Thursday, October 20, 2011

Housing News Digest, October 20

NoCo residential listings down; median prices firming up in some areas
Residential real estate listings are down in all three Northern Colorado areas monitored by the multiple listing service Information and Real Estate Service. The good news is that median prices are up in some parts of the region.

In the Fort Collins area, single-family detached listings decreased to 1,243 in September from 1,310 in August and from 1,390 in September 2010.

Median sales prices decreased for detached units in Fort Collins, from $268,700 to $242,460 year-over-year in September.

Bybee resigns from Metrolist
Some top brokers, privately, said that Bybee’s resignation opens an opportunity to create a regional, statewide or even participating in a national MLS system.

“Metrolist has a myriad of problems,” said one broker, who talked on the condition that he not be identified. “Everything they’ve been doing has been putting a Band-Aid on legacy programs. Now, they have an opportunity to move forward in a way to better serve Realtors and to better serve consumers. We have too many MLSs. What really need is a statewide MLS - or even a nationwide MLS - and this provides an opportunity to move in that direction.”

Long-time Realtor Jeff Bernard shared some of those sentiments, although he emphasized he is fond of Bybee on a personal level.

Solera sells for record $37 million
A New Jersey based company today paid $37 million for Solera, the 11-story, 120-unit luxury high-rise in downtown developed by Denver-based Zocalo Community Development.

The price of $308,333 per unit the Connell Co. of Berkeley Heights, N.J. paid for the energy efficient building at 1956 Lawrence St. is a record in Colorado. It also is a record on a price-per-square-foot basis. The building, developed by Zocalo and Principal Real Estate Investors, includes 5,200 square feet of retail space.

Solera also is downtown Denver’s first Gold-certified LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, apartment tower. The building opened a year ago.

Renters Outspend Owners on Housing
Renters now spend five percent more of their household budgets on housing costs than do homeowners, and the difference is growing as rents rise.

Since 2005, homeowners' expenditures for housing have risen from 31.9 percent of their household budget to 33.2 percent, but renters' costs have risen even more from 35.6 percent to 38.4 percent, according to the October CoreLogic U.S. Housing and Mortgage Trends.

Since 1985, homeowners have increased their housing expenditure allocation by 12 percent, while renters increased by 22 percent.

Existing home sales fall 3% in September
Existing home sales fell 3% in September, but remain above year ago levels, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

During the month of September, existing home sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 4.91 million units, down from 5.06 million in August, NAR said.

That is still up 11.3% from 4.41 million units in September of last year.