July 2010 Newsletter
Independence Day is always an exciting time in Pagosa. There is truly something for everyone. Of course, there are the old standbys: the parade and the fireworks. But we also have an Arts & Crafts Festival in the park, the Red Ryder Rodeo, a free concert or two, and a musical produced by the Music Boosters. (This year they did Annie.) I always have a good time around town on the 4th, and I hope you had the opportunity to partake in several of these activities.
The 4th of July also brings a lot of real estate buyers into town, and I always do my best to reach as many of them as possible. You might notice I have a big ad in the Independence Day issue of the Pagosa Springs Sun. This year, I’m highlighting bank repos in my ad. The reason I’m using bank repos for the headline is that they make the phone ring. The last contract I wrote was a couple of weeks ago. My clients called about a repo ad I was running, and they ended up buying something else!
This highlights an important truth about our market; the majority of sales in our county are not repos. Overall, repos account for 24% of the sales this year, though they represent just 4% of the entire inventory. Specifically in the residential sector, repos are 34% of the sales and 7% of the inventory. As you can see, repos are far less than half of our sales this year. And as my recent buyers can attest, there are good deals to be found with traditional sellers as well as bank-owned properties. The repos remain a driving force because they are usually very agressive in pricing, but if you are willing to compete with the repos, it is still possible to sell your property in our market.
You can view all the bank repos in town on my website, ISellPagosa.com. Or, if you prefer, I will email you a spreadsheet about once a week containing all the current repos on the market. Call me or email me if you’d like to get on the mailing list.
Regarding the local real estate market, my general feeling is that things are slowing down. The stats back me up on this, as we’ve seen a decline in the number of sales since April. (This is usually the time of year when things are heating up.) I’ve got a number of explanations for the decline, so you can pick the one you like the best. Uneasiness in the credit markets and some less-than-ideal economic numbers have led to a decline in the stock market over the past couple of months. The Dow Jones average is down about 10% since April. Also, the federal home buyer tax credits have now expired. I never thought that the first-time buyer credit was having much effect in our area, but perhaps the move-up buyer credit was pushing some sales earlier this year. Finally, it could be that all the negative news coverage of these events has people scared to make a move. Sometimes it is not the events themselves, but rather the news about the events that keeps the buyers away.
Below, I have created a graph showing the total monthly sales going all the way back to 2008.
I am focusing on the good news. Even after the recent decline, we are still well ahead of last year’s sales pace, and we are roughly tracking the 2008 numbers. Overall, we are up 53% over last year at this time. Because of uncertainties in other markets, mortgage interest rates remain at historical lows. Pagosa is a beautiful place to live, and people will always want to live here. The market will even out over time, and for now, there are bargains everywhere you look.