Thursday, February 28, 2013

Housing News Digest, February 28

Foreclosure filings in state's metro counties fall 25 percent in Jan. Foreclosure filings in Colorado metro counties were down 24.9 percent in January year-over-year, the lowest level during any January in seven years, according to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Division of Housing. The report said there were 1,456 new foreclosure filings in January in the 12 Colorado counties described as metro — Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Pueblo and Weld. That was down from 1,939 in January 2012. Foreclosure auction sales in metro counties were down 19.1 percent compared to the previous January, from 1,150 to 930.

  Home loan payoffs up 30% in 2012 In Larimer County, the number of deeds released was 24,040, an increase of 30.2 percent over the previous year. In Weld County, 13,272 deeds were released, an increase of 31.6 percent from 2011. Deeds of trust can be released when a loan is refinanced or paid off, or when a homeowner purchases a new home.

  More Coloradans paid off home loans in 2012 The number of home loans paid off in Colorado was up 49.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012, and they were also up 29.4 percent measuring the full year of 2012 compared to 2011, the Colorado Division of Housing said Monday. The report said that public trustees in Colorado released a total of 86,816 deeds of trust during the fourth quarter of 2012, which was the highest quarterly total recorded since the third quarter of 2009, when 87,400 deeds were released.

  Home buying, refinancing up sharply Home-refinancing and home-buying activity increased 27.2 percent in Boulder County in 2012 compared with 2011, according to new deed-of-trust statistics from the Colorado Division of Housing. -

  Colorado apartment vacancy rate falls in north, rises in the south The vacancy rate for Colorado apartments was down during the fourth quarter of 2012, with the statewide composite vacancy rate falling to 5.2 percent, according to a report released Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing.

Colorado foreclosure filings start off year by falling 25 percent


Foreclosure filings were down 24.9 percent in Colorado metro counties during January 2013, falling to the lowest level recorded during any January in seven years. According to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Division of Housing, there were 1,456 new foreclosure filings in metro counties in Colorado during January, down from 1,939 during January of last year. Foreclosure auction sales in Colorado’s metropolitan counties were down 19.1 percent in January compared to January of last year, falling from 1,150 to 930.

For the 12-month period ending January 2013, foreclosure filings were down 8.7 percent in 2012 when compared to the 12-month period ending January 2012. Comparing the same two periods for foreclosure auction sales, metro counties showed a decline of 19.5 percent.

Foreclosure filings are the initial filing that begins the foreclosure process, and foreclosure auction sales totals are the total number of foreclosures that have been sold at auction at the end of the foreclosure process.
“Right now, the data suggests it’s unlikely we’ll see a reversal of the downward trend in foreclosures that’s been in place since 2010,” said Ryan McMaken, an economist for the Colorado Division of Housing.“For instance, mortgage delinquencies were down again in the fourth quarter which points toward more declines in foreclosure activity.”

Comparing the 12-month period ending in January 2013 to the same period a year earlier, the counties with the largest drops in foreclosure filings were Larimer and Boulder counties where filings decreased by 20 percent and 18.4 percent, respectively. Mesa County, on the other hand, reported a 5.0 percent increase in foreclosure filings over the same period.

11 of 12 counties surveyed showed decreases in foreclosure auction sales when comparing the 12-month period ending in January 2013 to the same period a year earlier. The counties with the largest decreases in foreclosure auction sales were Denver County and Douglas County where auction sales decreased by 30.2 percent and 28.7 percent, respectively. Pueblo County reported in increases of 2.2 percent in auction sales over the same period.

The county with the highest rate of foreclosure sales during January was Pueblo County with a rate of 1,058 households per foreclosure sale. Mesa County came in second with 1,165 households per foreclosure sale. The lowest rate was found in Boulder County where there were 4,042 households per foreclosure sale.
The Division of Housing’s monthly foreclosure report surveys foreclosure activity in the twelve metropolitan counties of Colorado. The report is a supplement to the Division’s quarterly foreclosure report that includes all counties in Colorado. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Housing News Digest, February 27

Rental-home vacancies low in Q4; rents edge up Despite low vacancy rates below 1.7 percent, rents for metro Denver houses and condominiums only inched up during the fourth quarter, according to a report Wednesday from the Colorado Division of Housing. The vacancy rent for rental homes and condos dropped to 1.7 percent in the last quarter of 2012 from the 2.1 percent vacancy rate in the same quarter of 2011.

  Denver metro home rental market has few vacancies "When a rental house becomes vacant, we're quickly getting multiple offers from people who want to rent the house," said Robert Alldredge, owner of Jericho Properties Realty in Lakewood. "The market is as tight as I can remember, and I've been doing this for 30 years," said Alldredge.

  Denver rental vacancies drop as demand grows Metro Denver vacancy rates dropped during the fourth quarter of 2012 to 1.7%, according to the Colorado Division of Housing. This was down from the 2.3% vacancy rate the previous quarter and a 2.1% rate a year earlier.

  Foreclosure filings in Colorado in 2012 drop to pre-recession levels Foreclosure filings in Colorado dropped to pre-recession levels in 2012, a sign that the worst of the housing crisis in Colorado is over and recovery has begun, analysts said Wednesday. The Colorado Division of Housing reported 28,579 foreclosure filings last year, the lowest since 2006 when there were 28,435 filings.

  Loveland's vacancy rate lowest in state The multi-family vacancy rate in Loveland in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 1.9 percent, lower than the rate in any other city in the state. The new figures also marked a sharp decrease from Loveland's 5.3 percent vacancy rate in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to new data release Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing.

  Renters feel squeeze of tight market with few options Renters in Fort Collins and Loveland continue to face an extraordinarily tight rental market that shows little sign of abating for at least another year. Vacancy rates in Fort Collins/Loveland fell to 2.4 percent in the last three months of 2012, a percentage point tighter than the year before, according to the fourth quarter Colorado Multi-Family Housing Vacancy and Rental Survey conducted for the Colorado Division of Housing.

