Saturday, September 8, 2012

Housing News Digest, September 7

Rising housing prices push up local living costs It’s still a relative bargain living in Colorado Springs. But rising housing prices in the Springs area pushed local living costs to the closest they have been to the national average in 7½ years, according to a quarterly survey. Living costs in the Springs were 3.9 percent below the national average during the second quarter, up from 4.5 percent below the average during the previous quarter and 8.2 percent below the average a year earlier, according to the survey by the Arlington, Va.-based Council for Community and Economic Research. That is the closest to the national average the council’s cost-of-living index for the city has been since the end of 2004. The index hit a 20-year low in the second quarter of 2011 in comparison with the national average.

 Repeal of affordable housing regs proposed GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — Garfield County's affordable housing rules would be taken off the books under the first round of recommendations from the county's land-use code advisory committee. “With the housing market like it is right now, with short sales everywhere and foreclosures, it's just hard to justify requiring any developer to come in and build more affordable housing to put on the market,” said Larry McCown of Rifle, chairman of the code committee and a former Garfield County commissioner.

 Housing market continues to improve COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. -- New reports show more improvement in the housing market both nationally and locally. According to the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors Colorado Springs home sales in August were up nearly 8 percent from last year.

 Denver metro home sales remain steady in August Home sales in the Denver metro area were strong in the month of August, a time that normally reflects a lessening of buyer interest, according to Metrolist, a real estate multiple listing service. In what is normally a slow period for real estate, 4,685 homes and condos were sold in the Denver residential market in August, a 1percent increase from July, said the report.

Ex-Colorado mining towns hope for uranium comeback Others worry about the mining-dependent region's historical boom and bust cycles. Highway 141 is dotted with small towns hit hard by the collapse of mining — Redvale, Vancorum, Naturita. Still others worry Pinon Ridge will reduce local property values because of fears about uranium. Energy Fuels — and the state — insist tougher safety controls minimize any risk to mill workers and area residents. It plans to use plant and personal detectors to track airborne radioactivity, according to documents filed with the state health department.