
  • Misery Index (cute!)


It is with pleasure that Salzman real estate Services is able to share important statistics and forecasts with you as soon as they become available, each month and every quarter.  I would be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning these detailed reports and how they might affect you personally or just any question you might have concerning Real Estate in general.  Just call me at 598.3200 or email me at





Today’s market is “today” and any comparables should be within the most recent 90 days.  Anything more than 90 days happened in a different market between Buyers and Sellers not only in Colorado Springs, but in almost every community in the USA. 


  • It is our feeling that situations from more than 90 days have different housing “economics”.
  • The market is changing very quickly for both Buyers and Sellers.
  • Buyers need to make a decision quickly or the home they want may not be available.  Yes, we have seen some people become discouraged due to their preferred home going under contract before they can act on it.
  • We have seen two identical words in different articles—“Boomerang Buyers”.  These are the people trying to get back into owning their own home after losing a former one to foreclosure or short sale.  Many of these people are trying to get into home ownership again but it is proving difficult.
  • Sellers are now seeing a higher “fair market value” of their homes vs. the fair market value of a year ago.
  • Many homeowners wanted to trade up but could not do so because they did not have enough equity in their present home.  Today, they are coming back into the market to sell their current home and moving into a different home or neighborhood.
  • The “different” housing market we now are seeing has required us to have more “heart-to-heart” chats with our clients so we can be more specific in determining their wants, needs and budgets.
  • Salzman real estate Services takes pride in creative marketing plans that implement local neighborhood inventory facts.
  • Buyers and Sellers alike need to realize that “today’s” housing economy is unique no matter where you live and where you wish to move.
  • I like to share price, location, and timeliness necessities to my clients so they can individually and proactively plan.
  • Bottom line—I’m here to educate you on current market conditions as they affect you, either as a buyer or seller.
  • I take proper follow-up and action for YOU and that will put you in a much better personal financial situation in the long run.





While our local foreclosure rate was never like that in many parts of the country, we are now seeing fewer properties in the Pikes Peak region falling into foreclosure and being taken over by lenders or other investors.  The turnaround in the local housing market is the main contributing factor and El Paso County saw its foreclosure filings fall 36.2% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2012. 


First quarter foreclosure sales in El Paso County dropped 5.9% from the same period last year. 


Sales tax collections in Colorado Springs rose more than 8% in April from the same month a year ago, the sixth time in the past eight months this has happened according to a report issued Thursday from the city’s Finance Department.




The Gazette and AP, May 23, 2013


April homes sales nationally were the highest in more than three years according to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).   While homes sales have risen 9.7% in the past 12 months, they have remained somewhat flat since November.  This is attributable to the low supply of available homes and the fact that many potential Buyers are still not able to get loans due to tight credit restrictions. 


In Colorado Springs, home sales in April increased 19 percent from April 2012 and sales have increased in 20 of the past 22 months.  Last month’s total of 932 was the best April for sales since 2006


Local homes sales since the first of the year have totaled 3,121, a one-fourth increase over the same period last year.





According to The Wall Street Journal,  the four primary reasons the housing market is strong are:


  • Sales have made big leaps from year-over-year levels
  • Non-distressed home sales are increasing.
  • Inventories have started to increase. 
  • Homes are selling a lot quicker.


You have waited long enough to buy a house.  I am total agreement with this information and have shared these concepts with my Readers for a while now.  Glad to see the “Journal” agrees with me.





Economists at Fannie Mae, in releasing their latest forecast, say that the economy will be somewhat stronger in the second half of 2013, with housing acting as a “tailwind” throughout the year and into 2014.


“Lean inventories, a declining share of distressed sales, and increased efforts to implement short sales and other foreclosure alternatives have helped boost home prices, which showed strengthening annual gains so far this year,” Fannie Mae economists said.





According to Zillow chief economist Dr. Stan Humphries, “April marks the sixth straight month of annual home appreciation of 5 percent or above, the longest such streak since the height of the bubble in 2006.  In the short-term, this has been welcome news for homeowners.


