Friday, May 22, 2009

The Fort Collins Coloradoan on the the latest vacancy rates

Fort Collins apartment vacancies decrease
BY HALLIE WOODS • May 22, 2009

Fort Collins was one of four areas across the state to see decreasing multifamily vacancy rates at the beginning of 2009, a new report says.

The city's apartment vacancy rate fell to 4 percent in the first quarter of 2009 from 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2008, according to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Division of Housing.

Loveland, however, saw an increase of vacancy rates to 6.1 percent from 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008 in the first quarter of 2009, according to the report.

Experts attribute Fort Collins' decreasing vacancy rates to a tightening up of the home mortgage market and a robust economy due to the university and a growing number of renewable energy startups.

"The whole Northern Colorado region still has some stable job opportunities: renewable energy, health care. And, if you are going to live in Northern Colorado, what better place to live than in Fort Collins?" said Terrance Hunt, principal at Apartment Realty Advisors in Denver. Hunt specializes in the Northern Colorado market.

Homeowners falling into foreclosure are typically not turning to multifamily rental housing, such as apartments, but are turning to single-family home rentals, said Ryan McMaken, spokesman for CDH.

Families who might have looked to purchase a home during the housing market boom, however, are either searching for or staying put in multifamily rental housing.

"In 2003, the rhetoric is why are you throwing your money on rent? That is no longer the dominant way of thinking," McMaken said. "People need very good if not excellent credit on a home. For these reasons, people are staying in rental housing longer."

In Fort Collins, the largest drop in multifamily rental housing vacancies occurred on the northwest side of town, where the rate dropped from 7.1 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to 3.8 in the first quarter of 2009.

Candace Capitelli, property manager of Stone Creek Apartment Homes, 1225 W. Prospect Road, said her 167-unit apartment complex has been easy to fill.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Durango Herald on foreclosures

County's foreclosure rates go up
But Durango area looks good when compared with Front Range
by Dale Rodebaugh
Herald Staff Writer
Article Last Updated; Monday, May 18, 2009
Foreclosure filings and real estate auction sales rose sharply in La Plata County from first quarter 2008 to the same period this year, a [CDH] report shows. But by another standard, La Plata County is not doing too badly.

"Your foreclosure rate is low," Ryan McMaken, a researcher and director of communications at the state agency, said Friday. "You're not close to the problems they have on the Front Range."
custom residential construction

The agency's report shows that in the first three months of 2009, there were 10,745 foreclosure filings and 4,354 sales (completed foreclosures) statewide, compared to 11,634 filings and 5,899 sales in first-quarter 2008 - decreases of 8 percent and 26 percent, respectively.

In La Plata County, on the other hand, filings increased from 23 in the first quarter of 2008 to 64 in the same time frame this year - an increase of 180 percent. Auction sales tripled - from seven to 21 - in the same corresponding period.

The second, third and fourth quarters of 2008 saw 44, 30 and 51 foreclosure filings, respectively, in La Plata County. The number of auction sales in the same three quarters - five, eight and six - were almost identical to the seven registered in the first quarter of 2008.

But a snapshot of first quarter 2009 reveals that there was one auction sale for every 944 households in La Plata County. Excluding seven counties that had no foreclosure activity, 35 counties had one foreclosure sale per fewer number of households; 21 counties recorded one sale per greater number of households.

An example: Denver County had one sale for every 352 households while Moffat County had one sale for every 2,629 households.

"Look at Denver County. The rate was almost three times that of La Plata County," McMaken said. "The percentage of households recording a foreclosure sale shows the same trend - .00283 percent in Denver County and .00108 in La Plata County."

McMaken said higher rates of foreclosure sales don't tell the entire story. Eagle, Grand, Summit and Pitkin counties have high percentages of households in foreclosure, but many are second homes, he said.

"The owners still have a place to live," he said.

La Plata County Treasurer Ed Murray added an observation.

"The numbers for the first quarter of 2009 are correct," Murray said in an e-mail. "But first-quarter sales are foreclosures started in a prior year. The soonest a foreclosure sale can occur is 110 days for residential property and 215 days for an agricultural property."

The Department of Local Affairs report said that the 12 most populous counties register 95 percent of foreclosure activity. They tend to be along the Front Range.

"The effects of the recession that began in December of 2007 are not necessarily evident in the number of completed foreclosures," the report said. "However, the fact that the new foreclosure filing totals have not fallen off may indicate that many homeowners are still missing payments.

"We know from data released by the national Mortgage Bankers Association that the number of home loans in Colorado that are least 90 days delinquent continues to rise."

The report said that foreclosure filings are on a pace to equal 2007 and 2008 numbers. Sales, however, aren't expected to reach 2008 totals and foreclosures would have to increase significantly to reach 2007 peak levels, the report said.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Greeley Tribune on Foreclosures

Fewer people lose homes to foreclosure, but ...

by Sharon Dunn

House Bill 1276, the Foreclosure Delay act, gives homeowners and their lenders 90 days to avoid foreclosure by working with certified mortgage counselors to regain their financial footing.

