Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Colorado Springs apartment vacancies fall to lowest level since 2001

See here for full report.

Apartment vacancy rates in the Colorado Springs area fell to 5.8 percent during the second quarter of 2010, falling to the lowest vacancy rate reported since 2001. According to a report released today by the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, overall vacancies fell in the Colorado Springs area from a rate of 9.8 percent reported during the second quarter of 2009. The rate fell from 2010’s first quarter rate of 6.9 percent. The Colorado Springs-area vacancy rate has not experienced an increase since the first quarter of 2009.

The first quarter’s rate of 5.8 percent is the lowest vacancy rate recorded since the third quarter or 2001 when vacancies were 5.4 percent. The vacancy rate rose to 8.9 percent during the fourth quarter of 2001, and never fell below 8 percent again until this year.

“Increases in the local troop population have clearly been a factor, but we’re also seeing the impacts of very little new production in multifamily housing in recent years,” said Gordon Von Stroh, the report’s author and a professor of business at The University of Denver. “Not all permits translate into actual completed units, and for buildings with five or more units, only eight permits were issued for units in a single building in 2009. Zero permits have been issued through May of this year.”

Year over year, vacancy rates fell the most in the Southeast market area of Colorado Springs where vacancy rates were more than cut in half from 17.8 percent to 6.7 percent. Vacancy rates were lowest in the Far Northeast and Southwest market areas with vacancy rates of 4.7 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

Vacancy rates for all market areas were: Northwest, 6.0 percent; Northeast, 5.8 percent; Far Northeast, 4.7 percent, Southeast, 6.7 percent; Security/Widefield/Fountain, 11.7 percent; Southwest, 3.7 percent; Central, 7.7 percent.

In spite of significant drops in vacancy rates, the metro area’s overall average rent increased only slightly year over year. This year’s second quarter average rent rose to $719.22 from 2009’s second-quarter rent of $717.65. In individual market areas, from the second quarter of last year to the same period this year, average rents fell in the Northeast, Far Northeast and Security/Widefield/Fountain areas. During the same period, average rents rose in the Northwest, Southeast, Southwest and Central market areas.

“Average rents have increased in the area, but a lack of job growth across the region will keep some downward pressure on rents,” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing. “This rent data is from June, and June employment data shows that year-over-year employment in El Paso County fell by about seven thousand. It’s tough for apartment owners to raise rents in such an environment.”

Average rents for all market areas were: Northwest, $765.40; Northeast, $703.97; Far Northeast, $840.25, Southeast, $613.56; Security/Widefield/Fountain, $615.66; Southwest, $733.66; Central, $659.79.

Apartment Realty Advisors is also a major sponsor of this report. The Vacancy and Rent Surveys are a service provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Colorado Division of Housing and the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado to renters and the multi-family housing industry on a quarterly basis. The Colorado Springs Area Vacancy and Rent Survey reports averages and, as a result, there are often differences in rental and vacancy rates by size, location, age of building, and apartment type. For more information, please contact the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado at ; or please visit the Colorado Division of Housing web site:

$198,250 awarded to Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs has announced that $198,250 in HOME funds has been awarded to the Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust in El Paso County.

Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust (RMCLT) received a grant of $198,250 to support their on-going scattered-site homeownership program in Colorado Springs and El Paso County. These funds will be used to assist with the acquisition of thirteen (13) properties. Through the Community Land Trust model, the RMCLT acquires and holds title to the land permanently and grants to the homeowner use of the land investment via a 99-year land lease that can be renewed for an additional 99 years. The RMCLT connects with potential homebuyers through the Realtor community, the City of Colorado Springs acquisition/rehabilitation program, and new homebuilders.

$1,035,000 in NSP funds awarded to Jeffco

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs has announced that $1,035,000 in Neighborhood Stabilization Funds have been awarded for the acquisition and rehabilitation of Kendall Street Apartments in Jefferson County.

The Jefferson County Housing Authority (JCHA) received a grant of $1,035,000 in Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds to acquire and rehabilitate the Kendall Street Apartments. This property is located at 3905-4035 Kendall Street in Wheat Ridge, Jefferson County. All of the 21 units will serve households at 50% AMI or lower with some of these apartments available to people who receive services at Jefferson Center for Mental Health that have demonstrated readiness for independent living. JCHA management will provide building supervision and JCMH will support their consumers to ensure their success in this environment. Rehabilitation work includes new furnaces, windows and doors to improve the buildings’ energy efficiency.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Building permits up 39 percent year-to-date

Building permits for new housing construction in Colorado are up 39 percent for the period of January through May as compared to the same period last year. According to housing permit data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, there were 5,089 housing permits issued in Colorado from January to May during this year. There were 3,650 during the same period last year.

