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.