Monday, October 10, 2011

Housing News Digest, October 10

Home building picks up a bit
A report released today contains a glimmer of good news for the battered homebuilding industry in the Denver area.

The report by the HBA of Metro Denver shows that in the first eight months of the year, builders in the metro area showed a slight increase in the number of permits issued compared to the same period in 2010.

While the 1.2 percent increase – 2,435 this year compared with 2,405 through August of 2010 – is basically flat, it did not show the year-over-year declines that have been more typical since the housing market collapsed several years ago.

5-story Highland apartments pilloried, praised
A ground-swell of grassroots opposition to three, 5-story apartment building slated to be built in the heart of the West Highland neighborhood appears to be growing.

Some, however, applaud the proposed development near Lowell Boulevard and West 32nd Avenue.

In any case, Denver-based RedPeak Properties, which has a track-record of building sustainable apartment communities and managing them well, is moving forward on the 160-unit apartment development on three parcels at the church site just north of West 32nd Avenue along Lowell Boulevard and Meade Street. It also includes a site across from the church bordered by Lowell and Moncrieff Place. The development will have about 225 parking spaces, not the 160 that neighbors were told about this week at what promises to be the first of many meetings on the project.

Challenge focused on Greyhound Park
The 65-acre Mile High Greyhound Park in Commerce City, which is being redeveloped and reinvented, will be the site of the next Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge, in which 50 students from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver compete against each other for their respective visions to maximize the development of it.

During the past decade, the challenge, sponsored by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, has created visionary development ideas for high-profile sites such as the Denver Coliseum, Solterra and most recently 9 Mile Station.

Existing Home Inventory continues to decline year-over-year in October
A few key points:
• In a few months, the NAR is expect to release revisions for their existing home sales and inventory numbers for the last few years. The sales revisions will be down (the NAR has pre-announced this), and the inventory is expected to be revised down too. From the NAR last month: "Publication of the revisions is expected in several months, and we will provide a notice several weeks in advance of the publication date. ... Although there will be a downward revision to sales volume, there will be no notable change to previous characterizations of the market in terms of sales trends, monthly percentage changes, etc."

Housing industry jobs down for fourth month in September
The housing industry lost 5,700 jobs in September, marking its fourth consecutive month of employment shrinkage, preliminary figures from the Department of Labor show.

Residential building employment rose by 1,800, but was offset by 7,500 job losses in the real estate industry, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Labor Department.