February 2015 Pagosa Springs Real Estate Newsletter
We have had a very good start to the year 2015. The weather has been beautiful with bright, warm, and sunny days all through January. I’m getting Spring fever already, though I’m loving this mild winter. Unfortunately, all this sunny weather has left us with snowpack at 65% of median for this time of year. We will need to catch up soon, or we’ll be fighting fires this summer. The local ski area suffers as well when the snow doesn’t fall, so I hope we get a few storms before the Spring Break rush arrives in March.
So far, the low gas prices have been good for all of our wallets. I worry that it will eventually lead to a slow down in the oil producing states, which are some of our biggest sources of tourists and real estate buyers. Perhaps the rest of the country will help fill in the gap.
Interest rates continue to stay low. For the past several years, I keep hearing that rates are going to go up, but so far everyone is just crying wolf. I heard another prediction that we’ll hit 5% soon, but we are all learning that you can never be sure. Events from all over the world, from Greece to Ukraine, impact us in ways that are hard to predict. For now, you can still get a 30-year fixed at 3.75% or a 15-year fixed at 3.125%
The local real estate market is up 44% over last year. Not bad! Of course, one month of sales is a pretty small sample size. I don’t expect we’ll sustain that number over the whole year, but so far I am liking most of what I see. We sold twice as many properties this January as we did two years ago, and pending sales are up slightly compared to last year at this time.
Two hot spots are condos and small lots. The lower end of residential inventory is nearly non-existent. We are down to just 15 residential properties listed for less than $150,000. This should lead to higher prices due to supply and demand, but sometimes low inventory can be a double edged sword. Buyers can be stifled if they don’t find what they want at a price they are willing to pay. I have several buyers right now who are looking for properties that simply don’t exist in their price range anymore.
With all this activity, I am looking for new inventory. I need more properties to sell! I have several projects in the work to increase my visibility to potential sellers. I am asking for new listings, so if you know anyone who has been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right time, this is it. The time is now; don’t wait until June!
If you are a buyer, this is a great time to take advantage of last year’s inventory which is now priced on sale. If you wait until spring, you’ll probably see the same properties for 5% to 10% more money, as sellers are a lot more hopeful in May than they are in February.
I hope your New Year’s resolutions are still in place. Don’t give up! Write down your goals and read them every day.