May 2013 Pagosa Springs Real Estate Newsletter
April was a good month. Real estate sales in most categories were up. Pending sales are successfully closing and helping us catch up with last year’s stats. We were down 15% in home sales last month; now we are only down 1%. Overall sales are still down 7%, but we were down 21% before this month. Pending sales are still strong with 72 pending transactions. Hopefully next month will see us in the black.
Interest rates dropped yet again to almost a new low of 2.5% for 15-year and 3.35% for 30-year. This was a surprise to me, but I’m not complaining. Another factor helping us out is sales around the country are strong. Many areas including Denver, Arizona, Florida, and California are back to having multiple offers on many properties. This helps us out because more and more people are getting free of the logjam back home that was preventing them from moving here. Now that they’ve sold their old home in California, they can pursue their Colorado dream in Pagosa!
We have a lot of new inventory coming on the market, which is normal for this time of year. Bottom line is I am very optimistic for this year’s sales. Right now we have two different markets for homes in Pagosa. The market for homes below $300,000 is becoming a seller’s market. Above $300,000, it is still a buyer’s market. Land sales are still sluggish, though they are improving. Due to the abundance of inventory, I’m afraid we may not have hit bottom yet in this category, as far as prices go. As for my own sales, I am having a great year, and so far I am surpassing the pace I set last year.
In other Pagosa news, Walmart pulled its building permit a few weeks ago and plans to open next spring. In general, our economy is improving. The number of new building permits through May 1st has ticked up by one, from 14 last year to 15 this year. This is well above the low of four set in 2010.
The biggest negative out there has been the lack of Spring moisture. Seems like most of the recent storms swerved North and dumped snow on Summit County and Denver. We were left dry, which has people concerned about the summer fire season. We did have significant rain this past week with snow in the high country, which was a nice change of pace.
Finally, if you own property in Archuleta County, you should have received your latest tax valuation in the mail. In most cases, your valuation went down. I am paying six property tax bills, and all of my valuations went down. Unfortunately, this does not always mean your tax bill is going down. We won’t know the actual tax bills until they set the mill levy in late fall. The mill levy is the X-factor. But, I do expect in most cases you will have a lower tax bill. When you are reviewing your tax valuation, please remember that by law, the county is only allowed to consider sales between June 30, 2010, and July 1, 2012. Also, the county only uses closed sales, not unsold listings, for valuation purposes.