Renters compete for rental houses as vacancies disappear


Vacancies in for-rent townhouses, single-family homes, and other small properties across metro Denver fell during the fourth quarter of 2012, dropping year over year to 1.7 percent. According to a report released Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing, the metro-wide vacancy rate during the fourth quarter of 2012 was down from 2011’s fourth-quarter rate of 2.1 percent, and it was down from 2012’s third-quarter rate of 2.3 percent.

At the county level, the lowest vacancy rates were found in Jefferson County and in Douglas County where the vacancy rates were 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.  

Vacancy rates for all counties surveyed were: Adams, 2.7 percent; Arapahoe, 1.7 percent; Boulder/Broomfield, 5.9 percent, Denver, 1.9 percent; Douglas, 1.2 percent; and Jefferson, 1.3 percent.

“When a rental house becomes vacant, we’re quickly getting multiple offers from people who want to rent the house,” said Robert Alldredge, owner of Jericho Properties Realty in Lakewood. “The market is as tight as I can remember, and I’ve been doing this for thirty years.”  

In spite of historically low vacancy rates, growth in the average rent for rental houses, townhomes and other small properties have been modest during recent quarters. The average rent in metro Denver for single-family rentals and similar properties rose to $1,083 during 2012’s fourth quarter, rising 1.9 percent from 2011’s fourth-quarter average rent of $1,062. The fourth quarter’s average rent in 2012 was down from the third quarter’s average rent of $1,090. Average rents are not adjusted for inflation.

“The low growth rate in the average rent is deceptive, and is kept down by the fact that many owners are still afraid to push rents to the point that the renter leaves,” said Lyle Haas of Colorado Realty and Property Management. “Many owners could push rents more than they are, and I’m surprised at how high our renewal rate is right now, even when we’re asking for some big rent increases.”

The average number of days on the market remained low during the fourth quarter of 2012, at 34 days. From 2006 through 2008, rental homes and townhomes were often on the market from 40 to 60 days, but a tight inventory of rental homes in recent quarters has kept turnover time low.

“Rising home prices have lead some rental-home owners to sell their properties,” said Marc Cunningham, President of Grace Property Management. “Many of those homes will become owner-occupied, and the number of our clients who want to sell looks like it will double this year.” 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Home loan payoffs up almost 50 percent during fourth quarter of 2012



The number of home loans paid off in Colorado was up 49.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012, and they were also up 29.4 percent measuring the full year of 2012 compared to 2011. According to a new report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing, public trustees in Colorado released a total of 86,816 deeds of trust during the fourth quarter of 2012, which was the highest quarterly total recorded since the third quarter of 2009, when 87,400 deeds were released.

Typically, a release of a deed of trust occurs when a real estate loan is paid off whether through refinance, sale of property, or because the owner has made the final payment on the loan. Increases in release activity occur as refinance and home-sale activity increases, and rising release totals typically indicate increases in the demand for home loans and real estate.

For the full year of 2012, releases of deeds rose to 305,141, and were at the highest level recorded since 2007 when releases totaled 327,457.


“The 30-year mortgage rate was at a record low average of 3.36 percent during 2012, and that has really helped push up refinance and purchase activity in Colorado,”said Ryan McMaken, an economist with the Colorado Division of Housing.


Trends in release activity were not uniform across the state, although 20 of the 21 counties surveyed for the study reported increases in release activity from 2011 to 2012. The largest increases were reported in Douglas and Denver counties where release activity increased 38.2 percent and 42.5 percent, respectively. The only decline for the year was in Morgan County where releases fell 9.6 percent, and the smallest increase was found in Teller County where releases rose 1.0 percent.


Adjusted for the number of existing housing units in each county, the counties with the highest rates of release activity were Douglas, Summit and Boulder counties. The counties with the least activity were Morgan, Teller and Alamosa counties.

“In many cases, the counties with the most release activity are places with lower unemployment and higher incomes,” McMaken said. “It’s easier to refinance in places like that, but release activity increased almost across the board in 2012, in even the lower-income counties.”
Totals for releases of deeds of trust are collected quarterly by the Colorado Division of Housing. This report tracks releases of deeds of trust as reported by public trustees in Colorado. The report includes twenty-one counties which are chosen based on population size and to ensure that as many regions of the state as possible are represented. More than 88 percent of all housing units in Colorado are within the twenty-one counties chosen.

Friday, February 22, 2013

NAR: home sales flat in West region, home prices up again


The National Association of Realtors released new existing home sales data and median home price data yesterday.

According to NAR's numbers, existing home sales in the US West region, which includes Colorado, were flat, comparing December 2011 to December 2012. This is the smallest increase of the four regions measured. For example, home sales in the Midwest were up 18.9 percent during the same period. All other areas, and the nation overall showed increases of more than ten percent.

 Most of the sales growth appears to be  in the midwest and northeast as can be seen in the graph:


NAR also released median home prices for each region. In the West region, the median home price increased 19.3 percent from December 2011 to December 2012. This was a larger increase than was seen in teh nation overall. Nationally, the median home price increased 10.1 percent, year over year. The median home price was $287,100 in the West region. High prices in California keep the regional median home price well above the Colorado median home price which is closer to $200,000.  In the metro Denver area, which has the highest metro-wide median home price, the median home price right now is in the $250,000-$260,000 range.


Home sales totals continue to be held back by declining inventory. 

Buildfax: Home remodeling down 8 percent in West region since December 2011


According to Buildfax, remodeling activity during December 2012 was down 8 percent from December 2011 in the U.S. West region. Data is based on counts of remodels authorized by building permits in the U.S. This was the smallest year-over-year increase among all regions.

According to the press release:

Regional Residential RemodelingSeasonally-adjusted annual rates of remodeling across the country in December 2012 are estimated as follows: Northeast, 636,000 (up 39% from November and up 37% from December 2011); South, 1,088,000 (down 13% from November and down 1% from December 2011); Midwest, 596,000 (down 8% from November and down 17% from December 2011); West, 777,000 (down 16% from November and down 8% from December 2011).

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Data release schedule for next week

Monday, February 25: Statewide data on releases of deeds of trust. Here's the most recent report, released by the Division of Housing.

Tuesday: Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released by S&P. Here's the most recent analysis by us.

