Friday, February 26, 2010

Division of Housing announces new housing programs manager

The Division of Housing at the Department of Local Affairs has announced its new Housing Programs Manager. Alison A. George, formerly of Mercy Housing Colorado, will head the Division’s housing development and asset management operations.

Ms. George brings more than 10 years experience in affordable housing development.

When with Mercy Housing Colorado, Ms. George was Regional Vice President of Multifamily Housing and provided overall direction for rental housing developments in Colorado, from initial project conception through project completion.

She led Mercy’s efforts to acquire the Aromor Apartments, a historic hotel one block south of Colorado’s state capitol, from the Denver Housing Authority in 2008. Mercy Housing rehabilitated the historic hotel in partnership with Denver’s Road Home as permanent supportive housing for the homeless.

Prior to joining Mercy Housing, Ms. George was the Vice President of Development at The Michaels Development Company where she oversaw affordable housing tax credit and Hope VI projects totaling more than $130 million in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Michaels Development Company was highlighted in Affordable Housing Finance in April/May 2009 as the largest owner of affordable housing in the United States.

She also worked for the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri as a Development Coordinator where she facilitated the development efforts of its scattered site replacement housing program that placed over 200 public housing units in service throughout Kansas City.

Ms. George is Co-chair of the Hope Communities board of directors and serves as its Chair of its real estate committee. Alison has a Master of Urban Planning degree with a concentration in real estate and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kansas.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Single-family rental vacancies hit three-year high, rents rise

Click here for full report.

Vacancies in for-rent condos, single-family homes, and other small properties across metro Denver rose to a three-year high of 5.5 percent during 2009’s fourth quarter. The vacancy rate was 4.9 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008. The last time the metro-wide vacancy rate reached 5.5 percent was during 2006’s fourth quarter, when vacancies were also at 5.5 percent.

According to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, the number of days on the market for single-family rentals and similar properties increased from 45 days during the fourth quarter of 2008 to 53 days during the fourth quarter of 2009. Detached single-family rentals in particular faced a two-year high of 62 days.

“There is no one economic factor behind the increase, but some of the people that had been in single-family have purchased homes to take advantage of the tax credit,” said Gordon Von Stroh, Professor of business at the University of Denver, and the report’s author. “But the unemployment rate remains above last year’s rates, and that will tend to keep vacancies up.”



The metro-wide jump in vacancies in single-family rentals and similar properties was driven by increasing vacancies in Denver County and Arapahoe County where vacancy rates were at 6.8 percent and 5.7 percent respectively. Vacancy rates fell in Adams County and Douglas County. Rates were flat in Jefferson County and in the Boulder/Broomfield area.

Vacancy rates for all counties surveyed were: Adams, 4.1 percent; Arapahoe, 5.7 percent; Boulder/Broomfield, 3.8 percent; Denver, 6.8 percent; Douglas, 3.0 percent; and Jefferson, 4.7 percent.

In spite of rising vacancy rates, average rents continued to climb.

The average rent for single-family and similar properties rose to $1016.77 during 2009’s fourth quarter, rising from 2008’s fourth quarter rate of $995.24. 2009’s fourth quarter’s average rent is the highest average rent yet recorded for the fourth quarter.

“The fact that average rents continue to rise shows that renter demand for these properties remains relatively high in spite of a soft overall rental market and poor job growth,” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesperson for the Colorado Division of housing. “Owners can afford to raise rents a little since many people still prefer the roominess of a single-family home to an apartment, but today, fewer people view buying a single-family home as the fail-safe purchase that they once did.”

Average rents for all counties were: Adams, $1024.79; Arapahoe, $995.23; Boulder/Broomfield, $1631.30; Denver, $952.27; Douglas, $1372.91; and Jefferson, $974.90.

The Colorado Statewide Vacancy and Rent Study is released each quarter by the Colorado Division of Housing. The Report is available online at the Division of Housing web site: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh
The Colorado 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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New foreclosure filings fall 3 percent in January

Click here for full report.

