REAL ESTATE: The Riley Report
Hello From Pagosa Country!
The traditional end of summer is just around the corner. Bow hunters are already in the woods, Labor Day weekend is behind us, and school started this. The annual Four Corners Folk Festival — my favorite event of the year — featured 15 different bluegrass and folk bands playing over the three-day weekend in “Pagosa’s version of Woodstock.”
We’ve got another fun-filled weekend coming up in Colorfest, which starts Friday, September 15. First up is the Passport to Pagosa Wine & Food Festival on Friday night, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Here you can sample wines from around the world and enjoy dishes from our local restaurants. On Saturday and Sunday morning, we’ll have 33 hot air balloons of all shapes, sizes, and colors to help us celebrate the beginning of fall colors. Saturday morning you can watch the balloons launch in style from the 2nd Annual Colorfest Breakfast With Balloons, featuring gourmet breakfast, champagne, and saxophone virtuoso Bob Hemenger, all in a prime spot on the San Juan River near 5th Street.
If you’d rather sweat than drink champagne, Saturday morning will also offer the Colorfest 5K Color Run/Walk. Saturday afternoon is the Music & Microbrew Festival, which will showcase breweries from throughout Colorado and Northern New Mexico competing for the “People’s Choice” and “Brewer’s Choice” awards. With live music, unique brews, food vendors, and kid’s activities, this is a community day for the whole family. Sunset brings the annual balloon “night glow” to downtown Pagosa, an event you won’t want to miss. Check out our local Chamber of Commerce website for more details.
In other local happenings, new bike trails are going in everywhere. Altogether, we have about three miles of new, paved, handicapped-accessible trails. The trails provide a great place to walk the dog or ride a bike. One mile is under construction near Walmart to the tune of about $1 million. The other two miles are in the Pagosa Lakes area at a cost of about $265,000. Both of these projects are being paid for with grant money along with contributions from the Town, County and CDOT. These are great improvements for our little town.
Another local project is the expansion of the Overlook Deck above the river near Tequila’s Restaurant downtown. The size of the deck will increase from 578 square feet to about 2400 square feet, and it will be a real focal point when it is complete. It should be done in about 90 days. I’m excited about these current projects as well as several others still in the planning stages. They will make our community a better place to live and will increase our profile as a vacation destination.
Now for the latest real estate news. There is some good news and some bad news, but most of the news is good. We had strong sales in August, which pushed the overall number up from +26% last month to +28% this month. Interest rates have dropped again to their lowest level of 2017. Currently, a 30-year fixed-rate loan is at 3.82% and a 15-year is at 3.12%.
The median price for homes is up 12% to $314,500. Land sales are strong as well, and prices are creeping back up.
Now for the not-so-good news. Pending sales are down. This means there were fewer buyers in the marketplace last month. I’ve got a couple of possible explanations for this. The first is lack of inventory on the lower end of the price range. Last year at this time we had 8 condos available for under $100,000, but today we have zero. Right now we’ve got 71 homes available under $300,00 compared to 172 available a few years ago in 2014.
Another possible reason for the slowdown could be a change in the national mood. With the lack of cooperation in Washington, and saber rattling in North Korea, maybe people are being a little more cautious in their buying habits.
Finally, I want to let everyone know that we are collecting Red Cross donations in our office for victims of the flooding in Houston. If you’d like to pitch in and help some folks in their time of need, just stop by Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate at 2261 Eagle Drive on Putt Hill in Pagosa Springs. For more information, call us at 970-731-4065.
P.S. Remember, with my CRS referral network, I can provide you with a top notch Realtor anywhere in the country. CRS stands for Certified Residential Specialist, a professional designation that only 4% of the Realtors in the country have earned. If you or someone you know is relocating, I can refer you to a certified CRS agent.