THE RILEY REPORT: Lack of Home Inventory, Heading into Spring
Hello From Pagosa Country…
It feels like spring out there! We are experiencing warmer than usual temperatures in Pagosa with lots of sunshine. The Spring Break crowd will be coming to town over the next three weeks, so it’s a good thing we still have plenty of snow up on the mountain. The snowpack is currently sitting at 96% of average for this time of year, even though it has been mostly warm and sunny since January.
The local economy is chugging along nicely at the moment. Most contractors are busy and most merchants are doing well downtown. March is typically a busy month in town, and it’s our last big rush before things go quiet for awhile. Then everything will pick back up again when we start seeing summer tourists.
The stock market has been rocky lately, but now it seems to be improving a little. The big news across the country is, of course, politics. Americans are fed up, and they don’t want to take it anymore. There is quite a sideshow going on right now. It reminds me of a circus, but it sure is fun to watch. The main problem I see is a lack of compromise. It’s us against them with no middle ground. Hopefully when all the dust settles, we’ll have a leader who heals and unites; otherwise we all lose.
Now for what’s happening in the local real estate market. The elephant in the room is the lack of inventory, especially in the lower price ranges. Residential inventory is down 30%. Condo and townhome inventory is down 23%. Among homes priced below $300,000, we’ve got just 51% of the inventory available last year at this time.
The mid-price inventory from $300,000 to $500,000 is only a little higher, but still just 62% of what was available last year at this time. Vacant land inventory is down as well, but we’ve got such a huge oversupply that it doesn’t make any difference. This is all good news for sellers because prices are rising in the under $500,000 range.
We are going to see more spec homes built this year. That will keep the builders and their subcontractors busy, and the trickle-down effect will spread all over town. Last month I spoke of potential clouds on the economic horizon. Specifically, I mentioned the world economy, and the possibility of low oil prices putting a damper on our buyers from Texas and Oklahoma. So far, these clouds have not rained on our parade.
I recently sent out a 10,000 piece mailer showing what’s been happening in our market over the last ten years. The main purpose of this mailer is to look for new listings. I’m low on inventory and I need more properties to sell! If you know anybody thinking about selling their Pagosa real estate, please give them my name.
Have a good spring break, and I’ll talk to you next month.