Tag Archives: Old North End

Greenshoots 2013: Downtown Colorado Springs

We were selective in the area we are sharing information on in Central (CEN) Colorado Springs. The focus was on areas that we repeatedly show in. This restricted our reporting to five neighborhoods: Old North End, Bonnyville, Patty Jewett, Divine Redeemer, and north of Memorial Park.

Downtown runs counter to much of the Colorado Springs market. As much of the city is suburban, this is one of the only semi-urban areas in the county. As the average age of a dwelling is 1982, most of these homes are pre 1950, and laughably, most of the Old North End was built in 1898 (a banner year for permits! This is some misnomer of history). Last year, the probability of sale was lower in these areas with a considerably number of failed-to-sell listings in some areas. The big “but” in that statement is that good homes, in good shape, with modern updating… started selling for a whole lot more than they did in year’s past, and for quite a bit more in terms of gross dollars.

Old North End: There were only 2, but the $200 a square foot, over $500,000 home returned to downtown last year. The average price was only $440,000, low for Old North End standards, but there was a sharp uptick in transactions over $500,000.

Old North End Scattergram Old North End Buying Pattern Old North End Seasonal Pattern Old North End Time to Sell

Patty Jewett: “Patty” is always a popular place to hunt for homes, but a lot harder to find a good one. That only seems to be increasing with a precious single property for sale the day we ran the reports. Increasingly, we are hearing from buyers that “wish they could find a 3000 square foot home with a garage” in Patty Jewett. An interesting comment for a city that hasn’t seen much gentrification.

Patty Jewett Scattergram Patty Jewett Neighborhood Pattern Patty Jewett Buying Pattern Patty Jewett Time to Sell

Bonnyville: “Pull a price out of the air, and it’ll stick”. Welcome to Bonnyville.

Bonnyville Scattergram Bonnyville Neighborhood Patterns Bonnyville Buying Patterns Bonnyville Time to Sell

Divine Redeemer: Divine Redeemer sold at nearly the same probability as Patty Jewett, but at a lower average sales price than the tiny homes in Bonnyville.

Divine Redeemer Scattergram Divine Redeemer Neighborhood Patterns Divine Redeemer Buying Patterns Divine Redeemer Time to Sell

North of Memorial Park: Note, this is a select ribbon of homes four blocks wide between Boulder and Pikes Peak north of Memorial Park. It’s an area we show and sell in all the time, but it has the craziest price spectrum of any neighborhood in the county.

North of Memorial Park Scattergram North of Memorial Park Neighborhood Pricing North of Memorial Park Buying Pricing North of Memorial Park Time to Sell

Some MLS Marketwide baselines… Probability of sale last year for the entire MLS was 63.8%. That was the highest probability since 2005. These graphs sometimes reflect mostly lower numbers, but that is because the software counts under contract properties as still “active”. In essence, these are contracts, and in certain cases, we notated what happens to months of inventory and probability of sale if you “count the contracts” that are there at the start of the year. Saying that, for the most part, Northgate inventories are low carrying over into 2013, but there are not a lot of under contracts in these neighorhoods outside of Flying Horse.

If you would like any of these slides emailed to you for specific information, hit me up at Benjamin@BenjaminDay.com. Yes, we realize that they read a little small, but we’re preciously attached to our WordPress format, so, sorry.

The software used to create these graphs is from http://www.Focus1st.com and we used a date range of January 1, 2012 to January 11/14, 2013 for all of the searches, doing as many as possible on two different business days to get a competitive comparison for a single snapshot in time.

Disclaimer time: Benjamin Day composed this blog post and is solely responsible for it’s content. This information reflects data and opinion of real estate licensee in The State of Colorado. Based on information from the Pikes Peak REALTOR Services Corp. (“RSC”), for the period January 1, 2012 through January 21, 2013 . RSC does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by RSC may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

1524 N. Nevada. Opportunity Knocks Downtown

It has stunning, nationally recognized architecture.

It has tree-lined streets with fabulous curb appeal, walkable sidewalks and trails, and a spirit of community.

It’s chicken-friendly and Pro-Pikes Peak Urban Gardens. Ladies & Gentleman: It’s The Old North End.

