I love that song from the Depression era, Happy Days Are Here Again. I think it was written in 1929, and to be honest, was sung quite a few times by quite a few people before it really had any truth to it. My question is, are we singing the song before it is true here?
There are a lot of great things happening in the Colorado Springs real estate market that indicate that happy days really are here again. A quick summary:
- Sales for May were up 20.3% over last year
- Prices are up. The median was up 2.6%, the average up 7.2%
- The inventory of unsold homes is holding pretty steady, and while it rose 1.1% over last year, at the current sales rate, that is down to a 3.3 month supply
- In May we sold more homes than we did in May of 2007, or any other May in between then and now.
- New construction is continuing to rise
- Unemployment has fallen to 8.1%, and while this seems high, it is considerably lower than a year ago, and even since last month
- Prices have risen 15 consecutive months
So why can’t we just belt it out? Well, there are still some issues.
- The average price peaked at $276,148 in June of 2007. May’s average of $249,925 is still off that peak by 9.5%
- The median price peaked at $227,000 in July of 2007. May’s median of $215,500 was off that peak by 5.1%
- Sequestration is still rippling through our local economy, with more budget cuts potentially affecting our 5 local military bases
- Interest rates just jumped this week. Admittedly, from the low 3′s to upper 3′s, it may not take a big bite, but low interest rates have helped fuel what progress we’ve been making
- Unemployment of 8.1%, while a great improvement, is not acceptable. (OBTW, when Franklin Roosevelt played Happy Days are Here Again at the Democratic Convention in 1932, unemployment was 23.6%)
So while we might be really belting it out yet, a few of us are at least beginning to humm
The Colorado Springs real estate market is hot. April sales jumped 18.8% over last year, and the median price was up 11.6%. Here is a quick summary:
- Sales – Up 18.8%
- Median Price (1/2 of the sales are above this amount) – Up 11.6%
- Average Price – Up 6.3%
- # of Homes For Sale – Down .6%
- New Building Permits – Up 58.1%
With interest rates in the mid 3′s, most of this is no surprise. But there are some segments of the market that are NOT completely sharing in these gains. Here are a few examples:
- Condos and Townhomes – While some of these seem to be doing ok, there are some segments that are still languishing at 2004 prices. Year to date, townhome and condo sales are up, but not as much as single family. The March figures show year to date townhome and condo sales up 4.2% vs 27.9% for single family.
- Higher end homes – This is hard to measure sometimes. The 90th percentile of homes sold year to date was only $382,000. That means only 10% of all sales were above that. At this point in 2012, the 90th percentile was $362,000, an increase of only 5.5%.
- Some neighborhoods – this is hard to pinpoint, but here are a couple of examples for the 1st quarter of 2013:
Briargate – Sales up 86.2%, Med Price up 27%
Fountain Valley – Sales up 43.9%, Med Price 18.2%
Northeast – Sales Up 1.4%, Med Price up 12.8%
Southwest – Sales up 17.4%, Med Price up 4.6%
Powers – Sales up 31.7%, Med Price up 5.9%
The hardest thing to measure is ‘same home’ sales. Since virtually no home sells twice in 2 years, it gets very difficult to compare sometimes. Also, if a house is upgraded substantially, it gets very tough to measure how much has really changed due to appreciation and how much is from the improvements.
So if you own a home in Colorado Springs, give Rick Van Wieren a call at 719-331-7675 and let’s figure out how much your home is worth. And if you don’t yet own a home in Colorado Springs, call me anyway, and we’ll fix that!
“Based on information from the Pikes Peak REALTOR Services Corp. (“RSC”), for the period 1/1/12 through 4/30/13 . RSC does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by RSC may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.” Copyright © 2013 REALTOR® Services Corp.
View From Peak 10 at Breckenridge Ski Resort
If you’ve been following the weather stories from Colorado this spring, you know we’ve been getting a LOT of late season snow. So much in fact, that Vail, Breckenridge and Copper Mountain are all re-opening this coming weekend April 19-21 for an encore performance of closing weekend.
