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Harry's Bi-Weekly Update 6.23.14

by Harry Salzman

                                                            

June 23, 2014

 

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.             

                                                            

REALTORS LOOKING FOR 4% MEDIAN HOME PRICE RISE

Housingwire.com 6.12.14

Despite negative reports to the contrary, the latest survey of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in their confidence index shows that Realtors expect home prices to continue to appreciate over the next year, with a median price increase of 4%

This index reflects the responses of more than 3,000 NAR members and while some states are forecasted for higher median increases, those are states that suffered the most during the housing crisis. 

All in all, good news… as Realtors can help play an important role in helping protect your investment.

 

FORECLOSURES CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH

MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal 6.14

I’m sure you can imagine that having a home foreclosed on would be difficult, but you might not be aware that simply living next to or near a foreclosed home can also affect you in ways you never dreamed of.

A new study found that the foreclosure next door can elevate your blood pressure.  According to a researcher at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, each additional foreclosure within 100 meters (328 feet) of an individual’s home corresponds with an increase of 1.17 millimeters of mercury in systolic blood pressure. 

One in three American adults already has high blood pressure—a reading over 140/90 mmHg.  This additional increase doesn’t push homeowners into hypertension territory; however, it is worrisome and reveals larger public-health implications, according to the study.

It was also found that stress from these nearby foreclosures affected the study participants’ health in other ways, such as in increase in alcohol consumption and nominal weight gain. 

The study looked at bank-owned foreclosures, which are often left vacant and unkempt, in the year leading up to the examinations of participants.  The 100-meter radius covers roughly two properties on either side of the home, as well as properties directly behind and across the street.

This is just another reason to use a competent Realtor when looking to Buy.  A good Realtor will check out any foreclosure activity in neighborhoods you are considering.  Just another part of our job—making sure you won’t be facing any health-related problems due to foreclosures in the vicinity of your new home!

 

‘BOOMERANG’ BUYERS GET A SECOND CHANCE, BUT NOT GREATLY AFFECTING MARKET AT PRESENT

RealtorMag 6.16.14

A government program launched last summer by the FHA is helping former homeowners to step back into home ownership in a little as a year after a foreclosure or short sale.  The FHA’s Back to Work Program allows them to qualify for low interest rates with a minimum of 3.5% down payment. 

Applicants much show that the main culprit behind losing their home was that they lost at least 20 percent of their household income for at least six months.  They also much show they’ve worked to repair their credit for at least a year.

Since approximately 7.2 million homes were lost to foreclosure or short sale since the housing crash began, many of these former homeowners have been forced into renting as they rebuild their credit.  And, while opportunities to apply for a home loan are increasing, some of these former homeowners are hesitant to stop back in, according to housing analysts.

“Based on the fact that the home ownership rate isn’t rising again and demand for single-family rentals is historically high, the comeback Buyer is not a significant phenomenon in the market,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic.  “Given the duration of the recovery, its’ likely that many of the initially foreclosed borrowers have repaired their credit and are now creditworthy, but the scale at which they will enter the market is not sufficient to significantly influence demand.”

 

MILLENNIALS ARE BUYING AND SELLING HOMES

Keeping current matters, 6.18.14

Millennials are a much higher percentage of the overall housing market than the public may realize, according to a recent study by the NAR entitled Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends.

Contrary to what many believe, Millennials make up the largest percentage of all Buyers and a substantial percentage of all sellers.

Below is a chart illustrating results of the survey.

 

                           BUYERS

        

 

                         SELLERS

         

 

MAY SCORECARD SHOWS PROGRESS IN EQUITY AND HOME SALES

DSNews, 6.18.14

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently released the May edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard.  The report showed progress, noting growth in key indicators such as increasing equity and a rebound in the sales of new and existing homes.

Homeowner equity was up nearly $795 billion in Q1 2014, totally more than $108 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve.  May’s figure was the highest level since the second quarter of 2007 and equity has continued to rise since the beginning of 2012, up 73 percent through the first quarter of 2014.

HUD assistant secretary, Katherine O’Regan said that “May’s Housing Scorecard shows that the housing market recovery is picking up after the harsh winter months.  More homeowners have positive equity, foreclosures continue their downward trend and sales of new and existing homes are rebounding.  Whiles these are all good signs, it’s clear that we must remain committed to helping homeowners as they recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.”

HUD cited figures from CoreLogic which found that the number of underwater borrowers dropped 48 percent, lifting more then 5.8 million homeowners above water from 2012 to the first quarter of 2014.  But despite first quarter gains of 300,000 homeowners who returned to positions of positive equity, approximately 12.7 percent of residential properties with a mortgage are still underwater.

