Monday, September 26, 2011

Housing News Digest, September 26

Big housing blow: New home sales fall, again
WASHINGTON - Sales of new U.S. homes fell to a six-month low in August. The fourth straight monthly decline during the peak buying season suggests the housing market is years away from a recovery.

The Commerce Department said Monday that new-home sales fell 2.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 295,000. That's less than half the roughly 700,000 that economists say must be sold to sustain a healthy housing market.

Survey shows first-time homebuyers growing weary of short sales

First-time homebuyers are growing tired of short sales, which take nearly 17 weeks to complete, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance housing survey.

While first-time homebuyers acquired 54.1% of all short-sales in November 2009, the segment's share of acquisition activity fell to 39.7% in August with many buyers losing interest due to several factors slowing down the process, the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance survey showed. The August figure represented a "three-month slide and was the lowest level for first-time homebuyers ever recorded in the survey" of 2,500real estate agents.

Middle class income falls ... but not everywhere
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- For the typical American household, income fell during the recession. But middle class residents in some states were more fortunate than others.

Nationwide, median household income fell to $50,046 in 2010, down 1.4% from 2007, according to Census statistics released last week.

But while the Great Recession wreaked havoc across the nation, wide disparity among the states shows that not all the pain was shared equally. Some Americans were still able to get ahead despite soaring unemployment and the housing collapse.

Amber Homes, co-owner file Chapter 7

Amber Homes Inc. of Aurora and its co-owner both filed Chapter 7 petitions Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver.

The company listed assets of $568,100 and liabilities of $45.28 million. James William Harmon, who owns 50 percent of Amber Homes, listed assets of $310,976 and liabilities of $46.27 million. Harmon lists among his assets 15 firearms, including rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers worth a combined $3,450.

Colorado Springs unveils airport business park
Colorado Springs wants to get the word out about the new city-owned Cresterra business park just south of the Colorado Springs Airport, The Gazette reports.

With just a handful of companies the business park has attracted so far, the city threw a "takeoff event" to attract potential users who could fill the available 1,300 acres.