Price Elasticity is a concept that benefits savvy consumers. Knowing where dirt values have great potential, where improvements and history can have a disproportionate amount of future value adjustment are areas to pay attention to for future real estate appreciation. Here’s an example: I completed this Scattergram to visualize pricing trends downtown over the last 9 months. These are similarly sized properties that closed in the last 9 months within one mile of one another. There is a $100,000 swing between top and bottom prices (23%).

If you can buy at the bottom of the curve in a market like this, with 5% interest rates… what might your future return be?

There’s a bit of a crowd in the Old North End right now, but there is one property better priced than the rest: 1524 Nevada.

After the Tax Credit. What now?

The first listing I sold was 1620 N. Nevada in March, 2000. After pricing the house at $325,000, I looked up the public record to see what the seller paid for it back in 1989: $88,000. 370% appreciation in 11 years!

A present downtown listing

Was that lovely 1898 Victorian Grand House shiny and new in 2000? Or was the value of that property something established by something fundamental? Examples: there are photos of it in the Pioneer’s Museum; Old North End dirt has been considered valuable for 125 years. Why is that house now today probably worth $500,000? Hint: it has nothing to do with the kitchen counters!

I predicted that the market would hit 9200 sales this year. That is exactly the pace the market is on. But I no longer think the market will hit that number. Statistically, fewer homes sold the first four months of 2010 then in 2008. Anyone care to remember the real estate bliss of 2008? I had a moderately bullish forecast in January due to supply and demand trends that no longer exist. The market is better now than it was in 2008 or 2009: but those were lousy years. Comparative analysis requires thoughtful honesty. If the market was actually “improved”, the market would have less than 6 months inventory right now which would catalyze summertime appreciation. It is at 6.5 months despite a massive 1500+ under contract properties. With the 31% increase in listings year to date, it might not get below 6 months this year . More at The Stat Pack.

I financially benefited from the tax credit. This has personally been one of my most successful years in the business. Yet it has also been the most puzzling. 1.) A great number of the listings that soared onto the market this spring were trying to capitalize (too late) on the move-up tax credit. Will these people stay on the market without a $6500 government incentive? 2.) Shiny and new is always popular, but it is also always depreciating. Why oh why is there a 15 month supply of housing of pre-1950 housing $200,000 and up downtown, while there is only a 5.5 month supply of housing of 1998 or newer over $200,000 in Powers? Yes, there are more buyers for properties in PWR than CEN, but we’re comparing 77 active listings downtown to 275 in PWR, and still there is 1/3rd the months of inventory out east? Consumers are habituated to buying disposable things, like a flat screen TV, a Starbucks, or a car with a loan. This behavior seems to be alive in real estate purchasing. I am guessing that the “sale” aspect of the tax credit encouraged it.

The real value of buying in 2010 is to leverage REMARKABLE. Prices went down for 3 years. Buying power is  25% better than it was in 2007 when you account for pricing drops and money leverage. This opens up a lot of 1620 N. Nevada scenarios for a lot of people.

Location is the first and greatest real estate fundamental. Prime location areas have not sold well year to date. It’s not just Broadmoor and upper Peregrine, but downtown, Manitou, Old Colorado City and places where the value is in the dirt.

If you are choosing to sell or buy, qualify your “WHY.” Why are you doing this?  If you are selling and can seize other opportunities, then get it over with. If you are buying, what’s the most remarkable area you can afford?

Real estate isn’t fair; never is, never was. Removing the carrot from before the horse helps consumers more honestly assess their wants and needs.

Where to Buy 2010, Part IV: Yellow Lights

In my recent post, Where to Buy 2010, Part II: Green Lights, I documented two dozen areas that were showing positive enough signs of life to conclude that:

  • Price Depreciation was likely over
  • Supply and Demand was weighted slightly in favor of Demand increasing (or better)
  • The probability of sale was increasing
  • Values would like begin increasing by the end of first quarter, 2010 (if they were not already actively appreciating)

Now comes the harder part. Offending people who live in places where these important stabilizing factors are less evident. These are “the Yellow Lights” areas where:

  • Price Depreciation may still be occurring
  • Supply and Demand is not clearly favoring an increase in demand and an over-supply may exist
  • The probability of sale is at the market average (47%) or worse
  • Prices may not start appreciating in first quarter 2010. It might take until late 2010 for that to happen

Very quickly, anyone who can read through my cautious language will notice “may”, “maybe” and “might” all dominate the language of this post. The Yellow Lights are areas where there can still be some excellent buys. But a smart buyer who wants in on one of these areas needs to quantify their decision making. Is the home I’m interested in below the median value for the area? Are there any fatal flaws that would possibly hinder appreciation (near or backing to a busy road, non-conforming floorplan, etc.). Am I buying upgrades or dirt? (because the dirt is where the value is)


These three areas all had one little glaring problem that kept them from Green Light Status.