New home sales were up 6.4 percent in April and foreclosure starts continued on a downward slope and are the lowest since December 2005.

Existing home sales also rose but are still below the pace of a year earlier, according to the report

 

SALZMAN real estate SERVICES TO BE HONORED ON THURSDAY

The Colorado Springs Business Journal is holding it’s annual “Best of Business” Awards this Thursday, June 26th and I’m happy to tell you that we have been informed that we are one of three finalists for “Best Residential real estate Company” in Colorado Springs.  We understand that more then 25,000 votes have been cast and this is indeed an honor.

While we will be happy to accept this award, what’s more rewarding to us is the fact that we wouldn’t be in this position without you, our readers and clients.  Your loyalty and patronage means more to us than we can say.  Our biggest reward is knowing that we have done all we can to provide our clients with the best, most thorough and as stress-free as possible home buying or selling experience.

Our special brand of customer service is something we provide each and every client and we appreciate all the referrals and repeat clients.  Each transaction is tailored to the needs, wants, and budget of individual clients and we do the homework to make your homeownership dreams come true. 

If you or any family member, friend or co-worker is thinking of Buying or Selling, please call me at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let us provide you or them with some of our award-winning service.

 

HARRY’S JOKE OF THE DAY 

 

 

 

 

Harry's Bi-Weekly Update 6.9.14

by Harry Salzman

June 9, 2014

 

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.

                                             

JUST SOME PERSONAL THOUGHTS….

When you buy a home you are purchasing much more than what is represented on MLS.   This purchase in most cases is representing a “new LIFE” for you and your family.  That’s why I ask so many questions when I talk to my clients.  I am aware that my input and advice will be vitally important in the “life” of my clients for many years to come. 

With more than 40 years in the local real estate arena, I am aware of ALL the neighborhoods in the Pikes Peak area and what they have to offer.  My suggestions will depend on whether there are young children in the family or if it’s an “empty nest”, school districts, proximity to parks and playgrounds, high traffic or not, a number of foreclosures in the neighborhood….these factors all come into play when I make suggestions to my clients. 

I cannot re-emphasize enough the importance of dealing with a reputable real estate Broker when you begin the search for one of the biggest and probably most important financial decision of your life. 

Your future happiness is in the hands of your Realtor.  I take that responsibility very seriously because I know how important it is to match a family with the right home and right mortgage for them.  I give each and every client the personal customer service for which I’ve become known.  You can rest assured that when you call me, or refer someone you know to me, that I will do the homework necessary to make the homeownership process a happy one and as stress-free as possible.

Recent market conditions have been terrific for my clients and also for me personally.  Between April 30 and May 31, 2014 I have had 12 closings for single family clients on nine different properties.  On three of those closings, I represented both the Seller and the Buyer which I do for about 20% of my listings.  And this does not included closings for relocation clients outside of Colorado, so May was a very good month all around.

This represents an ALL TIME HIGH for me on monthly single family personal production in Colorado Springs and what can I say but….THANK YOU….THANK YOU….THANK YOU.  Your continued trust in me is the best reward of all.

 

                                        

NOW THE HOUSING NEWS….SOME GOOD, SOME NOT AS MUCH, BUT WITH THE RIGHT REALTOR YOU SHOULD BE JUST FINE IN EITHER CASE

In reading these full reports you will see that local prices were somewhat flat for the month of May; however, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Home prices here are VERY reasonable compared to many other areas of the country.  The fact that they are not rising significantly at the present time works to our advantage.  That means if you recently bought a home it is holding its value and should continue to increase in value, but at a slower rate than in the past few years.  Prices will hopefully stay very stable so that we won’t have the unrealistic “run-up” that occurred in the recent past.

Interest rates are almost “cheap”.  Current rates (which are subject to change hourly and/or daily) include 30-year fixed conventional rates at about 4.12%; 15-year fixed conventional rates at about 3.25% and 10-year fixed conventional at around 3.0%.  This is “new purchase” money only, but if you are in the market, now is a great time for the best mortgage rate.  If it makes financial sense, that 10-year fixed conventional is downright “cheap”.  FHA/VA mortgage rates at press time were 3.75% for a 30-year loan and 3.00% for a 15-year loan.  Again, “cheap” money. 

Another thing to keep in mind when reading the following reports is that fewer people are qualifying for mortgage loans due to the Dodd-Frank Bill that took effect on January 10, 2014.  This has been affecting residential sales nationwide and hopefully we will see some lessening of restrictions by mortgage lenders as they have been suggesting recently.

 

MAY LOCAL STATISTICS BASICALLY FLAT

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or its PPMLS

These local stats include “all homes”—both resale and new homes built through May 31, 2014 as compared to May 31, 2013.

