Monday, February 6, 2012

Housing News Digest, February 6

More real estate sold for less money
EAGLE COUNTY — Eagle County's real estate market finished 2011 with more sales for less money than the previous year.

The year-end figures show total sales were up by about 100 from 2010. But the value of those sales was down more than $340 million from the year before. In fact, November and December were the only two months in which dollar volume exceeded figures from 2010. Overall, sales volume was down by about 23 percent from 2010.

In the six-county region tracked by Land Title — Eagle, Routt, Summit, Grand, Garfield and Pitkin — Eagle County ranked third in total sales, behind Routt and Summit counties. In average price per sale for both single- and multi-family units, Eagle County was second in the region, behind Pitkin County, which has a greater concentration of second homes.

Summit exempt from 2011's mortgage loan payoff slump
The number of mortgage loan payoffs in Colorado was down 6.4 percent during 2011 compared to 2010, but not in Summit County.

According to a recent report released by the Colorado Division of Housing, a total of 235,749 deeds of trust were released in 2011 across Colorado, a reduction from 2010's total of 251,861. Releases typically occur when a real estate loan is paid off through refinance, sale of property or because the owner has made the final payment on the loan. Activity declines as refinance and home-sale activity falls.

Multifamily mortgage originations jump 13%
Originations of commercial and multifamily loans grew 13% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2011, while still declining 7% from the third quarter, an industry trade group said Monday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its quarterly survey shows a steep increase in commercial lending driven by higher originations for industrial and multifamily property types.

Fed's Bullard says housing market has hit bottom

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. housing market has already hit bottom, said James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, on Monday. In comments to reporters, according to Dow Jones Newswires, Bullard said that he expects the unemployment rate to fall below 8% this year. Bullard noted that he is more bullish than some forecasters. Bullard's comments came after a speech in which he raised doubts about the Fed's zero-interest rate policy.

Commercial, Multifamily Mortgage Originations in U.S. Spike 64% in 2011

MBA's Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Origination Index hit record levels for life insurance companies in the second and third quarters of 2011," said Jamie Woodwell, MBA's Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research. "In the fourth quarter, multifamily originations for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hit a new all-time high. While the CMBS market continued to be held back by broader capital markets uncertainty during the past year, others - like the GSEs, life companies and many bank portfolios - increased their appetite for commercial and multifamily loans.