December 2015 Pagosa Springs Real Estate Newsletter
Even though winter is still officially a couple of weeks away, outside it feels like it is already here. At 7:00 a.m. the skies were clear and it was 12 degrees, which was very refreshing when I jumped into the hot tub outside my bedroom door. That’s pretty typical for this time of year.
Speaking of winter, the skiers had a great time this Thanksgiving. Currently the ski area is boasting 45” of snow midway and that is twice as much as any other ski area in the state. The local merchants are reaping the benefits of a strong early season. I spoke with several of the motel owners, restaurateurs, and other businessmen around town. Just about all were happy with how the holiday business has turned out so far.
I also spoke to a few businessmen about how the new Walmart has impacted their business. In general, the response is yes, there has been a change, but not a large one. I had a couple of merchants suggest that competition is good because it keeps everyone on their toes. It forces all of us to provide the best service and product. One of the benefits of having a Walmart here in town is that it will keep some folks spending money here rather than heading to Durango. Sales tax revenue is up quite a bit. I spoke to Town Manager Greg Schulte and he mentioned that September tax revenue was as strong as July. Normally July and December are the two busiest months of the year, so September was unusually good this year.
Now for the latest real estate news. There’s not much change to report this month. Total sales are still up 19% over last year, and that number has stayed constant for the last two months. We sold 60 properties last month, and we have 144 fewer properties on the market. Building permits are up, with 88 new homes going up this year versus 64 in 2014. These are all good signs. We still have 97 sales pending, which is 30 more than this time last year. Overall we are seeing nothing dramatic, but we do have a steadily improving market. Interest rates are still great. You can get 3.25% for a 15-year loan or 4.00% for a 30-year with no points.
On the home front, Laurie and I had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving. I ate too much turkey, and I am working it off slowly. We got most of our Christmas decorating done. This year we are very excited to have both of the kids, Patrick and Heather, home for Christmas along with both spouses and all four grandkids. The youngest, Tatum, will be two months old, and Grant is seven months old. We’ve also got a couple of 3-year-olds, Gannon and Leighton, so Santa Claus will be very busy this year.
I want to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season. A special thank you to all our military men and women and their families. I am very grateful for what they sacrifice for us.