Friday, December 16, 2011

Housing News Digest, December 16

Single dorm rooms on the rise at colleges

"This generation of students has grown up with their private bedrooms," said Terry Giardino, assistant facilities director at Montclair State. Many also like the security of a single because they think it's safer for their expensive laptops and other electronics.

Increased interest in single rooms started in the 1990s, but has now become a nationwide trend with many schools planning and building dormitories with singles, often configured in suites with shared bathrooms and lounge areas.

"The days of a common bathroom at the end of the hallway are gone," declared Karen Pennington, vice president for student development and campus life at Montclair.

UBS forecaster: Negative real estate outlook in U.S., Colorado
The Colorado and U.S. residential and commercial real estate markets will likely “bounce along the bottom” for the next three to five years, with the multifamily sector being the bright spot, according to Jonathan Woloshin of UBS.

The large amount of negative equity in the system (people who owe more than their homes are worth) and low median price on foreclosed homes will have a depressing effect on the residential market for several years, according to Woloshin.

Colorado Springs commercial real estate sales still stalled

Commercial real estate in the Pikes Peak region has taken a few small steps forward on its way toward a recovery, yet don't expect significant gains next year, according to a forecast by Sierra Commercial Real Estate, a Colorado Springs brokerage.

Businesses are leasing new office and retail space, investors are purchasing commercial properties and some retailers and industrial users have announced expansion plans, Sierra officials said.

Freddie Mac Mandates Servicer Participation in State Mortgage Programs

Freddie Mac has notified servicers that they are required to take part in mortgage assistance programs offered by state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) in connection with the federal government’s Hardest Hit Fund initiative.

“[E]ffective immediately, you must begin accepting modification assistance program funds from participating HFAs on behalf of eligible borrowers with Freddie Mac-owned or guaranteed mortgages,” the McLean, Virginia-based GSE wrote in a bulletin update sent to its mortgage servicers on Tuesday.