Thursday, September 29, 2011

Housing News Digest, September 29

Short Sale Delays Drive First-Time Buyers From Market: Survey
Processing delays have taken their toll on first-time homebuyer interest in short sales, according to the latest HousingPulse Tracking Survey released by Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance Monday.

No double-dip recession for Colorado Springs, economist says
Colorado Springs likely won’t fall back into a recession and job growth should resume next year as major construction projects take hold, including Fort Carson expansion, the Southern Delivery System water pipeline and several apartment complexes, a local economist said Wednesday.

“I expect the local economy to expand next year with continued population growth, a resurgence of entrepreneurship and capital access, private-sector company growth to replace expected government job losses and a modest resurgence of home building,” said Tom Binnings, a senior partner in Summit Economics LLC, a Springs economic research and consulting firm.

Shale Oil Boom Takes Hold on the Plains
The rolling high plains east of Colorado Springs (map) saw plenty of change before the "landmen" came. Ranchland that once stretched three or four miles between homes filled in with residential developments on multi-acre lots, bringing more people and paved roads.

Then, about two years ago, came a rush of real estate negotiators, snapping up leases for potential shale oil drilling. "I've never seen anything like it," says Rick Davis, 54, whose grandfather started buying ranchland in the early 1900s in Colorado's eastern El Paso County. "Turns out that land was right in the center of all the activity."

New Town using beetle-kill in homes
Denver-based New Town Builders is the first of what politicians and environmentalists hope will be many to use large quantities of lumber that has been infested by pine beetles when constructing homes.

Much of Colorado’s lodgepole pine, stained blue with a fungus created by the beetles, in the past primarily has been used by artisans in decorative applications. But the lumber can also carry a structural-grade stamp of approval for use as a vertical stud in building frames. New Town Builders is the first production home builder in Colorado to order delivery of blue-stained pine ine in mass quantities for use in framing homes, thanks largely to the counsel and recommendation of Choose Outdoors In.

Google invests $28 million in affordable housing
The Boston Globe reported today that Google has invested $28 million to build 240 housing units at the Charlesview Residences in Allston, a section of Boston. According to the Globe, the Charlesview is one of the country's largest low-income housing developments. Charlesview currently has 213 "one to four bedroom homes," the property's owner, Peabody Properties, says on the complex's Web site.

OCC: Servicers to Spend One Year or More Reviewing Foreclosures

It will be a long road ahead for the 14 servicers who received consent orders from federal regulators earlier this year. Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh says the servicers will spend the next year or more recompensing for past documentation errors related to foreclosure processing.