Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Realtor Data: January median prices fall

Median home prices for single-family homes during January 2012 fell in Colorado and in the Pikes Peak region and in the metro Denver area. According to median home price data for January, released by the Colorado Association of Realtors, the median home price for single-family homes in the Denver area was $221,373 during January, which is an decrease of 1 percent from January of 2011. Statewide, the median home price was $201,058 during January, a drop of 7 percent from the same month last year. The median price in the Pikes Peak region fell 5 percent, year over year, falling to $176,364 during January.

The first graph shows the median single-family home price for the state and for the metro Denver and Pikes Peak regions. Median home prices fell dramatically in all three measures following the financial crisis of late 2008, but moved back up quickly by mid-2009. Since mid-2009, however, median home prices have been largely flat in metro Denver. In the Pikes Peak region, on the other hand, the median price remains well below peak levels and was lower during most months of 2011 when compared to 2010. Statewide, as is typical, the median price has been more volatile, but has not recovered as much as the metro Denver median. Statewide, sales prices are likely being pushed down by declining markets in western Colorado and in the central mountains.



The metro Denver area, where the median price is 16 percent below its June 2007 peak levels, has recovered the most. Metro Denver prices appear to have stabilized since 2009 and the median price generally moves between 220K and 240K. The statewide median price is now 18 percent below its June 2006 peak. The Pikes Peak median price fell in January to 23 percent below its July 07 peak, falling below 180K. The Pikes Peak area's median price ranged between 181K and 197K during 2011.

During recent months, with the exception of metro Denver in November and December, the median prices appear to have entered negative territory when compared to the same months of the previous year. As can be seen in the second graph, the year-over-year changes in all three areas have been generally negative each month for the past six months, and all three areas were down during January 2012 when compared to January 2011.



This downward trend is mirrored in other home prices indices for Colorado such as the Case-Shiller, CoreLogic and FHFA indices. See here for past analyses using other indices.

The home price data provided by the Colorado Association of Realtors is based on home sales transactions that are listed in the MLS systems for each area and do not include for-sale-by-owner transactions or new homes sold directly by home builders.

Year-end 2011 Pueblo Housing Snapshot now available


The New Pueblo Area Housing Snapshot is now available. It covers housing and economics trends in the Pueblo area through the end of 2011.

See the Housing Snapshot archives for all regions as they become available.

Denver County drives new multifamily activity during January

During January 2012, 80 percent of new multifamily permits issued were in Denver County alone. Only two other counties reported any new mutli-family permit activity during January 2012 at all: Arapahoe and Jefferson.

According to new multifamily permit data for Colorado counties, 282 multifamily permits were issued during January 2012, and 225 of them were issued in Denver County. 49 were issued in Arapahoe County and 8 were issued in Jefferson County.

No other county in the state reported any new multifamily permits during the month.

For more historical info on multifamily permits, see here.

During January 2011, 137 multifamily permits were issued in the reporting counties, and 126 of those, or 92 percent, were issued in Denver County.

With so little demand for new condominiums right now, it is safe to assume that the lopsided majority of new multifamily permits being issued are for rental housing. We see most of this activity in areas where vacancy rates have been tight or look to be tight for the near to mid-term.

The downtown Denver area has been one of the most in-demand areas for rental housing in recent quarters, and recent demand for new construction in the neighborhood has made Denver a large part of new multifamily construction.

The Census Bureau has not yet released its 2011 year-end report which include more data from most of the state's 64 counties. We will publish an analysis when that data becomes available.

Denver County Permits

Multifamily permits during January in Denver were at a ten-year high and they have increased year over year since 2009. There were 12 multifamily permits issued during January 2009, but by January 2012, the January total had grown by 1,700 percent to 225 permits. Notably, January 2002 produced more than 600 multifamily permits, but much of that was due to new development that had been planned in response to Amendment 24, an Amendment designed to control growth in Colorado. Since the defeat of Amendment 24, multifamily permitting during January has been relatively subdued with the exception of January 2005 and 2012.

Realtor Data: January median prices fall

Median home prices for single-family homes during January 2012 fell in Colorado and in the Pikes Peak region and in the metro Denver area. According to median home price data for January, released by the Colorado Association of Realtors, the median home price for single-family homes in the Denver area was $221,373 during January, which is an decrease of 1 percent from January of 2011. Statewide, the median home price was $201,058 during January, a drop of 7 percent from the same month last year. The median price in the Pikes Peak region fell 5 percent, year over year, falling to $176,364 during January.

The first graph shows the median single-family home price for the state and for the metro Denver and Pikes Peak regions. Median home prices fell dramatically in all three measures following the financial crisis of late 2008, but moved back up quickly by mid-2009. Since mid-2009, however, median home prices have been largely flat in metro Denver. In the Pikes Peak region, on the other hand, the median price remains well below peak levels and was lower during most months of 2011 when compared to 2010. Statewide, as is typical, the median price has been more volatile, but has not recovered as much as the metro Denver median. Statewide, sales prices are likely being pushed down by declining markets in western Colorado and in the central mountains.



The metro Denver area, where the median price is 16 percent below its June 2007 peak levels, has recovered the most. Metro Denver prices appear to have stabilized since 2009 and the median price generally moves between 220K and 240K. The statewide median price is now 18 percent below its June 2006 peak. The Pikes Peak median price fell in January to 23 percent below its July 07 peak, falling below 180K. The Pikes Peak area's median price ranged between 181K and 197K during 2011.

