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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 6.20.16

by Harry Salzman

June 20, 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.

“SPRING BUYING SEASON” HAS BEEN HOTTER THAN EVER….AND I’M NOT EVEN TALKING ABOUT THE RECORD SETTING TEMPERATURES

Today is the first day of Summer and I’ve been busier these last few months than any Spring Buying Season I can ever recall. It seems like everyone either wants to sell and trade up, buy for the first time or buy for investment purposes.  I’m getting calls from folks I haven’t heard from in a number of years as well as those who have seen my “SOLD” sign on homes in their neighborhood. 

It makes perfect sense to me.  Interest rates are still historically low, and while there is still talk of the Federal Reserve raising rates in the future, it doesn’t seem to be affecting the mortgage interest rates at this point.   As a matter of fact, mortgage loan rates moved lower this week for the second straight week and are currently the lowest since May 2013.

And as I mentioned in the last edition, banks and other mortgage lenders are easing up in terms of down payment and credit requirements.  This is especially good for first time buyers, as they often do not have the cash for a large down payment and more than likely have little or no credit experience. 

Rental rates are increasing each month and Colorado Springs is leading the nation in that category.  This is creating opportunities for not only first-time buyers but also for first-time investors or for those who have been thinking about adding to their investment property portfolio.  Unfortunately these starter homes go quickly and it takes a seasoned real estate Professional such as myself to figure out a way to have a first offer get noticed and ultimately accepted.

Listings are still way down, but I’m finding that there is something for everyone as long as they know what they want, need and can afford prior to the home search.  Getting pre-approved from a lender is a must and it’s very important to be able to make a decision quickly once you find the home you want.  The days of mulling it over for a few days are a thing of the past. 

If you, a family member, co-worker or friend are ready to start the ball rolling on residential real estate—either for the first time, as a seasoned buyer or for investment purposes, please give me a call at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me put my 44+ years experience to work in helping achieve whatever goals you or they have. 

 

MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES ARE STILL HISTORICALLY LOW

The Wall Street Journal, 6.18-19.16, RealtorMag, 6.19.16

Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve held short-term interest rates steady, and officials lowered projections of how much they will raise them in coming years.  This is excellent news for consumers who have not yet taken advantage of historically low rates, or who were held back due to lack of equity in their present home. 

Rates for a 30-year-fixed mortgage fell to 3.52% and Jumbo mortgage rates fell to 2.77%, according to Bankrate.com, which based rates on a survey of over 4,800 online banks. 

Banks and other mortgage lenders are welcoming the increased mortgage loan business because it helps offset pressure from falling bond yields.  Most are passing these savings on to their customers, and Wells Fargo recently said that it expects origination volume industry-wide to be 20% to 25% higher for the year than it had initially anticipated. 

With an easing of qualifications and lower rates, hopefully this will translate into more first-timers being able to enter the market and will help those who were unable to participate in the first wave of low rates to be able to reconsider and find their way back into the market. 

If you are wondering how these low rates and easier qualifications can work for you, simply give me a call and let’s see how we can make your residential real estate dreams come true.

 

STUDENT DEBT IS PREVENTING BOTH BUYERS AND SELLERS FROM ENTERING THE real estate MARKET

RisMedia, 6.16.16

According to a new joint survey on student loan debt and housing released by the NAR and SALT®, a consumer literacy program provided by nonprofit American Student Assistance, “71% of non-homeowners repaying their student loans on time believe their debt is stymieing their ability to purchase a home, and slightly over half of all borrowers say they expect to be delayed from buying by more than five years”.

The results also revealed that student debt postponed 4 in 10 borrowers from moving out of a family member’s household after graduating college.

Nearly three-quarters of non-homeowners polled in the survey believe their student loan debt is delaying them from buying a home.  The highest share is among older millennials approximately aged 26 to 35 and those with $70,000 to $100,000 in total debt.  Regardless of the outright amount of student debt, more than half of non-homeowners in each generation report that it’s postponing their ability to buy.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the survey findings bring to light the magnitude student debt is having on the housing market and the budget of even those financially able to make on-time payments on their student loans. 