Wednesday: Single-family vacancy and rent survey. Here's the most recent report, released by the Division of Housing.

Thursday: January foreclosure data for all metro counties. Here's the most recent report, released by the Division of Housing.

BEA: GDP grew in all Colorado metros in 2011

According to new GDP data for Colorado metro areas, released today by the BEA, all metro areas in Colorado showed positive GDP growth during 2011.

The GDP report, which reports on 366 metro areas in the United States, ranked Colorado's metro areas against the others.

According to the report, Colorado's metro areas were ranked (according to total 2011 GDP) as:
Boulder 111th
Colorado Springs 86th
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield 18th
Ft. Collins-Loveland 159th
Grand Junction 275th
Greeley 213th
Pueblo 308th

From 2010 to 2011, per capita GDP growth is:
Boulder 2.1%
Colorado Springs 0.4%
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield 0.4%
Ft. Collins-Loveland 1.1%
Grand Junction 0.7%
Greeley 0.5%
Pueblo 1.3%

Over the ten years from 2002-2011, per capita GDP in the metros increased by the following amounts:
Boulder 18.3%
Colorado Springs 2.3
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield -0.2
Ft. Collins-Loveland 1.3
Grand Junction 5.1
Greeley -13.7
Pueblo -7.7

Basically, we're comparing Colorado metros in 2011 to the end of the dot-com boom. Not surprisingly then, those areas that had the most bubble-like growth during the dot-com days were still down a little bit in 2011 -per capita- from the situation that prevailed ten years earlier. The past decade has not been particularly strong in terms of growth compared to the late 90s.

From 2008 (the start of the recession) to 2011, per capita growth was also somewhat lackluster with the most growth showing up in the Boulder area (+2.3 percent) and with the largest declines showing up in Grand Junction where per cap GDP declined 8.9 percent.

Here are what year-over-year changes in per capita GDP look like:





Thursday, February 21, 2013

December monthly foreclosure totals now available

I'll have January numbers for you next week, but here are the December numbers for metro counties. Here are the findings:

During December 2012, foreclosure filings were down, year over year, and remained close to the lowest level reported during any other month in six years. Foreclosure auction sales also remained near six-year lows.
 Comparing year-over-year from 2011 to 2012, foreclosure filings in December fell 39.3 percent with totals falling from 2,382 to 1,445.
 December 2012 foreclosure sales (completed foreclosures) were down compared to December 2011 with a decrease of 18.4 percent from 968 to 790.
 During the full year of 2012, foreclosure filings were down 9.5 percent from 26,040 to 23,557 from 2011 to 2012. During the same period, foreclosure auction sales were down 19.8 percent from 15,822 to 12,683.
 Filings fell 0.3 percent from November 2012 to December 2012, and auction sales were down 10.2 percent over the same period.
 Mesa County reported the highest foreclosure rate during December, while Boulder County reported the lowest rate. (See Table 7.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Colorado apartment vacancy rates fall in northern Colorado, rise in southern and western Colorado

The vacancy rate in Colorado apartments was down during the fourth quarter of 2012, with the statewide composite vacancy rate falling year over year to 5.2 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012. According to a report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing, the statewide vacancy rate increased from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2012, but was down year over year for the thirteenth quarter in a row. The vacancy rate was 5.6 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011 and 4.6 percent during the third quarter of 2012.


Vacancy rates varied considerably in different metros of the state, however, with northern Colorado and metro Denver showing historically-low vacancy rates, while vacancy rates increased in southern Colorado and Western Colorado.


The vacancy rate in the Fort Collins-Loveland area declined again to 2.4 percent during 2012’s fourth quarter, falling from 2011’s fourth-quarter rate of 3.4 percent. In Greeley over the same period, the vacancy rate dropped from 6.4 percent to 3.2 percent. The metro Denver vacancy rate, measured last month in a separate survey, fell year over year from 5.4 percent to 4.9 percent.


A different trend appeared in southern and western Colorado where vacancy rates increased. In Colorado Springs, the vacancy rate increased to 7.1 percent during 2012’s fourth quarter, rising from 2011’s fourth quarter rate of 6.7 percent. Over the same period, the vacancy rate in Pueblo increased from 7.3 percent to 10.7 percent, and in Grand Junction from 7.0 percent to 9.7 percent.


“Differences in the employment situation in different metros help explain these very different trends across the state,” said Ryan McMaken, an economist with the Colorado Division of Housing. “Those places with declining unemployment are seeing fewer vacancies. Interestingly, however, rents continued to rise across the board as owners tried to cover increases in their operating costs.”


The average rent increased in all metros from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012, and the statewide composite average rent increased 4.7 percent from $900 during 2011’s fourth quarter to $943 during the fourth quarter of 2012. The largest increase was found in Pueblo where the average rent surged 14.2 percent. This is the second time over the past year that rents have surged in Pueblo, although the average rent in Pueblo, at $612, remains the lowest of any metro in the state. Increases in the average rent in all other metros were much smaller with the average rent increasing 2.9 percent in Grand Junction year over year, while the average rent grew 1.8 percent in Colorado Springs during the same period.


Growth in the average rent was more solid in the Fort Collins-Loveland area where the average rent grew 3.5 percent year over year, and it grew 4.9 percent in metro Denver during the same period. The metro with the highest average rent was the Fort Collins-Loveland area where the average rent was $1,008 during the fourth quarter of 2012.


Average rents in all metropolitan areas measured for the fourth quarter of 2012 were Colorado Springs, $790; Ft. Collins/Loveland, $1008; Grand Junction, $659; Greeley, $692; Pueblo, $612. The average rent in metro Denver, measured last month in a separate survey, was $978.

A vacancy rate of 5 percent or below suggests a tight market. The statewide composite vacancy rate and average rent includes metro Denver. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Developer's Toolkit coming April 16-17


Join the Division of Housing for an exciting two-day
workshop designed to enlighten participants about the art and science of
affordable housing development. Through role-playing, participants will
attempt to solve the housing challenge facing a typical Colorado
community. Hands-on exercises will provide a working knowledge of the
critical steps necessary to develop an affordable rental housing
community.

