Real Estate Questions Answered Here
by Art Santellen, REALTOR®
Q: So Art, how's the real estate market in town doing?
A: Well, the Pikes Peak association of Realtors just printed their
annual report and it includes a statistical summary for the year just ended. Let
me get past the legal stuff first: "This representation is based in whole
or in part on data supplied by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors, the
Colorado Springs Realtor Services Corporation or its REIS. Neither the
association the RSC nor the REIS guarantees or is any way responsible for its
accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its REIS does not reflect all
real estate activity in the market." Well, now that we know no one is
taking credit (or blame) for the following data...here it is.
Comparing real estate activity for 1998 with that of 1999, we find that there
were less people trying to sell their homes: 16,593 to 14,192 which amounts to a
9% decline for 1999. In spite of the fact that there were less homes for sale on
the market, more of them actually sold: 8,532 to 8,869 which amount to an almost
4% increase over 1998. So let's see...there were fewer homes for sale but more
of them sold. That means the average sales price must've:
* increase * decrease * stay the same
That's right, the average sales price of a home in Colorado Springs Increased
in price by about 6% over 1998.
Well, what about condo's and town homes? There were about 11% fewer condo's
and town homes for sale in 1999. In addition, there were slightly fewer sales of
this type of property. O.K., if you didn't guess correctly the last time, let's
see how you do this time. Did the average sales price of a condo or town home:
* increase * decrease * stay the same
Did you guess that the average sales price Increased in price by about 4%
over 1998? Well take comfort in the fact that none of us "experts"
were predicting that home prices would continue to increase.
Which brings me to the last point. You already know that home prices
continued the 8 year pattern of increasing in price. You also know that during
that 8 years, the prices of homes have nearly doubled or tripled in price.
Finally, you know that home prices last year increased between 4-6%. since your
ability to buy a home is based, in large part, on how much you earn...did your
paycheck increase by 6%? did it double or triple in size over the last 8 years?
Hmm, I didn't think so.
So why are you waiting to buy a home? Are you waiting for the price of a home
to come down or for your paycheck to go up? If you're not sure of the answer,
you need to talk to a Realtor or mortgage lender.
Q: What do you think of Colorado Spring's urban sprawl? In fact, what
is urban sprawl?
A: have you ever been to Los Angeles or Denver? Urban sprawl is the
real estate development of rural areas into urban areas. here, in El Paso
County, it's the buying of open fields and building homes or shopping centers on
them. For the folks who founded the town in 1871, it was the building of roads,
commercial areas and homes to Union Avenue. For the folks who lived here just
after World War II, it was the building or roads commercial areas and homes to
circle Drive. For the folks who lived here in the early 1960's, it was the
building or roads, commercial areas and homes to Academy Boulevard. Get the
idea? urban sprawl is the development of one generation's "country
setting" into the next generation's homes and places to work.
Developers are fond of saying that they wouldn't take rural land and turn it
into urban sprawl if people didn't move in. What an interesting statement. Allow
me to rip it apart, I mean, explain it further. Developers try to make the point
that urban sprawl would never take place if people (you, me, and the people
moving to Colorado to get away from places like Los Angeles and Denver) didn't
buy the new homes being built, work at jobs in the new industrial parks, or shop
in the new shopping centers. Recent examples of this include the population
explosion in Briargate and along Powers boulevard. In fact, the paint was not
yet dry on that Cub Foods when you could hear people beginning to complain about
the traffic in their parking lot. Perhaps the developers are right, "if
they build it, we will come.:
One solution is to simply prohibit further growth. Again, using Colorado
Springs as an example, the city council and/or county commissioners could pass
an ordinance (if they had the stomach for it) either prohibiting growth past,
say, Power Boulevard. Or, they could increase development fees (in certain parts
of the city and county) to a level so high that developers would find it
financially impossible to make a profit. However, even if we can stop the
developer, we cannot stop the flow of people into our community nor can we stop
the desire of people to want to move into newer homes and newer neighborhoods.
The result is that the product becomes more expensive. If you reduce the supply,
the demand will push the price of land and homes higher.
Those of you who read my column last week will know that finding affordable
housing in Colorado Springs is already difficult.
How much more difficult will it become if development is prohibited? so
what's the answer? To find out, you need to do two things: first, send me your
ideas about limiting urban sprawl care of Hispania News and second, read this
column next week. (Note to the Editor: Does a copy of this newspaper get to the
city council and county commissioners? If not, you need to start sending it to
Q: No, Art, I mean, what's the real estate market doing here? How much
does a 3 bedroom house cost?
Q: My credit is shot. I've got bills in collections and judgments
against me, I'll never be able to buy a house, will I?
The answers to these, and other fascinating real estate questions will be
answered here, in Hispania News, next week.
When you're ready to buy or sell a home, see a REALTOR®
Art is a REALTOR® with Heritage Realtors in Colorado
If you have a real estate question you’d like answered, please send them to:
Art Santellen, care of Hispania News,
PO Box 15116,
Colorado Springs, CO 80935
Art Santellen via e-mail