While obtaining a college degree increases the likelihood of stable employment and earning enough to purchase a home, many who graduate with this kind of debt are putting homeownership on the backburner in part because of the multiple years it takes to pay off their student loans at an interest rate that’s oftentimes nearly double current mortgage rates.

“A majority of non-homeowners in the survey earning over $50,000 a year--which is above the median U.S. qualifying income needed to buy a single-family home—reported that student debt is hurting their ability to save for a down payment,” Yun says.  “Along with rent, a car payment and other large monthly expenses that can squeeze a household’s budget, paying a few hundred dollars every month on a student loan equates to thousands of dollars over several years that could otherwise go toward saving for a home purchase.”

Among those non-homeowners who believe student debt is delaying their ability to buy, over three-quarters—including over 80% of millennials—said their delay is because they can’t save for a down payment.  Also, 69% don’t feel financially secure enough to buy and 63% can’t qualify for a mortgage because of high debt-to-income ratios.

A majority of those surveyed expect to be delayed by more than five years from purchasing a home due to student debt.  Those with higher amounts of student debt and those with lower income expect to be delayed the longest, as would be expected.

The survey also found that student debt is affecting the overall housing supply by holding back some current homeowners who otherwise would like to sell and trade up.  Nearly 1/3 of current homeowners surveyed said their student debt is postponing them from selling their home and purchasing a new one. 

“It is imperative to the nation’s economy that we find immediate and practical solutions to financially empower the 43 million Americans with student debt,” says SALT® President John Zurick.  “SALT® is committed to demystifying the college financing process by giving consumers information, instruction and individualized advice.  No one should not realize the full potential of their formal education simply because of finances.  We invite the higher education community, the U.S. government, the private sector and others to join with us in this movement.”

As a REALTOR® I didn’t need to read about this survey to know the problems concerning student debt and the ability to purchase a home.  I come across this stumbling block regularly.  It IS “imperative” that we find a solution and I am working diligently behind the scenes at present to see what can be done to help alleviate some of these problems.  Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

 

SELLERS:  WHAT EVERY BUYER WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR HOME

RisMedia, 6.8.16

With high demand and sales at their strongest in close to a decade, home sellers are in an advantageous position this summer.  Here are a few specific items that every buyer wants to know prior to purchasing a home they are considering.  Some of this is information that may seem premature to advertise initially, but could ultimately be determining factors in a buyers decision to make an offer.

  • How old is the home?  When was it last renovated?  How old is the roof?

 

  • What structures or fixtures are included in the list price?  (Appliances, ceiling fans, lighting, shed, swing set, window treatments, etc.)

 

  • What are the home’s annual costs? (Electric, municipal water, gas, oil, lawn care, pool maintenance, etc.)

 

  • Has the home required asbestos, lead or mold removal?  Has the home been tested for radon?

 

  • How is the home heated and/or cooled?  How old is the heating and/or cooling system?  How old is the hot water heater?

 

  • How is the wiring?  Is it up to code?

 

  • Has the well water been tested?

 

  • Is/was an oil tank buried on the property?  Is there a septic system, cesspoll or drywell?

 

  • Are there any outstanding permits or liens on the property?

 

  • What are the homeowners association fees?  What is the move-in fee?  What amenities or services are provided by the HOA?

By providing these answers upfront you meet prospective buyers on their terms which could lead to an offer that much sooner or one that won’t fall apart due to answers they get at a later date. 

 

SKY SOX TICKETS ARE YOURS FOR THE ASKING

Another reminder--I have four first row seats right behind the home team dugout.  These are yours for the asking, but on a first-requested, first-served basis.  Just give me a call and I will be happy to reserve tickets for you for any home game of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 6.7.16

by Harry Salzman

June 7, 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.

SUCH GREAT NEWS ALL AROUND THAT IF YOU TAKE THE R’s OUT OF “HARRY” AND SWAP THEM WITH “P’s” YOU WOULD SEE HOW “HAPPY” THIS MAKES ME.

You are receiving this issue a day late is because I wanted to be able to share the latest PPAR Monthly reports with you that were released late yesterday.  And I’m so HAPPY that I waited.  As anticipated, the results are sure to make you smile. 

