August 2013 Pagosa Springs Real Estate Newsletter
I had a great time fishing with my brother, John, in Alaska. What we were doing is called “combat fishing.” They call it that because there are fisherman about twenty feet apart for as far as the eye can see. The Sockeye Salmon were running (also known as “reds”). I brought a bunch home, and my wife is happy. Whenever I go on vacation, it sure is good to get back home. Pagosa is just as pretty as any place I ever go.
The West Fork forest fire is a thing of the past. The summer monsoons have come, and the fire is essentially out. The fire ban has been lifted, and we can roast marshmallows over our campfires once again. It is a relief to not see the smoke billowing up on the horizon. Thank you to all the firefighters for their brave and difficult work.
The County Fair was this past weekend. It is always a good time. Last year, I bought the Grand Champion turkey as part of the 4H program. It weighed forty pounds, and it was so big that we had to cut it in half to get it in the oven!
Turning to real estate, July was a good month. On June 30th, overall sales were down 6%, and now we have climbed our way to being up 3%. Home sales gained 10% this month. Condo sales are still down 20% on the year, but that’s better than a month ago when we were down 37%.
Building permit numbers through the first half of the year have been promising. The Pagosa Sun recently reported that 114 permits were issued through the first half of 2013. This is quite an increase from 71 last year. The last time we had more building permits at this time of year was in 2007.
I have two other important trends in the market to report. First, pending sales have fallen to 42, where last month at this time we had 54. This probably indicates that we’ll have a slow month. I expect that by September, we’ll be back to even with last year’s pace.
Second, the inventory of homes listed under $250,000 has fallen a whopping 37% from a year ago. For comparison, homes listed above $250,000 are up 12%. The lower-priced homes are drying up, so many buyers are turning to the higher-end market. As a result, sales of homes between $250,000 and $400,000 are up 38% compared to last year.
In addition to the depleting inventory, interest rates have been fluctuating between 4 3/8% and 4 3/4%. I expect that 5% is right around the corner. Bank repo inventory is also depleting, which takes away the downward pressure on home prices. There are currently just 19 residential, stick built repos in Pagosa, and 7 of them are under contract. If you are a home buyer, waiting is no longer a good option.