Monday, August 15, 2011

Housing News Digest, August 15

Fitch Affirms Denver Urban Renewal Auth's (Colorado) Sr TIBs at 'BBB+'; Outlook Stable
AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 12, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- As part of its continuous surveillance efforts, Fitch Ratings affirms the following Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA, or the authority), Colorado's Stapleton tax increment revenue bond (TIB)ratings:

CSU students return to $100 million worth of renovations
In a cycle that's becoming as familiar as graduation or the trial garden's spring flowers, CSU's Fort Collins campus spent the summer as a construction zone.

During the summer and continuing as students begin returning to campus, Colorado State University became home to about $100 million worth of construction projects, from an expanded Morgan Library to renovated residence halls, a new engineering building and improvements at Hughes Stadium.

Low Rates Alone Not Seen Reviving Housing Market

The turmoil in the financial markets has been pushing mortgage rates lower. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages have now fallen to about 4.3 percent, which is very close to the lowest level on record.

But many Americans can't qualify for those low rates, and analysts say these historic interest rates aren't likely to do much to help the housing market.

Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Unchanged

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders was little changed in August, indicating the outlook for housing remains depressed.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence was 15 for a second month, matching the median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, data from the Washington-based group showed today. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor.

Colorado property owners faced with possibility of being forced into drilling plans

The landman for Chesapeake Energy Corp. presented Mark Faut with a choice: sign a lease for his oil rights or have his 7 acres forced into the drilling plan by the state.

"That was it, no questions, no discussion," said Faut, who owns a rental home in the Cross Diamond subdivision in Elbert County. "It was, 'Sign or we'll force pool.' "