May brought us to 22 consequent months of increased local Residential real estate sales, and coupled with the fact that the Cost of Living in Colorado Springs just hit a three year low—that’s a BIG WOW. 

While those of us that live here know the many pleasures afforded to Colorado Springs residents, it’s apparent that the rest of the country is now considering not only our mountains and clean air but also our low cost of living and growth as compared to other cities—not only in CO—but all around the country.  Downtown redevelopment and an increased job market are just two things adding to this surge.

I’ve been as busy as I’ve ever been and when you see the reports you’ll understand why.  Homes are selling at a whopping 99.9% of listing price—the highest I can ever remember.  Not only that—the average days on the market is a low 32.  This is such good news for both buyers and sellers. 

As you will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary, total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes are up 7.3% over May 2015 while Condo/Townhome sales are up 6.1%.  I believe these numbers would have been even higher had there been more homes available for sale.

The Monthly Summary shows that total active listings are way down—20.5% down for Single Family/Patio Homes and 41.6% down for Condo/Townhomes compared to a year ago.  This downward trend is making it a blessing for sellers.  However, it is more difficult, but certainly not impossible, for current buyers.

Happily, Median Sales Prices are up 7.8% and 7.1% for both Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes respectively—again wonderful news for both buyers and sellers.

It appears that the spring buying season will be continuing right through summer and when you consider that rental rates are rising so quickly, especially here in the Springs, it’s no wonder that we are seeing so many first-time buyers as well as first-time investment property buyers.

According to the May 2016 Colorado Apartment List Rent Report,  Colorado rental rates remain well above the national median for the month of April.  Colorado Springs came in as the city with the strongest year-to-year growth at 11.4%.  Month-over-month, rents here increased by 0.4%.

Our city is continuing to make national news as Colorado Springs was ranked as the 13th hottest housing market in the country in May on the National Association of Realtors®’ list of the Top 20 nationally, based on the speed at which homes are selling.

With mortgage interest rates continuing to remain historically low, this is a great time to realize your residential real estate dream.  Whether to sell and trade up, move to a new neighborhood, downsize or simply buy for the first time or for investment purposes, the time to do it is NOW.

It’s very important in today’s market 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 or even a few hours” at present, as you can see from the statistics.

When it comes to making an offer…it’s important to makes yours stand out.  That’s where my 44 plus years of residential real estate experience come in very handy.  I know how to write an offer and negotiate a deal that gets to the closing table.  It may not come out on top every time, but my outstanding success rate is just another feature of my personal brand of customer service.

When preparing to sell your home, another factor to consider with homes selling so quickly is that you need to have a good idea of where you might want to move because you more than likely won’t have the luxury of time on your side to search for a replacement home.  I can help you in this scenario too.

Now you can understand why HARRY is HAPPY and I’ll be even happier when I can help you make all your real estate dreams come true.   Simply give me a call at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.come and let’s get started. 

It is indeed, a HAPPY, HAPPY DAY for Residential real estate in the Colorado Springs area.

 

MAY 2016 WAS THE 22TH STRAIGHT MONTH OF INCREASED LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate SALES

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

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

In comparing May 2016 to May 2015 in PPAR:                     

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,955, Up 6.3%
  • Number of Sales are 1,497, Up 7.2%
  • Average Sales Price is $290,256, Up 4.8%
  • Median Sales Price is $262,000, Up 7.8%
  • Total Active Listings are 2,296, Down 20.5%

                        Condo/Townhomes

  • New Listings are 265, Up 21.6%
  • Number of Sales are 201, Down 2.9%
  • Average Sales Price is $171,236, Down 0.5%
  • Median Sales Price is $167,000, Up 7.1%
  • Total Active Listings are 167, Down 41.6%

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  May 2016                               May 2015

 

Black Forest                            $471,400                              $435,000                       

Briargate                                  $338,500                              $310,000           

Central                                     $215,000                              $201,500

East                                          $215,000                              $210,950

Fountain Valley:                      $237,000                              $208,000

Manitou Springs:                    $237,000                              $242,100

Marksheffel:                             $279,900                             $259,450

Northeast:                                $243,888                              $231,750

Northgate:                                $413,579                              $387,000           

Northwest:                               $333,500                              $339,375

Old Colorado City:                  $219,250                              $200,000

Powers:                                    $252,000                              $229,700

Southwest:                               $326,500                              $358,000

Tri-Lakes:                                 $450,000                              $417,000

West:                                        $244,000                              $224,500

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

 

3% DOWN PAYMENT LOANS BEING READIED

Realtor®Mag, 5.27.16

A number of banks are veering away from Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans and beginning to offer their own low down payment mortgages in order to appeal to home shoppers who are struggling to save enough to purchase a home.  Wells Fargo, in particular, made headlines with the debut of its 3% down payment loan.

