Colorado Springs-area foreclosures plunge to 22-year low in 2019

A strong economy and a bustling housing market helped push Colorado Springs-area foreclosures to a 22-year low in 2019. The Colorado Springs Gazette explains the dramatic turnaround:

 

“A strong economy and a bustling housing market helped push Colorado Springs-area foreclosures to a 22-year low in 2019.

It was a dramatic turnaround from a decade ago, when a record number of local homeowners and businesses were hit with foreclosure notices; thousands lost their properties when they couldn’t resolve their financial troubles.

“It’s amazing,” El Paso County Treasurer and Public Trustee Mark Lowderman said of the drop in foreclosure activity.

In the mid-2000s, many buyers used adjustable-rate and interest-only mortgages to purchase homes they couldn’t afford, which increased their chance of foreclosure when their loan payments spiked or if they fell into financial trouble. Today, stricter lending requirements have reduced that risk.”

Read more at The Colorado Springs Gazette.

 

 

If you know how to chip away at the housing crisis, a bank and an affordable housing developer might give you money to try it

A national search for new ideas to address rising housing costs is being conducted from Denver. Denverite explains how Wells Fargo and Enterprise Community Partners is making a difference:

 

Denver-based Wells Fargo and affordable housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners announced Wednesday they were accepting applications from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for their Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge, which will end this summer with six winning projects getting more than $2 million each

The Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge is part of a $1 billion commitment by Wells Fargo to support housing affordability across the country by 2025. The bank turned to Enterprise, which has been involved in initiatives similar to the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge, for expertise. In addition to cash, the winners will get two years’ technical assistance from Enterprise.

Read more from Denverite here:

Landlords Cut Back On Apartment Renovations In Wake Of Rent Regulations

Landlords in New York have significantly reduced spending on renovating apartments since the state government introduced rent reform legislation. BisNow explains why rent control reform has caused these impacts:

 

“Under the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 passed in June, the Major Capital Improvement and Individual Apartment Improvements programs, which have allowed landlords to pass on the costs of building improvements in rent, were significantly slashed.

:Members of the real estate industry have slammed the legislation, saying it will mean less investment in buildings and therefore an overall decline in the housing stock. ‘The only thing that is certain is that I will not run the buildings in the same way as in the past,” Nelson Management President Robert Nelson said in July.'”

Read more from BisNow here:

New Affordable Housing Complex In Denver Features 139 Units

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless celebrated the opening of a new affordable housing complex in Denver featuring 139 units. CBS4 reports more on the recent effort for affordable housing:

 

“Anyone who has walked through the downtown Denver knows we have a growing crisis in terms of homelessness and encampments. Being able to provide almost instant housing for folks was really something we couldn’t pass up,” said John Parvensky, the President of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH).

“This is a fantastic project. An example of getting to a place quicker and at a lower cost by being creative. But we know there’s many more who need help. The cost of living continues to increase not just in the Denver metro area, but across Colorado and in many cases wages just haven’t kept up,” Governor Jared Polis said. “Investing in supporting housing interventions is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do. Reducing emergency spending, improving health outcomes, and helping make sure people can support themselves by having an incentive to work without having to spend every single penny on housing.”

Read more from CBS4 here:

Renting cheaper than buying in Colorado’s populous jurisdictions

While home ownership is more affordable than renting in most of the country, recent reports show that two-thirds of Colorado counties with populations exceeding 500,000 were cheaper for renters — including in Colorado’s most populous counties. Colorado Politics explains that housing restrictions are the reason for the shift:

“Todd Teta, the company’s chief product officer, told Westword that in ‘most areas of the West and other relatively high-priced parts of the country, renting remains more affordable than owning in Colorado mainly because of how far typical home values have raced past what the average worker can afford during the long, eight-year housing boom.'”

“Colorado voters could choose to further restrict the supply of housing in November. A ballot initiative approved for signature-gathering would impose a 1% growth limit on residential housing in Front Range counties, which could only be repealed by residents on a county-by-county basis.”

Read more from Colorado Politics here:

Denver Officials Want to Strengthen Rules for Short-Term Rentals

City officials are proposing updated rules for short-term rentals that they believe will make it harder for people to cheat the system. Westword explains why this may be a necessary action for Colorado renters:

“Unfortunately, we continue to see cases of people trying to skirt the spirit of the primary residence requirement or trying to find a loophole,” Erid Escudero [spokesperson for Excise and Licenses] writes. “We believe adding factors will make it more difficult for those trying to find loopholes and add protections for those with unusual circumstances who are legitimately trying to follow the important rules.”

