Friday, January 13, 2012

Housing News Digest, January 13

2011's foreclosure rate lowest since pre-recession
About 1.9 million homes entered the foreclosure process in 2011, the lowest level since 2007 when the recession began, according to a report Thursday by the foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.

The firm cautioned that the decline does not necessarily indicate that the housing market is getting better, as many foreclosures have been delayed due to confusion over documentation and legal issues involved in the process.

Year-end local real estate round-up
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — In a nutshell, “up,” “up,” “lower” and “maybe” are the most simple, succinct terms to describe the local real estate market as a whole in 2011 as well as the fourth quarter.

This week, Bob Reece, president of Advanced Title Co., released his quarterly local real estate report and year-end wrap-up.

The first “up” is volume of homes sold in 2011 vs. 2010 — 3,083 in 2011 as opposed to 2,535 in 2010. Fourth quarter 2011 was also up over same period in 2010 — 760 vs. 622. Both comparisons amount to 22% increases in 2011 versus 2010.

Commercial real estate makes slight progress in 2011

Statistically, there were slight improvements in some sectors of the Colorado Springs commercial real estate market in 2011, a new report shows. Realistically, the market has a ways to go before it rebounds to where it was five to six years ago.

The combined vacancy rate for offices, shopping centers and industrial buildings — key commercial market sectors — dipped to 11.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, down nearly a full percentage point from a year earlier, according to the latest report by Paul Turner of Turner Commercial Research of Colorado Springs, which tracks the commercial market.

Little Alarm Shown at Fed At Dawn of Housing Bust
In his second meeting as chairman of the Federal Reserve in May 2006, Ben Bernanke heard a Fed governor warn about the nation's mortgage market. But Mr. Bernanke described the cooling of the housing boom as a "healthy thing."

"So far we are seeing, at worst, an orderly decline in the housing market," he said.