During recent months, with the exception of metro Denver in November and December, the median prices appear to have entered negative territory when compared to the same months of the previous year. As can be seen in the second graph, the year-over-year changes in all three areas have been generally negative each month for the past six months, and all three areas were down during January 2012 when compared to January 2011.



This downward trend is mirrored in other home prices indices for Colorado such as the Case-Shiller, CoreLogic and FHFA indices. See here for past analyses using other indices.

The home price data provided by the Colorado Association of Realtors is based on home sales transactions that are listed in the MLS systems for each area and do not include for-sale-by-owner transactions or new homes sold directly by home builders.

Denver County drives new multifamily activity during January

During January 2012, 80 percent of new multifamily permits issued were in Denver County alone. Only two other counties reported any new mutli-family permit activity during January 2012 at all: Arapahoe and Jefferson.

According to new multifamily permit data for Colorado counties, 282 multifamily permits were issued during January 2012, and 225 of them were issued in Denver County. 49 were issued in Arapahoe County and 8 were issued in Jefferson County.

No other county in the state reported any new multifamily permits during the month.

For more historical info on multifamily permits, see here.

During January 2011, 137 multifamily permits were issued in the reporting counties, and 126 of those, or 92 percent, were issued in Denver County.

With so little demand for new condominiums right now, it is safe to assume that the lopsided majority of new multifamily permits being issued are for rental housing. We see most of this activity in areas where vacancy rates have been tight or look to be tight for the near to mid-term.

The downtown Denver area has been one of the most in-demand areas for rental housing in recent quarters, and recent demand for new construction in the neighborhood has made Denver a large part of new multifamily construction.

The Census Bureau has not yet released its 2011 year-end report which include more data from most of the state's 64 counties. We will publish an analysis when that data becomes available.

However, we do have partial data for metropolitan counties and select non-metro counties through December 2011. See here.

Denver County Permits

Multifamily permits during January in Denver were at a ten-year high and they have increased year over year since 2009. There were 12 multifamily permits issued during January 2009, but by January 2012, the January total had grown by 1,700 percent to 225 permits. Notably, January 2002 produced more than 600 multifamily permits, but much of that was due to new development that had been planned in response to Amendment 24, an Amendment designed to control growth in Colorado. Since the defeat of Amendment 24, multifamily permitting during January has been relatively subdued with the exception of January 2005 and 2012.

El Paso dominates in new single-family permits in Janaury

Of the 624 new single-family permits issued during January 2012, 127 of them, or 20 percent, were issued in El Paso County alone. According to new single-family January permit data by county, released by the Census Bureau, the counties with the largest numbers of single-family permits issued during 2011 were El Paso, Douglas, Weld and Denver.

See here for recent posts about building permits.

New single-family permits during January 2012
El Paso 127
Douglas 108
Weld 74
Denver 60


Also:
Adams 40
Arapahoe 43
Boulder 23
Broomfield 14
Chaffee 7
Elbert 1
Jefferson 45
Larimer 44
Mesa 22
Park 4
Pueblo 9
Routt 2
Teller 1

(Note: All permits discussed in this article are single-family permits.)

However, when permit totals are adjusted to the number of existing housing units in each county, the counties with the larges amounts of permit activity were Douglas, Weld and Chaffee counties.

The first map shows the relative amount of single-family permit activity adjusted for the existing size of the housing stock in each county. The counties are then broken out in quartiles reflecting the amount of single-family activity compared to other counties. The top quartile has the largest amount of new permitting compared to the number of existing units. The bottom quartile has the smallest amount.

Top Q: Brown
2nd Q: Green
3rd Q: Orange
Bottom Q: Yellow
No data or no permits: White



During January 2012, the areas with relatively few new single-family permits relative to the size of the existing stock are Pueblo, Jefferson, Arapahoe and Boulder counties.

In a larger context, single-family permits remain well below totals experienced prior to 2007. From 2006 to 2008, single-family permits in the state decreased 60 percent from 31,000 to 12,000. Permit activity appears to have bottomed out in 2009. When discussing permit activity from 2008 to the present time, we're looking at permit totals that are near 20-year lows.

See here for a discussion on historical permit data by county.

It is also helpful to see which counties have shown the largest increases and decreases in permit activity. In the map below, we see that comparing January 2011 to Janaury 2012, Adams, Boulder and Douglas counties, with increases of 100 percent or more, were the counties with the largest increases in single-family permit activity. Chaffee, Denver, El Paso, Jefferson and Weld Counties all reported year over year increases of more than 40 percent.



Brown: Increase of 25 percent or more*
Green: Increase of 1 to 24.9 percent**
Orange: Decrease of 1 to 24.9 percent
Yellow: Decrease of 25 percent or more
White: No data or no change

*I have included Broomfield County in the "brown" category, due to its increasefrom 0 to 14 permits, year over year. Technically, a rate of increase cannot be calculated mathematicall from a starting point of zero.
**I also included Teller county in the "green" category for its increase from 0 to 1.
*** The number of permits in Routt County was unchanged at 2, year over year.

Largest increases among metro counties:
Adams 100 percent
Boulder 109 percent
Douglas 125 percent

El Paso dominates in new single-family permits in Janaury

Of the 624 new single-family permits issued during January 2012, 127 of them, or 20 percent, were issued in El Paso County alone. According to new single-family January permit data by county, released by the Census Bureau, the counties with the largest numbers of single-family permits issued during 2011 were El Paso, Douglas, Weld and Denver.

