May 2015 Pagosa Springs Real Estate Newsletter
Spring has sprung. The grass is green, the bulbs are blooming, and all the trees are sprouting new leaves. We’ve received more rain the past couple days than we’ve seen in the past two months. It rained most of last night and through the morning. This is great news, after we had one of the driest winters in recent memory. The turkeys are gobbling, the deer are returning to their summer ground, and the elk are making their way to the high country.
Walmart opened a week ago with lots of hoopla. I went to the grand opening to see the biggest commercial event in Pagosa in many years. My wife, Laurie, has not yet ventured into the store. She is very loyal to our City Market, and she does not want to abandon the people who have served her for almost 30 years. Time will tell if Walmart is good or bad for Pagosa. They are employing almost 200 people, and we are hoping to enjoy tax revenue coming in from out-of-town customers. But, I expect local businesses will have to sharpen their skills and improve their service in order to compete with Walmart’s prices. I look forward to new businesses filling in the gaps in the commercial real estate landscape surrounding Walmart, using the store as an anchor to draw in customers.
Now, on to real estate. The market’s strength continues. Overall sales are up 20% compared to this time last year. There are a few surprises. A month ago we had an unusually large number of pending sales, but many of them did not close. Now, pending sales are at historic highs. The latest reading of 88 pending transactions is the highest I have seen since I started formally tracking the number four years ago. If these deals close on schedule, May should be a very strong month. Home sales in the $150,000 to $400,000 range are strongest, and inventory is shrinking accordingly. The $400,000 to $500,000 range is flat, and inventory is up 56%. Condo sales are strong at 67% above last year, and the inventory is way down. Vacant land sales are up slightly at 9%, and the inventory is growing as more people become optimistic about their chances of selling their property.
Overall, April was a good month. Interest rates are holding steady at 4.125% for a 30-year fixed and 3.375% for a 15-year fixed. Building permits have increased from 14 last year to 20 this year, and most of the contractors are staying busy. In fact, our whole local economy seems to be doing well.
As the weather continues to warm and the snow melts in the high country, soon it will be another glorious summer in the mountains of Colorado. We live in a particularly beautiful part of a very beautiful state, and I am excited that another spectacular summer season has almost arrived.