Foreclosure filings in Colorado’s largest counties fell 3 percent last month as compared to January of last year. According to a report released today by the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, foreclosure sales at auction rose 61 percent during January, but remain down 29 percent compared to 2008. New foreclosure filings were down 17 percent compared to January of 2008.

According to the report, "The increase in foreclosure sales rates between January 2009 and January 2010 can in part be attributed to an exceptionally low number of foreclosures proceeding to sale during the early months of 2009. This resulted from a series of moratoria on foreclosures imposed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other large owners of mortgage loans. The moratoria prevented foreclosures from proceeding to the end of the process, but did not reflect overall improvement in the real estate markets. As the moratoria were phased out in the Spring of 2009, foreclosure sales totals began to increase."

Foreclosure filings are the initial filing that begins the foreclosure process, and foreclosure sales totals are the total number of foreclosures that have been sold at auction at the end of the foreclosure process.

According to the report “Recent movements in foreclosure sales and filings reflect recent overall trends, as monthly sales totals have moved upward and monthly filings totals have moved downward” and that “movements in foreclosure sales reflect movement in foreclosure filings, but lag by six to eight months” The report concludes that if “the current relationship between filings and sales continues, foreclosure sales will begin to fall again during Spring 2010.”

Foreclosure activity varied by county. The counties with the largest decreases from January 2009 to January 2010 in filings activity were Douglas County and Denver County, where filings decreased by 26 percent and 17 percent, respectively. The largest increase was in Mesa County where filings increased 159 percent year-over-year.

Foreclosure sales activity increased in all metropolitan counties during January of this year compared to January of 2009. The smallest increase was in Denver County where sales increased 19 percent. The largest increase was found in Mesa County where foreclosure filings increased 337 percent from January 2009 to January 2010. However, measuring changes in foreclosure sales activity since 2008, all counties reported falling foreclosure sales except Boulder and Mesa Counties.

The county with the highest rate of foreclosure sales was Weld County with a rate of 532 households per foreclosure sale. Adams County was a close second with 535 households per foreclosure sale. The lowest rate was found in Boulder County where there were 1,779 households per foreclosure sale. The largest increase in foreclosure rates since 2009 was found in Mesa County where the foreclosure rate more than tripled year-over-year. See Table 3 for comparisons.

The Division of Housing’s monthly foreclosure report surveys foreclosure activity in the twelve largest counties of Colorado. The report is a supplement to the Division’s quarterly foreclosure report that includes all counties in Colorado.



Colorado ranks 11th best in US for mortgage delinquencies

The number of seriously delinquent loans in the United States rose during the fourth quarter of 2009, but the number of new 30-day delinquencies fell. According to the National Delinquency Survey released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association, the number of loans that are seriously delinquent and in foreclosure rose year-over-year from 6.30 percent during the 4th quarter of 2008 to 9.67 percent during the same period of 2009. However, the number of loans that were 30 days delinquent fell from 3.85 percent to 3.63 percent during the same period.

In Colorado, the number of loans that were seriously delinquent or in foreclosure increased during 2009's fourth quarter to 5.87 percent, rising from a rate of 3.96 percent reported during the fourth quarter of 2008. The number of 30-day delinquencies were flat with an increase of only one basis point from 2.63 percent to 2.64 percent year-over-year.

Colorado reported the 11th best rate for seriously delinquent loans in the nation for the fourth quarter of 2009. The state with the lowest number of seriously delinquent loans was North Dakota with a rate of 2.46 percent. The highest rate in the nation was Florida at 20.43 percent. Nevada's rate was 19.04 percent. For the 4th quarter of 2008, Colorado reported the 18th best delinquency rate in the nation at 3.96 percent.

