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.