After announcing closures for the season last week, the skies opened with another 2 feet or more of snow this week, and they just couldn’t resist. As a matter of fact, neither can I! I plan to be at Breckenridge on the 19th myself.
All this late season snow is supposedly not making a dent in the drought we’ve seen in Colorado Springs (we’ve only gotten a few inches here), but that isn’t completely true. With the snow pack jumping this much late in the season, we’ll definitely see some relief in the reservoirs.
The white water rafting industry is also ecstatic, as the extra snow will ensure adequate flow for one of our most popular summer tourist activities. While most of the snow is falling in the Colorado River watershed, some of it is going to make into the Arkansas River and Pueblo Reservoir. That will be welcomed by farmers in eastern Colorado, who need it for their crops.
Late season snow is welcome news to almost everyone except golfers and commuters, but even the golf courses can use more moisture. Driving has been affected, yesterdays storm made roads quite tricky from ice in the morning, and visibility from blowing snow for the evening commute. But for most, even this is a small price to pay to restock our precious water supply!
While federal budget problems seem to dominate the news, in Colorado Springs, real estate seems to be on peoples minds. Home sales for February were up 29.2% over last year, and the median price was up 12.6%. Permits for new construction jumped 100% over last year, as buyers resort to building new when they can’t find a resale home that fits their needs. The inventory of unsold homes stood only 3,025 homes, record low levels, down 6.2% from last year and only a 4.6 month supply at the February sales rate. For more details please visit www.LivingColoradoSprings.com/market-conditions/
With interest rates in the 3′s, down payment assistance programs in place virtually eliminating the need for down payment for many buyers, and pent up demand after years of recession, it is no wonder the buyers are finally making decisions. In addition, while some buyers may be affected by sequestration issues, most will not, and the now that the pink slips are finally out, those who are not affected will likely feel more secure about their jobs and the ability to move forward.
Questions about the Colorado Springs real estate market? Need to find out whether the time is right for you to buy or sell? Call Rick Van Wieren at 719-331-7675 and lets talk about your situation!
Today some of my buyers are closing on a beautifully remodeled $200,000 house in southwest Colorado Springs near Fort Carson, that is costing them virtually nothing down. They had $1,000 earnest money in the deal, and are getting a $500 refund at closing. They aren’t veterans either. Their first payment won’t be for a month. Compare that with renting a home for $1100 a month (their approximate house payment), where deposit plus 1 months rent is due at signing, and you can see why the Colorado Springs real estate market is heating up.
The program they are using is the El Paso County “Turnkey” Mortgage Origination program, working with Dana Hines at Peoples Bank (719-548-5150). I won’t attempt to re-publish all the terms and guidelines, because they do change sometimes, and the county has it’s own web site that spells out the details at the link above. But for buyers who don’t make TOO much (less than $88,000 / year), and don’t want to spend TOO much on a home (less than $283,000), this is program is AWESOME! For those who have been waiting until they can save up a large wad of cash for a down payment, the wait is over! Your credit doesn’t have to be perfect either (640 minimum FICO score).
If you know anyone who is currently renting, and has been waiting to buy a home in Colorado Springs because they believe they need to save more money, or get their credit score up over 740, tell them to call me (Rick Van Wieren at 719-331-7675), and let’s get working on getting them into a home while this program is still in effect!
This year is shaping up to be something special, if January home sales in Colorado Springs are any indication. January is historically our weakest sales month, but compared to last year, January 2013 was very good.
- Sales were up 39%
- Median Price was up 19%
- Average (mean) price was up 11%
- Inventory of unsold homes was down 7%
- Detached single family home permits were up 109.4%
What is causing this? There are a number of factors.