Although Colorado's rate of seriously delinquent loans has increased year-over-year in recent fourth quarter results, the state's rate of increase has been outpaced by growth in seriously delinquent loans throughout the United States. Colorado's rate is now only 60 percent as high as the national rate. (See graphic.)

The percentage of loans that are 30 days delinquent has remained stable in Colorado. Since 2005, the 30-day delinquency rate has increased from 2.34 percent to 2.64 percent:

Colorado delinquency rates, 4th Q

Seriously delinquent / 30-day
2005 1.97 / 2.34
2006 2.41 / 2.59
2007 3.08 / 2.36
2008 3.96 / 2.63
2009 5.87 / 2.64

The 30-day delinquency rate includes loans that are at least one payment past due but does not include loans in the process of foreclosure.

Nationally, the percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the fourth quarter was 4.58 percent, an increase of 11 basis points from the third quarter of 2009 and 128 basis points from one year ago.

According to the Mortgage Banker's Association, a recent drop in 30-day delinquencies may be a positive sign for the economy.

“We are likely seeing the beginning of the end of the unprecedented wave of mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures that started with the subprime defaults in early 2007, continued with the meltdown of the California and Florida housing markets due to overbuilding and the weak loan underwriting that supported that overbuilding, and culminated with a recession that saw 8.5 million people lose their jobs,”said Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s chief economist.

“The continued and sizable drop in the 30-day delinquency rate is a concrete sign that the end may be in sight. We normally see a large spike in short-term mortgage delinquencies at the end of the year due to heating bills, Christmas expenditures and other seasonal factors. Not only did we not see that spike but the 30-day delinquencies actually fell by 16 basis points from 3.79 percent to 3.63 percent. Only three times before in the history of the MBA survey has the non-seasonally adjusted 30-day delinquency rate dropped between the third and fourth quarter and never by this magnitude. If the normal seasonal patterns hold for the first quarter, we should see an even steeper drop in the end of March data."

“This drop is important because 30-day delinquencies have historically been a leading indicator of serious delinquencies and foreclosures. With fewer new loans going bad, the pool of seriously delinquent loans and foreclosures will eventually begin to shrink once the rate at which these problems are resolved exceeds the rate at which new problems come in. It also gives us growing confidence that the size of the problem now is about as bad as it will get."

Data recently released by the Colorado Division of Housing showed that completed foreclosures in Colorado fell for the second year, dropping 18 percent since 2007. However, the number of new foreclosures filed reached a new record of 46,394.

In Colorado, the lack of growth in 30-day delinquencies has not yet translated into a falling or flat rate of increase for new foreclosure filings.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Finalist For Executive Director Position Named

Cris White has been identified by the Board of Directors as the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority’s (CHFA) finalist for its open Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer position. His official appointment will be made pending the state mandated 14-day notification period and barring any information that would affect his candidacy for the position.

Mr. White was appointed the Interim Executive Director and COO in January of this year. He has been CHFA’s Chief Operating Officer since January 2001. He joined CHFA in 1988, serving in various capacities until January 1996. He worked as a business development executive with an international equipment and real estate mortgage lender, and then rejoined CHFA in September 1996 as the director of asset management. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Regis University. He resides in Denver, CO.

“CHFA is uniquely positioned to serve Coloradans who are seeking affordable housing during these challenging economic times. And we have an even greater opportunity to help the state in its economic development endeavors,” said CHFA Board of Director Chair, Joel Rosenstein. “We believe that Cris has the right skills, vision and experience to lead CHFA and to help Colorado families achieve their dreams.”

The CHFA Board conducted a thorough nationwide search to ensure it identified the best candidate to carry the organization forward. The position became open after Roy Alexander, CHFA Executive Director of almost nine years retired in December of last year.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday, February 12 is a mandatory furlough day

The Department of Local Affairs will be closed Friday, February 12th, as part of the state's mandatory furlough. Offices will re-open on Tuesday, February 16th following the President's Day holiday.

Colorado apartment vacancy numbers mixed

Click here for full report.

