Archive for January, 2012

Case-Shiller Report: The Housing Market Struggles

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

November Case-Shiller Report: The Housing Market Struggles To Turn The Corner

Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, summed up the real estate conundrum in the Huffington Post, “The most likely scenario in the U.S. is that in 2012 prices will bob around a bit, with one month’s gain being reversed the next month. In general, over the next couple of years, house prices will do nothing more than remain broadly stable.” I couldn’t agree more and stated much the same sentiment last summer as I watched the Steamboat Springs real estate market waver; up one month, then down the next.

case shiller nov 2011

case shiller nov 2011

The November Case-Shiller Home Price Index continues to paint a dismal picture of a housing market mired down by homes in foreclosure, unemployment rates still high in many key markets, and overall economic uncertainty. Even record low mortgage rates aren’t helping since loan qualification standards remain stringent and in many cases out-of-reach.

Steamboat Springs Real Estate Numbers Leave Room for Improvement

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Steamboat Springs’ 2011 Real Estate Numbers Leave Room for Improvement

Steamboat Springs’ real estate market did not earn great marks in the recent Colorado Mountain Resort Real Estate Trends released by Land Title Guarantee Co. As compared to 5 other Colorado ski resort counties, Routt County, home to Steamboat Springs, is the only county that decreased 6% or more on 5 key benchmarks^ in 2011 as compared to 2010:
Gross Sales Volume: -12.01% (Eagle & Grand Counties were down >6% as well)
* Number of Transactions^: -23.06% (All other counties were flat to up)
Single Family Average Home Prices: -22.73% (Eagle & Garfield Counties were down >6% as well)
* Multi Family Average Home Prices: -33.52% (Eagle, Garfield & Summit Counties were down >6% as well)
* New Development: -52.51% (Eagle, Garfield & Summit Counties were down >6% as well)
^ For Routt County specifically, there was a high number of fractional sales transactions in 2010 vs. 2011, so if you net out fractional transactions and compare improved units sales transactions only for 2010 vs 2011, Routt county is actually up almost17%.

Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com = Misleading Information

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com – Real Estate Information or Misleading Information

Listing syndicate websites like Zillow.com, Trulia.com and Realtor.com and many more offer information to the public regarding real estate. But much of this information might be misleading and false. These very popular websites have taken off and are very popular. They do offer great information and have many helpful tools, but there’s also a side to these real estate sites that many are not aware of. And it seems the information these real estate site provide are now being questioned by experts.

Zillow and Trulia exist to make money. Period. They make money by selling advertisements to Realtors. These long-term contracts paid out by Realtors to gain leads and exposure. These Realtor are touted as being the experts in the area. But those experts are the ones willing to pay the most for those advertised spots. They might be experts and they might not. But Zillow and Trulia are willing to take their money either way. I don’t mind that, what bothers me is the misleading information that these site provide regarding real estate information.

Homes for sale under $500,000 in the Mountain Area of Steamboat Springs

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Homes for sale under $500,000 in the Mountain Area of Steamboat Springs.

There’s no better address in Steamboat Springs (also known as Ski Town USA) than “Mountain Area.” It’s where everyone wants to be in the winter and with base area redevelopment plans well underway, summer mountain activities might soon rival the world class skiing Steamboat Springs is best known for. You would think being a next door neighbor to a world class ski resort might be cost prohibitive, but surprisingly there are some great single family home deals available.

Home sold for $400,000 in the Mountain Area in Steamboat Springs

Home sold for $400,000 in the Mountain Area in Steamboat Springs

Presently there are 5 single family homes for sale under $500,000 in Steamboat Springs’ Mountain Area neighborhood. The average price of the 5 homes is $428,880 and the average price per square foot is $274.38.

Steamboat Mountain Area

Steamboat Mountain Area

Homes for sale under $500,000 in Downtown Steamboat Springs

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Homes for sale under $500,000 in Downtown Steamboat Springs

Downtown Steamboat Springs is the center of community activity, and with free buses to the ski mountain, it’s the best of both worlds. Howelsen Hill, Colorado’s first established ski area, is within walking distance, as are retail stores, restaurants, pubs, tennis courts, ice skating rink and a state-of-the-art public library. The Yampa River borders the edge of Downtown Steamboat and provides world class fly fishing along with tubing in the summer months. With urban living at your beck and call, you might not think affordable single family homes would be available, but they most certainly are.

Home Sold in Downtown Steamboat Springs

Home Sold in Downtown Steamboat Springs

Presently there are 8 single family homes for sale under $500,000 in Steamboat Springs’ Downtown, or Old Town as it’s known locally, neighborhood. The average price of the 8 homes is $409,437 and the average price per square foot is $326.91.