- Interest rates remain in the low to mid 3′s, historically low numbers
- While unemployment is still 9% in Colorado Springs, returning troops at Ft Carson are helping
- Pent up demand from people who have been waiting for the right opportunity
- Rising rents, making the buy vs rent decision much easier
- Investors taking advantage of rising rents and low cost financing
- Low inventory is forcing more people to build to get what they want, and it typically costs more, driving up prices
- Fewer foreclosure and distressed properties are helping prices firm up
- More certainty after a hard fought presidential election
I personally don’t believe that sales will continue at this torrid rate, nor will prices for the whole year reflect these kinds of numbers, but I do see sales overall increasing another 10% over 2012 (which was 8.1% over 2011), and prices will likely rise 7% for the year, maybe more. The average price for all of 2012 was up 5.8% over 2011, so this isn’t much of a stretch.
There are always clouds on the horizon. The things that could throw all of this off kilter would be:
- A major war breaking out anywhere
- The dollar plunging sending oil and interest rates skyrocketing
- No budget deal, forcing a government shutdown
- A major employer leaving the area
- Drought causing water shortages and water tap moratoriums
My bet is against these things happening, but you never know.
So if 2013 looks like the right time for you move, whether it be up, down, or into something new, give me (Rick Van Wieren) a call at 719-331-7675 and lets talk about your needs!
This is not a sports blog, or a football blog. But sometimes regional sport franchises have an impact that somewhat transcends the arena, and affects the overall sense of well being of a community. That was the 2012 Denver Broncos.
It really all started last year, when Tim Tebow was given the starting quarterback job, and they made their miraculous run into the playoffs. The came the off season trade of Tebow, who was revered and loved by many (including myself), when Peyton Manning was brought in with a NFL record setting contract. Then came the actual season, when the Broncos seemingly could do no wrong after the first few weeks, going 13-3 and winning the top seed and home field advantage. The Peyton Manning deal seems to have been worth it. Only to be followed by Saturday’s heart breaking loss to the Ravens in double overtime.
It’s still the main topic of conversation in Colorado Springs, and really all over the region. Whose fault was it? How could it have happened? What about next year? Who will be fired for it? How could they pay one player so much, only to be eliminated at the same place in the playoffs? The questions are endless, as are the opinions. It was the coaches, it was the quarterback, it was the defense, it was the kicker, it was the refs, it was the weather, it was everybody. There will be plenty of blame to go around.
But come next year, we Broncos fans will be cheering them on again. Because more than the disappointment of last Saturday will be the memory and excitement of what could have been, and might still be – next year.
The Colorado Springs real estate market got more good news in November. This was the 9th month in a row where prices rose over the prior year.
- The median price rose 9.7% from 2011 to $203,000
- The average price rose 6.3% from 2011 to $231,885
- Building permits were up 49.2%
- The inventory of unsold homes dropped 8.9%
- Sales rose 14.9%
Unemployment for October remained stubbornly high at 9.2%, well above the average for the state.
For more details, please visit http://livingcoloradosprings.com/market-conditions/ , or call Rick Van Wieren at RE/MAX Properties 719-331-7675
The election is over. The winners have had their day, the losers have had their chance, time to get on with life.
El Paso County (which Colorado Springs is a part of) voted almost 60% for Mitt Romney, in keeping with the deep conservative tradition here. Not enough to carry the state, but a substantial majority. Despite a large military population (5 bases!), there is a general distrust of the federal government’s ability to manage our money (or maybe because of the 5 bases …?), and anything that sounds like taxes has a hard time here. Locally however, confidence is a little higher, and we did get some additional funds for local initiatives like fire, law enforcement and transportation.
The biggest surprise in Colorado was the legalization of marijuana. There is a certain amount of libertarian sentiment here, and it isn’t entirely shocking to find out that some people who voted Republican also voted for legalization. The measure actually carried even in El Paso county, although by a scant 10 votes. I personally don’t believe that there will be a new Colorado Springs real estate boom because of it, but it definitely has put Colorado on the map with some
So the sun still rises over the prairie, and sets over Pikes Peak. Whoever is in power in Washington won’t be able to change that. The more tangible effects of the election in Colorado Springs will be on jobs, and we really don’t know how that shakes out yet. If the ‘fiscal cliff’ is averted, we’ll look for slow but steady improvement in the Colorado Springs unemployment rate. If not, we could be in big trouble here, as we have a lot of military contractors who could end up jobless.