REAL ESTATE: The Lee Riley Report

The Weather gods have been more reasonable in February. The sun has come back into play. We have gotten snow on a semi-regular basis, enough to keep all the winter sports enthusiasts happy, but we have seen 50 degree temperatures here and there, and I feel spring is just around the corner. Every day I get more daylight and that gives me more energy.

Bottom line is, sunshine makes me smile!

So much for philosophy… The latest news regarding the 5th Street Bridge downtown is nobody wants to pay for it. Therefore, the developers plan to do the development without the bridge. They are hoping to build a nice hotel in 2018. My hopes are that both sides compromise a little and come up with a plan to build the bridge. I think it would make development of the downtown better and help solve traffic problems in the future.

The other political football is the new justice center and where it should go… Downtown, with a potential lawsuit by the previous owners… or build it somewhere else. To be honest, I have not been involved in this fight so far.

Now for the latest real estate news: so far, so good! The real estate machine is chugging right along at a good pace. Total sales are up 26%. As you look at the statistics, home sales are up 41% and inventory is down 22%. Condo sales are up 225%, inventory down 26%. Land sales are down slightly 12%. Pending sales are still strong with 91 in the hopper, of which 56 are residential, 30 are land. Two are farms and ranches, and three commercial.

Currently, there are only 4 stick built homes priced at $250K and below, available in the Pagosa Lakes area. Even though inventory is depressed, there are new properties coming on the shelves everyday. There is pent-up demand; there are buyers waiting in the wings for just the right home or piece of land. So a lot of new listings will be gobbled up as soon as they hit the market, so long as sellers don’t get greedy and overprice their product. Of course, the lower end of the market will benefit the most in this marketplace. The $500,000+ inventory will not appreciate in the same way. With that in mind, some of the best values are at the higher end due to oversupply and less demand. Regarding interest rates, they have flattened out over the last month, and rates for 30-year fixed loans are 4.25% and 15-year fixed loans are 3.62%. I expect the Feds to raise rates at their next meeting on March 14 and 15, so mortgage rates are most likely going to rise.

One other piece of news! I am just about to unveil my new and improved website, ISellPagosa.com. My goal is to make it easier to use; more concise, more user-friendly for customers using their phones. I expect it to hit the streets in the next two weeks. I would appreciate your feedback and suggestions on what you think might make it even better.

Lee Riley

Pagosa Springs real estate agent Lee Riley has regularly been one of the area's top selling Realtors® in recent years and offers a wide selection of real estate facts and information on his web site at ISellPagosa.com