The new factors include how often the applicant returns to the short-term rental property or resides at another location. The department would also be able to consider whether the applicant uses another location for “domestic, legal, billing, voting, or licensing purposes.” Additionally, the department could look at any legal documents or tax assessment records to spot inconsistencies with addresses and other personal financial information, like the applicant’s employment and income sources. The department could also look at how often the short-term rental has been or will be rented out within a calendar year.

Read more from Westword here:

Colorado to receive $32 million in homelessness grants for housing, services

Colorado will receive $31.8 million in federal money for services to homeless individuals and families, with a goal of moving them into permanent housing. Colorado Politics explains how this will aid affordable housing in Colorado:

“The Continuum of Care program provides funding for certain types of functions, which include permanent housing, transitional housing and supportive services. Such services may comprise outreach to sheltered or unsheltered people as well as linking people to housing, for example.”

“Last July, I was honored to host Secretary Carson in Aurora to discuss Colorado’s affordable housing needs,” said Sen. Cory Gardner in a statement, referring to U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson. “I commend him for listening to us in Colorado, for hearing our unique needs, and for his willingness to help.”

Read more from Colorado Politics here.

Median rent dropped 5 percent in Denver from October to November, Zumper finds

Rents in the Denver-Metro area have been climbing higher in recent years.  But as Denverite reports, that trend may be starting to shift toward the opposite direction:

 

“The online real estate company Zumper has found the median rent for a one-bedroom in Denver dropped 5 percent from October to November to $1,520, among the sharpest decreases in the top 25 rental markets.

In its year-end rental report, Zumper noted that this is a slow-moving season and that rents across the country either dipped or stayed flat. Of the 25 priciest markets Zumper surveyed, only three saw drops of 5 percent or more: Denver at No. 16 on the top 25 list; Minneapolis at No. 24 with a median rent of $1,320; and Nashville at No. 25 with a median rent of $1,420.

Read more from Denverite here.

Renter Resources

Housing regains balance after a lengthy sellers’ market

For nearly a decade, Northern Colorado’s housing market has largely been a seller’s market.  But as BizWest reports, the market appears to be shifting into a healthier balance between sellers and buyers:

 

We hear it said many times: balance is the key to life. It also pretty helpful in real estate. And after leaning toward sellers for the better part of the past decade, we can say that Northern Colorado’s housing market appears to be returning to a state of balance.

It’s no secret that our market has largely favored sellers since the end of the Great Recession — a condition characterized by sharply rising prices and even chaotic bidding wars between buyers. By comparison, a balanced market means buyers get choices and don’t need to rush to decisions. At the same time, sellers who price their home right and prepare their property to sell will likely be successful.

That’s what makes the third quarter real estate statistics encouraging. While we continue to see strong demand, housing inventory — very tight here for several years — is showing signs of catching up. Meanwhile, the pace of price growth is more in line the historical average of about 5.3 percent per year over the past 40 years. And while prices are still climbing at a faster clip than wage growth, the gap between those two factors is closing.”

Read more from BizWest here.

Lakewood project repurposes blighted property

With affordable housing an important issue in the Denver-Metro area, it’s a good thing when more affordable housing units become available.  A vacant, blighted office tower and retail strip mall have been replaced with 152 affordable housing family units. Colorado Real Estate Journal reports:

 

““I am not sure there is any greater impact on a community and on personal lives than taking a blighted, contaminated, vacant, unattractive building and turning it into a vibrant, beautiful space that meets one of the greatest challenges our community, our state, is facing – affordable housing,” Tami Fischer, executive director of Metro West Housing Solutions, proudly declared when asked about the community impact of this affordable housing development. “We took the ‘ugliest building’ in Lakewood and turned it into safe, classy and permanently affordable housing community!”

You can see, hear and feel the excitement and pride of the MWHS staff when discussing and showing off Fifty Eight Hundred.

Fifty Eight Hundred, located logically enough at 5800 W. Alameda Ave. in Lakewood, is the end product of the transformation of a vacant, blighted office tower and former retail strip mall into 152 affordable housing family units. Fifty Eight Hundred is a community with amazing views, walkable shopping nearby, close bus lines and art installations throughout the buildings. Near Lakewood’s Belmar shopping and entertainment district, it is home to studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments serving individuals and families from 30% area median income to 60% AMI.”

Read more from CREJ here.