The Colorado statewide apartment vacancy rate for 2009’s fourth quarter decreased to 7.9 percent, falling from 2008’s fourth quarter rate of 8.0 percent. According to a report released Thursday by the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, several local markets reported rising vacancies with Pueblo and Grand Junction reporting the largest increases with vacancies now at 12.2 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively.

Among large metropolitan areas, Fort Collins and Loveland reported the lowest vacancy rates at 6.3 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively. All other metro areas measured in the survey reported vacancy rates above 7 percent. In Pueblo, rates rose from 7.2 percent to 12.2 percent year over year, while they rose from 3.1 percent to 13.2 percent in Grand Junction during the same period.

Third quarter vacancies in the metro Denver area, measured in a separate survey last month, were at 7.7 percent.

Vacancy rates in all metropolitan areas were Colorado Springs, 8.7 percent; Ft. Collins/Loveland, 6.3 percent; Grand Junction, 13.2 percent; Greeley, 7.4 percent; Pueblo, 12.2 percent.

“Grand Junction is certainly the area that really attracts attention in this report, and it highlights just how diverse the local economies in Colorado are.” said Gordon Von Stroh, professor of business at the University of Denver, and the report’s author. “In Grand Junction, vacancies have basically tripled, but they’re down in Colorado Springs, and they’re up by about 70 percent in Pueblo. Employment and housing supply are really making a difference in different regions of the state right now.”

In general, a vacancy rate of 5 percent is considered to be the “equilibrium rate.”

Average rent levels were also mixed across the state. As expected, average rents fell in Grand Junction in response to rising vacancies year over year, but remained flat in Colorado Springs in spite of falling vacancies. The biggest increase was seen in the Ft. Collins/Loveland region where average rents increased by over 40 dollars from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the fourth quarter of 2009.

Average rents in the Ft. Collins/Loveland area rose year over year from $809.81 to $854.10, and fell from $666.22 to $633.46 in Grand Junction during the same period. In spite of a rising vacancy rate, average rents rose in Pueblo from $518.26 to $541.44 year-over-year.

Average rents in all metropolitan areas measured were Colorado Springs, $711.66, Ft. Collins/Loveland, $854.10; Grand Junction, $633.46; Greeley, $636.86; Pueblo, $541.44.

The Vacancy and Rent Surveys are a service provided by the Colorado Division of Housing to renters and the multi-family housing industry on a quarterly basis. The Colorado 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. The Report is available online at the Division of Housing web site: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

THE COLORADO FORECLOSURE HOTLINE MARKS 100,000 CALLS

DENVER, Colo.—On Tuesday, February 9, the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline hit another milestone: 100,000 calls placed to the statewide hotline, that has been in operation since October 2006. Averaging 180 calls per day, Hotline staff members have seen call volume climb exponentially, especially since late 2007.

“Our calls have increased by more than 60 percent in the past two years,” said program manager Stephanie Riggi. “And with new programs in place that promote the Hotline, like last year’s house bill 1276, we continue to see high call volume each month.”

In fact, the Hotline receives between 3,500 and 4,000 calls each month, a pattern that began and held in August 2008 after the implementation of HB 1276, the foreclosure deferment bill. Homeowners who may be eligible for the program are notified via posting on their property. The posting directs homeowners to the Hotline in both English and Spanish.

Riggi and Hotline staff use call volume numbers to measure public awareness of the Hotline.

“100,000 calls doesn’t mean 100,000 people have utilized our services,” she explained. “About 20 percent of people who call the Hotline come in for a counseling session. But it does mean that we’re continuing to reach a larger population.”

Despite continual rises in call volume, the Hotline and its 26 non-profit HUD-approved partner agencies have handled the increase. Of those callers who choose to meet face-to-face with a Hotline counselor and complete the counseling process, 80 percent reach a positive resolution. Positive resolutions include but are not limited to loan modifications, refinancing, and selling the property.