See here for recent posts about building permits.

New single-family permits during January 2012
El Paso 127
Douglas 108
Weld 74
Denver 60


Also:
Adams 40
Arapahoe 43
Boulder 23
Broomfield 14
Chaffee 7
Elbert 1
Jefferson 45
Larimer 44
Mesa 22
Park 4
Pueblo 9
Routt 2
Teller 1

(Note: All permits discussed in this article are single-family permits.)

However, when permit totals are adjusted to the number of existing housing units in each county, the counties with the larges amounts of permit activity were Douglas, Weld and Chaffee counties.

The first map shows the relative amount of single-family permit activity adjusted for the existing size of the housing stock in each county. The counties are then broken out in quartiles reflecting the amount of single-family activity compared to other counties. The top quartile has the largest amount of new permitting compared to the number of existing units. The bottom quartile has the smallest amount.

Top Q: Brown
2nd Q: Green
3rd Q: Orange
Bottom Q: Yellow
No data or no permits: White



During January 2012, the areas with relatively few new single-family permits relative to the size of the existing stock are Pueblo, Jefferson, Arapahoe and Boulder counties.

In a larger context, single-family permits remain well below totals experienced prior to 2007. From 2006 to 2008, single-family permits in the state decreased 60 percent from 31,000 to 12,000. Permit activity appears to have bottomed out in 2009. When discussing permit activity from 2008 to the present time, we're looking at permit totals that are near 20-year lows.

See here for a discussion on historical permit data by county.

It is also helpful to see which counties have shown the largest increases and decreases in permit activity. In the map below, we see that comparing January 2011 to Janaury 2012, Adams, Boulder and Douglas counties, with increases of 100 percent or more, were the counties with the largest increases in single-family permit activity. Chaffee, Denver, El Paso, Jefferson and Weld Counties all reported year over year increases of more than 40 percent.



Brown: Increase of 25 percent or more*
Green: Increase of 1 to 24.9 percent**
Orange: Decrease of 1 to 24.9 percent
Yellow: Decrease of 25 percent or more
White: No data or no change

*I have included Broomfield County in the "brown" category, due to its increasefrom 0 to 14 permits, year over year. Technically, a rate of increase cannot be calculated mathematicall from a starting point of zero.
**I also included Teller county in the "green" category for its increase from 0 to 1.
*** The number of permits in Routt County was unchanged at 2, year over year.

Largest increases among metro counties:
Adams 100 percent
Boulder 109 percent
Douglas 125 percent

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Multifamily permits up 109 percent in Janaury compared to 2011

During Janaury 2012 in Colorado, building permits issued for multifamily construction were up 109 percent, year over year, while permits issued for single-family construction were up 41 percent for the same period.

During the month, 287 multifamily permits were issued in Colorado, and 696 single-family permits were issued. During January 2011, there were 137 multi-family permits issued, and 492 single-family permits issued. January 2012's single-family permits were down 74 percent from 2006's January peak of 2,719 permits. Multi-family permits during January were down 61 percent from 2008's January peak of 739 permits.



The second graph shows that overall, both multi-family and single-family permits in January were at levels well below what were typical over the past decade. During recent months, however, both multi-family and single-family permits have shown a slow upward trend.



During January 2012, the number of new multi-family permits issued was up from January 2011, and was the highest January total reported in four years. January continued a general trend in which monthly multi-family permits have been at multi-year highs during recent months.



December was another flat month for single-family permits for the most part, although January's single-family total was at a four-year high. Overall January totals were well below January totals seen before 2009, but has nevertheless shown a mild growth trend since.



Once again, multi-family growth trends outpaced single-family growth.

Case-Shiller: Metro Denver home prices at 2001 levels

Case-Shiller released its home price index for December today. The home price index for the Denver area fell 0.9 percent from November to December, and fell 0.4 percent,year over year, from December 2010 to December 2011. Prices fell in December due at least partially to seasonal factors, although the overall index for the year remains below the index values seen during 2010. The first graph shows the index values since 2001:



According to S&P's press release, home prices are still facing headwinds and have "not yet stabilized":

“After a prior three years of accelerated decline, the past two years has been a story of a housing market that is bottoming out but has not yet stabilized. Up until today’s report we had believed the crisis lows for the composites were behind us, with the 10-City Composite originally hitting a low in April 2009 and the 20-City Composite in March 2011. Now it looks like neither was the case, as both hit new record lows in December 2011. The National Composite fell by 3.8% in the fourth quarter alone, and is down 33.8% from its 2nd quarter 2006 peak. It also recorded a new record low.


In year-over-year comparisons for December, Atlanta showed the largest drop, with a decline of 12.8 percent, while the index in Las Vegas fell 8.8 percent. Year over year, home price indices fell in 19 of the 20 cities included in the study. Only Detroit showed increases.

The second chart shows trends in the Case-Shiller index for the Denver area and for the 20-city composite index. It is clear that Denver did not experience the kind of price bubble that occurred in many other metropolitan areas, and consequently, the index has not fallen nearly as far in Denver compared to the larger composite. Prices have been largely flat since mid-2009.



The 20-city composite is down 34 percent since it peaked in July 2006, but the Denver index is down only 12 percent from its August 2006 peak.

Nevertheless, the Denver index during December was at the lowest December value seen since 2001.