The Developer's Toolkit will be held on April 16 & 17, at the MLK Library at 9898 Colfax Avenue, Aurora. Registrations are due by Monday, April 1st.

The registration form is on page 2 of the attached brochure.

Contact Denise Selders (970-679-4502) or Denise.Selders@state.co.us with any questions. Return your registration form to Antoinette Johns in Room 500 or at Ext. 5657.

Friday, February 15, 2013

FNC: Denver Residential Price Index up 12.1 percent in December 2012

According to FNC home price index, released today, Denver was up 12.1 percent from December 2011 to December 2012.

Over the same period, Las Vegas was up 11.3 percent and Phoenix was up 25.8 percent. The 20-city composite index was up 6.3 percent over the same period.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ziprealty: Denver becomes a sellers' real estate market

From Ziprealty's press release: 
ZipRealty, Inc. has released a list of the Top 10 Best Cities for Home Sellers as part of its List Price to Close Price Ratio Report, which is based on MLS data covering 32 U.S. markets. The exclusive study found that the gap between the listing price and closing price of an average home in the United States continues to narrow, with a growing number of sellers able to achieve more than 98% of their home's listing price. In addition, the median days a home spent on the market dropped to 44 nationwide in 2012, a 23% decline from 2011's 57 days
The Top 10 Best Cities for Home Sellers based on ZipRealty's List Price to Close Price RatioReport are: San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Denver, Tucson, Portland and Seattle. 
Phoenix homes spent 43 days on the market in 2011, versus 25 days in 2012, a 42% decrease. Median days on market in Denver declined similarly from 37 days in 2011 to 22 days in 2012, or by 41%. Homes in Sacramento, San Francisco, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Portland, Washington, D.C., and Orlando rounded out the list of metros with the greatest decreases in days on market. 

Colorado Springs apartment vacancies climb as rents grow


The average rent in the Colorado Springs metro area rose year over year for the twelfth quarter in a row during the fourth quarter of 2012, climbing 2.0 percent to $790. According to a report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing and the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado, the average rent for the region during the fourth quarter this year was up from $775 reported during the fourth quarter of 2011, and was up from 2012’s third-quarter average rent of $787.


The median rent rose year over year to $766 during the fourth quarter, rising 3.2 percent from 2011’s fourth-quarter median rent of $742.

The average rent increased year over year in the Northwest, Southwest and Central regions. All other submarkets reported drops in the average rent, compared year over year for the fourth quarter. The largest drop in average rent was found in the Northeast region where the average rent dropped 2.9 percent. The largest increase in the average rent was found in the Central region where the average rent increased 2.6 percent, year over year. The Far Northeast was the submarket with the highest average rent at $880 during the fourth quarter of 2012. During the same period, the lowest average rent was found in the Security/Widefield/Fountain submarket where the average rent was $598.


“The average rent hit a new all-time high for the region during the fourth quarter, but there are nevertheless signs of softness in the market,” said Ryan McMaken, economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. “The rental increases were not large during the fourth quarter, but vacancy rates inched up in the fourth quarter, possibly in response to rent growth.”

Average rents for all market areas during the fourth quarter of 2012 were: Northwest, $841; Northeast, $721; Far Northeast, $880, Southeast, $704; Security/Widefield/Fountain, $598; Southwest, $808; Central, $718.

The apartment vacancy rate in the Colorado Springs metro area rose year over year to 7.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012, rising from last year’s fourth-quarter vacancy rate of 6.7 percent. 2012’s fourth-quarter rate also rose from the third-quarter rate of 6.1 percent.

From the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012, the vacancy rate fell in the Northwest, Southeast, Central and Security/Widefield/Fountain submarkets. During the same period, the vacancy rate rose in the Northeast, Far Northeast and Southeast submarkets.

Vacancy rates for all market areas were: Northwest, 4.2 percent; Northeast, 5.6 percent; Far Northeast, 6.6 percent, Southeast, 10.1 percent; Security/Widefield/Fountain, 2.6 percent; Southwest, 4.7 percent; Central, 6.5 percent.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2012 Foreclosures in Colorado Drop to Six-Year Low

 New foreclosure auction sales in 2012 were down 18.9 percent in Colorado, compared to 2011.  According to a reportreleased Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing, there were 15,903 foreclosure auction sales, or completed foreclosures, reported during 2012, compared to 19,617 during 2011.  For 2012’s fourth quarter alone, foreclosure auction sales dropped 7.3 percent from 4,057 during the fourth quarter of 2011 to 3,760 during the fourth  quarter of 2012.


New foreclosure filings also fell during 2012, dropping 10.6 percent from 31,975 in 2011 to 28,579 in 2012.  Foreclosure filing totals for the fourth quarter alone this year were down 33.4 percent, falling to 5,685 from 2011’s fourth-quarter total of 8,540.

“Foreclosures in 2012 basically dropped back down to 2006 levels,” said Ryan McMaken, economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. “There are also many more households now than in 2006, so if you adjust the foreclosure rate for the population growth, we’re almost back at 2005 levels.”

Eleven of the state’s twelve metropolitan counties reported year-over-year declines in the number of foreclosure auction sales from 2011 to 2012. Auction sales declined 32.8 percent and 28.5 percent in Douglas and Larimer counties, respectively.  Pueblo County showed an increase of 1.4 percent year over year.

Only 15 of Colorado’s 64 counties reported increases in completed foreclosures from 2011 to 2012. Those counties that did experience year-over-year increases in auction sales this year were often found among western slope and mountain counties, such as Fremont, Montezuma and Moffat counties.

Mountain counties were also found among the state’s counties with the highest foreclosure rates which included Park, Grand and Garfield counties.  Boulder, meanwhile, reported the seventh-lowest foreclosure rate of all Colorado counties. Park County reported the highest rate.

“Employment continues to be a major factor,” McMaken said. “It’s not the only factor, but it’s not a big surprise that counties with lower unemployment rates are generally seeing foreclosures go away faster.”

