Friday, January 10, 2014

Commie Cowboys: First Footnote Sighting

My thanks to film scholars Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper for mentioning my book Commie Cowboys in the introduction of their new academic book International Westerns: Re-Locating the Frontier:
Numerous scholars have explored the genre and its impact from various vantage points: Will Wright has examined the structure of the genre’s narratives, while Jon Tuska has offered more thematic critical approaches. Peter Stanfield has analyzed the role of “cowboy crooners” as exemplars of heartland values, while Ryan McMaken has focused on “commie cowboys” as cultural critique. While each of these is instructive when considering the genre in relation to American culture, the discussion becomes more complex when the genre is loosened from its cultural moorings. 



Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Colorado foreclosure filings drop to 2004 levels

From "Colorado foreclosure filings drop to 2004 levels " The Denver Post, November 14, 2013

Both foreclosure filings and foreclosure auction sales during the third quarter of 2013 were at the lowest quarterly totals collected in any quarter since the Division of Housing began tracking quarterly totals in 2007. 
"This foreclosure cycle has largely wound down," said Ryan McMaken, economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. 
"We're looking at a nine- or 10- year low in foreclosure totals for the year," McMaken added in a statement. 
All of the state's 12 metropolitan counties reported year-over-year declines in both foreclosure filings totals and foreclosure auction sales totals for the first nine months of 2013, when compared to the same period of last year.

Colorado foreclosures dive in October

From "Colorado foreclosures dive in October", The Denver Post, October 25, 2013.
Foreclosure filings are the initial filings that begin the foreclosure process, and foreclosure auction sales totals are the total number of foreclosures that have been sold at auction at the end of the foreclosure process. 
"October's drop was the largest year-over-year decline we've seen in the seven-year history of the report," said Ryan McMaken, an economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. 
"Foreclosure activity is quickly moving toward what we consider to be a 'normal' rate," McMaken said.

Front Range apartment vacancies continue to fall as rents rise

Ryan McMaken, an economist for the agency, said especially low vacancy rates were found in the northern Front Range markets. 
In the third quarter, the vacancy rate was 2.8 percent in the Fort Collins-Loveland area and 1.3 percent in Greeley, which was the lowest rate reported in Greeley since 1995. 
"The Fort Collins market has been tight for several years at this point, and continues to be so, but in just 18 months, Greeley has gone from being a market with only moderate demand to a very tight one," said McMaken.

Tight market puts squeeze on budgets for Larimer County renters

From "Tight market puts squeeze on budgets for Larimer County renters" in the Ft. Collins Coloradoan, Dec 19, 2013. 

In a discussion about income and rental stats for rental housing in Larimer County: 

That makes Larimer County the third-most rent-burdened county in the state, behind Boulder and Pueblo, according to the ACS. Boulder is first due to its limited supply of housing and lack of land on which to build more. Pueblo is burdened for an entirely different reason: Housing is plentiful, but incomes are much lower. Fort Collins finds itself among the top three, McMaken said, because a lot of people stay here.  
“Fort Collins is also blessed with good job availability, but there’s a mismatch in rent versus income.” It’s no surprise the situation is more dire for lower-wage earners. The less a household makes, the more rent-burdened it is likely to be. According to the ACS, 15,667 Larimer County households making less than $35,000 pay more than 35 percent of their income toward rent. The number drops precipitously as income rises. 
That’s to be expected.“People who make a lot of money leave the universe of rental housing and that skews the numbers,” McMaken said.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Recent publication: a brief overview of conservatism since 1789

Thanks to the kind invitation of associate editor Michael Cummings, I contributed to the Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought and authored the section on conservatism found on page 179. The full entry is below.

In the entry I cover the topic of global conservatism and not just the quasi-liberal, quasi-conservative ideology known simply as conservatism in the United States since the 1950s.

I cover the contributions of Burke, Joseph de Maistre, Klemens von Metternich and others, but I do also consider the tension between conservatism and laissez-faire liberalism in the United States and other Western countries.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Speaking on home sales inventory

From the June 5 Denver Post:

Ryan McMaken, an economist for the Colorado Division of Housing, said that after a few quarters of 10 percent growth in home prices year-over-year, people who were on the verge of being underwater believe they see prices that justify selling their homes.

"If more homes are coming on line, that would be an improvement from the buyer's perspective because recently it has been so difficult to find a property you want," he said.

But McMaken said much of the homebuying is being fueled by highly paid people moving to the metro area from other states who bring wealth with them. In metro Denver, wages are not keeping up with home prices.


NB: ..."a property you want..." should read "...a property on which you can successfully bid..."

Friday, May 17, 2013

May 2013 clippings

Some other recent stuff :

Apartment vacancies rise in Fort Collins-Loveland
Northern Colorado Business Report-May 9, 2013
And for the first time in the past year, the area surpassed Denver metro in average rent prices, according to Ryan McMaken, an economist with ...