The third chart compares year-over-year changes in the Denver area index and in the 20-city composite. The Denver index did not achieve the rates of growth experienced by the national index, but the Denver index did not experience comparable rates of decline following the onset of the national recession either. Overall, the index has been less volatile in Denver than has been the case for the 20-city composite, and the rates of decline in Denver have been smaller in recent months. However, year-over-year growth in the 20-city composite during December was negative with a decrease of 4 percent, and the Denver area index’s fall of 0.9 percent is the 18th month in a row in which the growth rate has been negative. In the 20-city index, the year-over-year change has been negative for the most recent 15 months.



The last chart provides a closer look at year-over-year changes in the Denver index. Note the the change has been below zero since June 2010, and likely reflects the end of the homebuyer tax credit’s end which has led to a fall in demand and a decline in the home price index. The upward trend in the index in response to the tax credit is clear during late 2009 and early 2010. Since the end of the credit, however, home prices have consistently drifted downward.

Multifamily permits up 109 percent in Janaury compared to 2011

During Janaury 2012 in Colorado, building permits issued for multifamily construction were up 109 percent, year over year, while permits issued for single-family construction were up 41 percent for the same period.

During the month, 287 multifamily permits were issued in Colorado, and 696 single-family permits were issued. During January 2011, there were 137 multi-family permits issued, and 492 single-family permits issued. January 2012's single-family permits were down 74 percent from 2006's January peak of 2,719 permits. Multi-family permits during January were down 61 percent from 2008's January peak of 739 permits.



The second graph shows that overall, both multi-family and single-family permits in January were at levels well below what were typical over the past decade. During recent months, however, both multi-family and single-family permits have shown a slow upward trend.



During January 2012, the number of new multi-family permits issued was up from January 2011, and was the highest January total reported in four years. January continued a general trend in which monthly multi-family permits have been at multi-year highs during recent months.



December was another flat month for single-family permits for the most part, although January's single-family total was at a four-year high. Overall January totals were well below January totals seen before 2009, but has nevertheless shown a mild growth trend since.



Once again, multi-family growth trends outpaced single-family growth.

Case-Shiller: Metro Denver home prices at 2001 levels

Case-Shiller released its home price index for December today. The home price index for the Denver area fell 0.9 percent from November to December, and fell 0.4 percent,year over year, from December 2010 to December 2011. Prices fell in December due at least partially to seasonal factors, although the overall index for the year remains below the index values seen during 2010. The first graph shows the index values since 2001:



According to S&P's press release, home prices are still facing headwinds and have "not yet stabilized":

“After a prior three years of accelerated decline, the past two years has been a story of a housing market that is bottoming out but has not yet stabilized. Up until today’s report we had believed the crisis lows for the composites were behind us, with the 10-City Composite originally hitting a low in April 2009 and the 20-City Composite in March 2011. Now it looks like neither was the case, as both hit new record lows in December 2011. The National Composite fell by 3.8% in the fourth quarter alone, and is down 33.8% from its 2nd quarter 2006 peak. It also recorded a new record low.


In year-over-year comparisons for December, Atlanta showed the largest drop, with a decline of 12.8 percent, while the index in Las Vegas fell 8.8 percent. Year over year, home price indices fell in 19 of the 20 cities included in the study. Only Detroit showed increases.

The second chart shows trends in the Case-Shiller index for the Denver area and for the 20-city composite index. It is clear that Denver did not experience the kind of price bubble that occurred in many other metropolitan areas, and consequently, the index has not fallen nearly as far in Denver compared to the larger composite. Prices have been largely flat since mid-2009.



The 20-city composite is down 34 percent since it peaked in July 2006, but the Denver index is down only 12 percent from its August 2006 peak.

Nevertheless, the Denver index during December was at the lowest December value seen since 2001.

The third chart compares year-over-year changes in the Denver area index and in the 20-city composite. The Denver index did not achieve the rates of growth experienced by the national index, but the Denver index did not experience comparable rates of decline following the onset of the national recession either. Overall, the index has been less volatile in Denver than has been the case for the 20-city composite, and the rates of decline in Denver have been smaller in recent months. However, year-over-year growth in the 20-city composite during December was negative with a decrease of 4 percent, and the Denver area index’s fall of 0.9 percent is the 18th month in a row in which the growth rate has been negative. In the 20-city index, the year-over-year change has been negative for the most recent 15 months.



The last chart provides a closer look at year-over-year changes in the Denver index. Note the the change has been below zero since June 2010, and likely reflects the end of the homebuyer tax credit’s end which has led to a fall in demand and a decline in the home price index. The upward trend in the index in response to the tax credit is clear during late 2009 and early 2010. Since the end of the credit, however, home prices have consistently drifted downward.

Housing News Digest, February 28

U.S. housing secretary says FHA faces big risks

Feb 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Housing Administration faces "considerable risks" to its finances and the Obama administration will continue to scale back the agency's presence in the mortgage market, the top U.S. housing official said on Tuesday.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan told Congress that efforts to protect the FHA's dwindling capital reserves were not only important in their own right, but that they could open the door to more private mortgage funding.

Housing Prices Dip For the Fourth Time in Three Years

After the Great Recession, there were some pundits who theorized that real estate would make a “W-shaped” recovery. With the S&P/Case-Shiller housing prices out this morning, it’s now clear that there are not one, but two “Ws” in the chart — and that’snot a good thing. Index prices fell 1.1% from November to December. In other words, we’ve now experienced a quadruple dip.