Foreclosure sales are opened foreclosures that have proceeded through the full foreclosure process to final sale at public auction. Filings denote the beginning of the foreclosure process, and once a foreclosure is filed, the borrower has at least 110-120 days to work with the lender to avoid a completed foreclosure. It is during this period that borrowers work with lenders and housing counselors to work out loan modifications, short sales, or other ways of withdrawing the foreclosure. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Homeless Prevention Activities Program


As the time of year comes again where we all find ourselves preparing our taxes, please consider participating in making a voluntary check-off donation as the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Housing, has joined forces with the 11th annual Checkoff Colorado campaign to raise money for the Homeless Prevention Activities Fund; the campaign is a statewide effort aimed at preventing homelessness for Colorado's most vulnerable citizens.

The Homeless Prevention Activities Program
(HPAP), enacted in 1989 by the Colorado General Assembly, provides assistance to households at risk of losing their homes without some kind of community assistance. Through voluntary contributions on their Colorado tax returns, Colorado residents can help non-profit organizations throughout the state provide services to eligible clients.

Please visit our page on Checkoff Colorado's website for more information the HPAP:
http://www.checkoffcolorado.com/funds/homeless.php

Please take a minute when completing your taxes to "check the box" for those households that we can prevent from becoming homeless in Colorado. For those not completing their own taxes, please tell your tax preparer about the HPAP to ensure that your intended donation is made.

Also, take a moment to "like" the HPAP page on Facebook and help to spread the word!
https://www.facebook.com/checkoffcolorado

Friday, February 8, 2013

NAHB: All Colorado metros 'improving markets' except Colorado Springs


For the second month in a row, all metro areas in Colorado, except Colorado Springs, are on the National Association of Home Builders' Improving Markets Index. For much of 2012, Greeley, Boulder, and Ft. Collins were included on the "Improving MArkets" list put out by the National Association of home Builders. The February list, released Wednesday by NAHB, includes six metro areas.


Permits Growth Prices Growth Employment Growth
Trough From Trough From Trough From
 MSA  Date Trough Date Trough Date Trough
 Boulder, CO  11/30/09 15.1% 01/31/11 9.3% 03/31/10 6.7%
 Denver, CO  03/31/09 4.6% 02/28/11 11.4% 01/31/10 5.7%
 Fort Collins, CO  03/31/09 8.7% 12/31/10 10.0% 09/30/09 8.3%
 Grand Junction, CO  06/30/11 5.2% 07/31/11 9.6% 01/31/10 6.2%
 Greeley, CO  01/31/09 3.9% 02/28/11 13.1% 12/31/09 5.7%
 Pueblo, CO  12/31/11 9.5% 08/31/11 5.1% 06/30/10 4.2%

According to the press release:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 - The number of improving housing markets continued to expand for a sixth consecutive month to a total of 259 metropolitan areas on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for February, released today. This is up from 242 markets listed as improving in January, and includes entrants from all 50 states and the District of the Columbia.

Corelogic: National, Colorado home prices up 8.3 percent in December


Corelogic's home price index for Colorado increased year over year for the eleventh month in a row during December 2012, increasing to the highest growth rate seen since the beginning of the recession in 2008.

Colorado showed a 9.3 percent increase from December 2011 to December 2012. The December HPI report, released this week by Corelogic, shows the national HPI also rising by 8.3 percent, year over year. Over the past four months, the year-over-year change in the HPI has flattened out, but remains at a robust growth rate at or above 7 percent. Continued inventory shortages and continued population growth are likely driving continued increases. An addition, in the short term, low interest rates and loose monetary policy are likely to continue pushing up home prices as  interest rates remain at historic lows.


Annual declines were common after 2009, although the trend in declines was interrupted briefly by the homebuyer tax credits which created some annual gains in the HPI in Colorado and nationally from late 2009 to mid-2010.

See the home price archive for comparisons with other indices.

The CoreLogic HPI is the first sign that national gains in home prices may be catching up with Colorado home price gains. Six months ago, year-over-year growth surged to over 5 percent, and has largely flattened since then, while national rates of growth have continued to climb.

In the December report, nine states reported larger year-over-year increases than Colorado. The states with the largest increases were Arizona, Nevada and Idaho with increases of 20.2 percent, 15.3 percent, and 14.6 percent, respectively.  Four states showed declines in prices. The states with the largest declines in the home price index were Illinois and Delaware, with drops of 2.7 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.

Trulia: Rents up, and prices for homes up, but lag in Colorado Springs


According to a report released this week by Trulia, the asking rent in Denver during January 2013 was up 7.4 percent from January 2012. Colorado Springs was also included in the report and, according to Trulia, year-over-year asking rents were up 3.4 percent in Colorado Springs during January 2013.

 The Division of Housing's own survey shows increases in rent also, although our data, which is based on actual rents collected via survey, shows smaller increases, year over year. Trulia also reported that asking prices for homes were also up in Colorado Springs and Denver metro, with asking prices up year over year during January by 2.0 percent in Colorado Springs and 11.7 percent in metro Denver.

An increase of 11.7 percent is well above other home price measures, and this reflects asking prices, not sales prices. See our home price archive for more complete info. The continued trend here is upward, which reflects a variety of other measures of rents and home prices. Levels of increase, however, are likely smaller than what is estimated in the Trulia report.

In comparing Colorado Springs with the Denver area, however, this report adds to data which suggests that home price gains in Colorado Springs lag well behind those in the Denver area. This is likely being affected in large part by the relatively lackluster employment situation in Colorado Springs.

Metrolist: Home inventory down yet again in January

From their latest press release: 

DENVER – February 8, 2013 – Year-over-year inventory levels continue to be low, home prices are up and average days on market (DOM) for Denver-area homes is down, making for a prime sellers’ market according to the latest reports from Metrolist, which powers REcolorado.com, a free resource for Colorado home buyers, sellers, and owners.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Metro Denver vacancy and rent data updated

The most recent summary is available online here for the fourth quarter.

Historical data has been updated through the third quarter of 2012 here.

Philly Fed: Colorado Coincident Index rises again in Colorado

The Coincident Index for Colorado rose 0.9 percent over three months from September to December this year, which was above the national index's increase of 0.6 percent. December's index, which was released last month by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, is an index calculated from nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index (U.S. city average).

