Monday, April 2, 2012

Housing News Digest, April 2

Construction Spending in U.S. Unexpectedly Declined in February
Construction spending in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in February, reflecting broad-based declines that indicate the building industry will take time to stabilize.

The 1.1 percent decrease, the biggest in seven months, followed a revised 0.8 percent retreat in January that was larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.6 percent increase.

Weld County targets makeshift housing for oil, gas workers

GREELEY — Weld County officials are not happy that an impromptu "man camp" has emerged just east of Greeley, saying the conglomeration of trailers and campers housing oil and gas workers is posing health and safety problems.

"We are not interested in any land use that creates a man camp," said County Commission Chairman Sean Conway. "To be clear, we do not allow man camps in Weld County."

Report: Economy in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming strong

For the 29th straight month, the overall index for the Mountain States region, a leading economic indicator for the three-state area of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, advanced above the neutral 50.0 , exports from the region bolstering the index.

The overall index, the Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, was 62.6, according to the Goss Institute for Economic Research which conducted the March survey for Supply Management Institutes in the three states.

Private mortgage modifications drop 20% in February
Mortgage servicers completed 20% fewer modifications through private programs in February than the month before, according to the Hope Now alliance.

Roughly 44,500 home loans were modified in February, down from 55,700 in January. Workouts also declined 28% from the nearly 61,000 private mods completed in February 2011, according to Hope Now, an alliance of mortgage servicers, investors and housing counselors.

Expectations rising for housing market's spring season

The spring home-selling season could be the strongest in years and may foreshadow which markets will lead a battered housing industry in an anemic recovery, economists say.

"This spring will be the litmus test for housing demand," says Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist for Mizuho Securities USA.

The spring season typically runs March through June but may have started early this year because of unseasonably warm weather.