Overall, we can expect home value appreciation to moderate as more supply comes on line over the next year, but in some areas, runaway home value appreciation, combined with expected interest rate hikes in coming years, runs a real risk of pricing out many potential buyers.”





Friday’s Wall Street Journal  shows the Fannie Mae 30 year mortgage yield (Page C6) that closed new loans in the next 30 days are at the highest interest rate in 52 weeks.  If a mortgage would take 60 days to close, that rate is a little higher. 


The point here is that mortgage rates in today’s market are beginning to cost a Buyer/Borrower a higher interest rate if they wait. 


What this means to you is what I’ve been saying for some time—NOW is the time to buy, sell and trade up, or buy for investment purposes.  Interest rates are slowly moving up.  Your home equity has more than like increased, thus making it possible to finally trade up before you get priced out of the market once again.  If you wish to find out what possibilities are available, as always, I’ll be glad to help you determine the best financial decision for your personal wants, needs and budget.





With market values increasing, it might be a good time to contact your insurance agent to determine if you have adequate coverage for the present replacement value of your home or investment property.  Just a little reminder from me to help you protect your home ownership investment.





I have four front row season tickets to the AAA Sky Sox that are available to you at no cost on a first come-first served basis to any home game.  Just give me a call at 598.3200 to request the date of your choice.  We’ve got another great roster of players this season so call soon, as the tickets go quickly.  Just another way I like to say “thank you” to clients and friends.





A telemarketer calls a house and a little boy answers.  The little boy whispers, “Hello?”


The salesperson says, “Yes, can I speak to your mommy?”


“No,” the little boy whispers.  “She’s busy.”


The salesperson then says, “Okay, can I speak to your daddy, please?”


“He’s busy too,” the little boy whispers.


Starting to get annoyed, the salesperson says, “All right, is there another adult in the house?”


“Yes,” the boy again whispers.  “There’s a policewoman.”


“A policewoman?” the salesperson gasps.  “Can I speak to her/”


“No,” whispers the boy.  “She’s busy, too.”


As a last resort, the salesperson asks one last time, “Okay, are there any other adults there?”


“Yes,” whispers the boy.  “There’s a firefighter.”


“A firefighter!” exclaims the salesperson.  “Can I speak to him?”


“No,” whispers the boy.  “He’s busy, too.”


“Little boy,” says the salesperson, “with all of those adults in the house, what are they busy doing?”


After a short pause the little boy whispers, “Looking for me.”










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Beds: 5

Baths: 4

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Harry A. Salzman. CRS, CRP, CNE
e-Pro Internet Certified


Serving: Colorado Springs, Monument. Air Force Academy, Fountain,
Security, Woodland Park, Black Forest, Manitou Springs 


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by Harry Salzman

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May 13, 2013




News So Good It Just Couldn’t Wait


           EXTRA!     EXTRA!     EXTRA!     EXTRA!     EXTRA!    





This is such positive Residential news that I couldn’t wait until the next eNewsletter to share it with you.


National Association of Realtors (NAR) has just published the “Median Sales Price of Existing Single Family Homes for Metropolitan Areas.”  The reported average median sales price gain of the 150 largest communities in the U.S. was 11.3% over the same time period last year.  These figures from NAR are calculated from every closed sale listed in the MLS within these areas.


Colorado Springs has experienced a median sales price gain of 13.1% for that same time period.  I have always liked to use the words “relative strength” to compare a house, a neighborhood, price ranges, sales, etc.  The fact that our local market has appreciated by about 16% better than the average of the 150 largest communities in the USA shows that the Colorado Springs population is more confident in home ownership than in many other cities nationwide


What this tells us is:


  • With the increase in demand for homes and the supply of listings greatly reduced, the basic expectation is that our home values and prices will continue to increase.


  • Sellers are receiving a higher price for their homes and Buyers are agreeing to pay more today vs. one year ago.