Manhattan Lures REITs Capitalizing on Soaring Rents
Tom Toomey, chief executive officer of real estate investment firm UDR Inc. (UDR), is betting the best rental deal in Manhattan is owning the whole building.

“Financing and underwriting are much tighter,” Toomey said in a telephone interview. With purchases requiring larger down payments, “people are going to stay renters for a long time,” said Toomey, who’s based in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Denver’s Latest New Home Community, the Lakes at Westwoods
Denver, CO, February 28, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Denver’s latest Taylor Morrison community, the Lakes at Westwoods, opens in grand fashion on March 17 with brand new Denver homes for sale, giveaways and the popular Denver Cupcake Truck on hand with free gourmet cupcakes.

The Lakes at Westwoods will offer new Denver homes for sale that include 3 to 5 bedrooms with 2 to 3.5 baths and will range from 2,638 to 3,534 square feet. The Lakes at Westwoods offers great views of the Rocky Mountains and is bounded by Broad Lake to the north and Hyatt Lake to the south with plenty of open space surrounding the community. Retail shopping, restaurants, and a newly remodeled supermarket are also located nearby.

NJ Supreme Court rules firms must list lender on foreclosure notice

The New Jersey Supreme Court says foreclosing parties must list the lender's name and contact information in addition to a loan servicer's information to comply with New Jersey Law when giving a party notice to foreclosure.

The court issued that opinion in the US Bank v. Guillaumes case, which drew friends of the court briefs from the state's banking association and numerous financial firms that considered the processing burdens that could stem from a decision in the case.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Housing News Digest, February 27

U.S. housing market still dragging but landlords are sitting pretty (New York Times)
Rent increases are greatest in places like San Francisco; Austin, Texas; and Boston, where technology companies in particular are hiring, as well as in New York and Washington, D.C. But cities like Chicago and Seattle, where house prices are still declining quite sharply, have had rental increases too.

Metro Denver's vacancy rate was 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the Colorado Division of Housing.

"We are more of a renter nation than we have been for a while," said Christopher J. Mayer, a professor of real estate at the Columbia University Business School.

New-home sales dip after four straight monthly gains
WASHINGTON — Sales of new homes dipped in January but the final quarter of 2011 was stronger than first estimated.

The Commerce Department said Friday that new-home sales fell 0.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000 homes. That followed four straight months of gains in which home sales rose 10 percent.

Home sweet home? Not so fast
How tough? A $26 billion civil settlement with five banks over foreclosure abuses, announced a few short weeks ago, is one of the largest agreements of its kind in U.S. history. And, judging by the headlines, it looks like a big deal. But in actuality, it pales in comparison with the $7 trillion in wealth lost by American households in the housing collapse.

Short Sales Bring 24% Greater Returns than Foreclosures
The real estate professionals at Massachusetts-based McGeough Lamacchia Realty have been proponents of short sales for quite some time, insisting that everyone comes out ahead when a short sale is achieved as opposed to a foreclosure. Now they’re sharing the facts that back up their claim.

Joint federal-state lawsuit accuses company of foreclosure rescue scam

Bella Homes LLC, a real estate investment company, and its principals are being sued by the federal government and the state of Colorado for allegedly preying on homeowners in foreclosure.

Bella Homes LLC, is a limited liability company organized in Delaware. According to the lawsuit, the company operates from the principals' private residences in Arizona and Georgia, and maintains "virtual offices" in Atlanta and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Friday, February 24, 2012

New homes for sale in U.S. West at historic lows

In January of this year, new single-family home sales rose in the US, and were flat in the West region, which includes Colorado. According to new data released by the Census Bureau today, new home sales in January have been flat in the West region for the past three years.

The report, which monitors sales activity for newly constructed houses, reported that in the West, new home sales were flat year over year with 5,000 sales in January 2012, which was the lowest January total recorded in more than ten years. There were 5,000 sales during January 2011. Nationwide, sales rose 4.7 percent, rising from 21,000 to 23,000 during the same period.

In the West, no January has shown fewer than 5,000 new home sales for the region for any year during the past decade.

For the West region:



The second graph shows that new home sales continue to fall and have generally followed a downward trend since the middle of the decade.

New home sales peaked during the spring and summer of 2005 and have trended downward since. The number of new houses sold in the United States is down 82 percent since the peak of March 2005, and new home sales in the West have fallen 86 percent since sales peaked in the region during March 2004.




The third graph shows the declines in both US and regional totals in new homes for sale.

The number of new homes for sale has also fallen off considerably. The number of new houses for sale in the West has fallen 76 percent since the total peaked during June 2007, and the same total has fallen 73 percent in the US since the number of new homes for sale peaked in the US during August 2006.



At 32,000, the number of new single-family homes for sale in the West is at the lowest level it's been in more than ten years. No month has shown fewer than 32,000 new homes for sale during the past decade. This reflects very low demand in the face of an ongoing and large number of new foreclosures and low-priced properties in many areas of the West, including Colorado. Although foreclosures have fallen in Colorado in recent years, foreclosure rates remain near historic highs. The national total of new homes for sale during January set a new ten-year low of 151,000.

