Monday, August 29, 2011

Housing News Digest, August 29

About 200 CU-Boulder freshmen petition to live at home instead of in dorms
A new study from Sallie Mae -- a college financing company -- found that more families are cutting costs to save money on higher education. One of those strategies includes living at home instead of in the dorms, where room and board rates run $11,280 a year.

Number of short sales on the rise

In Colorado, short sales were 17% of all sales in the second quarter, up from 10% a year earlier. In California, they made up 25% of sales, vs. 18%.

Bank of America, the largest home mortgage servicer, expects to complete more than 100,000 short sales this year — more than double what it did in 2009, the bank says.

Colorado bank failures exceed expectations when measured by assets

Although Colorado avoided the worst of the housing bubble, banks in the state are failing at five times the expected pace.

Colorado has seen eight banks holding $6.7 billion in assets fail in the current downturn.

Based on the state's share of U.S. bank assets, something closer to $1.3 billion would have been expected, according to a Denver Post analysis of 382 bank failures since 2008 began.

Homeless sex offenders under the radar in El Paso County

Instead of an address, 49 sex offenders in El Paso County list only an approximate location as their residence on the state’s sex offender registry: “8th Street Behind Walmart” or the “Creek by Rescue Mission.”

Others say they’re living under bridges, in parking lots and parks.
Authorities admit that makes it tougher to keep track of sex offenders and circumvents the state law giving residents the right to know if sex offenders are living in their neighborhood.
But, they say, there’s not much that can try do about it — there’s no law requiring sex offenders to have a home.

Weld County housing market gaining strength
Weld County's residential market is picking up steam, albeit slowly, according to new statistics and industry professionals.

John DeWitt, managing broker of Re/Max Alliance of Greeley and chairman of the board of Upstate Colorado, says that both new and existing home sales are up, and home prices are increasing, however incrementally.

Home buying contracts fell in July
The National Association of Realtors says its index of sales agreements fell 1.3% in July to a reading of 89.7. A reading of 100 is considered healthy.

The last time the index reached that level was in April 2010, final month that buyers could qualify for a federal home buyer tax credit.