  • Now is a great time to upgrade to the home you have been wanting.  Many people have been waiting to make a move to a better neighborhood because the former marketability and value of their existing home may not have been at a reasonable selling price.


  • Buyers are taking advantage of the still historically low mortgage interest rates, not knowing how long they will last.


  • This appreciation has also been a terrific gain to Homebuilders as homeowners now have the equity available to build. 


The NAR survey comparisons are produced approximately 6 weeks after the end of each calendar quarter.  Since this only compares the First Quarter 2013 to last year’s same time period, we already know that our local market conditions continue to escalate even through last month, April 2013.   And from where I sit, I can honestly say I haven’t seen this kind of Residential activity locally in a good number of years and it just keeps getting busier. 


Friday’s Wall Street Journal  stated that  “home prices in metropolitan areas saw their biggest year-over-year gains in more than seven years in the first quarter, evidence that the housing recovery is spreading across the nation.”


The article went on to say that “the NAR’s quarterly report is a good measure of general price trends, but the results can sometimes overstate the magnitude of price gains because they don’t control for shifts in the number of homes sold in various price categories.  As a result, the median price can rise sharply if sales of higher-end homes increase faster than sales of lower-priced homes.”


And according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, many areas in the USA are experiencing a Seller’s market.  “The supply/demand balance is tilted toward Sellers in a good portion of the country,” he said.  “Inventory conditions are expected to remain fairly constrained this year, so overall price increases should be well above the historic gain of one-to-two percentage points above the rate of inflation.  If homebuilders can continue to ramp up production, then home price growth is expected to moderate in 2014.”


NAR President Gary Thomas said that conditions also remain favorable for Buyers.  “Even with rising home prices, there is still plenty of buying power in the market,” he said.  “Historically low mortgage interest rates and home prices that remain well below their peak mean most Buyers can purchase well within their means, assuming they meet ongoing stringent credit standards.”


I have been providing this Quarterly data from NAR to our readers for many years and do not recall a gain like this recently published quarter, in our local market, since we first created our eNewsletter!


To view the entire NAR Quarterly Report and see how the rest of the country is doing in comparison to our local market, please click here


If you have any questions concerning this report or how the current market is affecting you personally, please call me at 598.3200 or email me at .






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6740 Northrim LN

Price: $689,000

Beds: 5

Baths: 4

Sq Ft: 6552


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Harry A. Salzman. CRS, CRP, CNE
e-Pro Internet Certified


Serving: Colorado Springs, Monument. Air Force Academy, Fountain,
Security, Woodland Park, Black Forest, Manitou Springs 


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by Harry Salzman


May 6, 2013




                       A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market






You are about to see the fabulously positive residential activity for April.  When providing our professional opinions to our readers regarding the most current home data, we always include up to date market conditions.


The reason for this is to allow our readers to experience what is actually happening in the real estate market as we deal with it on a daily basis.  The few years prior to 2012 haven’t been too exciting to say the least, but…those days are gone.  The current housing market is the most exhilarating that we’ve experienced in a long while. 


So, here’s the WOW for a Seller of mine.  This long time client wanted me to list an investment house that had been occupied by a tenant for the past 8 years.  I made some suggestions as to how the home might be more marketable with a few “updates”.  The house went on the market as a new listing on MLS at approximately 11:30 a.m. on April 28th.  By the end of that same business day we received not 1, not 2 offers at full price but a 3rd offer just over list price and….a 4th offer for considerably OVER list price.  Yes, that was all on the afternoon/evening of the listing day.


But, I can’t stop there…the next day another offer was received.  Unfortunately that Realtor should have contacted me to see if the property was available prior to taking the time to create an offer that had no chance of being taken, and thus disappointing their clients.


Talking to the other Realtors whose offers were not taken gave us all a glimpse at the “New Normal” that is trending in real estate now.  There are simply not a lot of choice of listings compared to a year ago, and current listings have fewer days on the market. 





