Lee Riley’s Real Estate Report
Hello From Pagosa Country!
Summer has arrived. May was one of the wettest months I’ve seen in Pagosa since I moved here in 1983. Everything is very green, the fire danger is way down, and the river is running strong. The gauging station in town hit 2,000 CFS on Wednesday, which may have been the peak for the year. This is great news for the rafters and river runners.
Temperatures are back to normal with highs in the 70s and low 80s. School is out for the summer, and the traveling season is upon us. Town seems busy, as all our seasonal residents are rolling back into town and the hotels and campgrounds are filling up with short-term tourists.
For those of you who didn’t know, Walmart officially opened a month ago. I’ve noticed that other businesses are sharpening their skills in order to compete with the lower prices of a big box retailer. Whether the store turns out to be a net positive or negative, it is definitely keeping everyone on their toes. Even City Market is going through a multi-million dollar remodel right now, as they update the store and add a Starbucks.
In real estate news, I am just as busy as I was before the big crash in 2007. This is good news for sellers, and it’s also good news for the local economy. Overall sales are up 23% over last year at this time, with vacant land leading the way at +33%. Buyers are picking up vacant land at bargain basement prices, which are similar right now to the prices we last saw in 2004. Inventory is almost at its peak for the year. Sellers are putting properties back on the market, and the best values are the properties left over from last year. This year’s new inventory has been priced up due to improving market conditions and a general sense of optimism.
I was listening to the news today, and I heard that Denver is the hottest real estate market in the country.
Interest rates are still great, but they are creeping upward. Today you can get a 30-year fixed mortgage at 4.25% and a 15-year fixed at 3.5%.
The best news of all is that my daughter, Heather, and son-in-law, John, have just given me a brand new baby grandson! Grant was born June 1, measuring 21 1/4 inches and 9.2 pounds. Mom and son are both doing great, and Laurie and I are thrilled!