Riggi said, “Homeowners should not be ashamed to reach out for help. Our services are free and confidential. Concerned homeowners are calling us, they’re meeting with housing counselors, and they’re finding those options that work best for them.”

To schedule an appointment with a housing counselor, call 1-877-601-HOPE (4673). For more information, visit www.coloradoforeclosurehotline.org.

Monday, February 8, 2010

GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES STATE FUNDING FOR FOUR LOCAL PROJECTS

GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES STATE FUNDING FOR FOUR LOCAL PROJECTS

Gov. Bill Ritter today announced four communities impacted by energy and mineral production will receive grant funding totaling $17 million, which will help create 1,853 jobs and strengthen local economies.

The grants are being made available through 2009's Senate Bill 232, sponsored by Sen. Gail Schwartz and Rep. Buffie McFadyen. The legislation set aside the funding for a one-time, competitive grant allocation for projects in energy-impacted cities and towns.

"These projects will create jobs, help get our economy healthy again and strengthen Colorado communities," Gov. Ritter said. "They will contribute to downtown vitality, transportation improvements and strategic investment in public broadband infrastructure. These Colorado communities and their citizens will see direct improvements to their lives."

Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Executive Director Susan Kirkpatrick, said, "The projects selected have been chosen for their potential to make game-changing, sustainable impacts for years to come. The department greatly values the role of our local partners, the Energy Impact Advisory Committee and the legislature for their input and feedback throughout this process. We look forward to working with these communities as they invest these funds in a way that will improve quality of life."

The one-time grants are funded with federal mineral lease revenues. DOLA received pre-applications from 10 communities in July 2009. From there, seven projects were invited to apply using several criteria, such as the significance of the project for the community, evidence of project relationship to challenges created by energy and mineral development, and measurable outcomes.

"This legislation is a timely measure in assisting communities that bear the impact from energy production," Sen. Schwartz said. "Most importantly, these grants represent a critical investment in regional jobs and infrastructure. I am pleased to have initiated this effort on behalf of these communities."

"Through the funding of these projects, we have created an opportunity to support jobs in Colorado," Rep. McFadyen said. "It gives me a great deal of pride to know these communities will benefit both through employment opportunities and overall improvement to infrastructure."

Public hearings and presentations for these seven projects were held on Feb. 1, 2010. The projects selected to receive funding are:

Town of Parachute Interchange at US-6 & I-70 - $8 million

Applicant/Partners: Town of Parachute, Garfield County, Encana, Williams

Project Type: Transportation

Project Description: This project consists of two elements: construction of a new full-diamond interchange on I-70; and a downtown by-pass. The interchange improvements include construction of a full-diamond interchange (two on and off ramps) with acceleration and deceleration lanes. The interchange is located approximately 2 miles west of the existing Town of Parachute I-70 interchange (Exit 75). The project also involves completing a truck by-pass of Parachute from State Highway 6 to CR 215. Acceleration and deceleration lanes at SH 6, a bridge over Parachute Creek and an additional 1,500 feet of road surface would complete the by-pass route.

Mesa County 29 Road Overpass - $3.2 million

Applicant/Partners: Mesa County, City of Grand Junction

Project Type: Transportation

Project Description: The 29 Road Overpass Project is a joint effort by Mesa County and the City of Grad Junction that consists of the construction of a grade-separated crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad in Grand Junction. This project is a component of the beltway loop around the core of the Grand Valley serving Grand Junction, and the outlying communities of Whitewater, Clifton and Fruitvale.

Southwest Colorado Council of Governments (SWCCOG) Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure - $3 million

Applicant/Partners: Southwest Colorado Council of Governments, City of Durango, City of Cortez; Towns of Bayfield, Mancos, Dolores, Dove Creek, Rico, Silverton, Pagosa Springs; Counties of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, San Juan and Montezuma; Fort Lewis College; Southwest Community College, and various other public agencies such as libraries, schools and fire districts.

Project Type: Regional Broadband Infrastructure

Project Description: This is a regional telecommunication and broadband infrastructure improvement project coordinated by the Southwest Colorado Council of Governments and Region 9 Economic Development District. The overall regional project is comprised within each county and municipality. These smaller portions support the overall regional goal of high-capacity connectivity among public facilities in the various political subdivisions. This project further grows the high capacity network out into each local community and additionally aggregates demand on a regional basis to make the on-going cost affordable.

City of Delta Highway 50 Bypass - $2.8 million

Applicant/Partners: City of Delta

Project Type: Transportation

Project Description: This project consists of the construction of an alternate road for the purpose of routing truck traffic away from the City of Delta's Historic Main Street. The alternate truck route will relieve traffic congestion and improve safety for the city's downtown business corridor located along State Highway 50. The project includes the construction of an overpass structure above the Union Pacific railroad tracks to allow uninterrupted access for emergency responders to and from the North Delta area and the completion of a four lane road connecting at the north and south ends of Main Street.

Private Activity Bond web site updated with new 2010 information

The updated site includes 2010 allocations, application forms, and other information.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

JCHA awarded $290,000 in HOME funds

The Department of Local Affairs has announced that $290,000 in HOME funds has been awarded for increasing the availability of affordable housing in the City of Arvada.

The Jefferson County Housing Authority (JCHA) has been awarded a HOME grant of $290,000 for rehabilitation of Parkview Village Apartments. JCHA purchased the property on September 30, 2009. The complex is located near I-70 and Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada, and is close to a bus line. It has 96 one- two- and three-bedroom units in 5 buildings (3-story walk-ups) plus a community building. It was built in 1975, then acquired & renovated in 1993 under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. The initial 15-year compliance period is done, but affordability restrictions remain in force until 2033. JCHA could refinance the project with LIHTCs, but not until the tax credit investment market stabilizes. In the meantime, they are doing some rehab, including: replacing all roofs, repairs to balconies, replacing some rooftop AC & hot water heaters, replacing some furnaces, installing smoke & CO2 detectors, and making the clubhouse accessible. Current LIHTC restrictions limit rent & income to 50% & 60% AMI, but JCHA has offered to have 5 units serve 30% AMI.

Jeffco Housing Corp. receives $150,000 HOME grant

The Department of Local Affairs has announced that $150,000 in HOME funds has been awarded for increasing the availability of affordable housing in the City of Arvada.

The Jeffco Housing Corporation (JHC) has been awarded a HOME grant of $150,000 for rehabilitation of Parkview Village West Apartments. JHC recently closed on the acquisition, on September 30, 2009. The complex is located a short distance north & west of I-70 and Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada, and is a short distance from a bus line. It has 54 one & two-bedroom units in 2 buildings. One building is a 3-story walk-up, and the other is 3-stories with an elevator. It was built in 1972, then acquired & renovated in 1995 under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. The initial 15-year compliance period is done, but affordability restrictions remain in force until 2025. JHC could refinance the project with LIHTCs, but not until the tax credit investment market stabilizes. In the meantime, they are doing some rehab, including: replacing the boiler, replacing some heat pumps, exterior concrete repairs, bringing balcony railings to code, and adding AC units in lower level units. Current LIHTC restrictions limit rent & income to 40%, 50% & 60% AMI, but JHC has offered to have 3 units serve 30% AMI.

New housing division manager at the City of Boulder

B.J. Suter
Adiministrative Assistant
City of Boulder
Housing & Human Services
Division of Housing

ANNOUNCEMENT:

February 1, 2010

Dear Community Partner,

I am pleased to announce that Andy Proctor has been hired as the Housing Division Manager with the city of Boulder, Department of Housing and Human Services. Andy comes to the Department from his community development consulting practice, where he worked on projects throughout Colorado and many other states throughout the country. Andy has considerable experience and background in Housing finance and funding, policy and development. We are very pleased that Andy will bring his background and expertise to the Department and community.