Gov. Bill Ritter is due to sign the bill by June 5, and it will be effective July 1.
According to the bill, within 20 days of notice of foreclosure, the borrower must contact a HUD-certified counselor such as those at the Foreclosure Hotline at (877) 601-HOPE. The counselor will assess the person’s debt and financial situation. If the homeowner is deemed a good candidate, he/she gets an extra 90 days to work with the bank to figure out how, if at all possible, to stay in the home, according to a Colorado legislative staff review of the bill.

If a loan holder receives notice that a borrower is eligible for a loan deferment, the loan holder must defer the foreclosure for 90 days, during which time the borrower must make payments equal to two-thirds of the monthly payment due prior to delinquency, plus one-12th of the annual amount due for taxes and insurance.
The bill states the 90-day delay would only be available through July 2011.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver.
The number of people losing their homes to foreclosures in Weld County has gradually dropped since last spring, but that trend may soon come to an abrupt end.

The first quarter of the year saw a 21 percent decrease in foreclosure sales in Weld County and a 26 percent drop statewide, compared to the first quarter in 2008. But it also was the time when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac put a moratorium on foreclosures. That ended March 31, and in April, Weld saw its biggest single-month bump of foreclosure filings in history at 300.

There are still some adjustable rate mortgages “adjusting,” but many people are now losing their homes because of newfound unemployment, officials say.

“You have an interesting situation where people are unemployed or underemployed, and oftentimes the payment is going up, and they have negative equity,” said Matt Revitte, a broker with ProRealty, 806 8th St. in Greeley, who markets foreclosed properties. “There are just not a whole lot of options out there. It’s an interesting set of circumstances we’re dealing with now.”

More foreclosures may be coming now that the Legislature has passed House Bill 1276, which would delay foreclosures for 90 days to allow borrowers time to work out their financial hardships. Gov. Bill Ritter plans to sign the bill before June 5, according to his spokesman, Evan Dreyer.

Consequently, second-quarter foreclosures may go through the roof.

“When lenders see we passed 1276, they’re going to try to jam as many foreclosures through before that bill goes into effect,” said Ron Woodcock, of Remax Southeast in Denver, who participated in a conference call Monday to discuss first-quarter foreclosures. “My list has jumped up to 900-1,000 per week, just last week.”

Initially, foreclosures numbers look promising for Weld County and the rest of the state. The first quarter, or the first three months of the year, show Weld foreclosure sales dipped 21 percent from the same time last year and filings dropped 5 percent. In Larimer County, foreclosure sales dropped 24 percent but filings grew by 10 percent.

The first quarter’s declines mark the largest year-over-year decreases in completed foreclosures since [CDH] began collecting data in 2006, according to a prepared release.

“The trend you’ll find is that over the last three quarters, completed foreclosures have been declining, but it is the third quarter of increases in new foreclosure filings,” said Ryan McMaken of the [CDH] in the conference call.

There are more filings than actual sales because borrowers have up to four months to cure their bad loans. Housing officials say the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline also shares some responsibility for driving down actual foreclosure sales.

The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline — (877) 601-HOPE — has been in place for more than two years, and according to Hotline records, almost 10,000 households have been able to avoid foreclosure.

A big portion of homeowners avoiding foreclosures is unloading their homes on the market through short sales, or selling the home for less than it’s worth.

Billie Jo Downing, with Remax Action Brokers in Loveland and a founding member of the Foreclosure Prevention Task Force in northern Colorado, said 40 percent to 60 percent of the market now is from either bank-owned properties or short sales.

Weld’s foreclosure rate is one foreclosure sale for every 245 households.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Channel 7 on Foreclosures

More Coloradan's Mortgages Falling Behind
Officials Fear Growth Of Foreclosures

POSTED: 5:55 pm MDT April 29, 2009
UPDATED: 7:04 pm MDT April 29, 2009

DENVER -- State housing officials fear another boom in home foreclosures. The number of homeowners falling behind in their mortgage is growing.

According to the state, the current delinquency rate in Colorado is 4 percent. That is more than double what it was two years ago.

“The current situation is very flexible,” said Ryan McMaken, a representative with [CDH].

State housing officials said a number of Coloradans who haven’t made their mortgage payment in some time could soon face foreclosure since many lending institutions have ended a self-imposed moratorium.

“There are a decent number of borrowers who haven’t made payments in a while but they don’t register as foreclosures yet,” said McMaken.

Many banks and lending institutions instituted a moratorium on foreclosures as they waited to see what the Obama administration would do troubled homeowners. The best advice for anyone behind in their mortgage is to contact their bank immediately.

Don Childears with the Colorado Bankers Association said often times the banks are willing to work with their delinquent customers.

“A lot of borrowers are embarrassed often because they’re behind or delinquent and that will only make the situation worse,” said Childears.

Childears admitted it is in a bank or lenders best interest to work with their delinquent customers rather than go through with a foreclosure. A typical foreclosure costs a lending institution about $50,000. That accounts for a number of things including the home’s depreciation and the cost to sell it.

“That is an expense you’d like to avoid if you can,” said Childears. “Often the bank will work out a plan with that borrower.”