Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Housing News Digest, February 22

Apartment vacancy rates decline in Colorado metro areas; rents rise (Den Post)

The vacancy rate in Colorado apartments was down during the fourth quarter of 2011, falling in five of the six metro areas measured from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011, the Colorado Division of Housing said today.

The combined vacancy rate for apartments in six metro areas across Colorado during 2011's fourth quarter was 5.6 percent.

Colorado's vacancy rates decline; rents climb
Vacancy rates in Fort Collins/Loveland have dropped to the lowest in the state, according to a report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing.

Vacancy rates fell in the fourth quarter of last year to 3.4 percent in Larimer County. Fort Collins vacancy rates dropped to 3 percent meaning there’s nary an apartment to be had.

Home sales jump to highest level in nearly two years

WASHINGTON — Sales of previously occupied homes rose in January to the highest pace in nearly two years, flashing modest signs of health ahead of the spring-buying season.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that home sales increased 4.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million. That’s the highest level since May 2010.

US housing market shows slight improvement
While sales of existing homes picked up steam it was at the expense of home prices. The median price fell 4.6 per cent in the month to $154,700, down 2 per cent from the same month last year

Shilling: Why Renters Rule U.S. Housing Market (Part 1)
Policy makers in Washington continue to have a soft spot for homeownership. Many recent government actions can be viewed as attempts to keep people in their homes, even owners who clearly can’t afford them. In addition to specific plans such as the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, and the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, the Obama administration is trying to revive the moribund housing sector by encouraging mortgage lenders and servicers to refinance loans at lower rates.