Summer is half over. This weekend is the County Fair. The monsoons are doing their thing with almost daily showers, which are greening things up and helping the fire danger.
I met with Greg Schulte, the County Administrator, last week. He updated me on several projects that are in the works. The number one item we discussed was the development of 95 acres purchased a couple years ago for $750,000 just south of the fairgrounds on Highway 84. The parcel was paid for with lottery funds. The plan is to develop several ball fields, a dog park, an event center, parking, a trail system, and commercial space for possible restaurants, etc. The goal is to put together a package of facilities that benefits local residents but can encourage recreational events to stimulate the economy. There have been several meetings open to the public to gain input.
If I ruled the world, I would like to see a facility that would encourage small conventions. A facility that could handle 500 people or so would be a great asset to our community.
We also discussed another park option of about 120 acres out by the Cloman Industrial Park. This came about with a property swap with the BLM. This park would be geared toward equestrian, mountain bike, and hiking trails and other non-motorized uses. It's intended for year-round use, so cross country skiing and snowshoeing are options.
We spoke briefly about the proposed Walmart. The next meeting on Walmart is scheduled for August 7 at 1:30 p.m. at the Extension Building.
Last, but not least, great news! On July 31, the county was notified it has been awarded $3.5 Million to re-surface Piedra Road. This amount will be combined with $500,000 from the county for a total of $4 Million. The work will start in summer 2013 and is estimated to re-surface 4 to 5 miles starting at the cattle guard and going south.
So much for the local news. Here's what happening in the real estate market. July was a slow month. However, May was a huge month, so a slow July has us just about back to par. Overall sales are up 5% over last year at this time. One bright spot is condo sales, which are up 76%. The median closing price for condos has nearly doubled. This doesn't mean that the value of any given condo has doubled in the last year. It certainly hasn't. But it does mean that condo buyers are looking at more upscale properties this year. More medium- and high-end sales push the median higher. This is a good sign.
So far this year, we've had almost as many permits for stick built homes as all of last year. 32 year-to-date so far, versus 34 all last year. The busiest time for permits, historically, is August through October with builders trying to get things out of the ground before winter. Lastly, the average home that is being built today is less expensive than last year.
I'm interested to see where the rest of the summer leads us. The 4th of July week seemed awfully busy to me, and I know that I've put quite a few properties under contract recently. But the stats show pending sales pretty well flat with last year. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, the weather is good, the forest fire is essentially out, and I'm planning to have some fun at the fair this weekend. Maybe I'll see you there!
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.
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. Lee is part of the Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate team.