However, during the same period of 2005, which saw the largest number of new permits since the national recession of 2001, permits for 2010 are down 73 percent. 18,855 permits were issued from January to May of 2005.

Year-long totals reflect very similar trends. The permit total for 2003, following the national recession of 2001, fell only to 39,446, and had climbed again to 46,000 by the end of 2005. However, by the time of the substantial weakening of the real estate markets in 2007, total permits issued for the year had fallen to 30,420. 2009's annual total for permits issued was 9,393.

The drop in building permits in recent years reflects the increased difficulty in obtaining financing for new residential building projects, as well as growth in housing inventory during the same period. Since 2009, housing inventory has slowly diminished, and rent growth has begun to appear in multifamily and single-family rentals. This would indicate future demand for more building. However, continued difficulty in obtaining financing for construction will diminish demand for new construction, while overall concern about economic growth will continue to drive caution.

Prices up 0.1 percent in the West

Prices in the West, the region that includes Colorado, inched up 0.6 percent from June 2009 to June 2010. According to new Consumer Prince Index data, released today by the U.S. Department of Labor, Overall prices in the region advanced year over year, but fell 0.1 percent from May 2010 to June.

Transportation prices in the region increased the most, year-over-year, as prices increased 5.2 percent. Medical care posted the second largest increase at 3.4 percent. The largest drop in prices was found in housing as prices dropped 1.5 percent, year over year, and 0.2 percent since May 2010.

Nationally, price increases were slightly larger with the CPI's U.S. City Average up 1.1 percent overall, measured year over year. From May 2010 to June 2010, prices fell 0.1 percent. The CPI for housing was considerably more robust at the national level with housing down less than half as much as in the West with a drop of 0.6 percent. This is to be expected since the West, for the purposes of CPI data, includes states with real estate that has been hard hit by foreclosures such as California, Arizona, and Nevada.

Falling prices have been driven by generally weak demand for a wide variety of goods driven by stagnant wages and job losses across the nation and the region. This week, consumer confidence fell to the lowest levels seen since August 2009, reflecting continued concerns among consumers about economic conditions.

Housing prices, for example, have been driven by lackluster growth in both median home prices and in rents across much of the West and in Colorado.

The CPI measures price inflation or price deflation only, and does not directly reflect increases in the money supply.

The All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the West stood at 221.147 (1982-84=100). This means a market basket of goods and services that cost $100.00 in 1982-84 would have cost $221.14 2010.

1st Quarter Home Price Summary: Home prices indices fall in Colorado's metro areas

FHFA shows measured price declines

Metropolitan home prices in Colorado, based on home sales and on mortgage refinances, showed declines in all metro areas of Colorado. According to the Federal Housing and Finance Agency's first quarter 2010 home price report, Grand Junction and Greeley showed the largest year-over-year declines in home prices with index drops of 10.9 percent and 4.91 percent, respectively.

Pueblo showed the smallest decrease with a fall of 2.54 percent, with Fort Collins-Loveland showing a similar drop of 2.94 percent.

The overall Colorado index, based only on home sales and excluding refinances, showed increases in the Colorado home price index. Since the Colorado index peaked during the second quarter of 2007, the index has fallen 4.1 percent, but it has risen 1.5 percent since the first quarter of last year.

Although home values across the state are down year-over-year, several Colorado metro areas have shown significant price increases over the five-year period since 2005. Comparing to the first quarter of 2005, Grand Junction showed the largest gains with home prices rising 23.06 percent, while Colorado Springs showed gains of 4.82 percent. Only the Greeley area showed home price losses over five years with a 5-year drop of 10.3 percent.

It is likely that Grand Junction's substantial home price increase over the past five years reflects a delayed downturn in the real estate markets given the prevalence of oil and gas activity that continued into 2008 while much of the state was experiencing significant declines in home sales activity and high numbers of foreclosures.

Greeley's value losses over five years reiterate the fact that Greeley was one of the earliest communities to feel the impact of foreclosures and declining demand for for-sale housing.

For all metro areas, the one-year percent changes were:

Colo. Springs, -3.36%
Denver-Aurora, -3.65%
Ft. Coll.-Loveland, -2.94%
Grand Jct., -10.9 %
Greeley, -4.91 %
Pueblo, -2.54 %

For all metro areas, the five year percent changes were:

Colo. Springs, 4.82%
Denver-Aurora, -.03%
Fort Coll.-Loveland, 0.38%
Grand Junction, 23.06%
Greeley, -10.30%
Pueblo, 3.47%

Single-family home prices increase, while condos and townhouse prices drop during the first quarter

The FHFA data shows re-finance activity, but home sales as reflected by broker listings in the MLS data shows statewide increases in median home prices of 3 percent for single-family homes and a 25% drop in median prices for townhomes and condos.

The number of transactions statewide increased 5 percent for single-family homes and increased 22 percent for condos and townhomes. Single-family median prices incrased from $206,667 to $212,500, while condo and townhome median prices fell from $195,000 to $146,667.

In metro Denver, median single-family prices increased 18 percent and the number of units sold increased 1 percent. Year over year in metro Denver, the median single-family price increased from $190,734 to $224,207. Condo and townhouse prices increased 12 percent while the number of units sold increased 14 percent. Condo and townhouse median prices increased from $118,723 to $132,800.

Metro Denver reported the largest increase in single-family median prices, while Loveland reported the largest decline with a drop of 15 percent from $233,333 during the first quarter of 2009 to $197,500 during the 1st quarter of this year.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New RCAC Events in Salt Lake City

From the Rural Community Assistance Corp:

We are pleased to announce that Rural Community Assistance Corporation, the State of Utah Division of Housing and Community Development, Morgan Stanley, Utah Housing Coalition, NeighborWorks America, and HUD are sponsoring 2 affordable housing project development workshops to be held in Salt Lake City UT on August 10-11 and November 2-3, 2010.

Level 1, August 10-11, Workshop includes an overview of the HUD HOME Program and its’ role in Affordable Housing Development. The interactive workshop will bring the HOME Program to life. Participants will gain knowledge of the HOME Program and the development process.

Level 2, November 2-3, Advanced Workshop builds upon the August Workshop and engages participants in a model Development Charette; taking a project from conception to reality.

These valuable workshops are directed to: Community Housing Development Organizations, rural housing agencies, nonprofit housing developers and those interested in learning more about the HUD HOME Program and affordable housing project development.

Please refer to the attached flyer and registration form for more information. Register online at The workshops are open to organizations in HUD Region VIII, which includes Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, South and North Dakotas. Space is limited so please register early to ensure your spot.

For questions on workshop content, contact Carol Cohen at [email protected] or by phone at 801/521-2169. For questions on registration contact Mark Wiseman at [email protected] or by phone at 916/447-9832 ext. 1029.

Foreclosure Reports and Vacancy Surveys are now on the main web site

Sometimes it takes a little while for new reports and documents to be put on the main web page. However, if you're looking for a new document or report you've heard about, the blog is sure to have it, and the blog is searchable in the top left corner.

Today, all foreclosure and vacancy reports through the first quarter are now in their permanent locations on the main page. See the "Researchers" page:

$1,609,675 in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds has been awarded to Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network

The Department of Local Affairs has announced that $1,609,675 in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds has been awarded to Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network for the following project:

Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network (ADMHN) received a grant of $1,609,675 in Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds to acquire and rehabilitate Fox Street Apartments. The property is located at 5386-5388 S. Fox Street in Littleton, Arapahoe County. It has 2 buildings with 8 units each, with 8 one bedroom apartments and 8 two bedroom apartments. One unit will be set aside for an on-site manager earning up to 120% AMI, and the other 15 units will serve households at 50% AMI or lower. Some of these apartments will be available to those who receive services at ADMHN and who have demonstrated their readiness for independent living. ADMHN management will provide building supervision, and in particular, support for ADMHN clients to ensure their success in this environment. Rehab work will include new boilers and new windows to improve the buildings’ energy efficiency.

Summit County awarded $99,776 in CDBG funds

The Department of Local Affairs has announced that $99,776.00 in CDBG funds has been awarded to Summit County for the following project:

Summit County will receive a $99,776 CDBG grant to continue funding for an existing down payment assistance program operated by the Summit Combined Housing Authority (SCHA). The program serves people who are employed in Summit County and whose income is below 80% AMI, and it is not restricted to first-time homebuyers. Buyers make monthly payments to SCHA based on a 3% interest rate and 20-year term. The SHA requests funding for 16 loans, with an average loan amount of about $18,000. Homebuyers are required to participate in a CHFA-certified homebuyer training program, which SCHA provides. This program is operated in accordance with the CDOH Down Payment Assistance Program Guidelines.

Chaffee County awarded $51,470

The Department of Local Affairs has announced that $51,470.00 in HOME-CHDO funds has been awarded to Chaffee County for the following project:

Chaffee Housing Trust (CHT) has been awarded a $51,470 operating grant to complete their first development, Crestone Heights, and to begin their next project. Operating funds will be used for staff time spent on construction monitoring as well as predevelopment activities including: researching and analyzing of financing options, evaluating proformas, reviewing contracts, coordinating legal documents, etc. CHT was incorporated in 2007 as a community land trust in the Chaffee County area, with a focus on affordable homeownership development.

Neighborhood Stabilization in Aurora (Video)

Here's a short video treatment of the "deconstruction" program funded by the Neighborhood Stabilization program and administered by Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver and the City of Aurora. This project represents one of the many efforts now taking place across the state using a total of $53 million in Neighborhood Stabilization funds.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Weatherization Program Funding


The Colorado Governor's Energy Office and Energy Outreach Colorado are excited to announce the launch of the 2010/2011 Centrally-Heated Multifamily Weatherization grant funding cycle on July 1, 2010.

You are receiving this announcement because you have expressed interest or may have a centrally-heated multifamily property that could be eligible for weatherization services for 2010/2011 program year. The online application will open at 3:00 PM on Thursday, July 1, 2010, and will close on 11:59 PM on Friday, August 13, 2010. To review program details and submit an application, please visit and follow the instructions to create a login and password.

Once you create a login, you will be guided through a program overview and required reading pages which must be read and acknowledged before you will be able to begin a property application. You will be able to create applications for multiple proposed centrally-heated properties if you wish; these will all be accessible through the same login and password. We strongly encourage you to "save your work" frequently as you complete the applications so no data is lost.

You will have the opportunity to access and edit your applications throughout the open application period, or until you follow the instructions to "submit" each property once its information is complete.

We appreciate your interest in this program and look forward to receiving your applications.

PLEASE NOTE: this program is specifically offered for eligible properties having 5 or more dwelling units and a CENTRAL heating system. If you have a multifamily property in which the dwelling units are INDIVIDUALLY heated (in-unit furnaces, for example), please do NOT submit an application for the Multifamily Weatherization Program through EOC. These properties will be served through another program; to request information about the individually heated weatherization program, please contact Sean Mandel [email protected] at the Governor's Energy Office.

Job Opening -Greccio Housing

Non-Profit Executive Director - Affordable Housing

Greccio Housing is a Colorado nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and one of the oldest nonprofit affordable housing providers in the region. Through our public-private partnerships, donations, and volunteer efforts, Greccio purchases and rehabilitates rental properties and rents them at reduced rates to qualified, low-income individuals, couples, and families with children. Greccio’s goal is to double the number of housing units it owns and expand its supportive services to over 1200 residents within the next 3 years. Since its inception, 20 years ago, Greccio has provided shelter for over 4950 people.

Greccio fulfills its mission through its two interlocking programs: the Affordable Housing Program and the Resident Enrichment Program. By offering these programs in tandem, Greccio offers affordable rental housing to qualified, low-income families and individuals along with the tools, resources and a foundation of support that empower residents to lead more independent, productive, and fulfilled lives.

We are seeking an experienced Executive Director who will:

• Work closely with the Board of Directors to recommend goals and solutions and to implement organizational initiatives.
• Provide leadership, development and motivation to staff and oversee all management of Greccio Housing and its programs.
• Analyze, understand and act on financial opportunities with knowledge of the real estate market and the complexity of real estate transactions and funding mechanisms.

The ideal candidate will posses:

• A background in Housing Development, Real Estate Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Property Management within the affordable housing market.
• Previous Experience in a leadership position within a Non-Profit environment.
• Personnel management and development experience with an understanding of HR regulations.
• Experience presenting to the public both verbally and in writing in a PR capacity with poise and passion.
• Proven relationships that consist of leading/collaborating with community leaders and funding parties within Colorado.
• Strong Financial Management skills including budget creation and management and P&L; responsibilities as demonstrated by past business success.
• A commitment to the community and the stabilization and enrichment of the lives of Greccio clients.

This is an opportunity for a leader to continue to build on the past success of a highly respected non-profit to serve a community that is experiencing the greatest level of need within our 20 year history.

This position will commence in Fall 2010. Compensation includes Salary, Medical, Dental, Life Ins., and PTO. No Relocation costs will be paid.
Submit Résumé, Letter of Interest and Salary Requirements to: [email protected]