Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Housing News Digest, March 28

Colorado Springs is still struggling to fully escape the shadow of the recession, according to a report by the Brookings Institution.

The Mountain Monitor, a quarterly report produced by the nonprofit Brookings Institution and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, studies 10 large metropolitan areas in Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The latest report, released Wednesday, found the economic recovery was firmly under way in the fourth quarter in the Intermountain West — but with the pace varying widely.

KB Home downgraded by Standard & Poor's
KB Home, one of the U.S.'s largest homebuilders, was downgraded yesterday by Standard & Poor's after first-quarter results came in below expectations. The corporate and senior note ratings both went down one grade to B.

The pretax loss of $45.4 million in the quarter was an improvement from last year, although new orders were down 8 percent and cancellations on gross orders increased to 36 percent from 29 percent the year before.

Foreclosures down in January regionally
Foreclosures were down slightly across Northern Colorado in January, according to new data from CoreLogic.

In Fort Collins-Loveland, the foreclosure rate decreased from 1.27 percent in January 2011 to 0.81 percent this past January. The delinquency rate in Fort Collins-Loveland also decreased from 2.99 percent to 2.39 percent over the same period. Delinquency rates measure the percentage of loans that are 90 or more days delinquent.

Full Real Estate Recovery Not Coming Until 2015

Real estate website Trulia’s new housing barometer shows that real estate is starting to recover from the battering it sustained during the recession. Chief economist Jed Kolko looked at construction starts, existing home sales and the rate of delinquencies and foreclosures, then combined these indicators to create the barometer. Kolko says housing starts are a good indicator of homebuilder confidence, while the number of sales and the foreclosure rate illustrate consumers’ financial stability as well as their confidence level.

Mortgage applications fall 2.7%
The number of mortgage applications filed in the United States fell 2.7% from a week earlier during the period ending March 23, an industry trade group said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, refinancing activity fell for the sixth consecutive week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's market composite index, which measures loan application volume, fell as the refinance index declined 4.6%, showing a sharp drop in refinancing activity as the refinance share of all mortgage activity fell to 71.9% from 73.4%, its lowest level since July.