OCC 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 186 216 199 149 109 122 164
Avg Price 169046 180837 171750 170945 152462 154462 166584
Expired/Failed 152 143 152 177 155 91 145
Total Units 338 359 351 326 264 213 309
Probability Sale 55% 60% 57% 46% 41% 57% 53%
Listed 58
Avg. List 220220
Tamarron 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 37 41 22 23 27 23 29
Avg Price 224281 240781 247860 263530 239940 228813 240868
Expired/Failed 17 9 19 22 19 20 18
Total Units 54 50 41 45 46 43 47
Probability Sale 69% 82% 54% 51% 59% 53% 62%
Listed 15
Avg. List 257420
Newport Heights 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 31 47 37 31 21 24 32
Avg Price 241980 265093 261895 296119 258056 246493 261606
Expired/Failed 31 14 22 21 17 10 19
Total Units 62 61 59 52 38 34 51
Probability Sale 50% 77% 63% 60% 55% 71% 62%
Listed 6
Avg. List 256933

In the Old Colorado City area, the probability of sale has increased and demand has picked up. But price has taken a beating every year since 2005. That’s odd that average price in this boutique and unique area started to drop two years ahead of other market. The consumer demand has been largely for less expensive properties. Qualifying the unique qualities of an over $200,000 home will be important for a 2010 buyer in Old Colorado City. Likewise, pricing has taken a hit in both Tamarron and Newport Heights. While the probability of sale has never dipped below 50%, it is interesting to note that surrounding areas have performed better.  When Tamarron (D20) is compared to Pinon Valley or Oak Valley Ranch (both D11), a larger, similarly priced property has had a lower chance of sale in the normally more appealing D20 area. Newport Heights average list price is actually below the 6 year average sold price. One difficulty here however is that the area is small and has many streets impacted by road noise (proximity to Dublin and Austin Bluffs). Homes on the inside and near open space will sell much more easily.

The, “These can’t possibly stay Yellow Light for Long” areas

Cheyenne Meadows 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 74 70 64 45 42 30 54
Avg Price 192149 204087 214987 211952 218016 209383 208429
Expired/Failed 31 22 28 30 48 35 32
Total Units 44 92 92 75 90 65 76
Probability Sale 64% 76% 70% 60% 47% 46% 64%
Listed 12
Avg. List 212041
Northgate 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 67 54 53 41 25 16 43
Avg Price 320870 382583 352463 333648 338654 344293 345419
Expired/Failed 23 30 28 39 33 23 29
Total Units 90 84 81 80 58 39 72
Probability Sale 74% 64% 65% 51% 43% 41% 59%
Listed 19
Avg. List 355089
Crystal Hills 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 15 18 25 12 20 18 18
Avg Price 280953 308650 345796 336833 315120 337027 320730
Expired/Failed 4 6 11 19 17 19 13
Total Units 19 24 36 31 37 37 31
Probability Sale 79% 75% 69% 39% 54% 49% 59%
Listed 14
Avg. List 346792

I was scratching my head looking at Cheyenne Meadows. That’s right up next to Ft. Carson and an always popular area with junior officers. With an average sales price similar to the city and high rental rates, this can’t possibly stay down long. But the probability of sale is lousy and price has reset to 2004 levels. Weird. Very similar circumstances north of New Life in Northgate (collectively Trailridge and Deer Creek). Prices are at the 6-year average and the probability of sale has been low for four years running. This despite a superb location and near many of the destination D20 schools. Then there is Crystal Hills. The only suburban-style neighborhood in Manitou, the problems here are a lower than expected probability of sale and higher than usual inventory. With the price reset to the six year average and an over-supply heading into winter, pressure is down on price (for the short-term). All three of these areas have something somewhat extraordinary to extremely special in their location. That will have to make a measurable impact on a return to better value sometime in 2010.

