Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Housing News Digest, March 27

Colorado couple builds 125 square-foot home
BOULDER, Colo. - With grand designs on minimizing their housing footprint, Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller have spent the last 10 months building the tiny home of their dreams.

"It's 19 feet long wall to wall,” Smith said. “The interior square-footage is about 125 square feet.”

The interior layout consists of a sitting area, kitchen and bathroom. A vaulted ceiling makes room for a sleeping loft that can accommodate a queen-size mattress.

Foreclosure picture brightens in Colorado Springs, report shows

Colorado Springs' foreclosure picture is continuing to improve, according to a report released Tuesday by CoreLogic, a California-based housing data firm.

The city's foreclosure rate — a measurement of the percentage of loans that were in some stage of foreclosure — fell to 1.39 percent in January, down from 1.81 percent during the same month last year and 1.72 percent two years ago, the CoreLogic report showed.

Housing market recovery hits pothole in February
Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in February, suggesting a loss of momentum in the housing market after recent signs of improvement.

The National Association of Realtors said on Monday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in February, slipped 0.5 percent to 96.5. Signed contracts become sales after a month or two.

Lennar Upbeat On Housing Market As Q1 Orders Surge
Lennar (LEN) said a healthier housing market helped boost its Q1 orders up 33%, capping more than a week of mixed housing data and a disappointing report from rival KB Home (KBH).

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for 20 top cities was down 3.8% in January from a year earlier. But prices were essentially flat from the previous month.

Lennar's Q1 earnings sank 43% to 8 cents a share, but topped analysts' estimates of 4 cents. Revenue rose 30% to $724.9 million, beating forecasts of $699 million.

HousingPulse Survey Reveals More Investors Pursuing Short Sales
Investors are making it a practice to endure through obstacles that come with the discounted price of short sales and pursued them at a greater pace in February compared to previous months, according to the latest results of the monthly Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey.