Thursday, October 31, 2013

September CPI falls to three-year low for West region

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released this week the September CPI for US urban areas and regions. In the West region, from September 2012 to September 2013, the CPI increased 1.3 percent, and was down from August 2013's year-over-year change of 1.54.

In the first graph, we see that the year-over-year change in  for the West CPI was down from September 2012's change of 2.2 percent, and was well down from 2008's pre-recession annual change of 4.3 percent.

Looking at each month for the past decade, we find that the year-over-year change in CPI is now near the lowest it's been since 2010. Only April and May of this year showed lower year-over-year changes in CPI with increases of 1.25 in both months.

Among the components of CPI, the largest year over year increases were found in housing (2.8 percent) and medical care (1.5 percent).

The downward trend in CPI suggests continued weakness in the economy as wages show little overall growth. The Fed's repeated reluctance to taper quantitative easing shows a lack of confidence on the part of the fed that the economy would continue to recover without continued easing on the part of the Fed.

Colorado bankruptcy filings hit six-year low in September

In Colorado during September, total bankruptcy cases filed fell 20.7 percent, year over year, to 1,537 cases. During September 2012, 1,939 cases were filed. September 2013 was the 32nd 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 2003, although they are up significantly since 2006 following the implementation of the 2005 Bankruptcy Act (discussed here). The second graph shows the 12-month moving average in bankruptcy filings, which helps remove seasonal issues in the numbers, and we can see that the trend is clearly down since 2011. As interest rates have been driven down by the central bank, and employment has stabilized, bankruptcy has become less common. Debt will likely become more expensive, or incomes will decline significantly, before we are likely to see a jump in total bankruptcy filings.

The last graph shows the bankruptcy filings from month to month. There are obviously seasonal factors at work during the year, with bankruptcies peaking during March and April and declining throughout the rest of the year. Comparing September 2013 to previous September, we see that September 2013 was a 6-year low for bankruptcy filings.

Philly Fed: Colorado growth outpaces US growth in August

The Coincident Index for Colorado rose 0.9 percent over three months from May through August this year, which was above the national index's increase of 0.7 percent. August'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 (1.0%) than about 25 states, and generally speaking, Colorado was about the the middle of the pack when looking at growth rates among states. 

According to the August 2013 report:
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for August 2013. In the past  month, the indexes increased in 40 states, decreased in five states, and remained stable in five, for a one-month diffusion  index of 70. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 42 states, decreased in six, and remained stable in two, for  a three-month diffusion index of 72. 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 August and 0.7 percent over the past three months. 

The graph below compares the 3-month change in both the Colorado Index and the US index. Colorado's growth has generally been above national growth in this index since mid-2012. 

The second graph shows year-over-year changes in the index, and an upward trend has been evident in both the US and in Colorado since 2011. Colorado's year-over-year growth has exceeded the nation's growth rate since 2012. The YOY change in the coincident index in Colorado was 4.1 percent. Nationwide, it was 2.8 percent. 

The gap between US and Colorado growth rates grew during much of 2012 but appears to have moderated during 2013. 

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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Statewide building permits through August 2013: SF permits up 34 percent

September's release of building permit data by the census has apparently been delayed, possibly due to the federal government partial shutdown.

Through August of this year, however, single-family building permits hit a five-year high, and multi-family permits hit the highest level recorded since 2002. The first graph shows the permits for the period of January-August in each year:

Through August this year, there have been 11,687 single-family permits and 6,067 multi-family permits. This compares to 8,669 single-family permits and 5,671 multifamily permits during the same period of 2012. For single-family, that's a growth rate of 34 percent, and a growth rate of 6.9 percent for multifamily. Note that the increase from 2011 to 2012 in multifamily was 137 percent, so growth has flattened out considerably.

The second graph shows the monthly totals for permits. Multifamily permits tend to not exhibit much obvious seasonality, but single-family permitting is certainly seasonal, and in this we see a  the highest summer peak was set since 2007, and that single-family permits hit 1,889 in June. There were 1,481 single-family permits during August 2013, which was an increase of 3 percent, year over year from August 2012's total of 1,436. In multifamily, the year-over-year increase for August was with permits increasing 10 percent from 1,259 to 1,394.

Looking at the monthly totals, we see that August 2013 was the biggest August for single-family permits since 2007, although it remains well below August totals from 2003-2006.

Meanwhile, August 2013 was the biggest August for multifamily permits in a decade, with the past three years reporting August totals well above what was common earlier in the decade.

Slideshow: Metro Denver Vacancies and Rents, 3rd Q 2013

As reported last week, the apartment vacancy rate in metro Denver was up slightly during the third quarter, and the average rent increased.

The first graph shows the metro-wide vacancy rate:

We can see that the vacancy rates in recent quarters now rival the very low vacancy rates that were experienced during the late 1990s and very early 2000s before the recession of 2002 struck Colorado after the dot-com bust. The vacancy rate was 4.4 percent during the third quarter of 2013, and it was 4.2 percent during the second quarter. The rate had peaked at 9 percent during the second quarter of 2009, for the 2007-2009 recession. The lowest rate reached over the past 20 years was 3.7 percent in 2000.

The vacancy rates in general were near ten year lows across the metro area. In the second graph, we see that the decline in the vacancy rates since 2009 have not been limited to any one or two county areas, and that the declines have been general.

The average rent for metro Denver can be seen in the third graph. The average rent hit $1,048 during the third quarter, and was up from $1,022 during the second quarter. 

We can see steady increases in general with only a couple of periods of declining rents: from  2001 to 2002, and from 2008 to 2009.  The periods of the greatest growth in recent periods have been the late 1990s and the period since 2011.

The fourth graph shows the growth rates in average rent more clearly.  We can see that year-over-year growth rates since the first quarter of 2012 have been coming in at more than 4 percent each quarter. Historically, this is a strong growth rate, but we can also see that it's still well below what was reported during the dot-com boom, when growth rates were often above six percent. Nevertheless, the growth over the past seven quarters has been substantial.

All of the rent levels we've discussed so far in this article have been nominal rates and not adjusted for inflation. In the final graph, I adjust the average rent for inflation, using a base year of 1995. In this case, we can see that real rents are really only now back to what they were during the dot-com boom. Real rents declined from the dot-com bust until 2009 or so when they began to consistently grow again in real terms. 

In real terms, the average rent peaked at $698 during the third quarter of 2001, and for all practical purposes, the real rent is back to its 2001 levels, having reached $682 during the third quarter of this year. (These are 1995 dollars.) 

Case-Shiller: August home price index grows by largest amount since August 2001

Case-Shiller released its home price index for August 2013 this week. The home price index for the Denver area rose 0.9 percent percent from July to August, and rose 10.1  percent, year over year, from August 2012 to August 2013. This is the highest year-over-year increase since August 2001 when the growth rate hit 10.7 percent. The year-over-year increase in August was the twentieth year-over-year increase in a row for Denver. August also marks a third month above previous-peak levels for the metro Denver index. The index peaked in July 2006 at 140.3, and the index value during August 2013 was 146.95. The first graph shows the recent increase to new peak levels:

 According to S and P's press release, home prices nationwide continued to show some signs of growth:
““The 10-City and 20-City Composites posted a 12.8% annual growth rate,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Both Composites showed their highest annual increases since February 2006. All 20 cities reported positive year-over-year returns. Thirteen cities posted double-digit annual gains. Las Vegas and California continue to impress with year-over-year increases of over 20%. Denver and Phoenix posted 20 consecutive annual increases; Miami and Minneapolis 19. Despite showing 26 consecutive annual gains, Detroit remains the only city below its January 2000 index level."

In year-over-year comparisons for August, all of the twenty cities measured reported increases.  The largest increases were in Las Vegas and San Francisco with year over year increases of 29.2 percent and 25.4 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 metro Denver index value is at the highest value seen since 2006.

The 20-city composite is down 20 percent since it peaked in July 2006, but the Denver index is up 4.7 percent from its August 2006 peak.

The second 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 December was positive for the fifteenth month in a row.

After many months of higher growth rates in Denver than in the 20-city index, the Denver index was surpassed in March 2013 as the 20-city index YOY growth rate rose to 10.9 percent. The composite index growth rate has now outpaced the Denver metro rate for six months. To find a larger year-over-year growth rate in metro Denver, we'd have to look all the way to 2001, during the dot-com boom.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Trulia: real estate demand smaller in Colorado Springs than metro Denver

According to the Trulia price and rent monitor, the Trulia index for asking rents in rental housing was up a meager 0.7 percent in Colorado Springs, and was up 5.5 percent in metro Denver, when measured from September 2012 to September 2013.

In for-sale housing, the asking price index from Trulia was up 2.8 percent in Colorado Springs and 11.4 percent in metro Denver.

Metro Denver demand appeared to exceed the national rate of increase in rental housing. The national index reported by Trulia was up 3.0 percent in asking rents, and up 11.5 percent in asking prices.

Metro Denver was about equal with the growth rate in the national asking price in for-sale housing.

Housing News Digest, October 28

Colorado sees more home loans paid off in Q3 than same time last year Nearly 14 percent more home loans were paid off in Colorado during the third quarter in 2013 than the same quarter in 2012, but the figures also hint at a leveling off due to rising mortgage rates, according to data released Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing. Colorado's public trustees released more than 89,000 deeds of trust during 2013's third quarter, marking one of the highest totals recorded in recent years.

  Mortgage payoffs slow in third quarter The slowdown in mortgage payoffs can partially be attributed to rising interest rates, according to the Division of Housing. "Since 2011, mortgage rates fell in almost every quarter up through the end of 2012, and in response, we saw significant increases in the amount of release activity over time," the division said in a release. "Predictably, as mortgage rates began to rise in late 2012, we began to see declines in release activity as 2013 progressed," the statement said.

  Apartment rents in metro Denver continue to climb Apartment rents in metro Denver continued their rapid climb in the third quarter of 2013, with an average monthly rent of $1,048 — an increase of 6.3 percent, or $62, from 2012's third-quarter average of $986. Ryan McMaken, an economist for the Colorado Division of Housing, said that on an inflation-adjusted basis, the average rent in metro Denver peaked in 2001. The average rent in the third quarter of 2013, adjusted for inflation, is 2.2 percent below that peak, said McMaken.

  Metro Denver apartment rents still climbing, despite new construction While metro Denver apartment vacancies ticked up slightly from the second to third quarter, the area continued to have substantial rent growth and all the new apartments delivered didn’t affect the vacancy rate, according to a report released Thursday by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing. The area’s overall vacancy rate hit 4.4 percent. While up slightly year over year and quarter over quarter, it still hovered around 13-year lows and remained below 5 percent — a tight market, by all definitions.

  Rents and vacancies rise “We could see as many as 10,000 new units delivered in 2014 across 25 different submarkets in the metro area,” said Mark Williams, Executive Vice President of the Apartment Association of Metro Denver. “With over 17,000 units under construction and an additional 20,000 being considered, current levels of rent growth won’t continue if most of those units are delivered,” he added.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Metro Denver apartment vacancies inch up during third quarter

The apartment vacancy rate in the Denver metro area rose to 4.4 percent during the third quarter of 2013, but remained near 13-year lows. According to a report released Thursday by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing, the metro Denver apartment vacancy rate was up from 2012’s third-quarter rate of 4.3 percent, and was also up from 2013’s second-quarter rate of 4.2 percent.  

From the third quarter of 2012 to the same period of 2013, the vacancy rate dropped in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties, and in the Boulder/Broomfield area.  During the same period, however, the vacancy rate rose in Denver and Adams Counties.

“Overall rates remain quite low, but new supply in the market is beginning to push up vacancy rates a little bit,” said Ryan McMaken, an economist with the Colorado Division of Housing. “We’re also finding that some apartment units are sitting vacant longer than normal due to many of them being updated, repaired, and renovated.”

During the third quarter of 2013, the average rent in metro Denver rose to $1,048, increasing 6.3 percent, or 62 dollars, from 2012’s third-quarter average rent of $986.

Industry experts, however, expect moderation in rent growth as new units are completed.

“We could see as many as 10,000 new units delivered in 2014 across 25 different submarkets in the metro area,” said Mark Williams, Executive Vice President of the Apartment Association of Metro Denver. “With over 17,000 units under construction and an additional 20,000 being considered, current levels of rent growth won’t continue if most of those units are delivered.”

The average rent rose in all counties measured, with the largest increases found in Douglas County and Jefferson County where the average rents grew year over year by 9.0 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively. The county areas with the highest average rents were Douglas County and the Boulder/Broomfield area where the average rents were $1,235 and $1,194, respectively. Adams County reported the lowest average rent at $962.

“We’ll start to feel the impact of new units on rent in 2014,” said Rocky Sundling, Regional Manager for Greystar Partners. “But even then, vacancies will generally continue to be hard to find because we’ll still have the population growth to fill the units.”  

2013’s third-quarter vacancy rates by county were Adams, 5.7 percent; Arapahoe, 4.8 percent; Boulder/Broomfield, 2.8 percent; Denver, 4.6 percent; Douglas, 3.5 percent; Jefferson, 3.6 percent.

Average rents for all counties were: Adams, $962; Arapahoe, $1,007; Boulder/Broomfield, $1,194; Denver, $1,055; Douglas, $1,235; and Jefferson, $1,035.   

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New CDOH training: "Hammering out the Deal"

The Colorado Division of Housing will be presenting a two-day class on affordable housing finance.  "Hammering Out the Deal" will be held on November 13 & 14 at Habitat for Humanity of Colorado's office in Lakewood.  Cost is $50 and registrations are due by November 1st.  The brochure and registration information is here.

This class is for affordable housing developers who are familiar with the basics of financing projects and who want more in-depth knowledge of how to structure a deal using interim financing from CDFIs, conventional loans, low-income housing tax credits, and private activity bonds.

Bring your laptop computer and join us for an interactive, hands-on training.    If you have further questions, contact Denise Selders, Housing Development Specialist, at 970-679-4502 or

Thank you for your assistance in getting the word out.

Denise Selders

Housing Development Specialist
State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs
Division of Housing
150 E. 29th Street, Suite 215
Loveland, CO 80538
office: 970.679.4502

mobile: 970-250-0811

Denver area in top 10 metros for shortest period of days on market for for-sale homes.

According to a report in home inventory form, Denver has one of the shortest "days on market" period for home sales:

Market Highlights:

Of particular note in September's figures are a handful of markets showing very fast-paced sales cycles, some at roughly half of the national median "days on market" figure of 93 days, with Oakland the stand-alone at just 28 days.  Many of these markets are seated in the hot "sand state" regions, with a few outliers such as Denver, Detroit, Seattle and Washington, DC.
Median Age of Inventory.  
10 MSAs with the Shortest Median Days on Market:

Denver's Robust Office Market Recovery

According to a recent press release from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank:
DENVER, Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) released its third quarter research figures on the Denver office market, which reveal that the sector continues to enjoy a healthy recovery. According to the report, year-to-date absorption totaled more than 1.0 million square feet - topping full-year absorption for 2012 and sending a clear signal that Denver's office market is firmly in expansion mode. Additionally, the trend of declining vacancy stretched into its 15(th) quarter, with overall vacancy falling slightly to 16.3%, down year-over-year from 17.7%.

Builder Confidence Down in October; NAHB Estimates September Housing Starts will Approach 900,000 Units

Builder Confidence Down in October; NAHB Estimates September Housing Starts will Approach 900,000 Units

National news from NAHB: 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 - Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes fell two points in October from a downwardly revised reading in the previous month to a level of 55 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index  (HMI) released today. 
"Builder optimism remains above 50 and we are still seeing signs of pent-up demand in many markets across the country," said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "This slight dip in builder sentiment is the result of continuing challenges in the marketplace with regard to the cost and availability of labor and lots and uncertainty in Washington"

Home loan payoffs in Colorado fall during third quarter as mortgage rates climb

The full report. 

The number of home loans paid off in Colorado was up 13.9 percent from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013. According to a report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing, public trustees in Colorado released a total of 89,372 deeds of trust during the third quarter of 2013, which was one of the highest totals recorded in recent years, but which also reflected two quarters in a row of declines in activity in the face of rising mortgage rates.

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.

Release activity fell from the second quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2013, dropping 5.9 percent.  There were 94,937 deeds released during the second quarter of this year.

“We’re now starting to see the effects of rising interest rates on release activity,” said Ryan McMaken, an economist with the Colorado Division of Housing. “While there’s a lot of demand for housing out there, and the numbers are still up compared to last year, these numbers show that the growth has started to taper a little as loans become more expensive.”  

Trends in release activity were not uniform across the state. Although 20 of the 21 counties surveyed reported increases in release activity from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of this year, rates of increase varied substantially. The largest increases were reported in Adams and Weld counties where release activity increased 43.5 percent and 42.3 percent, respectively. The smallest increases were found in El Paso and Larimer counties where activity increased 2.7 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively. The only county to report a year-over-year decline in release activity was Summit County.

Adjusted for the number of existing housing units in each county, the counties with the highest rates of release activity during 2013’s first quarter were Douglas, Jefferson, and Broomfield counties. The counties with the least activity were Alamosa, Pueblo, and Delta counties.

“Those areas with more stable employment where borrowers are more likely to qualify for new loans are seeing the most activity,” McMaken said. “Southern Colorado, where employment is less robust, and where incomes are lower, is seeing less activity.” 

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 90 percent of all occupied households in Colorado are within the twenty-one counties chosen.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FHFA: All Colorado metros show home price growth since mid-2012

The House Price Index (HPI) rose from the second quarter of 2012 to the same period of 2013 in every Colorado metro area.  The second quarter was the first time that all metro showed year over year increases since 2006. The areas showing increases in the HPI included Boulder, Denver-Aurora, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Pueblo, Grand Junction, and the Ft. Collins-Loveland area.

The second-quarter 20131 HPI data, released last August  by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for hundreds of metropolitan areas nationwide, showed year-over-year gains of more than five percent in all metros except Grand Junction and Pueblo. The second quarter of 2013 marks the seventh quarter in a row in which the home price index rose year over year in the Ft. Collins-Loveland area.

Statewide, the Colorado home price index was up year over year. (See the analysis here.)

Year over year, the 1-year changes in each metro area were:
Boulder +6.1%
Colo Springs +4.1%
Denver-Aurora +7.5%
Fort Coll-Loveland +5.3%
Grand Junction +5.5%
Greeley +5.9%
Pueblo +1.9%

The first graph shows the year-over-year change in each region for each quarter. For the sake of visual clarity, the graph only shows data back only to 2007.

Over the past two years, growth in the home price index have become increasingly common, with southern and western Colorado lagging other areas. For metro areas overall, there is now a trend of growth in the home price index, however, with Pueblo and Grand Junction recently joining the other metros in reporting price gains.

The second graph shows the actual HPI values for each quarter going back to 2000. In general, the HPI began to plateau during 2007 and was declining in most areas by 2008. A big exception in the Grand Junction area which continued to increase rapidly well into 2008.

Since the peak period of the first quarter of 2007, the HPI has fallen in all regions. The following shows the change in the HPI compared to the peak period, as of the second quarter of 2013.

Boulder +5.0%
Colo Springs -8.0%
Denver-Aurora +1.6%
Fort Coll-Loveland +2.8%
Grand Junction -22.5%
Greeley -9.3%
Pueblo -21.7%

This latest report overall shows a continuation of earlier trends shows in this report. The most rapidly recovering markets are those markets with the strongest job growth: Metro Denver and Northern Colorado.
Pueblo, and Grand Junction are facing some of the highest unemployment rates in Colorado, and not surprisingly show some of the weakest growth in the home price index.

See here for other home price indices.

The index values presented and analyzed in this article are not seasonally adjusted. The data in this article is taken from the FHFA "all-transactions" data. The index is based on home price data obtained through the GSEs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

FHFA: Colorado home price index increases for seventh quarter in a row

Colorado's House Price (Expanded-Data) Index (HPI), measured by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA), rose 8.8 percent from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013. According to the second-quarter 2013 HPI, released last August by FHFA, the home price index for Colorado, in year-over-year comparisons, has risen for the sixth time in a row, and has shown the strongest year over year growth in a decade. We need to look back to the dot-com boom to find larger home price index growth.

The Colorado HPI is now down only 2 percent from the peak in the state's HPI which was reached during the third quarter of 2006. The national index is down 16.8 percent from its peak, which it also reached during the third quarter of 2006.

The HPI for the United States rose 7.5 percent from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013, and until the second quarter of 2012, and if the fifth quarter in a row of year over year index increases.

The first graph shows the Colorado HPI compared to the US HPI since 2000. Since the peak period, the US HPI has fallen farther than the Colorado index. The Colorado index turned up significantly during the second quarter of 2012.

In the second graph is shown the year-over-year change in the HPI for both Colorado and the US. This more fully shows to what degree the HPI has fallen in recent years for both Colorado and the US. The national HPI has fallen farther -or increased less- than the Colorado HPI in every quarter since the second quarter of 2007. The home price index in Colorado has been increasing longer than the US as a whole, although Colorado showed less growth than the nation in the index from 2001-2007.

Overall, this index suggests that, since 2007, overall home prices in Colorado have been more resilient than has been the case nationally, and this matches up with several other indices such as those put out by Case-Shiller and CoreLogic.

The index values presented and analyzed in this article are not seasonally adjusted.

Note: During the second quarter of 2011, the Federal Housing and Finance Agency released, for the first time, its Expanded-Data House Price Index. The new index is "Estimated using Enterprise, FHA, and Real Property County Recorder Data Licensed from DataQuick[.]"

In other words, the data source is much more broad than the old index which relied only on GSE information.

However, at the metro-area level, we'll still need to rely on the older GSE-data index until FHFA expands its new index into the metro areas.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Housing News Digest, October 14

Task force: Colorado homeowners should pay to live in burn zones Gov. John Hickenlooper's wildfire team unveiled an overhaul of how Colorado deals with the growing problem of people building houses in forests prone to burn, shifting more of the responsibility to homeowners. The overhaul recommends that lawmakers charge fees on homes built in woods, rate the wildfire risk of the 556,000 houses already built in burn zones on a 1-10 scale and inform insurers, and establish a state building code for use of fire-resistant materials and defensible space.

  Agreement goes out window as Canyons development comes inA high plateau of undeveloped grassland, 3,300 acres just east of Interstate 25 and Castle Pines, is expected to soon start turning into something else — “one of the best master-planned communities not only within the state but within the region,” in the words of Mark Nickless, general manager of The Canyons development. “We're excited about the possibility of getting this going,” he said of a plan that allows for 250 acres of commercial area and 2,500 homes. “The Alperts (landowners) have been working on this for a number of years.”

  Ryland Opens Colorado DevelopmentRyland Group Inc. announced Thursday that it has opened a residential development in Colorado. The Patio Villas at Coal Creek Village North in Lafayette, a neighborhood in suburban Boulder, features single-story floor plans with up to two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Homes start at $320,000.

  Borrower loses after challenging Colorado foreclosure processLisa Kay Brumfiel claimed the process was flawed in that it allows lenders to foreclosure without having to prove their legal right to do so. Lenders at one time were required to produce the mortgage note that a homeowner signed, but a law passed in 2006 changed that, allowing lawyers to merely claim the banks had the authority.

  Redevelopment taking shape in Lafayette The first phase of redevelopment plans for Coal Creek Sports Center, at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 287 and South Boulder Road, has received preliminary approval from the city’s planning department. Pending final approval, Jarrett Armstrong of Armstrong Capital Development in Centennial said the plan is to break ground by early next year and deliver the first phase to tenants in the second half of 2014.

Friday, October 11, 2013

LPS: Colorado has 4th-lowest rate of non-current mortgage loans

According to the August LPS Mortgage Monitor , released by Lender Processing Services, 8.9 percent of mortgage loans during August 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 August was 4.4 percent, which was down 21.9 percent from the same period last year.  Colorado's year-over-year decline in non-current loans was the 7th largest in the nation. Only Florida, Nevada, Illinois, California, Arizona, and Washington showed larger declines.

Only three states reported lower percentages of non-current loans than Colorado, making Colorado 4th-best in the nation for the percentage of its mortgage loans that were non-current during August 2013. Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota reported lower percentages of non-current loans during August.

The states with the highest rates of non-current loans were Florida, Mississippi, and New Jersey with non-current  rates of 15.1 percent, 14.8 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively.

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."

CoreLogic: Home price gains in Colorado taper off slightly

CoreLogic released its August home price index (HPI) numbers earlier this month. The year-over-year change in August was 8.75 percent.  August marks the twentieth month in a row of year-over-year gains in the home price index for Colorado. The national home price was again pulled upward by big home price growth in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Nationally, the index grew 12.4 percent from August 2012 to August 2013. Housing prices continue to increase at some of the largest rates seen since before the financial crisis. (These numbers are for all single-family homes, including distressed properties.) August's YOY growth rate, however, was the smallest since 2012, perhaps signalling some moderation in the market. The demand for homes may have been affected the this past summer's uptick in interest rates. Home price growth remains substantial.

14 states had larger growth rates in the HPI than Colorado, with the highest growth rates being in Nevada, California, and Arizona. Nevada's HPI grew 25.9 percent year over year, and California's and Arizona 'a HPIs grew 23.1 percent and 16.4 percent respectively. No showed declines in their HPIs over the same period. 

Serious mortgage delinquencies in Colorado decline for 7th quarter

Serious mortgage delinquencies in Colorado were down for the seventh quarter in a row during the second quarter of 2013, but new 30-day delinquencies reached the highest point in more than a year during the second quarter.

30-day delinquencies during the second quarter of 2013 were up from the first quarter of the year, hitting 2.51 percent during the second quarter. 2.51 percent is the highest rate for new 30-day delinquencies since the second quarter of 2011 when the rate was 2.54 percent.

The first graph shows 30-day delinquencies by quarter in Colorado since 2006. The 30-day delinquency rate for the second quarter was up compared to the second quarter of 2012, which was 2.38 percent.

The number of loans that were 90 days delinquent of more were down in Colorado, falling to 1.49 percent of all loans surveyed during the second quarter of 2013. The 90-day delinquency rate during the second quarter of 2012 was 1.87 percent, and it was 1.67 percent during the first quarter of 2013. The second graph shows the percentage of mortgage loans that were at least 90 days delinquent in recent years. The 90-day delinquency rate has been falling consistently in Colorado since the fourth quarter of 2009.

The foreclosure inventory also fell during the second quarter of 2013 and has fallen for the past eleven quarters in a row. Colorado's foreclosure inventory dropped to 1.2 percent during the second quarter of 2013, falling from 2012's second quarter rate of 1.9 percent. The inventory was also down from 2013's first-quarter rate of 1.38 percent. The third graph shows the foreclosure inventory in Colorado and the US:

National Comparisons:

As can be seen in the second and third graphs, Colorado's foreclosure inventory and 90-day delinquency rates are well below the national rates. The U.S. 90-day delinquency rate during the second quarter of 2013 was 2.55 percent.

The U.S. foreclosure inventory rate was 3.33 percent during the first quarter of 2013.

Using the 90-day delinquency rate to compare Colorado to all other states, we find that Colorado had the ninth-lowest delinquency rate in the nation during the second quarter of 2013. The only states with lower 90-day delinquency rates were Vermont, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. The lowest 90-day delinquency rate in the nation was found in North Dakota where it was 0.55 percent, and the highest rate was found in New Jersey where it was 4.24 percent.

Delinquencies are measured by the MBA via surveys sent to major loans servicers. The MBA estimates it covers 88 percent of all first-lien residential mortgage loans outstanding in the US with the survey.

Coming Wednesday: third quarter stats on releases of deeds of trust

Releases of deeds of trust data gives us insight into total refinance and home sales activity in Colorado. I'll post new data for the third quarter on Wednesday, October 16.

See the archives for old reports.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Housing News Digest, October 9

FEMA Extends Stay For Displaced Flood Victims Some flood victims have spent weeks in hotels while spending time looking for new apartments or waiting for repairs to their homes. Now the Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the stay for those folks. Despite new funding some people are having to move from one hotel to another, especially this weekend. It’s Parents’ Day weekend at the University of Colorado and the Buffs are taking on Oregon. Hotels have been booked for months.

  Displaced Colorado flood survivors face housing shortage LONGMONT - Thousands of Coloradans displaced by the floods are facing a new challenge: finding a place to live. There is tremendous need for temporary and permanent housing right now and survivors are flooding an already tight rental market. The Colorado Office of Emergency Management says nearly 20,000 homes are either damaged or destroyed statewide. All of those people must now find new places to live in a very crowded housing market.

  Colorado disasters leave homeowners, RMBS investors in limbo Severe natural disasters struck Colorado in recent weeks, causing a trail of damage that prompted residential mortgage-backed securities investors to search for areas of potential exposure within mortgage securitizations. Some RMBS investors are exposed to properties in the disaster-declared area, but the risk seems minimal at this point, Morningstar analysts concluded. Within the nine FEMA-designated 'disaster area' counties, approximately 50,000 homes are attached to 4,756 RMBS transactions, dated from 1993 to 2013. The total exposure, as calculated by outstanding loan balance, hit roughly $9 billion. Keeping this in perspective, the impacted deals represent only 1.08% of the entire nonagency RMBS universe, Morningstar said.

  Aspen worker-housing sales show uptick in 2013 Aspen’s worker housing has surpassed its total sales from a year ago by nearly 60 percent. Through Wednesday, 40 deed-restricted units had sold for a total of $18.6 million this year. In 2012 and 2011, sales totaled $11.1 million (57 units) and $13.1 million (60 units), respectively. Tom McCabe, executive director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Office, said higher-end units have languished on the market in recent years, particularly in the resident-occupied category, the most expensive worker residences. However, in the past month, two separate resident-occupied units, both priced at more than $1 million, have sold.

  AG Suthers Announces New Requirements for Big Banks Under National Mortgage Settlement Joseph A. Smith, Jr., Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, today issued new metrics that impose greater oversight over Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, CitiGroup and Wells Fargo under the National Mortgage Settlement. These new metrics are the result of violations that the monitor reported earlier this summer regarding the banks’ compliance with the settlement. Staff of the Consumer Protection Section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office serve on the monitoring committee and throughout the summer, Smith and the committee developed new protocols to give greater protection and additional resources to homeowners working to save their homes from foreclosure. These improved protocols are now being tested as part of these new metrics.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Through August this year, foreclosures down almost 60 percent in metro counties

According to the latest monthly foreclosure report for metro counties, from the Division of Housing:

During August 2013, foreclosure filings were down, year over year, and foreclosure filings were also down and remained near 7-year lows. Foreclosure sales at auction also remained near 7-year lows. 
August 2013 foreclosure filings were down 54.7 percent from August 2012, dropping from 2,287 to 1,037, year over year.
August 2013 foreclosure sales (completed foreclosures) were down compared to August 2012 with a decrease of 59.7 percent, dropping from 1,341 to 541, year over year.

