Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Housing News Digest, September 13

Timber Ridge loan not a sure thing
VAIL, Colorado — With initial financing approvals from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the redevelopment of the eastern side of Timber Ridge is starting to look like it's within reach.

The $45 million project has faced delay after delay in the last year. Rockfall mitigation work slowed it down the first time around, and the HUD financing delays slowed it down again.

Garfield County commissioners give their approval to energy loan program

NEW CASTLE, Colorado — A new energy loan program approved by the Garfield Board of County Commissioners on Monday aims to encourage lenders to make loans for energy efficiency and improvement projects, as well as stimulate local jobs creation.

“This truly is economic development,” County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said of the Garfield Clean Energy Credit Reserve Fund Program. “It keeps money in the county, which is good, and it has the potential to create jobs.”

Commissioners, meeting at the New Castle Fire Station Monday, voted 2-1 to enter into a contract with the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) to manage the program.

Colorado's foreclosure flip

Only five states are in better shape than Colorado when it comes to foreclosures and other distressed properties, according to a recently released report.

Colorado, especially in the Denver area, was one of the first states to be hit by the foreclosure crisis, while other states such as California, Arizona, Florida and Nevada were still enjoying the boom part of the real estate cycle, before the bubble burst.

By every measure - percentage of loans that are delinquent, percentage of home loans in default and mortgages that are not-current - Colorado is in far better shape than those once high-flying states, as well as the entire U.S., shows the July “Mortgage Monitor” report by Lender Processing Services Inc. The Jacksonville, Fla. company tracks data on about 40 million loans nationwide.

Denver housing market tightens

A lack of inventory — or, more precisely, "compelling" inventory, as some agents call it — has complicated homebuying for people such as Schorr and added yet another strain on a long-stressed housing market.

Homes in the $300,000-to- $600,000 range in Denver's older neighborhoods and places such as Highlands Ranch can move surprisingly fast, said Michelle Ackerman, a broker with Redfin who is helping Schorr find a home.

More than 22% of mortgages still underwater
Nearly 11 million properties, roughly 22.5% of all U.S. homes, were worth less than the underlying mortgage in the second quarter, according to CoreLogic (CLGX: 11.73 +2.80%).

The percentage of properties in negative equity declined slightly from 22.7% the previous quarter and down from 24% one year ago. Another 2.4 million borrowers held less than 5% equity in their home, what analysts call near-negative equity. CoreLogic also showed nearly three-quarters of all underwater borrowers are paying above-market interest on their home loans.