The three-month change in the index, shown in the map here, was larger in Colorado (0.9%) than in mant states, but showed Colorado lagging behind many western states such as Utah, Nevada and Idaho. 

According to the November 2012 report:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for December 2012.  In the past month, the indexes increased in 32 states, decreased in 10, and remained stable in eight for a one-month diffusion index of 44. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 41 states, decreased in seven, and remained stable in two (New Mexico and Wisconsin) for a three-month diffusion index of 68. For comparison purposes, the Philadelphia Fed has also developed a similar coincident index for the entire United States. The Philadelphia Fed’s U.S. index rose 0.2 percent in  December and 0.6 percent over the past three months.
The graph below compares the 3-month change in both the Colorado Index and the US index. After five months of lagging the nation in the 3-month change, Colorado moved above the national growth rate in September 2012 and remained above the national rate through December. 




The second graph shows year-over-year changes in the index, and an upward trend was evident through most of 2011. The Colorado index now appears to be outpacing the national index. 


Colorado's relatively strong performance in this index is not surprising given that Colorado's unemployment rate has moved below the national rate over the past two months, and employment continues to grow, albeit at a slow pace. 

The coincident indexes combine four state-level indicators to summarize current economic conditions in a single statistic. The four state-level variables in each coincident index are nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index (U.S. city average). The trend for each state’s index is set to the trend of its gross domestic product (GDP), so long-term growth in the state’s index matches long-term growth in its GDP.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Portfolio Manager at CDOH


The Department of Local Affairs, Division of Housing (DOH) is pleased to announce Carrie Kronberg as its new Portfolio Manager. In Carrie's new role, she will manage the DOH asset management team and DOH's portfolio of federal and state grants and loans. Carrie brings experience managing federal and state housing contracts in both Colorado and California to her new role with DOH.

Several federal agencies today unveiled 'Advancing Healthy Housing'


Press release from HUD: 

FEDERAL AGENCIES WORKING TO MAKE HOMES HEALTHIER
Improving housing quality can dramatically affect the health of residents
WASHINGTON—Several federal agencies today unveiled Advancing Healthy Housing – A Strategy for Action. White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donovan, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., and Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman discussed the new plan during an event at the National Building Museum this morning.


Smoke-Free Housing Grants

Announcing Cycle 2 of the Clean Air is Life and Money Saving (CALMS) Project
  • Are you a business or organization who owns, leases, develops, manages, finances or advertises housing?
  • Are you ready to pass a building-wide indoor smoke-free policy?
  • Apply for a CALMS Grant for up to $10,000.
Download an application today.

Have questions?

Read our Frequently Asked Questions. If your questions aren't answered there, please contact Kelly Fenson-Hood, 303-602-3533, Kelly Fenson-Hood.

Application due date is February 12, 2013.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Housing News Digest, February 4

Coldwell Banker real estate company buys Keller Williams in Northern Colorado The decision-makers at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage recently demonstrated their optimism about the future of the real estate market in Northern Colorado with the purchase of the assets of Keller Williams Realty. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, which has 16 offices and 1,100 agents from Fort Collins to Pueblo, announced Jan. 10 that it had acquired the assets of CRES LLC, which previously did business as Keller Williams Realty of Northern Colorado.

  New development plan for 9th & Colorado site of old University Hospital complex DENVER - A new plan for the old University Hospital complex at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard includes more housing and likely a King Soopers. 7NEWS confirmed with King Soopers spokeswoman Kelli McGannon that the grocery chain is finalizing negotiations to build a standard King Soopers to be the anchor of the 9th and Colorado development.

  Homes in Steamboat Springs less expensive to buy and own than in 2004 Steamboat Springs — Chris Paoli, of Colorado Group Realty, told a large gathering at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort this week that although the recovery of the local real estate market is lagging behind that of Colorado’s Front Range, where prices grew by 6.6 percent last year, there are signs of improvement. Declining inventory, homes priced below replacement cost and affordability all are key trends to watch in 2013, he said.

  Nichols cements deal for $82M mixed-use project After trying to make the deal work for almost six years, Randy Nichols sold the land and the apartment side of a proposed 312-apartment, multi-use building development at 20th Street and Chestnut Place in Denver.

  Vacancy rate at Colorado Springs shopping centers high But by the end of 2012, the retail vacancy rate at Colorado Springs-area shopping centers had risen to its highest level in nearly 20 years — in large part because of a flood of store closings. The vacancy rate for local shopping centers climbed to 12.2 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, according to Turner Commercial Research of Colorado Springs.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Colorado Bankruptcies: Down for second year in 2012


In Colorado during December, total bankruptcy cases filed fell 19.7 percent, year over year, to 1,631 cases. During December 2011, 2,033 cases were filed. December 2012 was the 23nd month in a row in which bankruptcies declined year over year, following three years of growth from 2007 to 2009.

The first graph shows the year-over-year changes in bankruptcy case filings since January 2008:


In general, bankruptcy filings are about where they were during 2004, although they are up significantly since 2006 following the implementation of the 2005 Bankruptcy Act (discussed here).


In year-end total for 2012, we find that 2012's total bankruptcy filings were down 12.9 percent from 2011. 2012's decline was the second year in a row of declines following four years of gains. There were 26,099 total bankruptcy filings during 2012 and there were 29,994 during 2011. From 1999 to 2012, the average number of bankruptcies was 23,645 and the median number was 23,645. 2012's total exceeds both those figures.

Two years of decline show some stabilization in household finances, but numbers remain elevated.

Colorado unemployment rate heads back below national rate

Colorado's unemployment rate widened the gap between the national unemployment rate and the state employment rate during December, falling to 7.6 percent while the national unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent. The difference is rather small, although this is now the second month in a row that the Colorado unemployment rate has dipped ever-so-slightly below the national rate.


