April 2014 Pagosa Springs Real Estate Newsletter
Spring has arrived. Most of the snow in town is gone, except for on the north side of the house. March was a mild month, although we did get about a foot of snow at Wolf Creek in recent days. The snowpack is at 85% of normal for this time of year. The Spring Break business was about average around town. The ski area had plenty of snow to keep everybody happy.
The most interesting thing happening around town is politics. For the first time in 38 years, we will have a new mayor. Ross Aragon has announced that he will not run again. I would like to publicly thank Mayor Aragon for his years of dedicated service to Pagosa Springs. Mayor Aragon’s retirement has opened up the floodgates, and we have four hopeful candidates in the hunt for a job that doesn’t receive any pay. Maybe they’re in it for personal reasons, or maybe they wish to do good in our community. I hope the winner will be someone who is altruistic in his or her motivation.
On another political front, I went down to a Town Council meeting hoping to change some minds about the proposed move of the Visitor’s Center away from it’s current downtown location and into a new location, which is in the mostly vacant strip mall by the old City Market. I think this is a terrible idea, but the situation now is comparable to a baseball game with two outs in the ninth inning. Everything is nearly a done deal. However, four of us spoke, and we asked the Town not to make any final decision until after the local election which is happening April 8. As I mentioned before, the Town will have a new mayor, and we will likely have some new Council members as well. The Chamber of Commerce has also recently hired a new director. Maybe with some fresh blood, clearer thinking will prevail.
The Council agreed to our request, and no action will be taken until after the election. I feel there has been a momentum shift, but it is still a long shot. I will do my best to keep on being a squeaky wheel. I encourage anyone who thinks it is important to keep the Visitor’s Center where it is to contact the Town Council, the County Commissioners, and the Chamber of Commerce.
Now, on to real estate. There are no big changes. Homes sales are up 10% compared to last year. Vacant land is still strong, especially in small lots in Pagosa Lakes and Aspen Springs. This is because prices are so much lower than where they were at the peak. Land is a great value, and people are acting on it. Building permits are flat, with six new home permits in both 2013 and 2014.
The biggest negative news is pending sales are way down. We’ve got 51 deals in the hopper compared to 70 a year ago at this time. I’m also seeing a few more residential bank repos coming on the market recently. This is not what I was expecting. My prediction for the near term is this: I don’t know.
I wish you and your family a Happy Easter!
P.S. This Just In
And the winner is… Donnie Volger! The votes are counted and Donnie Volger will be our next mayor.