Home sales in the Pikes Peak region increased 95 percent from June 2012 to June 2016, according to an article written by Tatiana Bailey and posted on the “Colorado Springs Business Journal’s” website Sept. 9. Bailey is the executive director for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum.
The article states that various statistical determinants like relative home affordability and lower median age make it likely that home sales will remain strong in the region into 2017. While the strong housing market is music to real estate agents’ ears, it is also cause for concern about the potential for another housing bubble.
“This isn’t likely, however,” Bailey wrote. “The much more stringent credit criteria for essentially all types of mortgage lending makes this improbable on the consumer side. On the producer side, lending criteria for development-based loans is also stringent –- making overbuilding less likely.”
Jason Lyman, a real estate agent with ReMax Real Estate Group, said he went through the 2007 and 2008 housing market crash, and the current lending climate feels different. Lenders are no longer offering loans with estimated or non-verified income requirements, he said. “Back then, banks and mortgage companies were putting people into homes they could not afford, based on speculation,” Lyman said.
As a Falcon resident and real estate agent, Lyman said he knows the local market. “There are builders that are still building quite a bit out here,” he said. “But builders are not just building homes. They are building shops or things you would normally see in Colorado Springs, like the Shops at Meridian Ranch retail area.”
Commercial developers are not going to build unless they are going to get a good return for their money, Lyman said. When housing developers follow the lead of the commercial developers, the market seems to be more sustainable, he said.
Kevin Hart, president of the Colorado division of Aspen View Homes, said, “Driving east to Falcon, you can save $10,000 to $20,000 on a house; and that is a big draw,” he said. Local amenities not previously available to homeowners in the area are another plus, Hart said. “Most of our marketing is our location; we are right there across from Meridian Ranch and the new shopping center there,” he said.
Aspen View Homes is currently building in the Paint Brush Hills subdivision, just south of Falcon Middle School, along Stapleton Road. The proximity to FMS and the other local schools also attracts buyers to the area, Hart said.
Although the market is hot right now, Hart said his company is using responsible building practices. “We build at about a 50–to-50 ratio,” he said. “Half of what I build is not sold yet and the other half is.”
The area where he is currently building has 90 lots total, and they are usually going under contract within 30 days, Hart said.
Lyman said that much of the Falcon area’s inventory is not moving as quickly, in part because agents are often not comfortable taking their clients so far east from Colorado Springs. “It is an area people are not familiar with, and a lot of agents will not even take their clients out here because they do not know the area very well,” he said.
The majority of people buying in Falcon are younger and family-oriented, Lyman said. “We have people with growing families that want a bigger house, and they feel like they can get that out here; but they can also get a bigger lot out here as well,” he said.
Hart agreed and said first-time home buyers seem to be the most frequent customers in the Paint Brush Hills area. However, he said seniors are down sizing and moving from larger homes to smaller ones.
Lyman said the percentage of military families moving to Falcon is higher than Colorado Springs. “Falcon is a great community of people, sort of a tight-knit little community,” he said. “I think that might have to do with the higher military ratio. But there are also a lot of big community events out here as well and they are always well-attended.”
“People are feeling really good about things right now,” Hart said. “We have not seen any indicators that would alert us to a slow-down.”
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At age 11, Reese Knox is the youngest golfer practicing his swing on a Thursday evening at the Antler Creek Golf Course driving range in Falcon, Colorado.
“He’s being hard on himself,” said Jason Knox, Reese’s father, as he watched his 11-year-old son align himself with the ball and backswing — over and over.
Reese’s natural talent and skill is evident to even the most uneducated eye; but the talent, coupled with his dedication to golf, has made him an already-accomplished golfer.
At the end of July, Reese competed in his first-ever golf tournament, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour Denver Junior Classic at King’s Deer Golf Club in Monument, Colorado. He won first place in the boys U10 division of the Denver Junior Classic. Reese shot a round one score of 98; in round two he cut five strokes for a score of 93. His tournament total was 191.
The family lives near the golf course, and Reese has been diligent going to the course for the last two years. His father, a former hockey player, encouraged him to get involved with the sport, Reese said.
“We’d been coming to the golf course, and my dad got me into it,” he said. “We would come here to eat, and I would see the golfers, and I just wanted to (play), too,” Reese said.
While Reese, who is in the sixth grade at Falcon Middle School, takes the sport seriously, he said it is also about having fun.
“I like having fun and playing with my friends,” Reese said.
“He plays golf with my friends,” Jason Knox said. “He just turned 11 and he sets his alarm for 6:30 (a.m.) to play golf in the summer. I don’t know many other 11-year-olds who are doing that.
“I traveled a lot, and it wasn’t unusual for my friends to call me and ask if they can take Reese out (to the golf course). It’s not every day you see a lot of kids his age here, and it would be great if there were more kids out there.”
Knox is grateful to the other golfers for making young Reese feel welcome.
“They’ve really made him feel like one of the guys here,” he said.
“The biggest thing, I think, that’s kept him interested is the people – the staff and the members of the course. From a parent’s standpoint, we feel there’s always people watching out for him, keeping him safe and being friends to him.”
Knox said the sport teaches his son the values of integrity, honesty and hard work.
Because of his win in the Denver Junior Classic, Reese will travel to Florida in December to continue playing in the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour.
When asked about his upcoming trip to Florida, Reese said, “I’m going to go and have some fun.”
“We’ve talked about going into (the tournament) with no expectations,” Knox said. “Reese is getting the opportunity to play in Florida, which he’s never done, and learn what it’s like to play with other kids who play in tournaments every weekend.”
Knox credited the people at the Antler Creek Golf Course for their positive influence on Reese.
“To see how they’ve adopted my son is awesome,” Knox said. “It’s great to see what they’ve done ... and it makes a huge difference.”