Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Housing News Digest, January 17

Construction underway at former Shady Acres site in Lafayette
Three months after the groundbreaking for Boulder County Housing Authority's 153-unit Josephine Commons senior and low-income housing project in Lafayette, work crews launched construction on a 120-unit senior housing development less than a half mile away.

Affinity at Lafayette -- originally dubbed Traditions at Lafayette -- broke ground in recent weeks at the former site of Shady Acres mobile home park on Baseline Road, just east of U.S. Highway 287.

The project -- spearheaded by the Inland Group, which is based in Spokane, Wash. -- is described as a senior independent living apartment community and is scheduled for completion in November.

Can China's Rich Solve America's Real Estate Problem?
China’s in the news this morning for economic growth that’s not as bad as investors expected. But one of the most interesting features of my recent trip to Hong Kong and Singapore — not in the news today — was the incredible economic power of outflowing Chinese capital.

Fitch: 'Mild' 2012 recovery for housing
Fitch Ratings said the foundation is in place for "mild" recovery for the U.S. housing sector, though the economy continues to temper a revival.

In a report released Tuesday, the ratings service said it expects existing home sales to grow 3% for 2012, with single-family housing starts and new home sales up 5% and 5.5%, respectively.

Vacant Foreclosures Saddle Local Communities With High Costs
Ten states saw vacancies go up by 70 percent or more, largely as a result of high foreclosure rates. Those with the largest increases over the last decade were Nevada (126 percent), Minnesota (100 percent), New Hampshire (99 percent), Arizona (92 percent), and Florida (90 percent). Georgia, Michigan, Colorado, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts also experienced increases above 70 percent.

The elevated number of vacant homes carries with it a hefty price tag for lenders that must resume ownership after foreclosure. GAO found that in 2010, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reimbursed servicers and vendors over $953 million for property maintenance costs.