As the Housing Division manager, Andy’s responsibilities include managing the Housing Division, providing leadership for the city on affordable housing goals and strategies, working with city council, regional and state governments, boards and commissions, community organizations and non-profits, and the business and development community on affordable housing issues.

Over the next several months, Andy will be contacting our community partners to introduce himself. Please join me in welcoming Andy to the Housing Division. You may contact Andy at 303- 441- 3144.

Sincerely,

Karen Rahn
Director
Department of Housing and Human Services
City of Boulder

New NSP Action Plan amendment

For Immediate Release
February 4, 2010

Contact:
Alison O’Kelly
alison.okelly@state.co.us
303-866-3409

The Substantial Amendment to the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Action Plan for the State of Colorado is currently available for public comment. It can be viewed at:
http://www.dola.colorado.gov/cdh/SubstantialAmend.htm

The Substantial Amendment will be open for comment February 4, 2010 through February 19, 2010. A Spanish language translation of current (February 2010) amendment changes is forthcoming. Comments can be directed via E-mail, telephone, or via mail to:

Alison O'Kelly
NSP Program Specialist
Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Housing
1313 Sherman St., Room 518
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-3409
Fax: 303-866-4077
alison.okelly@state.co.us
www.DOLA.Colorado.gov

Please note, several substantial amendments have been made, and all text/chart changes can be identified by color as follows:
Original NSP Action Plan: Black
June 2009 Substantial Amendment: Red
October 2009 Substantial Amendment: Violet
February 2010 Substantial Amendment: Green


DOLA, DOH has established the need for continued NSP efforts in the single family market in Colorado based on foreclosure reports, housing prices and sales numbers. To validate what the State is hearing regarding the need in the multi-family market, we ask our partners and localities to estimate the potential multi-family foreclosures for possible NSP assistance (multi-family and abandoned/vacant land) in your communities, and share this information with the Division of Housing. This information will be used to make necessary amendments to the NSP Action Plan regarding strategy and budgeting priorities.

Completed foreclosures in Colorado drop in 2009

Completed foreclosures in Colorado drop in 2009

Click here for full report.

Completed foreclosures in Colorado during 2009 fell 4 percent from 2008’s totals, and have fallen 18 percent since 2007. According to a report released Thursday by the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, there were 20,437 completed foreclosures in the state during 2009, falling from 2008’s total of 21,306. In 2007, completed foreclosures reached 25,056.

While completed foreclosures fell, new foreclosure filings, which begin the foreclosure process for borrowers, increased 18 percent during 2009. During 2009, foreclosure filings rose to 46,394 from 2008’s total of 39,333.

However, since 2007, in spite of increasing totals in new foreclosure filings, the total proportion of filings that ended in a solution other than foreclosure increased by 51 percent. In 2007, 37 percent of foreclosure filings ended in a result other than foreclosure such as short sale, loan modification, refinance or other solution. By 2009, this total had increased to 56 percent. The result has been fewer completed foreclosures even as new foreclosure filings have increased.

The falling totals in completed foreclosures were driven by significant declines in foreclosure activity in the Denver metro area. In Denver County, foreclosures fell 28 percent, and they fell 20 percent and 16 percent in Adams and Arapahoe Counties respectively. The only county in the Denver area to report increases in completed foreclosures during 2009 was Boulder County where they increased 6 percent.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that we won’t be seeing the sorts of increases in foreclosures that we saw during 2006 and 2007,” said Pat Coyle, a spokesperson with the Colorado Division of Housing. “Colorado’s Foreclosure Hotline and its network of housing counseling agencies have helped over 16,000 households avoid foreclosure since 2006, and we see that reflected in these numbers.”

