Monday, February 16, 2009

New Housing Line9 This Thursday

Join counselors from the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline on 9News during the afternoon broadcasts. Counselors will be available to answer your questions about foreclosures and foreclosure prevention.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Statewide Vacancy and Rent Survey to be released

Next Thursday, February 19th, we'll have new numbers for:

Fort Collins
Loveland
Greeley
Grand Junction
Pueblo

Colorado Springs numbers have already been released here.

These will be 4th Quarter 2008 numbers including multifamily apartment vacancies, and average and median rents.

New Updates to Private Activity Bond Page

The Private Activity Bonds page has been updated. The site is here.

The three documents at the top are new for 2009:

Annual Report for 2008
List of 2009 Direct Allocations
2009 PAB Application

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Colorado Springs Vacancy and Rent Survey now available

Permanent location of Colorado Springs Reports: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh/vacancy/Colorado_Springs/colorspringsintro.htm

Springs vacancies remain high, but arrival of troops may signal change

February 10, 2009

Apartment vacancy rates in the Colorado Springs area decreased to 10.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008. According to a report released today by the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado, the Colorado Division of Housing and Apartment Realty Advisors, the rate is down from 10.8 percent as reported during the same period last year, but it is up from this 2008’s third quarter rate of 9.2 percent.

The area with the highest vacancies in the Colorado Springs metro area was the Security/Widefield/Fountain area with a vacancy rate of 24.9 percent. The “southeast” region reported the second-highest vacancy rate of 18.4 percent. All other regions reported rates below 10 percent.

The areas with the lowest vacancy rates were the “southwest” region and “central” region with vacancy rates of 8.0 percent and 8.5 percent respectively.

Colorado Springs vacancy rates remain the highest for any metropolitan area of the state. Vacancy rates in the metro Denver area and northern Colorado have recently ranged from 5 to 8 percent. From 1995 to 2001, vacancy rates in the 4 to 6 percent range were common in Colorado Springs, but rates have not dropped below 8 percent since the third quarter of 2001, and have often remained above 10 percent.

“Statewide, vacancy rates have been ticking upward due to weakness in the economy,” said Kathi Williams, director of the Colorado Division of Housing. “While Colorado Springs is not immune to this, the fact that 6,500 additional troops are still set to arrive in the region this year will certainly have an effect.”

Since it was announced that Fort Carson would receive new troops from closing bases like Fort Hood, observers have predicted that high vacancies would disappear once the troops arrived.

According to Laura Russmann, executive director of the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado, there has been a recent surge in interest for apartments in Colorado Springs.

“Our members are seeing a dramatic increase in soldiers looking for apartments. Properties close to the base are filling up quickly,” said Russmann, whose organization represents property managers and owners in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. “Apartment owners are thankful for the increase but remain cautiously optimistic due to the ongoing deployments.”

In spite of double-digit vacancy rates, average rents in Colorado Springs reached an all-time high of $713.28, increasing ten dollars from a year earlier when the average rent was reported as $703.82. Rents are also up since the third quarter when the average rent was $699.09. However, average rents have remained largely unchanged since 2006 when rent level hovered around $700.00 and peaked at $703.10 during the first quarter.

“For a large portion of our membership, rents have not increased for several years, said Russmann. “This has caused many financial difficulties which are only exacerbated by the increases in cost associated with maintaining the properties.”

The Vacancy and Rent Surveys are a service provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Colorado Division of Housing and the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado to renters and the multi-family housing industry on a quarterly basis. The Colorado Springs Area Vacancy and Rent Survey reports averages and, as a result, there are often differences in rental and vacancy rates by size, location, age of building, and apartment type. For more information, please contact the Apartment Association of Metro Denver at http://www.aacshq.org ; or please visit the Colorado Division of Housing web site: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh/

Monday, February 9, 2009

Division of Housing to Receive $500,000 for Foreclosure Prevention

GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES FORECLOSURE ASSISTANCE

Gov. Bill Ritter today joined Colorado Attorney General John Suthers to announce a $6 million settlement with Countrywide Financial Corp. that will assist Coloradans facing foreclosure. Gov. Ritter and Rep. Mark Ferrandino also announced that a foreclosure-deferment bill will be introduced this week.

“During this time of global economic crisis, it’s critical that we provide relief to homeowners who are already caught up in the foreclosure process, and that we prevent additional foreclosures in the future,” Gov. Ritter said. “The Countrywide settlement and the foreclosure-deferment bill will help Colorado accomplish both of those goals by keeping families from losing their homes and the American dream.”

The $6 million Countrywide settlement stems from allegations by the Attorney General’s Office that Countrywide and its affiliates marketed and offered subprime and other high-risk loans. The settlement will provide direct and immediate financial assistance to borrowers who are in default or facing foreclosure. An estimated 6,800 Colorado homeowners will benefit.

The settlement also provides $500,000 to the Colorado Division of Housing’s Foreclosure Hotline (1-877-601-HOPE) for continued operation and expansion of one of the nation’s best foreclosure-prevention programs. The hotline has helped thousands of homeowners stave off foreclosure by connecting them with certified mortgage counselors and other resources.

The foreclosure deferment bill – touted in Gov. Ritter’s Jan. 8 State of the State Address and sponsored by Rep. Ferrandino and Sen. Morgan Carroll – will extend a 90-day foreclosure timeout to qualified homeowners so they can renegotiate their mortgages and craft new payment plans.

“This bill will require borrowers and lenders to take and share responsibility,” Rep. Ferrandino said. “It will help responsible borrowers get back on track, stay in their homes and hold onto the American dream.”

“No state funding is used toward projects or programs related to the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline, and these funds are vital to supporting its operation. I want to thank our Division of Housing for all their work with the partner agencies on this critical service,” said Susan Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, which oversees the Division of Housing.