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REO Stigma Fades for Home Buyers, Survey Shows
The number of home buyers who say they are interested in purchasing a foreclosure has nearly tripled in the last two-and-a-half years, according to a new survey by What's more, 92% of those buyers say they would use the foreclosures as their primary residence rather than using them as investments. Nearly 65% of buyers say they're likely to buy a foreclosure today compared to 25% who said that in October 2009.
Read article - Realtor Magazine



Now on sale at Costco: Mortgages
After a year of testing, Costco is rolling out a full-service mortgage lending program on its website in partnership with First Choice Bank, a New Jersey-based community bank, and 10 other lenders. Costco's partners have issued more than 10,000 mortgages to members under the program. But Lauren Kutschka, Costco's manager of financial services, expects that number to swell as the warehouse retailer markets the service more aggressively to millions of members in its stores and in its weekly publication Connection.
Read article - CNN Money 


New Rules Aim to Speed up Short Sales
The short sale process could get a lot quicker starting this summer under new rules that will require lenders to respond to offers within a month. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation's two largest mortgage backers, will implement the guidelines on June 15. The changes require mortgage servicers to make a decision within 30 days of receiving a short sale offer. They also must consider requests for pre-approved short sales within that same timeframe.
Read article - RISMedia 

FHA Delays Loan Rule on Borrower Credit Disputes
er being criticized that a new rule could shut out too many borrowers, the FHA says it will postpone implementing the rule, which would make it tougher for borrowers with credit disputes ...on their records to qualify for an FHA-backed mortgage. The new rule took effect April 1, but after the first week of rolling it out, FHA announced it has decided to postpone the rule until July 1.
Read article - Realtor Magazine
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Low-ball Offers a Thing of the Past?
ccording to a NAR survey this March of 4,500 agents and brokers, no REALTORS® complained about low-ball offers. The main problem nowadays: The sudden drop in inventory of for-sale homes has led to homes available to sell. For home buyers who still think they have a chance of hitting it lucky with a low-ball offer, they're finding in many markets that their offers are more often being rejected or countered closer to the original asking price.
Read article - Realtor Magazine
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Principal forgiveness on mortgages gains appeal
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could save $1.7 billion if they forgave principal on some distressed mortgages, new analysis shows. The Federal Housing Finance Agency - which regulates the mortgage giants - may decide in the next few weeks about whether to use principal forgiveness as a foreclosure prevention tactic. The FHFA have come under pressure to allow Freddie and Fannie, which own or guarantee 60% of all home loans, to do principal forgiveness.
Read article - USA Today 



 Metro Denver Tops Nation in Construction Jobs Added
Metro Denver leads the nation in new construction jobs, thanks largely to a handful of big projects that have contractors scrambling to hire workers. The Denver-Aurora-Broomfield metropolitan area added 6,300 construction jobs from February 2011 to February of this year. Among those projects are Exempla St. Joseph's Hospital, the Colorado Supreme Court building, the South Terminal at Denver International Airport, RTD rail development, the veterans hospital at Fitzsimons, and other Fitzsimons expansions at Children's Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado Hospital.
Read article - Denver Post 


Bauer sees lots of upside to Metrolist home-sales numbers for Denver area
One word describes real estate analyst Gary Bauer's metro Denver home sales report for March: "up." Inventory is up. Activity is up, with more sales and more contracts being written. And prices are up. "On a percentage change basis, for March's month-over-month, this is the second best report in all the records that I have going back to 1985," said Bauer. The inventory of homes for sale rose 2% in March from February, to 10,325 homes. Buyers put contracts on 5,328 homes in March, a 28% increase from the prior month and a 49% increase from March 2011. Average sales price for condos and homes went up to $259,422 - a 5% hike from February and a 4% jump from the average price in March 2011.
Read article - Denver Business Journal 


Denver commercial real estate markets improve in Q1
The market for metro Denver's commercial real estate continued improving in the first quarter, as businesses from all three submarkets absorbed more space than was left vacant. The office submarket led the way with 285,000 square feet of positive absorption in the first quarter, the report states. LoDo continues as the hottest office market in the state, with few available big blocks of space and median rent rates of $24.35 per square foot. The highest rent for an office micromarket came from Skyline, where median rents are $28.15 per square foot.
Read article - Denver Business Journal 


Market conversion: Evolution of Denver's River North takes root with apartments
Developers have started construction on two apartment projects in Denver's River North neighborhood, providing a fresh signal that the area is poised for rejuvenation. It's not just new apartment projects that are breathing life into the neighborhood. Zeppelin, who recognized the area's potential early on, continues to add on to his Taxi development at the former site of Yellow Cab's central Denver office. A 40,000-square-foot office building - Drive - is under construction and already is 75 percent leased, and he has converted an old freight-truck maintenance building into space for a biotech company.
Read article - Denver Post 


Case-Shiller: Denver home prices up from year ago
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indix showed home prices in metro Denver dropping 0.6% in January from December. However, Denver was among only three metro areas able to squeeze out gains over the 12 months ending in January. Denver's 12-month price rise was 0.2%. Scott Webber, president of Greenwood Village-based Fuller Sotheby's International Realty feels a more important indicator than the marginal gain in home prices is a substantial reduction in the number of homes on the market. Last month, the inventory of unsold homes was down 42% from the same month last year. Webber said demand is especially strong in central Denver neighborhoods for properties priced under $1 million.
ead article - Denver Post
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New FHA Rule to 'Kick Some Buyers Out'?
The Federal Housing Administration announced that starting April 1 it will not insure mortgages to borrowers who have an ongoing credit dispute of $1,000 or more on their file. To be considered for FHA-backed loan, borrowers will either have to pay the remaining balance on the credit dispute or enter into a payment plan, making at least three payments on it. Any payment plans will need to be documented and submitted to FHA, which will then figure it into the debt-to-income ratio for the new mortgage.
Read article - Realtor Magazine
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Housing starts fall, but new home permits soar
U.S. housing starts fell in February, but permits for future construction jumped to their highest level since October 2008, according to a government report on Tuesday that showed steady improvement in the housing market. The Commerce Department said housing starts slipped 1.1% from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000 units. Compared to February last year, residential construction was up 34.7% - the biggest year-on-year rise since April 2010. New building permits surged 5.1% to a 717,000-unit pace last month, far exceeding economists' expectations.
Read article - MSNBC



State revenue forecast improves by $164.5 million
Thanks to an improving economy, the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting Monday announced the state general fund revenue is projected to be $164.5 million higher in the next fiscal year than was forecast in December. The net increase to the general fund will be $149 million because of declining severance tax revenue. The overall increase is mainly attributable to continued improvement in the job market and increased confidence among households and businesses. "There are lots of reason to be optimistic about the direction of Colorado's economy," said Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Read article - Northern Colorado Business Report



Short Sales Get Shorter: New Deadlines to go into Effect
As part of a settlement with state attorneys general, the five largest mortgage servicers are adopting new requirements for short sales, which is expected to speed-up the process. This article covers some of the new requirements, including:
*Servicers must provide borrowers with a decision within 30 days after receiving a short sale package request.
*Servicers will be required to notify a borrower, also within 30 days, if any necessary documents are missing to process the short sale request.
*Servicers must notify a borrower immediately if a deficiency payment is needed to approve the short sale.
Read article - Realtor Magazine


Vacancies scarce in rental houses in metro area, rents rise
Vacancies in rental condos, single-family homes and other small properties across the Denver metro area rose slightly during the fourth quarter although the market remained tight with a rate of 2.1%. The average rent in the Denver area for single-family and similar properties rose to $1,062 during 2011's fourth quarter; rising 3.2% from 2010's fourth-quarter average rent of $1,029. Average rents for all counties were: Adams, $1,186; Arapahoe, $1,006; Denver, $992; Douglas, $1,416; and Jefferson, $1,021.