High-End Areas where the worst is probably over (but boy what a hit)

Mountain Shadows and Peregrine have both seen demand sour substantially in 2009. At one point in October of this year, Mountain Shadows had only 3 properties that had sold for over $400,000 the entire calendar year. For a long stretch of the summer, a half dozen Peregrine properties were in a race to the bottom in price, starting around $650,000 before settling between $575,000 and $615,000. And for the last several years, the Old North End has been characterized by very low demand over $500,000.

Mountain Shadows 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 77 87 74 48 57 44 65
Avg Price 323627 356627 374161 381103 378998 332717 357872
Expired/Failed 42 25 37 71 46 52 46
Total Units 119 112 111 119 103 96 110
Probability Sale 65% 78% 67% 40% 55% 46% 59%
Listed 26
Avg. List 440203
Peregrine 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 53 65 73 56 38 22 51
Avg Price 445883 520341 573800 528103 526349 471336 510969
Expired/Failed 34 25 32 41 37 44 36
Total Units 44 90 105 97 75 66 80
Probability Sale 64% 72% 70% 58% 51% 33% 64%
Listed 30
Avg. List 561746
Old North End 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 42 54 56 46 41 20 43
Avg Price 352358 376357 430213 406895 400573 384725 391854
Expired/Failed 40 28 34 27 30 25 31
Total Units 82 82 90 73 71 45 74
Probability Sale 51% 66% 62% 63% 58% 44% 58%
Listed 33
Avg. List 769969

In all three of these areas, the average list price remains above the six year average. But the year to date sales price has dropped below the six-year average. In all of these areas, a home under $500,000 is very much worth looking at. Homes asking over $650,000 though will have to offer the buyer something extraordinary. That is, until inventory levels shrink even more.

The Million-Dollar Drag

Pine Creek. Spires. Flying Horse. All of them have taken a beating with direct competition with new construction. All of them have a lot of inventory sitting on the market. All of them have a lower than expected probability of sale. Broadmoor Glen has the added nuance of present new construction that is starting at twice the average of the rest of the neighborhood.

Pine Creek 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 102 97 107 96 63 48 86
Avg Price 412235 456217 491999 491366 468159 429007 458164
Expired/Failed 56 59 61 93 81 82 72
Total Units 158 156 168 189 144 130 158
Probability Sale 65% 62% 64% 51% 44% 37% 54%
Listed 36
Avg. List 667759
Spires/B Bluffs 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 108 87 68 98 50 44 76
Avg Price 551509 575448 586949 579556 580599 520501 565760
Expired/Failed 58 47 65 85 85 69 68
Total Units 44 134 133 183 135 113 124
Probability Sale 64% 65% 51% 54% 37% 39% 61%
Listed 50
Avg. List 776643
Broadmoor Glen 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 32 24 18 19 17 11 20
Avg Price 340134 358016 392818 392647 452308 582500 419737
Expired/Failed 5 7 10 14 21 16 12
Total Units 37 31 28 33 38 27 32
Probability Sale 86% 77% 64% 58% 45% 41% 62%
Listed 8
Avg. List 602100
Flying Horse 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Avg
Sold 16 57 48 36 32 38
Avg Price 491533 490972 491940 448718 417985 468230
Expired/Failed 2 13 44 61 38 32
Total Units 18 70 92 97 70 69
Probability Sale 89% 81% 52% 37% 46% 54%
Listed 34
Avg. List 912304

In all four areas, the “average” property for sale requires not just jumbo financing, but super jumbo financing or a cash buyer. There are not many of either. Since all three areas have homes from $400,000 to well over a million, even talking about them as “areas” requires a discussion of areas within areas. A home on the Golf Course in Pine Creek with a nice lot and great upgrades will probably sell at a respectable price. A home that isn’t on Paisely (where it seems everything is for sale near the top) and is in the low $600,000’s will likely sell in the Spires. In Broadmoor Glen homes can move very quickly… or take forever. The price span is largest here, with home starting around $300,000 (selling very well) and an over-supply of million dollar new construction in the Canyons (one to three units selling per year). Flying Horse is having a hard time selling anywhere north of $500,000, but under $450,000 is actually moving faster than 6 months. In all three areas, the bottom of the neighborhood in price seems to be activated; but the majority of the present listings are quite a bit more than “average”. These will take a year or more to see improvements.

The operative term here is “Yellow Light”. Many drivers see yellow light and hit the accelerator. That means change is about to happen, and if they act quickly, they can beat the change. That might be the case in some of these places. The safe money is found in the Green Lights. The Curve-Beating money is found when the light is yellow.