As a final note, we can also look to the new home inventory. In this case, we calculate inventory by subtracting the number of new home sales in a given month from the number of new homes for sale at the end of the previous month. In the final graph, we see that the inventory has essentially been flat since March 2011, hovering near 30,000 homes. There was an inventory of 29,000 homes during January 2012. This is good news for owners of existing homes seeking to sell homes since it suggests that fewer new homes are sitting and waiting to be sold, thus diminishing some of the inventory-driven downward pressure on prices.

New homes for sale in U.S. West at historic lows

In January of this year, new single-family home sales rose in the US, and were flat in the West region, which includes Colorado. According to new data released by the Census Bureau today, new home sales in January have been flat in the West region for the past three years.

The report, which monitors sales activity for newly constructed houses, reported that in the West, new home sales were flat year over year with 5,000 sales in January 2012, which was the lowest January total recorded in more than ten years. There were 5,000 sales during January 2011. Nationwide, sales rose 4.7 percent, rising from 21,000 to 23,000 during the same period.

In the West, no January has shown fewer than 5,000 new home sales for the region for any year during the past decade.

For the West region:



The second graph shows that new home sales continue to fall and have generally followed a downward trend since the middle of the decade.

New home sales peaked during the spring and summer of 2005 and have trended downward since. The number of new houses sold in the United States is down 82 percent since the peak of March 2005, and new home sales in the West have fallen 86 percent since sales peaked in the region during March 2004.




The third graph shows the declines in both US and regional totals in new homes for sale.

The number of new homes for sale has also fallen off considerably. The number of new houses for sale in the West has fallen 76 percent since the total peaked during June 2007, and the same total has fallen 73 percent in the US since the number of new homes for sale peaked in the US during August 2006.



At 32,000, the number of new single-family homes for sale in the West is at the lowest level it's been in more than ten years. No month has shown fewer than 32,000 new homes for sale during the past decade. This reflects very low demand in the face of an ongoing and large number of new foreclosures and low-priced properties in many areas of the West, including Colorado. Although foreclosures have fallen in Colorado in recent years, foreclosure rates remain near historic highs. The national total of new homes for sale during January set a new ten-year low of 151,000.

As a final note, we can also look to the new home inventory. In this case, we calculate inventory by subtracting the number of new home sales in a given month from the number of new homes for sale at the end of the previous month. In the final graph, we see that the inventory has essentially been flat since March 2011, hovering near 30,000 homes. There was an inventory of 29,000 homes during January 2012. This is good news for owners of existing homes seeking to sell homes since it suggests that fewer new homes are sitting and waiting to be sold, thus diminishing some of the inventory-driven downward pressure on prices.

FHFA: Home prices in all metros except Ft. Collins fall during 4th quarter of 2011

The House Price Index (HPI) fell from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the same period this year in every Colorado metro area except the Ft. Collins-Loveland area. The areas showing declines in the HPI included Boulder, Denver-Aurora, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Grand Junction and Pueblo.

The first quarter HPI data, released yesterday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for hundreds of metropolitan areas nationwide, shows continued declines in home prices across Colorado.

Nationally and statewide, the HPI has also declined, with Colorado showing smaller declines that the nation overall. (See the analysis here.)

Year over year, the 1-year changes in each metro area were:
Boulder -0.7%
Colo Springs -2.7%
Denver-Aurora -1.9%
Fort Coll-Loveland +1.4%
Grand Junction -9.1%
Greeley -1.6%
Pueblo -2.6%

The first graph shows the year-over-year change in each region for each quarter. For the sake of visual clarity, the graph only shows data back to 2008.



Since the fourth quarter of 2008, the year-over-year changes have been generally negative. The graph also shows us that:

-Grand Junction has consistently shown the largest decreases in recent years.

-The Ft Collins-Loveland area has tended to show the smallest decreases in recent years, and shows the largest year over year increase of any region in any quarter since 2008.

The second graph shows the actual HPI values for each quarter going back to 2000. In general, the HPI began to plateau during 2007 and was declining in most areas by 2008. A big exception in the Grand Junction area which continued to increase rapidly well into 2008.



Since the peak period of the first quarter of 2007, the HPI has fallen in all regions. The following shows the change in the HPI compared to the peak period, as of the fourth quarter of 2011.

Boulder -0.8
Colo Springs -9.7
Denver-Aurora -5.5
Fort Coll-Loveland -2.5
Grand Junction -24
Greeley -14.3
Pueblo -8.4

This report overall suggests that while there is a fair amount of price stability in many areas of Colorado, prices continue to fall. When compared with Case-Shiller and local Metrolist data, we can say that through the fourth quarter of 2011, weakness in demand for for-purchase housing persists, but that losses in value are diminishing in each new time period. The CoreLogic index showed some small year over year increases in single-family homes. See here for more.

The index values presented and analyzed in this article are not seasonally adjusted. The data in this article is taken from the FHFA "all-transactions" data. The index is based on home price data obtained through the GSEs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

FHFA: Home prices in all metros except Ft. Collins fall during 4th quarter of 2011

The House Price Index (HPI) fell from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the same period this year in every Colorado metro area except the Ft. Collins-Loveland area. The areas showing declines in the HPI included Boulder, Denver-Aurora, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Grand Junction and Pueblo.

The first quarter HPI data, released yesterday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for hundreds of metropolitan areas nationwide, shows continued declines in home prices across Colorado.

Nationally and statewide, the HPI has also declined, with Colorado showing smaller declines that the nation overall. (See the analysis here.)

