October 2011 Pagosa Springs Real Estate Newsletter
As we enjoy another spectacular Fall in Pagosa, I have a couple of promising items to report. First, the local Chamber of Commerce tells me that the number of visitors passing through the visitor center reached a 10-year high in July and August. I attribute this success to the many wonderful festivals and events held around town. From the Folk Festival to the Fair, it seems like there is something going on every week! Many thanks go out to all the hard-working individuals, businesses, and organizations who make all this possible. Sales tax receipts indicate that we were able to translate increased foot traffic into increased sales, as local businesses report an increase of 6.6% through the end of July.
On the real estate front, the number of residential bank repos continues to decline. Looking back to May of this year, 52% of all residential sales were bank repos. In September, only 29% were repos. As I write this, there are only 44 residential bank repos listed in all of Archuleta County, and 10 of them are currently under contract.
The median closing price on a home in Pagosa has fallen to $175,000. This is bad news for sellers, but it is great news for potential buyers. This is a level not seen since at least 2004, which is as far back as our current record-keeping system will go. Additionally, the number of home sales is at a 5-year high.
Another piece of good news for buyers is that mortgage rates continue to reach new historical lows. As of this writing, the national average for a 30-year mortgage was 4.00%, and the average for a 15-year was 3.37%. These are tremendous rates, and if you are in a position to take advantage of them, I encourage you to do so.
Speaking of banks, there has been a lot of news recently about new fees at the big banks for everything from debit card use to bounced checks. I talked to a local banker about all of it. The way he explained it, there were a lot of new rules and regulations that came down as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. The new rules are meant to protect the consumer and the financial system as a whole. Whether they are going to be effective is a political issue that I am not going to take a position on here.
In any case, the new rules have added costs, in both time and money, to the way that banks do business. The new rules also limit how much banks can charge for certain services and fees. So the banks now have higher expenses and lower revenue. We should not be surprised that the banks are trying to make up the gap with new fees on checking and debit cards. You can pay now, or you can pay later, but the banks are going to get paid eventually, one way or the other.
Here are two tremendous values that have recently come across my desk. The first is 35 acres for the unbelievable price of $59,900. You get river access and National Forest access to sweeten the deal. This is the lowest price for 35 acres in our market.
The second is a brand new listing that is just coming in as I write this. It is a 2-bedroom cabin of about 1100 square feet on acreage that seems to have a good well. The price will be $104,500. The listing is so new, I don’t have an MLS number or many details yet. If you are interested, please give me a call at 970-946-3856 or e-mail me at LeeRiley@ISellPagosa.com.
I want to apologize to anyone who has had recent technical issues with my website or my email address. The explanation is dull, so I’ll just summarize by saying that we have just switched to some new companies, and the change has had unfortunate side-effects. My office is working diligently to chase down all the loose ends, and we hope to be back to normal soon. Thank you for your patience as we wrestle with our technology.
Finally, I want to wish a hearty “Good Luck!” to all the hunters who are coming to town for elk and deer season. The first elk season opens October 15. Everyone is looking forward to the excitement and activity that hunting season always brings, and the shops and restaurants are looking forward to some increased traffic.