April activity in Colorado Springs was exciting.  Many of these numbers seem ‘off the chart” positive and yet they are real, as I’ve personally experienced.  To illustrate that, here are some highlights of the April 2013 Pikes Peak Association of Realtors (PPAR) Report for Single Family/Patio Homes (Year-over-year comparing April 2012 to April 2013)


  • Number of Sales932.  Up 18.9%
  • Average Sales Price---$235,161.  Up 6.3%
  • Median Sales Price---$214,925.  Up 11.6%


Locally, home prices have continued to increase in 20 of the past 22 months—yes, that’s almost two years.  Last month was the best April for sales since 2006.


The total active Single Family/Patio Homes as of April 30, 2013 is 3377, which is about the same as the 3383 of a year ago.


I really encourage you to look over the actual activity in all areas in and around Colorado Springs to see for yourself why I’m so excited about this data.  All of the numbers are moving up on a regular monthly basis. 


Taking a look at Sales Activity only in 2013, between January and April of this year we are at 3121 home sales which is up 25.1% over that same period a year ago.  Now that’s a huge WOW!


To look at the 12-page PPAR Report and see how your area is performing, please click here.   I am available to answer any questions you may have concerning this report or any of your real estate needs.  Just call me at 598.3200 or email me at .


And to make the picture even brighter, mortgage rates are bottoming out again with 30-year fixed rates today at 3 3/8%, and 15-year fixed rates at 3.0% (and maybe some at 2 7/8%).


As you are aware, I’ve been predicting this for more than a year now and here you will see actual numbers to back up my words.  So, if you, your family, friends or co-workers are thinking of selling and trading up, buying or looking for investment property, NOW is the time.  I will be happy to discuss all our your viable options in these areas, and as always, will take your individual needs, wants and budget into consideration.





During the past week most local property owners should have received the latest “Real Property Notice of Valuation”.  No, this isn’t a tax bill, it is what the El Paso County Assessor feels the property value will be based on for the 2013 tax assessment.


What might this mean to a property owner?  The Assessor’s office can use comparable properties to establish real property values from a 24 month time period.  The new and updated Assessor’s value of a property (per Colorado Revised Statute 39-1-104 (10.2) (a) (b) (c) (d) ) began July 1, 2010 and ended June 30, 2012.


What I believe is that the Residential Market Value of your home today is higher than what your home was worth over the period of July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2012.


I have already been fielding questions from clients to explain their current situation and am more than happy to help explain what the value stated on the Assessor’s form you just received means to you.


The good news is that the 24 months of real estate values that was used for this current assessment was lower than today’s probable home value. 


Even though today’s assessed value of a home is “x”, the current market has nothing to do with the recently received assessed value because the local market was most probably lower during the two year period on which the assessment is based. 


It is also worth keeping in mind that today’s market value, even a “current market anaylsis” has nothing to do with the appropriate value for the most current Assessors Property Value.





The 8.3% unemployment rate for Colorado Springs is the lowest since February 2009 and that’s great news for the housing recovery here.  More people working is helping to fuel the jump in homebuilding starts.  The 302 permits in April in Colorado Springs and El Paso County is a 58.1% jump over April 2012.  It’s also the highest number of permits issued by Regional Building in any month since June 2006. 


And while foreclosures aren’t yet a thing of the past, they are falling quickly as local housing demand and home prices rise.  Just more good news in the local market.





Our local real estate Market is on a roll and ahead of many other communities in the rest of the country. That being said, it’s always good to follow what’s happening nationally because good news there ultimately means even better news for us.


 The Wall Street Journal reported on May 1 that “home prices are rising at the fastest rate in seven years, with some communities seeing double-digit gains, as buyers are returning to a market where the number of properties for sale is in short supply.”  Prices jumped 9.3%--the quickest rise since 2006, with gains seen all across the country. 