  • The number of single family/patio homes sold is only .9% fewer than a year ago.
  • New listings were 10.1% more than a year ago.
  • The average sales price is 2.6% less than a year ago.
  • The median sales price is about the same—.5% more than a year ago.

And now a look at the actual numbers.  To read the complete 10-page report, click here.  If you have any questions, as always, I’d be happy to answer them for you.

In comparing May 2014 to May 2013 in PPAR:                       

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,887 Up 10.1%
  • Number of Sales are 1,124, Up 0.9%
  • Average Sales Price is $243,230, Down 2.6%
  • Median Sales Price is $216,250, Up 0.5%
  • Total Active Listings are 4,009, Up 10.0%

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 210, Up 9.9%
  • Number of Sales are 144, Up 33.3%
  • Average Sales Price is $174,152, Down 11.1%
  • Median Sales Price is $150,000, Up 12.0%
  • Total Active Listings are 425, Up 0.2%

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Average Sales Price

Black Forest                            $330,000                              $342,382

Briargate                                  $311,885                              $326,668                    

Central                                      $164,500                              $176,220

East                                           $182,500                              $185,471

Fountain Valley:                      $200,000                              $198,293

Manitou Springs:                    $359,900                              $367,877

Marksheffel:                             $258,900                              $264,531

Northeast:                                $210,000                               $232,517

Northgate:                                $350,000                              $386,422

Northwest:                               $285,000                               $321,576

Old Colorado City:                  $177,500                               $197,714

Powers:                                    $217,000                               $224,429

Southwest:                              $318,750                               $335,565

Tri-Lakes:                                $340,000                                $395,771

West:                                        $235,000                               $294,882

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

 

QUARTERLY UPDATES AND ESTIMATES

College of Business and Administration, UCCS, Fred Crowley, Senior Economist

This report provides statistics for El Paso County in the areas of the Economy, Single and Multi-family Housing, MLS Activity, Foreclosures, Multi-family Market, Colorado Springs Airport Trends, Employment Trends and Wages, Sales Taxes and New Car Registrations.  To read the 9-page report in its entirely, please click here.

Some highlights include:

  • Six of the Business Conditions Index’s ten components are lower than last year, however…
  • Employment levels are higher than all recent benchmark periods.
  • Real income has improved slightly.
  • El Paso County needs to have a new spark to build on unique, sustainable, core, comparative advantages to drive it out of its economic malaise.
  • Single-family permit activity slowed noticeably after February 2013, but 2013 turned out to be a strong year.  The trend this year indicates that 2014 permit activity may decline 5% below last year.
  • Multi-family housing rose, driven by low vacancies, rising rents and a possible shortage of new multi-family housing.  The trend for 2014 is not clear at present.
  • In MLS activity the trend in home sales continues to improve.
  • Foreclosures were below the projected range.
  • Enplanements at the Colorado Springs Airport continued their downward trend but new flights from Allegiant Airlines might be a start at stabilizing passenger activity at the airport.
  • Sales taxes increased, with the largest percentage coming from hotels, building materials, furniture, appliance and electronics, utilities and medical marijuana.
  • New vehicle registrations increased 15.4% in 2013 and sales of new cars are expected to continue at a brisk pace for the next 12-18 months.

 

HOME PRICE GROWTH SLOWS IN MANY METRO AREAS DURING FIRST QUARTER

National Association of Realtors, 6.2.14

In the most recent quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) a strong year-over-year growth continued in most metropolitan areas, although the increases were somewhat smaller than in recent times.

The median existing single-family home price increased in 74 percent of the measured markets, with 125 out of 170 metropolitan statistical areas showing gains based on closings in the first quarter compared with the first quarter of 2013.  In thirty-seven areas, 22 percent had double-digit increases, and 45 areas recorded lower median prices.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, price increases were recorded in 73 percent of metro areas from a year earlier, with 26 percent rising at double-digit rates, but 89 percent of markets were showing year-over-year gains in the first quarter of 2013.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the price trend is favorable.  “The cooling rate of price growth is needed to preserve favorable housing affordability conditions in the future, but we will need more new-home construction to fully alleviate the inventory shortages in much of the country,” he said.  “Limited inventory is creating unsustainable and unhealthy price growth in some large markets, notably on the West Coast.”

The five most expensive housing markets in the first quarter were San Jose, CA metro area, San Francisco, Honolulu, Anaheim-Santa Ana, CA and San Diego.

The five lowest-cost metro areas were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio, Decatur, IL Toldedo, Ohio, Rockford, IL and Cumberland, MD.