According to the most recent BLS press release on state unemployment:


Nevada and Rhode Island recorded the highest unemployment rates among the states in December, 10.2  percent each. North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate, 3.2 percent. In total, 25 states  reported jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 7.8 percent, 8 states had measurably  higher rates, and 17 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably different  from that of the nation.
Colorado's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was down slightly in December, dropping year over year from 7.9 percent during December 2011 to 7.6 percent during December 2012. The Colorado rate fell from November to December this year, dropping very slightly from 7.7 to 7.6 percent.

The national unemployment rate fell by much more than it did in Colorado, falling from 8.5 percent to 7.8 percent from December 2011 to December 2012. The rate was flat at 7.8 percent from November to December.

The graph shows a comparison between the two rates since 2006:


Housing News Digest, Feb 1

Upbeat outlook offered for local housing market The recovery that took hold last year in the Colorado Springs-area housing market should continue to gain steam in 2013. “We’re going in the right direction,” said Bruce Betts, broker owner of Re/Max Advantage in Colorado Springs. Betts’ upbeat look was one of four assessments of the local real estate market and economy presented Thursday at the 22nd annual forecast breakfast sponsored by the Southern Colorado chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management. About 250 people attended the event at the DoubleTree Hotel Colorado Springs.

  Nate Orr and Other Experts Predict Colorado Construction Will Rise Sharply in 2013 “Colorado will benefit from the continuing housing recovery and 2013 will be stronger than expected,” says Nate Orr, a Colorado-native who has worked in the construction industry for over 24 years. According to a Jan. 16 report from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Fidelity Investments, Visa, and Redwood Trust announced a total of over 1400 new jobs and Forbes named Colorado as the fifth-best state in the country to do business. A pro-growth agenda and favorable economic conditions are contributing to a growing optimism among real estate experts, construction companies and others.

  Real estate is bouncing back It's all good. Real estate in Teller County is roaring back after a crushing four years of the Great Recession. How good is it? “Who would think that January 2013 would get off to the strong start it has already,” said Joe Tanis, Realtor with the Tanis Team at Remax Performance in Woodland Park.

  Report: Foreclosures drop in Colorado Springs Foreclosure rates in Colorado Springs fell year-over-year in November, according to data from real estate analysis firm CoreLogic. Among outstanding mortgages in the city, 1.11 percent were in some state of foreclosure in November. That’s down from 1.47 percent a year ago, according to the report.

  Denver-area apartment market remains tight(DBJ) Renters trying to find apartments in metro Denver still face an uphill battle, as the vacancy rate dropped to its lowest fourth-quarter average in 12 years, according to a Vacancy and Rent Survey released Thursday by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver.

  Apartment scene: high rents, few empty(BCBR) The fourth-quarter the vacancy rate in the combined Boulder-Broomfield market was 3.7 percent, according to the report, and the average monthly rent was $1,103.61. The vacancy rate remained unchanged from the third quarter, but bucked the seasonal trend that typically sees more vacancies in the last three months of the year, according to a Division of Housing press release. Rents rose during the quarter, and Boulder/Broomfield is the metropolitan area's most expensive market based on rent per square foot, which is $1.28. Only in Douglas County is the average monthly rent higher, at $1,186.

  Available metro Denver apartments scarce, while rents soar (Den Post) Available metro Denver apartments remain scarce, with the apartment vacancy rate in the area falling to 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with 5.4 percent in the same quarter of 2011. According to a report released Thursday by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing, 2012's fourth-quarter vacancy rate was the lowest reported during the fourth quarter of any year since it reached 4.7 percent in 2000.

Slide show: Latest vacancy and rent data for metro Denver


Yesterday the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Division of Housing released the Metro Denver Apartment Vacancy and Rent Survey for the fourth quarter of 2012. The report showed that the vacancy rate in the metro Denver area continues to decline year over year as rent growth remains solid.


The first graph shows that the vacancy rate (4.9 percent) in the metro Denver area during the fourth quarter was at the lowest 4th-quarter rate reported since 2000.  It is up slightly from the third quarter's rate of 4.3 percent which was the lowest vacancy rate of any quarter since 2000. The 4th quarter rate was down year over year, dropping from 5.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011. 


As the metro-wide vacancy rate declined, the vacancy rates in all metro counties continued to decline, with the exception of Denver County. Note in the graph that the vacancy rate in Denver County ticked upward. This was due to a large amount of new multifamily product being added to the market in the fourth quarter. In fact, in the downtown Denver submarket, where much of the new product was added, the vacancy rate hit 11.1 percent. This is a temporary phenomenon as new buildings engage in lease-ups.  The third graph shows year-over-year changes  in all the metro Denver submarkets. The downtown Denver market shows a marked increase. Also notable are significant declines in the vacancy rates in many submarkets of Aurora. Aurora was one of the last areas to see lingering high vacancy rates. most of those rates have now come down. 


The average and median rents moderated somewhat during the third and fourth quarter, but remains at fairly robust levels of growth.  The growth rate has been above four percent now for the past year. Rent growth is solid, but does not rival the late 90s, however, when the average rent grew by more than 5 percent from 1996 to 2001. From the 4th Q of 2011 to the 4th Q of 2012, the average rent grew 4.9 percent from $932 to $978. 


The trend in year-over-year change in rent per square foot was largely similar with rent per square foot increasing 4.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the same period of 2012. Over the period, rent per square foot increased from $1.09 to $1.14. 


A look at everage rent per square foot shows that it is up significantly from the beginning of the 2008-2009 recession: 



The last graph shows that Economic vacancy in Colorado is down to the lowest level reported since 2002. As of the fourth quarter, economic vacancy was 13 percent. The last time it was lower was the second quarter of 2001, when it hit 11.5 percent. Economic vacancy is the physical vacancy plus concessions and write-offs. The decline in the economic vacancy suggests that in addition to a decline in physical vacancy, the use of concessions is falling as well to lower levels than has been seen in a decade. Rental losses also declined, hitting the lowest level seen since the second quarter of 2003. Rental losses during the fourth quarter of 2012 were at 8 percent. Rental losses were 7.5 percent during the second quarter of 2003.




LPS: Colorado reports 4th-largest decline in non-current loans among states


According to the December LPS Mortgage Monitor , released last week by Lender Processing Services, 10.6 percent of mortgage loans during December were "non-current" in the United States. That is, they were 90-plus-days delinquent or were in foreclosure.