Read article - Denver Post


Seniors, Young Adults Will Influence Housing
Aging Baby Boomers and their "Echo Boomer" children will significantly impact trends in the nation's housing market over the next 20 years. Over the next two decades, the aging baby boomer generation will swell the nation's senior population by 30 million. That demographic shift will likely help increase the supply of housing, since people over age 65 typically release much more housing than they absorb. "Housing, jobs, and the economy are inextricably connected," says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "A strong recovery with favorable housing market conditions would encourage substantial growth in Echo Boomer households, which would help absorb the current vacant inventory and stabilize conditions for residential construction."
Read article - Realtor Magazine 


Employment forecast in Denver metro area 5th best in the nation
The Denver-Aurora metropolitan job market is expected to be among the strongest in the nation, according to a quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for Denver released today. More than 140 employers in the Denver area were interviewed about their hiring intentions for the next quarter, with 18% interviewed saying they planned to hire. Among the survey participants, the Denver-Aurora employment is the fifth best in the nation, according to the report.
Read article - Denver Post



Metro Denver home sales on the upswing
If February is any indication, 2012 is going to be a better year for home sales in metro Denver, according to Metrolist. Last month, 4,150 homes were put under contract - up 19% from the previous month and up 12% from February 2011. February's inventory of unsold homes was 10,086 - down 3% from January and down a whopping 42% from February 2011. As far as homes sold, there were 2,495 last month, which is up 1% from January and up 12% from the same month last year. The average price for all single-family units, homes and condos was $248,821 - down slightly from January (1%), but up 2% from February 2011.
Read article - Denver Business Journal 


Obama reduces refi costs for some mortgages
Borrowers with some federally insured mortgages will be able to refinance into lower interest rate loans more easily and cheaply under a new plan from the Obama administration. The administration announced Tuesday that FHA will cut upfront fees for refinancing loans it already insures. An estimated 2 to 3 million borrowers could take advantage of the savings. The announcement came barely a week after the FHA said it would have to raise fees for new borrowers to improve its capital reserve.
Read article - CNNMoney 


A Denver-based website is a hit with real estate investors
What started as Josh Dorkin's inability to find good real estate-investing advice online turned into a Web site ( that is now generating some 300,000 unique visitors per month. Much of the information is free. An RSS feed from the site delivers a daily column from an expert on topics like "Note Investing and Retirement Planning." There also are tiered subscription levels ($5 and $15 a month) that give users tools, the chance to ask questions of experts and the ability to list or view properties. Dorkin interview experts via Skype and posts their videos on the website.
Read article - Denver Business Journal 

Short Sales Rise, More Banks View it as a Better Option
Banks are more willing to agree to a sale at a lower cost than a home owner's mortgage balance in order to avoid having the property fall into foreclosure, which can be more costly for a lender. In the fourth quarter of 2011, there were more than 88,000 short sales, a rise of 15% compared to a year prior. In all, short sales made up 10% of all home sales sold in the fourth quarter, according to recent data released by RealtyTrac.
Read article - Realtor Magazine 


FHA Hikes Fees on Mortgages
Home buyers with mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration will soon see a rise in fees, the agency announced this week. FHA will increase two fees that borrowers pay. Starting April 1, it will increase its annual mortgage insurance premium for loans under $625,500, bringing the total cost from 1.15% of the loan amount to 1.25%. Starting June 1, larger loan premiums will see an increase of 0.35% of a percentage point, bringing the total premium costs up to 1.5% of the loan amount. 


Owners slash price tags on condos above Denver Ritz-Carlton
With just one of the 25 condominiums on top of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel sold, the residences' new owners have dropped prices up to 60% on as many as seven units. Denver developers Tim Craft and Heath DeLay, who paid $13 million for the 24 condos in June, are following the lead of the Private Residences at The Four Seasons, which last month slashed prices on 30 units an average of 45% in an effort to generate renewed interest in the property. 


