Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Housing News Digest, December 21

No Relief for Homeowners Shut Out by U.S.

Marc and Emily De La Torre would love to lower their mortgage bills to offset the costs of raising their 3-month-old baby. Instead, they’re among millions of Americans left out as the government tries again to make refinancing possible for borrowers with little or no equity.

The couple bought their Bonney Lake, Washington, property in July 2009, two months too late to be eligible for the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP. Blocked from conventional refinancing after the house fell in value, the De La Torres can’t take advantage of record-low loan rates that have been a boon for other homeowners.

Homeless US families find little to cheer at Christmas

Across the frozen plains of Colorado it is bitingly cold at this time of year. The temperature is often below zero on most days.

In the state's capital, Denver, America's new homeless venture out into the bitter evening air, victims of an economic downturn that started during the last presidential election year in 2008 and will continue into the 2012 election cycle.

Angelo McWilliams is one of those joining the new ranks of the homeless in Denver. A single father of three children, he has just joined the record numbers of Americans who face a bleak Christmas as the impact of the economic downturn filters through to the country's poorest citizens.

Former Agilent property sold to Cumberland & Western
LOVELAND - The City of Loveland has closed on its deal to sell the former Agilent property to Bowling Green, Ky.-based developer Cumberland & Western for $5 million.

The City purchased the 300-acre property from Agilent for $5.5 million over the summer with intent to sell 170 acres of the campus with five buildings for redevelopment. The City of Loveland retains 130 undeveloped acres adjacent to the Big Thompson River and city recreation trail as open space, and also retains 144 shares of water rights

Boulder, Denver economically advantaged
Richard Florida, the “Creative Class” guru who has long been admired by Gov. John Hickenlooper and others, has created an economic rating system that ranks Boulder and Denver in the nation’s top 20 cities as being economically advantaged.

Boulder ranked No. 8 and the Denver-Aurora area was 17th, on the new index, which examined 360 metropolitan statistical areas across the country.

Of the top 20, 15 of them were on either the West or East coasts. In other words, Colorado claimed two of the five spots between the coasts.

Real Estate conference coming to Denver
Denver will host NAREE’s 46th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference from June 20-23 at the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in downtown.

The Brown Palace and adjoining Comfort Inn will be the site of a real estate convention next June.

The four-day conference, titled A Mile High Recovery? is NAREE’s ”Ultimate News Conference” and is designed to draw writers, editors, authors and the nation’s leading real estate analysts and experts to focus on new trends in residential and commercial real estate and home and urban design.

Home sales during housing bust worse than thought
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Existing home sales during the housing bust were actually 14.3% worse than previously reported, a revision to Realtors' group numbers shows.

On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revised home sale counts back to 2007 due to flaws in their original data analysis.