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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 7.20.15

by Harry Salzman

                                                            

July 20, 2015

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                         A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

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

                             

 

LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS

Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp.,

I just received a report from PPAR that provides detailed information on housing activity for El Paso and Teller Counties for the month of June. Such positive news deserves a second look and these reports go into greater detail than the PPAR Monthly Statistics I shared last week.  I will make these available each month when I receive them.

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

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was up 22.1%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 5.1%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 37.4%.

This is great news for those who, despite low interest rates, couldn’t refinance or sell and trade up without bringing additional cash to closing.  Many people stayed in their homes and some were forced into short sales or foreclosures. 

According to the NAR Economists’ Outlook Blog, as home prices rise, homeowners’ equity is growing at the fastest quarterly rate since 2013.  The blog indicated that “between 2011 and 2014, the homeowner equity picture has gradually changed.  Homes levels may likely return to 2005 levels by the end of this year or mid-2016.” 

With more equity, homeowners will have better options, such as the ability to sell their present home and have additional cash for a down-payment on a trade-up home. 

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 33-page Local Market Update.

If you have any questions concerning the report, or any other real estate concerns, please give me a call at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com .

 

ASSESSED HOME VALUES UP 8% ON AVERAGE FOR LOCAL AREA HOMEOWNERS

I recently met with Steve Schleiker, El Paso County Assessor, and asked him about the results of the reappraisals for El Paso County.  Below is his emailed response:

“In the State of Colorado every odd year is considered a reappraisal year for all 64 county Assessors.  This year, overall, 91% of single-family homes increased in value, 6% stayed the same and 3% decreased in value in El Paso County.  On average, we have seen single-family residential values go up 8%; however, that differs around El Paso County, but the median throughout El Paso County was 8% increases in value for single-family residential properties.  real estate sales from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014 were used to determine the 2015 property values.

The real estate market in El Paso County is nowhere near what it is north of Monument; however, the increase in property values is a “good” thing.  I consider my home my most valuable investment and am definitely happy to see any kind of appreciation on my home that has not been seen since the real estate crash of 2008.2009.”

Thanks, Steve, for your insight.  You are just like the majority of Americans whose home is their most valuable investment.  It’s always good news to know that we are building equity at a better pace than in recent years, even though along with it will come slightly higher taxes to be paid!

So there you go—not only are we reading reports about home values appreciating, but we are seeing that the recorded assessed values are going up too.  It’s definitely “happy days” again for local homeowners.

 

FEWER LISTINGS AND QUICKER CLOSINGS = FASTER DECISION MAKING

It’s been happening for a while now and things don’t seem to be slowing down.  The threat of rising interest rates, along with rising home prices and a shortage of listings, is forcing buyers to make decisions more quickly. 

The best advice I can offer is to make certain you know what you want, decide what you can afford to spend, and get pre-approved prior to the home searching process.  Being realistic when you begin your search is especially important today when there are fewer homes on the market.

It’s important to work with a competent, experienced real estate Broker who can help you beforehand so you won’t be disappointed along the way.  We do the homework for you and help you find the right property based on a detailed determination of your wants, needs, and budget. 

Bidding wars are becoming more common and you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you might “win” the battle but “lose” the war.  We can help you know when it’s best to walk away.  There’s always another home, maybe one that’s even better suited for your family.

And, while there are fewer homes for sale, I’ve found that if you broaden your search criteria just a bit, you’ll find there are homes available in most neighborhoods and in most price ranges. 

If you or any family member or co-worker are ready to make the move, please call me today and let’s get the process started.  A new home can be simply a quick phone call away and you can reach me at 598.3200.

 

YELLEN SIGNALS FED RATE MAP STILL POINTS UP FOR 2015

The Wall Street Journal, 7.11-12, 2015, The Gazette, 7.16.15

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen reaffirmed plans for the Fed to start raising short-term interest rates later this year and highlighted tentative signs that wages are rising as the labor market tightens. 

“I expect that it will be appropriate at some point later this year to take the first step to raise the federal-funds rate and thus begin normalizing monetary policy”, she said in remarks to the City Club of Cleveland. 

She emphasized that “the course of the economy and inflation remains highly uncertain, and unanticipated developments could delay or accelerate the first step.”

Bottom Line?  It could be sooner, it could be later, but it’s going to happen!  The historically low interest rates will be a thing of the past in the near future and now is the time to lock in rates that will mean lower monthly payments for you.  While a home may cost you a little more, you can still get more for your present home…BUT…lower interest rates are not going to hang around forever.  If you’ve been sitting on the fence, now’s the time to get moving.  There’s still time, but it soon may not be on your side! 

 

8 AVOIDABLE MISTAKES FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS KEEP MAKING

Housingwire, 7.2.15

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person will make and all it takes is one bad or misinformed decision to mess up the whole process.  When it’s a first home, it’s even more important to pay attention to detail, because lack of experience can be a detriment.

If you or anyone you know are thinking about buying a first home, please take a minute to read these avoidable mistakes to help make the process as stress free as possible.

  1. They don’t watch their finances before buying a home. 

This includes watching your credit, taking on too much debt right beforehand or making a big purchase right before closing.

Debt-to-income ratio is a huge deciding factor on credit scores and it’s one of the first things lenders look at when putting together a mortgage.  The more debt, the less of a loan you can get.  And lenders look again right before closing to make sure nothing has changed.  So hold off plans to make any big purchases.

  1. They don’t take the time to get pre-approved before house hunting

It’s important to know what you can afford prior to looking.  Most real estate Brokers won’t show potential homes without a prequalification letter in hand, and some won’t do anything without the pre-approval. 

