Friday, April 13, 2012

Housing News Digest, April 13

RealtyTrac ranks Colorado No. 8
In a report released today, the Irvine, Calif.-based company showed that one out of every 191 households in Colorado were in some stage of foreclosure, from the first filing to the REO (real estate owned) transaction when the bank takes possession of the house. The U.S. average for foreclosures was one out of 230 households. Nevada remained No. 1 for the 62nd consecutive month, with one out of every 95 housing units in foreclosure. Nevada kept the top spot despite its foreclosure activity falling by 62 percent from the first quarter of 2011 and dropping 26 percent from the fourth quarter.

Home sales sizzle in March
Forget about March Madness. The real action last month did not take place on college basketball courts, but came from home buyers snapping up houses in the Denver area.

The number of previously owned homes placed under contract in March jumped by 49.2 percent compared with March 2011, while they rose 28.4 percent from February. Closings were up 39.3 percent from March and 8.3 percent from a year earlier, according to reports released on Thursday. Single-family home prices rose by 5 percent from February, with an average price of $284,035 in March, were up 5 percent and 4 percent on a month-to-month and year-over-year basis, respectively.

Land Investment Is Trending Positively
Over the course of the past few years, both buyers and sellers of farm and ranch land in Colorado have wondered what the future held for land values. Recently, we’ve heard from most market sectors that activity has increased significantly. That trend has been clearly influenced by discerning buyers rebalancing their investment portfolios away from the equity markets and toward hard assets such as land.

Watchdog blasts housing program for 'hardest hit'
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- A federal-state program aimed at helping homeowners in states hardest hit by the mortgage crisis is falling far short of its goals, a federal watchdog said in a report released Thursday.

In the report, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) said that just 3% of $7.6 billion available in the Hardest Hit Housing Markets program -- available for 18 states and the District of Columbia -- had been tapped as of Dec. 31.

Fitch:Commercial Real Estate CDO Delinquencies Up In March
Delinquencies on commercial real estate collateralized debt obligations inched up in March, reflecting a continued decline in total collateral, Fitch Ratings said.

The rate rose to 13.6%, from 13.4% in February. Yet Fitch noted the dollar balance of delinquent assets in March was virtually the same as the prior month. The increased rate, the firm said, is instead the result of a drop in the total collateral balance as a result of realized losses and repayments.