For the first eight months of the year combined, foreclosure filings were down 46.7 percent in 2013 compared to the same period last year. There were 17,197 foreclosure filings during the eight months of 2012 and 9,171 during the same period this year.

Foreclosure auction sales were down 35.0 percent comparing the first eight months of 2013 to the same period last year. There were 8,541 foreclosure sales during the first five months of last year and 5,553 during the same period this year.
 Filings fell 9.8 percent from July 2013 to August 2013, and auction sales were down 14.3  percent over the same period. 
 Pueblo County reported the highest foreclosure rate during August, while Boulder County reported the lowest rate. (See Table 7.)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Homeownership Resource Fair in Denver, Oct 12

Jerilynn Martinez, 303.297.7427

CHFA Hosts a FREE Homeownership Resource Fair
in Denver on Saturday Oct. 12, 2013

(DENVER) – The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) is hosting a free Homeownership Resource Fair on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 to help homebuyers and mortgage refinance consumers learn the “secrets of affordable homeownership.” Many resources are available to help make homeownership accessible, but unfortunately, lots of consumers could be missing out on precious cost savings because they simply don’t know that these programs exist.

With nearly 40 years of experience helping Coloradans achieve homeownership, CHFA and its partners have designed resources to help homeowners get responsible and affordable fixed rate financing, down payment assistance, and additional monthly savings using federal tax credits. CHFA also offers unique programs for people with disabilities and eligible veterans.

Housing News Digest, Oct 4

Colorado Springs on pace in 2013 for fewest foreclosure filings in a decade The Colorado Springs area is on pace this year for the fewest number of foreclosure filings in a decade, a sharp contrast from the height of the recession when the region saw record numbers of financially troubled properties. Foreclosure filings totaled 138 last month in El Paso County, a 45.2 percent reduction from September 2012 and the fewest for any month since May 2004, according to a report this week by the El Paso County Public Trustee's Office.

  Colorado Springs-area home sales and prices rise again in September Colorado Springs-area home sales and prices rose again last month, although a slowdown on the re-sale side of the housing market could be in the offing because of higher mortgage rates and other factors, some real estate agents say. A Pikes Peak Association of Realtors report released Thursday shows that sales of single-family homes totaled 829 in September, a 7.2 percent increase over the same month a year ago. It was the 15th straight year-over-year increase in monthly sales.

  VIDEO: Available housing for Colorado flood victims Flood victims in search of housing will often need to look beyond nearby communities and may have to seek units closer to Denver and further east. Rent growth was also significant before the floods, so renters are likely to encounter rising rents as well. To help with this, the Division of Housing and other organizations such as the Colorado Apartment Association are sponsoring a site called This site is free for renters and landlords to use so that we can identify where there are empty units available. This is the same site we used following Hurricane Katrina to find housing for displaced households. People can visit the website or they can call this number: 1-877-428-8844 and a person will assist in the use of the site. Almost 1,700 units have been added to since the disaster.

  VIDEO: Flood victims face special challenges in finding housing WESTMINSTER, Colo. — With flood evacuees facing an uphill battle finding temporary housing, Cristine Wright thought she would lend a helping hand. Already in the process of moving out of her home on the Westminster/Federal Heights border, Wright decided she would “preferably” rent to residents looking for temporary housing. Wednesday, she found an evacuated couple from Glen Haven.

  Some big investors take breather in rental market A potential stall in home price gains and a large drop in the number of distressed properties have some big investors pulling out of the single-family rental market. They are getting out at the same time that billions of investor dollars continue to pour in. "I think the investor market is largely past us," Doug Lebda, chief executive of Lending Tree told CNBC. "People were buying investment properties three, four, five years ago. What I hear is that's slowing now."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Metrolist: 'Fall Season Doesn't Phase Denver Housing Market

According to the latest press release from Metrolist: 

The latest data shows local housing demand dramatically surpassing the demand seen in autumns of the past. 
Prices, inventory levels and the number of homes sold have softened, but by all year-over year comparisons, the Denver market is significantly healthier than it was at this time last year. Sixteen percent fewer homes closed in September than in August, but 20 percent more homes closed over this time last year.