In Colorado, the percentage of active mortgage loans that were non-current during December was 5.3 percent, which was down 19.4 percent from the same period last year.  Colorado's year-over-year decline in non-current loans was the 4th largest in the nation. Only California, Arizona, and Minnesota showed larger declines.

Only five states reported lower percentages of non-current loans than Colorado, making Colorado 6th-best in the nation for the percentage of its mortgage loans that were non-current during October 2012. Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska and North Dakota reported lower percentages of non-current loans during October.

The states with the highest rates of non-current loans were Florida, Mississippi and New Jersey with non-current  rates of 19.3 percent, 16.9 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively.

The report also showed that Colorado was among the states with the lowest rates of both underwater mortgages and new ptoblem loans. (See page 14 of the report.) Only North Dakota, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming had lower rates in both categories. 

According to LPS: "LPS Mortgage Monitor is an in-depth report of mortgage industry performance. The monthly report is based on data from the company’s market-leading repository of loan-level residential mortgage data and performance information, including more than 40 million active loans across the credit spectrum. This data is analyzed by LPS experts to produce more than 30 charts and graphs reflecting both trend and point-in-time performance observations."

Nationwide view: Apartment market improves, but growth moderates


The apartment market data has been strong for more than two years in metro Denver. The 4th quarter's data, released yesterday by the Division of Housing, shows continued growth. 

For a look at the nationwide trend, we can look to the Nation Multi Housing Council's report from last week

WASHINGTON, D.C.—After a seven-quarter run, expansion moderated for apartment markets according to the National Multi Housing Council’s (NMHC) January Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. For the first time since 2010, two of the four indexes – Market Tightness (45) and Sales Volume (49) – dipped below 50, though just barely. The two financing indexes show continued improvement for the 8th consecutive quarter, as the Equity Financing (56) and Debt Financing (57) Indexes remained above the breakeven level of 50. 
“The pace of improvement in the apartment industry is moderating, but the expansion remains solid,” said Mark Obrinsky, NMHC’s Vice President for Research and Chief Economist. “Lease-up demand is seasonally weak in January, which would fully explain the small drop in the Market Tightness Index. Beyond that, markets were quite tight three months ago, and remain tight today. New construction has picked up considerably since its 2009 low, but is still playing catch-up with the increase in demand for apartment residences.”

Lawler: 7.3 percent of home sales in Colorado are short sales

Occasionally, the economics blog Calculated Risk posts stats on short sales in Colorado as estimated by economist Tom Lawler. In the most recent post on this topic, Lawler's numbers show that 7.3 percent of home sales in Colorado (as of the third quarter) were short sales, and 19.8 percent of all sales were distressed sales. Data is based on a mixture of local Realtor/MLS data.

FHFA: Rocky Mountain region home prices up 14.7 percent


House prices in November in the Mountain region, which includes Colorado, were up substantially, rising 14.7 percent, year-over-year from November 2011 to November 2012. Nationally, the house price index rose 5.7 percent over the same period. The new house price index numbers, released this month by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency, also showed that the national index is down 14.9 percent from the peak level reached in June 2007, while the Mountain region's index is down 22.2 percent over the same period. The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses purchased with loans that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It is a repeat-sales index similar to the Case-Shiller index, but limited to GSE loans. November's mountain-region growth rate was the largest growth rate reported in the region since March 2006.


The second graph shows each month's house price index compared to the same month a year earlier: November 2012 was the tenth month in a row in the mountain region during which the house price index rose year over year, following 52 months of year-over-year declines.



This report is just the latest home price index showing accelerating growth in home prices in the US and regionally. A 14.7 percent increase, however, is quite a bit higher than what we're seeing in most indices for Colorado and Denver metro specifically. The most recent Case-Shiller index for metro Denver, for example, shows a year-over-year growth rate of 7.8 percent.

Case-Shiller: Denver metro home price index up 7.8 percent, hits 5-year high

Case-Shiller released its home price index for November 2012 yesterday. The home price index for the Denver area rose 0.4 percent percent from October to November, and rose 7.8 percent, year over year, from November 2011 to November 2012.  The year-over-year increase in November was the eleventh year-over-year increase in a row for Denver, and was the largest increase since November 2001, when the year-over-year growth rate was 7.6 percent.  The first graph shows the index values since 2001. The index value is at the highest value seen since October 2007.

 According to S and P's press release, home prices nationwide continued to show some signs of growth:
“The November monthly figures were stronger than October, with 10 cities seeing rising prices versus seven  the month before.” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.  “Phoenix and San Francisco were both up 1.4% in November followed by Minneapolis up 1.0%. On the down  side, Chicago was again amongst the weakest with a drop of 1.3% for November.
In year-over-year comparisons for November, one out of 20 cities showed year-over-year declines in the home price index.  The index for New York fell 1.2 percent. Denver was among the nineteen cities reporting increases, and had the eighth-largest increase of the twenty cities. The largest increases were in Phoenix and San Francisco with year over year increases of 22.8 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively.

The first chart shows trends in the Case-Shiller index for the Denver area and for the 20-city composite index. It is clear that Denver did not experience the kind of price bubble that occurred in many other metropolitan areas, and consequently, the index has not fallen nearly as far in Denver compared to the larger composite.

The 20-city composite is down 29 percent since it peaked in July 2006, but the Denver index is down only 4.1 percent from its August 2006 peak.

The third chart compares year-over-year changes in the Denver area index and in the 20-city composite. Overall, the index has been less volatile in Denver than has been the case for the 20-city composite. The year-over-year change in the 20-city composite during November was positive for the sixth month in a row.

In short: Denver metro home prices have shown a stronger growth trend in recent months than the 20-city composite.


The last chart provides a closer look at year-over-year changes in the Denver index. The index went negative as the economy began to slow in 2007 and remained negative until this year with the exception of the period in which the homebuyer tax credit pushed up prices temporarily. Recent home price growth is accelerating as inventory declines, household formation continues, and rental housing continues to become more expensive. We must go back to November 2001 to find a larger year-over-year growth rate.