Monday, August 1, 2011

Housing News Digest August 1

Von Stroh closes the book on vacancy report
After 120 quarterly apartment Vacancy & Rent Surveys of the metro area, University of DenverbizWatch Professor Gordon Von Stroh is passing those duties to a new author.

That’s 30 years of apartment market analysis for Von Stroh, who did his first report for a local developer and bank in 1981. Now the report is produced for the Apartment Association of Metro DenverbizWatch and the Colorado Division of Housing.

FHA May Be Next in Line for Huge Bailout:
The nationwide decline in house prices has created a vacuum in the U.S. mortgage market. Private financing for home loans has all but dried up and the U.S. government is now guaranteeing almost every new mortgage. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have received most of the media’s attention, but policy makers need to focus on the third leg of the housing- support stool: the Federal Housing Administration.

FHA loan limits set to fall come Oct. 1
Housing Administration-insured mortgage is more difficult than it has been in recent years, but only if mortgage professionals nationwide don't have their way.

Unless some sort of Congressional action preventing the change takes place, the FHA will revert back to pre-2008 loan limits, affecting 669 counties nationwide, including Larimer and Weld.

Home loan rules cause concern
A Loveland real estate broker worries that proposed federal regulations on home mortgages will force some local buyers out of the housing market.

Kurt Albers, vice president of the Colorado Association of Realtors, is most concerned about proposed regulations on a new class of loans that could require a 20 percent down payment.

Some in the real estate industry worry that if a large number of homebuyers cannot meet the requirements for this type of loan, called a qualified residential mortgage, they would be forced into more expensive loans.

Sister Mary Alice Murphy shaped future for Northern Colorado's less fortunate
When Sister Mary Alice Murphy talks about the decision to step away from her hectic day-to-day schedule, the near octogenarian laughs.

"Don't you think that at this stage, being 80 is enough of a reason," Murphy said this week. "I mean, how many people can retire at 80 years old?"

On Aug. 7, Murphy's birthday, the longtime community advocate will do just that, moving on from decades of daily work helping the less fortunate in a city she has called home since the early 1980s, when Fort Collins was half its current size and prominent leaders refused to acknowledge issues of poverty within its boundaries.