As completed foreclosures fell quickly in the Denver area, foreclosure activity in other areas of the state increased. Completed foreclosures increased 11 percent in El Paso County and 4 percent in Weld County. Among metropolitan counties, Mesa County reported the largest increase with completed foreclosures growing 223 percent year-over-year to a total of 359.

Totals reported are county-wide totals, and individual neighborhoods may still be experiencing increases and decreases in foreclosure activity that are quite different from what is seen at the county level.

The report noted that while foreclosures were limited to Colorado’s Front Range in earlier years, Colorado’s smaller and more rural counties have become increasingly affected by foreclosures. Teller County, Park County, Morgan County, and Fremont County all reported increases of 30 percent or more in completed foreclosures. On the Western Slope, completed foreclosure totals in Mesa County and nearby counties such as Delta, Montrose, Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties have all increased since 2008.

“These changes in the geography of foreclosures shows that the problem has moved beyond overbuilding and adjustable rate mortgages, said Stephanie Riggi, manager of the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline call center. “We’re seeing unemployment and falling wages as much more of a driving factor behind foreclosures, and it’s not just the Front Range that’s affected.”

Completed foreclosures are opened foreclosures that have proceeded to foreclosure sale at auction. Filings denote the beginning of the foreclosure process, and once a foreclosure is filed, the borrower has approximately four months to work with the lender to avoid a completed foreclosure. It is during this period that borrowers work with lenders and housing counselors to work out loan modifications, short sales, or other ways of curing the foreclosure. According to the report, since the second quarter of 2009, the number of foreclosures cured in Colorado has increased 50 percent.

The full report is available on the Division of Housing blog: http://divisionofhousing.blogspot.com/

# # #

Monday, February 1, 2010

Colorado Springs area vacancies fall to 7-year low

Click here for full report

Colorado Springs area vacancies fall to 7-year low


February 1, 2009

Apartment vacancy rates in the Colorado Springs area fell to 8.7 percent during the fourth quarter of 2009, falling to the lowest fourth-quarter rate reported since 2001. According to a report released today by the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, overall vacancies fell in the Colorado Springs area from 10.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008, and are unchanged from 2009’s third quarter rate of 8.7 percent.

Fourth quarter vacancies were the lowest for the fourth quarter since vacancies were 8.9 percent in 2001, following 2000’s fourth-quarter rate of 3.1 percent.

Vacancy rates fell significantly in the “Northwest” market area of Colorado Springs where vacancy rates fell to 5.6 percent year-over-year, the lowest rate among all market areas surveyed. The rate in the Northwest region had been 9.7 percent during the third quarter of last year.

Vacancies in the “Security/Widefield/Fountain” market area fell from 24.9 percent during the fourth quarter of last year to 19.2 percent during the fourth quarter of this year.

Year-over-year, vacancies were down in all areas of the Colorado Springs metro area with the exception of central Colorado Springs where vacancies increased from 8.5 percent to 9.2 percent.

“Increases in the local troop population are now being felt here in Colorado Springs, said Gordon Von Stroh, professor of Business at the University of Denver, and the report’s author. “There has been very little recent new construction of multifamily units in the area, so we should see what supply we do have begin to fill up fairly quickly if troop numbers don’t fall again.”

In spite of increasing demand for units, average rents have not shown large increases. The average rent for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $711.66, which is down two dollars from 2008’s fourth-quarter average rent of $713.28. The average rent was $703.82 during the fourth quarter of 2007.

“Average rents have increased by eight dollars since 2007, but during that same period, employment has fallen and the unemployment rate has increased from 4.9 percent to 7.9 percent” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing. “However, if vacancies continue to fall, we’ll start to see some significant rent growth for the first time in several years.”

The area that reported the highest average rents was the “Far northeast” region with an average rent of $836.58, and the area with the lowest average rent was the “Central” region with an average rent of $565.54.


Apartment Realty Advisors is also a major sponsor of this report. 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 Southern Colorado at http://www.aacshq.org ; or please visit the Colorado Division of Housing web site: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh/