Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Housing News Digest, February 15

Home Builder Confidence Reaches Highest Level in Four Years

Home builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose to its highest level in more than four years in February, according to a new survey released on Wednesday.

Confidence on the National Association of Home Builder's monthly sentiment index jumped 4 points to 29. Fifty, however, is still the line between positive and negative sentiment.

Garfield County suspends affordable housing rules
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — Home builders looking to develop in unincorporated areas of Garfield County will have a free pass on the county's affordable housing requirements for three years.

County commissioners, at their regular Monday meeting, unanimously approved the “building incentive” designed to spur more housing construction in the county.

The latest move by the commissioners suspends the affordable housing obligation for developers starting March 1 of this year until March 2015.

Expansion blocked for West Elk coal mine in Gunnison County

A decision to allow a 1,700-acre expansion of the West Elk Coal Mine in Gunnison County did not adequately address endangered species and geological risks, a U.S. Forest Service hearings officer has ruled.

An environmental assessment of the mine expansion by the Montrose-based Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest staff had determined that there were no adverse impacts from the proposed expansion.

Housing inventory declines may prove temporary
Crucial housing market metrics are beginning to look better to start the year, but the recent uptick may only be the result of a delayed foreclosure process.

At the end of January, most metro areas saw prices stabilizing, even picking up in some of the hardest hit areas like Miami and Las Vegas, according to Altos Research.