 Rising rental costs may drive home sales up
Home sales could turn out sunnier than expected this spring based on data coming out of the rental market, according to economists at the Mortgage Bankers Association. Mike Fratantoni, vice president of economics and research, expects home sales to grow 10% in 2013, though he predicted refinances will drop off considerably as MBA projects interest rates to slowly move off the lowest levels in 40 years. Positive employment news, including a continued decline in jobless claims, could impact housing soon.



Developers envision an "airport city" around DIA
Development around Denver International Airport could include a golf course, a wildlife viewing area, an aerospace campus, hotels and a business park, according to an early version of a land-use map prepared for the property. City leaders have long considered the prospects for developing the vast acreage surrounding DIA, and now it appears a plan is finally taking shape. Known as "airport city," the 9,419 acres owned by DIA would be part of the larger "aerotropolis," a new urban design around the airport that Mayor Michael Hancock says is critical for attracting new businesses to the region.

Read article - Denver Post
The Aurora City Council on Monday unanimously approved an incentive package worth up to $300 million to cement a deal for a massive entertainment complex near Denver International Airport. Gaylord Entertainment Co. plans to build an $800 million Western-themed hotel and entertainment complex in Aurora. It would include about 1,500 hotel rooms and more than 400,000 square feet of conference space. 
The American Realty Advisors of Glendale, Calif., has purchased the building at 1515 Wynkoop from Hines in one of the largest sales in the western U.S. this year. The sale price for the 306,791-square-foot building was not disclosed, but industry insiders put the price at about $120 million, or $391 per square foot .
11 Fastest-Selling Real Estate Markets - Nationally, the median age of inventory of homes on the market shrank slightly in May from April to 92 days, but still marks a 4.55% year-over-year increase. But in some markets homes are selling much faster. For example, the fastest-selling market continues to be Denver, where homes are selling, on average, in just over a month at 39 days. 
The U.S. population is projected to grow by 150 million within the next 40 years and "more compact, mixed-use development" is needed to handle the growth and changing demands, Patrick Phillips, CEO for the Urban Land Institute, told an audience at the National Association of Real Estate Editors annual conference this week. One-person households are the fastest-growing type of household, he noted.  
Developers are anxiously awaiting the availability of the 18.85 acre site of the former St. Anthony Central Hospital site in Denver. While there have been developers and medical groups interested in re-fitting those buildings, there is also interest in clearing the site and doing a multi-family complex in-fill project .
Fixed mortgages rates changing little despite recent inflation reports, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. After declining for eight consecutive weeks, the 30-year fixed ticked up to 4.50%, while the 15-year inched down again to 3.67%. 
Mortgage Applications Surge Amid Falling Rates - More people are applying for mortgages: Applications for home mortgages had their largest increase in three months due to falling record-low interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports. MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity increased 13% for the week ended June 10. That marks the index’s biggest gain since March. 
Both Colorado and Denver saw record visitation and visitor spending in 2010. Luring a bigger slice of the country's travelers, Colorado and its capital broke all kinds of records last year. Denver, flush with revenue from a 2005 voter-approved lodgers tax that fuels tourism marketing, hosted a record 12.7 million visitors who spent $3 billion, yet another record. 
Renters are now facing their downside of the real estate market’s correction. Last year, the rental market quietly shifted from a tenants’ market to what is now decidedly a landlord’s market. The supply of properties is tightening and vacancy rates are dropping, so landlords have been emboldened to raise the rent.  
Initial foreclosure filings and final foreclosure sales in Colorado’s 12 biggest counties fell for the sixth consecutive month, the state Division of Housing reported Tuesday. “Foreclosure sales at auction are now at a 26-month low, and foreclosure filings have been near 30-month lows for the past three months, although foreclosure totals remain at historic highs,” division spokesman Ryan McMaken said in a release. 
Within the next decade, 16 million new housing units will be needed to meet population growth and shifting demands, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies in its latest annual "State of the Nation's Housing" report. That means household growth, which has dropped drastically in recent years, will need to greatly reverse its trend to meet the forecasted spike in demand.  
Homes under contract in May in metro Denver increased 23% from a year ago, driven by high rents that have made buying homes more attractive. There were 4,777 homes under contract, compared with 3,883 homes a year ago. "The number of rental units has gone down, and the price of renting has gone up," Bauer said.  
Metro Denver home sales rose 9% in May from April, with prices up slightly and the inventory of homes for sale holding steady, according to a monthly update from Metrolist. The time it takes to sell a home or condo, however, is up significantly from a year ago - 43% to 109 days. The median sales price for single-family homes was $230,000, up 4% compared to the prior month, and even with May 2010.  
Developer pitches "wilderness city" concept at former Boulder Daily Camera site - The redevelopment of the old Camera site in downtown Boulder could include a rooftop garden, a public plaza, an elevated "wilderness space" that would be akin to a glass treehouse, a fully automated parking lot that would rely on a crane to store cars in underground slots -- and lots and lots of office space. 
The Denver Housing Authority on Monday received a $22 million grant to help pay for the redevelopment of South Lincoln Homes near the light-rail stop at West 10th Avenue and Osage Street. DHA plans to demolish an existing 182 units and redevelop the 17.5 acres near the light-rail stop with 457 residences, including 200 public-housing units, 104 workforce units and 147 market-rate units.