According to the report, Colorado Springs showed a negative growth in Median Sales Price year-over-year of -1.4%.  While this is not a positive, having a good Realtor can turn it into one for you as long as you price your property realistically and do what is considered necessary to prepare your property for listing.  These things will help make certain that your home is one that is actively looked at by prospective Buyers.

To see the 3-page report comparing all 170 metro areas in the survey, please click here.

 

GOOD NEWS FOR SELLERS

RISMedia 6.5.14

Despite weak demand and an infusion of new listings over the past two months, listings are selling nearly as fast as a year ago and prices are still rising.  

NAR reported that, with little inventory relative to demand, in April properties sold faster for the fifth straight month.

So, again, let me remind you.  If you have realistic expectations and price your home accordingly, it’s more than likely going to sell FAST

 

WHAT’S THE REAL REASON PEOPLE MOVED LAST YEAR?

HousingWire, 6.7.14, REALTORMag, 6.8.14

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Number One reason that 36 million people (aged one year and older) moved from 2012 to 2013 was because of the desire for a new home.  Family.  Work.  School.  Friends.  All of these were also cited when a new report put real numbers and reasons behind the question.

Forty-eight percent of those who moved last year cited housing as the main reason that contributed to their decision to move, followed by 30.3 percent who cited family.  19.4 percent said employment and 2.3 percent said “other”.

“Picking one reason can be difficult as moves are often motivated by many different, and oftentimes competing, factors,” says David Ihrke, a demographer for the Census Bureau and the report’s author.  “For instance, if one’s primary reason for moving is to be closer to work or having an easier commute, they may have to sacrifice other preferences.  This could include forgoing cheaper housing options or settling for a different neighborhood.  If they mainly want cheaper housing, they may have to deal with a longer commute.”

Key findings in the report include that males were more inclined to move for job-related reasons than females. In addition, married respondents were the least likely to move for family-related reasons.

The following chart illustrates all the reasons listed in the report.

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau

 

ADVICE FROM BANKERS TO POTENTIAL HOMEBUYERS

HousingWire 6.3.14

Found the perfect home?  Now it’s time to look at getting a mortgage!  Not the right order, according to the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA).

One of the biggest obstacles facing prospective homebuyers is obtaining credit.  And for first-time buyers, there are many obstacles that may prevent them from owing their little piece of the American dream.

According to John Buhrmaster, ICBA chairman, “with new mortgage rules and regulations in place, community bankers are available to help potential homebuyers by providing accurate and well-informed information.  Community bankers across the country can help their neighbors in the local community find mortgages that fit their financial needs, budgets and lifestyles.”

The ICBA suggests prospective Buyers do the following to make the home buying process a little easier for themselves:

  1. Earn and spend

Know your monthly income and budget, including how much you spend on rent, utilities, entertainment, clothing, food and transportation.

  1. Talk about it 

Discuss your finances with a planner at a bank before you begin looking for a home.  It is important to stay within your means when purchasing a home.

  1. Have a paper trail

Gather and organize paperwork and documents.  Items you should have readily available include paycheck stubs, W2 forms, tax returns and bank and investment statements for the last two years.

  1. What’s your FICO?

Check your credit report so you are aware of what your current credit score is before applying for a loan.  Credit reporting agencies must give you one free report annually.

  1. Bad FICO?  Fix it

Maxing out credit cards or falling behind on other loan payments could create issues when applying for a mortgage. Keep tabs on your spending habits before applying for a mortgage, and don’t go on a spending spree afterwards either.

  1. 30-year fixed?  Really?

Work with a banker to figure out how much you can borrow and which mortgage product is right for you.  Your local community banker can explain available mortgage options—including rate adjustments, fees and other loan features—so you are prepared for the loan closing and not surprised down the road.

  1. Rates.  Rates.  Rates.

Learn what current mortgage rates are.  This will greatly impact your monthly payment.  A banker can explain this to you well before you set your sights on the perfect place.

  1. You may get help

Check with your state, city and county government agencies for special first-time-homebuyer loan or grant programs available to assist with down payment and closing costs.

Just one more reason to work with a reputable real estate Broker.  One of the services I provide my clients is my relationship with a number of mortgage lenders and make certain that they get pre-approved prior to starting the home buying process.  This is a very important step that can save you time and money, not to mention heartache if you find the property you want is not the one that fits your budget.  My investment banking background is very helpful when it comes to finding the right mortgage for my clients.  If you are in the market, or know someone who is, please call me at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s get the conversation started. 

 

SKY SOX TICKETS AVAILABLE

Just a reminder that I have 4 front row seats to all Sky Sox games available to you on a first-come-first-served basis.  Just give me a call and I’ll be happy to put the tickets aside for you.

 

HARRY’S JOKE OF THE DAY 

 

 

 

 

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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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