Year over year, the 1-year changes in each metro area were:
Boulder -0.7%
Colo Springs -2.7%
Denver-Aurora -1.9%
Fort Coll-Loveland +1.4%
Grand Junction -9.1%
Greeley -1.6%
Pueblo -2.6%

The first graph shows the year-over-year change in each region for each quarter. For the sake of visual clarity, the graph only shows data back to 2008.



Since the fourth quarter of 2008, the year-over-year changes have been generally negative. The graph also shows us that:

-Grand Junction has consistently shown the largest decreases in recent years.

-The Ft Collins-Loveland area has tended to show the smallest decreases in recent years, and shows the largest year over year increase of any region in any quarter since 2008.

The second graph shows the actual HPI values for each quarter going back to 2000. In general, the HPI began to plateau during 2007 and was declining in most areas by 2008. A big exception in the Grand Junction area which continued to increase rapidly well into 2008.



Since the peak period of the first quarter of 2007, the HPI has fallen in all regions. The following shows the change in the HPI compared to the peak period, as of the fourth quarter of 2011.

Boulder -0.8
Colo Springs -9.7
Denver-Aurora -5.5
Fort Coll-Loveland -2.5
Grand Junction -24
Greeley -14.3
Pueblo -8.4

This report overall suggests that while there is a fair amount of price stability in many areas of Colorado, prices continue to fall. When compared with Case-Shiller and local Metrolist data, we can say that through the fourth quarter of 2011, weakness in demand for for-purchase housing persists, but that losses in value are diminishing in each new time period. The CoreLogic index showed some small year over year increases in single-family homes. See here for more.

The index values presented and analyzed in this article are not seasonally adjusted. The data in this article is taken from the FHFA "all-transactions" data. The index is based on home price data obtained through the GSEs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

FHFA: home prices down 1 percent in Colorado at end of 2011

Colorado's House Price (Expanded-Data) Index (HPI), measured by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA), fell 1.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011. According to the fourth quarter 2011 HPI, released yesterday by FHFA, the home price index for Colorado, in year-over-year comparisons, has fallen for the sixth quarter in a row while the national index has fallen for the 19th quarter in a row.

The Colorado HPI has now down 15.1 percent from the peak in the state's HPI which was reached during the third quarter of 2006. The national index is down 24.7 percent from its peak, which it also reached during the third quarter of 2006.

The HPI for the United States fell 2.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011, and the national HPI has not shown a year-over-year increase since the first quarter of 2007.

The first graph shows the Colorado HPI compared to the US HPI since 2001. Since the peak period, the US HPI has fallen farther than the Colorado index.



In this index, the US price index can be described as slightly more "bubble-like" than the Colorado index which did not experience a run up in prices to the same degree as was the case in the national index. Although Colorado's index is higher, the index value increased much more from 2001 to the peak nationally than in Colorado. From 2001 to the third quarter of 2006, the national HPI increased 51 percent, while it only increased 23 percent in Colorado. In turn, the correction has been more severe nationally.

In the second graph is shown the year-over-year change in the HPI for both Colorado and the US. This more fully shows to what degree the HPI has fallen in recent year for both Colorado and the US. With the exception of the first quarter of 2011, the national HPI has fallen farther than the Colorado HPI in every quarter since the third quarter of 2007.



Overall, this index suggests that, since 2007, overall home prices in Colorado have been more resilient than has been the case nationally. In Colorado, there was even a brief period of increasing prices, year over year, in late 2009 and early 2010.

The index values presented and analyzed in this article are not seasonally adjusted.

Note: During the second quarter of 2011, the Federal Housing and Finance Agency released, for the first time, its Expanded-Data House Price Index. The new index is "Estimated using Enterprise, FHA, and Real Property County Recorder Data Licensed from DataQuick[.]"

In other words, the data source is much more broad than the old index which relied only on GSE information.

However, at the metro-are level, we'll still need to rely on the older GSE-data index until FHFA expands its new index into the metro areas.

FHFA: home prices down 1 percent in Colorado at end of 2011

Colorado's House Price (Expanded-Data) Index (HPI), measured by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA), fell 1.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011. According to the fourth quarter 2011 HPI, released yesterday by FHFA, the home price index for Colorado, in year-over-year comparisons, has fallen for the sixth quarter in a row while the national index has fallen for the 19th quarter in a row.

The Colorado HPI has now down 15.1 percent from the peak in the state's HPI which was reached during the third quarter of 2006. The national index is down 24.7 percent from its peak, which it also reached during the third quarter of 2006.

The HPI for the United States fell 2.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011, and the national HPI has not shown a year-over-year increase since the first quarter of 2007.

The first graph shows the Colorado HPI compared to the US HPI since 2001. Since the peak period, the US HPI has fallen farther than the Colorado index.



In this index, the US price index can be described as slightly more "bubble-like" than the Colorado index which did not experience a run up in prices to the same degree as was the case in the national index. Although Colorado's index is higher, the index value increased much more from 2001 to the peak nationally than in Colorado. From 2001 to the third quarter of 2006, the national HPI increased 51 percent, while it only increased 23 percent in Colorado. In turn, the correction has been more severe nationally.

In the second graph is shown the year-over-year change in the HPI for both Colorado and the US. This more fully shows to what degree the HPI has fallen in recent year for both Colorado and the US. With the exception of the first quarter of 2011, the national HPI has fallen farther than the Colorado HPI in every quarter since the third quarter of 2007.