The land north of Montview on the Fitzsimons property represents one of the great economic-development opportunities in Colorado, maybe the greatest in the state," said new FRA board member Don Elliman. "The goal is to make that into a biopark." The FRA plans to spend up to $12 million building 30,000 square feet of new office and laboratory space.


Denver 19th for real estate searches at - The Denver area ranked 19th out of 146 markets nationwide in online searches for real estate listings at in both March and April, ahead of New York, Houston and Washington, D.C. The website said the median list price for homes in the Denver market in April was $249,900 - up 4.17% from March but down 0.04% from April 2010.

Denver 19th for real estate searches at | Denver Business Journal

Buyers who have a foreclosure or bankruptcy in their credit past may have a tough time qualifying for financing to buy a new home. That's why some sellers are stepping in to offer seller financing to help seal deals.  
One is the loneliest number — but it's popular in Colorado, where nearly 28% of households are occupied by a single person. In Denver, the number is even higher. According to 2010 U.S. census data made public today, 40.6% of the city's households are composed of a person living alone.
This year's NAR Member Profile shows a greater focus on training and education. Approximately 35 percent of members hold at least one specialized training certification to help meet clients' needs. 
First peek at History Center Colorado highlights ULI ‘insider’ tour of major Civic Center projects June 9 from 2:00-6:30 pm
Learn about a cool billion of new projects in Denver’s heart. The event includes a first peek inside the new History Center Colorado and highlights other projects totaling $800 million in new buildings, park, streetscape, and building renovations funded under the Better Denver Bond Program.

US 36 plan focuses on sustainable transportation
Preparedness & Other Forward-Thinking Lessons
Treasury Secretary Confident in Recovery
Washington Report: Extending the Credit
Construction spending rises in September


















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Many Reasons to Live in Colorado

Metro Denver EDC releases fifth competitiveness study - In the fifth edition of Toward a More Competitive Colorado, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) reports its annual benchmarking of Colorado's strengths, challenges, and opportunities for future job growth.  In the comparison of Colorado's competitive position against the other 49 states, here are the highlights:
#1 - Highest ACT/SAT scores per 1,000 high school graduates
#1 - Nation's lowest obesity rate 
#2 - Economic outlook
#2 - Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher
#3 - Small Business Innovation Research Grants 
#3 - Venture capital per $1,000 of State Gross Domestic Product 
#4 - Initial Public Offerings 
#4 - Cost of doing business 
#5 - Number of new companies created per 1,000 employees 
#5 - Annual population growth 
#7 - Entrepreneurial activity
#8 - Science and engineering doctorate degrees
#9 - Employment growth


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