Downtown Steamboat Springs

Downtown Steamboat Springs

Homes for sale under $500,000 in the Fish Creek Falls Area in Steamboat Springs

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Homes for sale under $500,000 in the Fish Creek Falls Area in Steamboat Springs

The  Fish Creek Falls neighborhood in Steamboat Springs is an affordable and sought after neighborhood. Situated between the Steamboat Springs ski mountain and downtown Steamboat Springs, the Fish Creek Falls neighborhood is close to everything including schools. Biking/hiking trails wind through the Fish Creek  area and can take you just about everywhere in Steamboat Springs as long as you aren’t toting skis to the ski mountain or groceries from Safeway.

Homes for sale in Fish Creek Falls

Right now there are 6 single family homes for sale under $500,000 in Steamboat’s Fish Creek Falls neighborhood. The average price of the 6 homes is $437,083 and the average price per square foot is $255.53.

Fish Creek Falls In Spring

Steamboat’s Fish Creek Falls neighborhood is a popular place to call home. Since June 1, 2011, there have been 4 single family home sales under $500K in the Fish Creek Falls area at an average sell price of $387,000 and average price per square foot of $201.36

New Mexican Taco Stand in Steamboat Springs – Taco Del Barco

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

New Mexican Taco Stand in Steamboat Springs – Taco Del Barco.

Taco Del Barco in Steamboat Springs

Taco Del Barco in Steamboat Springs

Every town needs a taco stand. Steamboat Springs now has one. I’m not talking about a Mexican restaurant, we have those.  I’m talking a taco stand. I’m talking about a place you can walk up to, smell the sautéed meat cooking on the griddle, immerse yourself in Mariachi music, order up a couple Carne Asada tacos, slap down a $5, wring out some lime and feast on some flavors authentic to Mexico. It’s like a quick time-travel to Mexico city for lunch. Now in Steamboat Springs, you can do that . . . almost.

Carne Asada Taco in Steamboat Springs - Taco Del Barco

Carne Asada Taco in Steamboat Springs – Taco Del Barco

Steamboat Springs Real Estate Market Ends Year on Good Note

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Steamboat Springs Real Estate Market Ends Year on Good Note for 2011

The snow banks might not have been high around Steamboat Springs at the end of 2011, but the Steamboat Springs real estate market ended the year on an overall positive note. In hindsight, the real estate market in Steamboat Springs is still trying to achieve sure footing on what has been a slippery slope throughout 2011, but there are some positive signs where a year ago we were not seeing much to be optimistic about. While some price points are doing well, others are struggling, and bank owned sales are driving actual dollar volumes down overall. So what does it all mean? While there are signs of reasons to be optimistic, there are some critical factors involved that will keep the market on its proverbial toes:

*  the number of foreclosures poised to hit the market that haven’t yet (shadow inventory)

Heating Cost & Home Buying

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Heating Cost & Home Buying:  You can Buy $300k W/ Natural Gas vs. $277k W/ Propane.

In Steamboat Springs, the cost to heat our homes is important.  When buying real estate in Steamboat Springs you need to know how the property is heated.  How it’s done and what is used can make a huge difference. Natural gas is available here in Steamboat Springs so that’s the very common fuel used to heat Steamboat homes. But many Steamboat homes are heated with propane. Heating with propane is more expensive than heating with natural gas.  Buying real estate is more about what you can afford or buying a month payment than the price of the home.

Heating with gas in Steamboat Springs

Heating with gas in Steamboat Springs

But home ownership is so much more than being able to pay the mortgage amount every month. And the cost of heating your home today must not be overlooked.

Historical Data Makes Me Optimistic for Steamboat Springs Real Estate

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Historical Data Makes Me Optimistic for Steamboat Springs Real Estate.

Real estate is local. The market could be hot in Austin, Texas yet declining in Chicago, Illinois.  Much of this has to do with jobs.  In areas where we are seeing sustained employment growth, we also see a healthier real estate market. This is true for Silicon Valley in California where real estate is booming.

Jobs aside, there’s real estate data that I have reviewed that suggest real estate prices could rise in the near future and the two graphs below will help demonstrate why historical data makes me optimistic for Steamboat Springs real estate.

The first chart shows actual home prices and home prices adjusted for inflation. As you see, since 1890, home prices adjusted for inflation have been relatively stable fluxuating between $125,000 to $150,000 for over 100 years. In the real estate bubble we saw home prices spike in 2006. The rise in real estate values was unprecedented and irregular. Over the last few years real estate values have dropped and are now more in-line where they would have been had we not had the real estate bubble.