  1. They take on more than they can handle financially.

Many first-time homebuyers assume that just because they can afford the house means they can afford to live there.  That’s not always so.  There are many costs associated with homeownership that often get overlooked by someone who has never owned a home before.

  1. They get into a fixer upper they don’t have time or money to fix. 

While fixer uppers can often seem like a bargain, home renovations are not quite as simple as television shows make them appear.  The average person doesn’t have unlimited budgets and round-the-clock time to invest and the novelty can wear off quickly.  Fixer uppers can often become a drain in time and money.

  1. They prioritize the home over the neighborhood.

When looking for the dream home in the dream neighborhood, many realize just how far outside their budgets that home can be, especially in big cities and affluent suburbs.  It can be tempting to look for that same dream home, but in a neighborhood that might not be the right one for their particular needs. 

  1. They put all their eggs in the online basket

While the Internet can be an invaluable tool for potential homebuyers, it can never take the place of a reputable team of professionals who can physically meet with you to determine exactly what is necessary to get the process going from start to closing.

  1. They spend all their money on the down payment.

Often first time homebuyers save and then spend every last dollar on the down payment, not leaving them anything for additional costs or emergency personal situations that may occur.

  1. They skip the home inspection.

Skipping the home inspection might seem like an easy way to save money to some people because they feel that there is nothing that can be found to change their mind about buying the house.  That is until they move in and realize that there are major and very costly maintenance problems such as mold, termites, a leaking roof, or electrical or foundation problems. 

Please share these common avoidable mistakes with anyone you might know who is thinking of first time home buying.  And then please send them to me.  I can make certain that these mistakes are ones they will avoid on their way to becoming a responsible home owner and can make the entire process one that will make them excited rather than disappointed when it comes to one of life’s biggest decisions. 

 

HARRY’S JOKES OF THE DAY

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 7.13.15

by Harry Salzman

                                                

July 13, 2015

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.

JUNE LOCAL STATISTICS CONTINUE THE POSITIVE GROWTH TREND

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

PPAR released June statistics last week and once again, I am thrilled to report that things are looking very good for the Pikes Peak Region in the Residential real estate market. 

June was the eleventh straight monthly increase in sales and the second straight month where prices climbed to record highs in the Colorado Springs area. The cumulative year-to-date sales in Single Family/Patio Homes was 20% over the same period last year and Condo/Townhomes cumulative sales were 45.3% over last year same period. 

New Single Family/Patio Home listings for the month of June 2015 were up 3.6 over June 2014 and listings on Condo/Townhomes were up 6.4% over the same month last year. 

The fastest moving segment of the local market appears to be homes priced at $350,000 and below, yet sales are picking up in the higher price ranges as well. 

This trend seems to be saying that homeowners are starting to realize that as the job market, economy and home prices stabilize, mortgage interest rates will rise, and with them will go the probably “once-in-our-lifetime” chance for historically low rates.  “Act now” is most definitely on most people’s minds.

As a matter of fact, in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chairwoman reaffirmed the central bank’s intent to start raising the short-term U.S. interest rates later this year.  In remarks made to the City Club of Cleveland, she indicated that she expects that “it will be appropriate at some point later this year to take the first step… but the course of the economy and inflation remains highly uncertain, and unanticipated developments could delay or accelerate this first step.”  So, it could be sooner or it could be later, but it’s going to happen.

We are now seeing a few more listings than in recent months as folks look to sell and trade up or relocate to a new neighborhood.  With additional equity likely available, homes that were once underwater are now providing means to trade up. 

As rental rates rise, those looking for investment properties are looking at the possibility of higher rental incomes.  And first time buyers are starting to take advantage of the new options that make owning a home a good choice for them. 

With job announcements from Raytheon, a new medical complex in the works for Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and on-going expansion at UCCS, the Colorado Springs housing market is primed for solid growth. 

All in all it’s a good time for Residential real estate.  If you are in the market, there are homes available in most neighborhoods and in most price ranges.  Just give me a call at 598.3200 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how we can find just the right home to fit your wants, needs and budget. 

Here are some highlights from the June 2015 PPAR report.  Please click here to view the detailed 13-pages. The included charts will show you just how positive these statistics are. If you have any questions, as always, just give me a call.

In comparing June 2015 to June 2014 in PPAR:                       

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1881, Up 3.6%
  • Number of Sales are 1,401, Up 17.5%
  • Average Sales Price is $279,241, Up 4.4%
  • Median Sales Price is $250,000, Up 5.5%
  • Total Active Listings are 3,173, Up 5.5%

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 217, Up 6.4%
  • Number of Sales are 212, Up 45.2%
  • Average Sales Price is $166,342, Down 4.2%
  • Median Sales Price is $151,250, Down 2.5%
  • Total Active Listings are 291, Down 32.2%

 

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

                                                Median Sales Price             Average Sales Price

Black Forest                            $418,000                              $437,054

Briargate                                  $342,400                             $358,994

Central                                     $217,000                              $225,721

East                                          $190,500                              $218,427

Fountain Valley:                      $217,500                              $216,490

Manitou Springs:                    $334,500                              $337,300

Marksheffel:                             $258,000                              $272,996

Northeast:                                $239,000                              $255,624

Northgate:                                $365,999                              $387,830         

Northwest:                               $336,500                              $359,462

Old Colorado City:                  $210,000                              $243,175

Powers:                                    $236,500                              $247,571

Southwest:                              $308,750                              $352,271

Tri-Lakes:                                $415,500                              $445,553

West:                                         $201,000                              $240,126

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

 

A REMINDER ABOUT SKY SOX TICKETS

We have 4 front row seats located directly behind the Sky Sox dugout that can be yours free for the asking.  Don’t forget to request tickets early so you can attend the game of your choice.  They are on a first-come, first-served basis so give me a call today to reserve yours. 

 

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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