Even with some concerns that traditional Buyers are facing still stringent mortgage lending standards and being squeezed out by investors able to make winning cash bids, “for now, recent data suggest home price gains are likely to continue.  Sales of previously owned homes rose by 10.3% from one year ago in March, even as supplies of homes for sale fell by 16.8%. 


Demand has picked up as the economy has added jobs, which has boosted household formation.  Rising rents and falling mortgage rates have made (home) ownership more attractive.”


The article goes on to say that “even with the gains in home prices, housing is more affordable than at any time in the past 30 years because mortgage rates are so low.


The concern is that home prices could more easily rise above their traditional relationship to incomes because lower mortgage rates will enable buyers to swallow price increases.  ‘We are encouraging people to buy an asset that, when [mortgages] rates go back to 6% to 8%, will look a bit overpriced,’ said Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.”


The WSJ also says that “what’s bad news for home buyers is good news for builders; the low inventory of previously owned homes for sale is driving up new-home sales—and prices.  New home sales jumped 1.5% in March to an annual pace of 417,000, the second-highest monthly sales pace in three years.  Year-over-year March sales were up 18.5%.”



USAToday reported on May 1 that “a tight housing supply and investor buyers pushed up February home prices at their fastest monthly rate in eight years, but job growth is a factor, too.  ‘Prices are growing faster in markets with stronger job growth,’ says Jed Kolko, chief economist for real estate website Truilia.”.   We can see this in our own local market as I mentioned earlier.


On Friday USAToday reported that “home loans get dirt cheaper” and that “about a quarter of refinancing applications in March were for 15-year fixed-rate loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.  For purchase loans, 85% of consumers take longer loans.  But applications for 15-year mortgages to buy homes have risen nearly twice as fast as 30-year purchase-loan applications.”


Citing a report from the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, The Gazette on May 1, reported that “U.S. home prices rose 9.3% in February compared with a year ago, the most in nearly seven years.  The gains were driven by a growing number of buyers who bid on a limited supply of homes.”



REALTORMag reported that home “sales have been above year-ago levels for 21 consecutive months, while prices show 13 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases.


Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there is more demand than supply in the current market.  ‘Buyer traffic is 25 percent above a year ago when we were already seeing notable gains in shopping activity,’ he said.  ‘In the same timeframe housing inventories have trended much lower, which is continuing to pressure home prices.  The good news is home construction is rising and low mortgage rates are continuing to keep affordability conditions at historically favorable levels.  The bad news is that underwriting standards remain excessively tight, while renters are getting squeezed by higher rents.’


‘The inventory improvement last month results from a seasonal gain, but conditions continue to broadly favor Sellers.  We need a housing supply of over 6 months to have a generally balanced market between home Buyers and Sellers, but it’s unlikely we’ll get there without greater increases in housing construction,’ Yun said.”





As you can tell from both national and local news, today we’ve got the best of both worlds.  Sellers are seeing quick turnaround times at prices that are considerably higher than in the recent past and Buyers are seeing mortgage rates that allow for the price increases.  If you’re looking to sell and trade up or seeking investment homes to rent, this is an opportunity that won’t be around forever.  Home prices will continue to rise, but we don’t know how long these historically low interest rates will be available. 


Again, what all this means is exactly what I’ve been telling you for the past year.  Now is the time to sell and trade up or invest.  Call me with any questions, or simply to find out what’s going to make the most sense to you personally in this fast changing market.





Why did the man take his computer to a clinic?

It had a virus.


What do you get when you cross a computer with a toad?

A wart processor.


How was the computer convention?

Crowded.  You couldn’t get a nerd in edgewise.



Jimmy was explaining to his dad the kind of computer he wanted.  “First we’ll discuss hardware, and then we’ll talk about the software I need.”


“Wait a minute,” said Jimmy’s dad.  “How is hardware different from software?”


Jimmy just shook his head and said, “Hardware is the part of a computer that you can kick.”



Did you hear about the computer with the corrupt hard drive?

Its backup was worse than its byte.






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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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