Denver rents at all-time high
kdvr.com-Apr 29, 2013
Ryan McMaken is an economist for the Colorado Division of ... McMaken says the metro area has seen an average rent increase of 4.2 percent ...

Colorado Springs apartments in high demand
Colorado Springs Gazette-May 2, 2013
Because of the demand, expect rents to continue to rise or hover near their record high, McMakensaid. A decline in rents will happen only if the ...

Report: Springs apartment market strong
Colorado Springs Business Journal-May 6, 2013
But it's not so low that renters are crunched, said Ryan McMaken, an economist with the division of housing. “Healthy” should not be confused ...

Report: Springs apartment market healthy
Colorado Springs Business Journal-May 1, 2013
A vacancy rate of 5.6 percent allows apartment complex owners to raise rents and keep up with expenses, McMaken said. But it's not enough to ...

Clippings, May 17, 2013

Some recent clippings:

Weld, state foreclosures continue to fall
My Windsor Now - ‎10 hours ago‎
McMaken reported in his release that all of the state's 12 metropolitan counties reported declines in sales and auctions. Only 10 of the state's 64 counties reported increases, but they were small counties with fewer than 40 filings in each county. Foreclosure ...


Foreclosures drop dramatically in Larimer County and statewide
ReporterHerald.com - ‎17 hours ago‎
The first-quarter numbers of filings - 4,571 - and sales - 2,935 - were the lowest since the state started keeping track in 2007, according to a release from Division of Housing economist Ryan McMaken. "The trend downward is accelerating, helped along by low ...


Colorado Springs' foreclosure picture brightens - Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs Gazette - ‎22 hours ago‎
Credit a turnaround in the housing market for the improving foreclosure situation, said Ryan McMaken, a Housing Division economist. Low mortgage rates are driving a demand for homebuying, which is pushing up prices. That increase in values means it's ...


Colorado foreclosure filings plummet 41 percent in the first quarter
Denver Post - ‎11 hours ago‎
"The trend downward is accelerating, helped along by low mortgage rates, rising home prices and a stabilizing situation," said Ryan McMaken, economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. All of the state's 12 metropolitan counties reported year-over-year ...


Steep drop in Colorado foreclosures, filings in Q1
Denver Business Journal - ‎May 16, 2013‎
Ryan McMaken, economist for the housing division, said the downward trend "is accelerating, helped along by low mortgage rates, rising home prices, and a stabilizing employment situation." The first quarter of 2013 was the fourth consecutive quarter to see ...


Foreclosures plummet in Larimer and Weld
Northern Colorado Business Report - ‎19 hours ago‎
New data from the Colorado Division of Housing shows dramatic drops in both foreclosure filings and foreclosure sales for first-quarter 2013. In Larimer County, foreclosure filings fell by 40.5 percent from 306 to 182 from first-quarter 2012 to the same period in ...


Colorado Sees 41 Percent Drop In Foreclosure Filings
KUNC - ‎May 16, 2013‎
The decline in foreclosures has been a statewide phenomenon so far this year, said Ryan McMaken with the Colorado Division of Housing in a statement. Foreclosure auction sales, or completed foreclosures, experienced a drop of nearly 30.5 percent this ...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Book Review: 'The Independent Review'

My book review on Brian Doherty's book on the Ron Paul movement was recently published in the scholarly journal The Independent Review.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A TV clipping, April 29, 2013

From a Fox31 evening broadcast on April 29:


From the story:
Ryan McMaken is an economist for the Colorado Division of Housing, and says the latest spike in rent comes down to supply and demand. “Demand just continues to be significant here, and they’re really not building that much in the big scheme of things.”
McMaken says the metro area has seen an average rent increase of 4.2 percent from this time last year, while the vacancy rate is at 4.6 percent, a .3 percent drop off.
Even with the construction of new apartments in downtown Denver, McMaken says it won’t be enough to really offset demand, and rent prices. 
“Yes, the number of new units has increased over 100 percent, easily, in the last couple of years.” But McMaken says, “If we look at the total numbers there, it’s just not really that much compared to how many units we have, and how many households are being formed.”

Monday, April 29, 2013

McMaken on home ownership rates.

Randal O'Toole kindly quoted me in his book American Nightmare: How Government Undermines the Dream of Homeownership.  On page 2: 

“Homeownership has let us down,” said Time magazine. “The dark side of homeownership is now all too apparent: foreclosures and walkaways, neighbothoods plagued by abandoned properties and plummeting home values, a nation in which families have $6 trillion less in housing wealth than they did just threee years ago.” When the Census Bureau reported American homeownership rates had fallen from 69 percent in 2004 to 65 percent in 2010, housing economist Ryan McMaken responded that “the present rate needs to drop even more.” 
To put it in context, here's the article he's quoting.