JPMorgan Chase also debuted its “Standard Agency 87%” program, a 3% loan for first-time home buyers with a FICO credit score of 680 or higher.  They also have a “DreaMaker Mortgage” which offers 5% down—3% of which can come from the borrower as well as flexible funding options for closing costs and reduced mortgage insurance requirements.

Bank of America and other banks are also getting onboard with these new offerings.

According to Wells Fargo’s Brad Blackwell, executive vice president and portfolio manager, “We’ve taken all the complexity of the home mortgage lending process, removed it from the front-line consumer, so that it’s easy for them to understand and Wells Fargo is taking care of all the capital markets and other types of complexities behind the scenes”.

The mortgage lenders have said that the monthly payment for these loans will be less than the government-insured FHA loans. 

While there are certain risks with these loans, JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, says that “Mortgages are important to our customers and for most of our customers, their home is the single largest purchase they will make in their lifetime.  More than that, it is an emotional purchase—it is where they are getting their start, raising a family, or maybe spending their retirement years.  As a bank that wants to build lifelong relationships with its customers, we want to be there for them at life’s most critical junctures.”

Shopping for a mortgage is an important step in the home buying process, and most especially for first-time buyers.  Another good reason to use an experienced real estate Professional like myself as I have many years of experience working with both local and national mortgage lenders and can help steer clients in the right direction when they are looking for mortgage financing.

 

PENDING HOME SALES SURGE TO 10-YEAR HIGH

Housing Wire, 5.26.16

Overcoming industry hurdles, pending home sales in the USA increased for the third consecutive month in April to their highest level in over a decade, according to The Pending Home Sale Index, a forward looking indicator based on contract signings.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, said, “The ability to sign a contract on a home is slightly exceeding expectations this spring even with the affordability stresses and inventory squeezes affecting buyers in a number of markets.  The building momentum from the over 14 million jobs created since 2010 and the prospect of facing higher rents and mortgage rates down the road appear to be bringing more interested buyers into the market.”

This boom appears to have affected all major regions, except the Midwest, which saw a meager decline.

According to Yun, “Even if (mortgage) rates rise soon, sales have legs for further expansion this summer if housing supply increases enough to give buyers an adequate number of affordable choices during their search”.

The Wall Street Journal last week said that the S&P/Case-Shiller national home-price index “clawed its way back to within 4% of its 2006 peak, a steep rise from the near 30% decline at the bottom in 2012.”

Once more, the happy news just keeps on coming.  And…another reminder…if you’ve even been thinking about a move…NOW is the time.

 

UCCS MONTHLY ECONOMIC REPORT

The recently released May economic dashboard from the Colorado Springs Economic Forum, showing results from April 2016, can be seen in its entirety by clicking here.

Some highlights include:

  • Consumer sentiment in April was 90.0, which represents a slight decrease from March.  May preliminary estimates are significantly higher.

 

  • The U.S. civilian participation rate was 62.8% in April, a slight decrease from March.  2/3s of the reduction in the unemployment rate this past year is due to the long-term unemployed returning to work.

 

  • The number of employed people in El Paso County has increased most significantly in health and social assistance, accommodation and food services, and professional and technical services.

 

  • Tourism here continues to do incredibly well, with our hotel occupancy rate at a 20 year high.

 

SKY SOX TICKETS ARE YOURS FOR THE ASKING

Just a reminder--I have four first row seats right behind the home team dugout.  These are yours for the asking, but on a first-requested, first-served basis.  Just give me a call and I will be happy to reserve tickets for you for any home game of the season

 

HARRY’S THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

 

 

 

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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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