Overall, this index suggests that, since 2007, overall home prices in Colorado have been more resilient than has been the case nationally. In Colorado, there was even a brief period of increasing prices, year over year, in late 2009 and early 2010.

The index values presented and analyzed in this article are not seasonally adjusted.

Note: During the second quarter of 2011, the Federal Housing and Finance Agency released, for the first time, its Expanded-Data House Price Index. The new index is "Estimated using Enterprise, FHA, and Real Property County Recorder Data Licensed from DataQuick[.]"

In other words, the data source is much more broad than the old index which relied only on GSE information.

However, at the metro-are level, we'll still need to rely on the older GSE-data index until FHFA expands its new index into the metro areas.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

January mass layoffs and first-time unemployment claims fall to 11-year low

Mass layoff events fell 54 percent to 5 events during January 2012 in Colorado. There were 11 mass layoff events during the same period last year. According to a new report released yesterday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, mass layoffs in Janaury were at the lowest January total reported in more than ten years.

Monthly mass layoff events grew rapidly after October 2008 in Colorado, and have gradually lessened since early 2010.



Nationally, mass layoff events decreased 33 percent from 2,558 during January 2011 to 1,705 during January of this year.

January mass layoffs have now fallen three years in a row after peaking at 24 mass layoffs during January 2009. The second graph shows January totals since 2001:



Mass layoffs were rare from 2004 through most of 2008.

Overall, the most recent mass layoffs data suggests that the employment situation continues to stabilize. New layoffs continue to lessen, and as we've seen in the most recent employment data, January job growth was at a five year high in Colorado.

New claims for unemployment insurance

New claims for unemployment insurance in Colorado fell year over year by 50 percent to 556 in January 2012. There were 1,126 new claims during Janaury 2011. New claims for unemployment insurance have also gradually fallen since early 2010. Nationally, new claims fell 42 percent from January 2011 to January 2012.

In January new unemployment claims, totals are down three years in a row and are at a ten-year low. January unemployment claims peaked at 1,814 during January 2009 and have fallen each January since.



See the employment data archive for more on December's job creation.

The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments—where private sector nonfarm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.

Home prices in mountain region fall slightly, drop 51 months in a row

House prices in December in the Mountain region, which includes Colorado, were nearly flat, falling 0.2 percent, year-over-year. Nationally, the house price index fell slightly, dropping 0.7 percent. The new house price index numbers, released today by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency, also showed that the national index is down 19.2 percent from the peak level reached in June 2007, while the Mountain region's index is down 30 percent over the same period.

The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses purchased with loans that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It is a repeat-sales index similar to the Case-Shiller index, but limited to GSE loans.

Although it has shown more negative growth than other indices in recent years, the decline in FHFA monthly house prices generally reflects overall trends also found in other home price indices such as the CoreLogic index and the Case-Shiller index. According to FHFA, prices have largely stabilized over the past several months, but remain slightly down from 2009 and 2010 levels.



The second chart shows each month's house price index compared to the same month a year earlier:



December 2011 was the 51st month in a row during which the house price index fell year over year. We can note that until December, the Mountain region has tended to perform more poorly (from a seller's perspective) than the national index. This runs contrary to some local experience and some statistics. The Case-Shiller data for the Denver metro area, for example, shows that local prices did not decline as much as the national composite index following the financial crisis in 2008. Also, the FHFA "expanded-data" index shows Colorado performing better than the national index.

Since we're looking at regional data, however, we have to keep in mind that this data reflects house prices in Arizona and Nevada, and this no doubt will continue to put downward pressure on regional prices for now.

Nevertheless, the overall trend among most home price indices is one of slow downward movement in home prices. This trend includes Colorado statewide as well as the metro Denver area. This downward trend continues to diminish, however, with the rate of decline getting smaller in each month in most indices. In December's FHFA report, the rate of decline, 0.2 percent, is the lowest year over year decline reported since September 2007, suggesting an ongoing trend toward stability, if not outright growth.

January mass layoffs and first-time unemployment claims fall to 11-year low

Mass layoff events fell 54 percent to 5 events during January 2012 in Colorado. There were 11 mass layoff events during the same period last year. According to a new report released yesterday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, mass layoffs in Janaury were at the lowest January total reported in more than ten years.

Monthly mass layoff events grew rapidly after October 2008 in Colorado, and have gradually lessened since early 2010.



Nationally, mass layoff events decreased 33 percent from 2,558 during January 2011 to 1,705 during January of this year.

January mass layoffs have now fallen three years in a row after peaking at 24 mass layoffs during January 2009. The second graph shows January totals since 2001:



Mass layoffs were rare from 2004 through most of 2008.

Overall, the most recent mass layoffs data suggests that the employment situation continues to stabilize. New layoffs continue to lessen, and as we've seen in the most recent employment data, January job growth was at a five year high in Colorado.

New claims for unemployment insurance

New claims for unemployment insurance in Colorado fell year over year by 50 percent to 556 in January 2012. There were 1,126 new claims during Janaury 2011. New claims for unemployment insurance have also gradually fallen since early 2010. Nationally, new claims fell 42 percent from January 2011 to January 2012.

In January new unemployment claims, totals are down three years in a row and are at a ten-year low. January unemployment claims peaked at 1,814 during January 2009 and have fallen each January since.



See the employment data archive for more on December's job creation.

The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments—where private sector nonfarm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.