April 2009

There are 10 blog entries for April 2009.

Foreclosure filings in the Denver metro area declined nearly 46 percent in the first three months of 2009 from the same period a year ago, Denver Business Journal reported. The data is based on figures released by RealtyTrac, Inc. in its “Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report.” The company is an Irvine, California-based marketer of foreclosure properties.

Among the 203 large U.S. urban areas listed by RealtyTrac, the Denver-Aurora area ranked 60th in foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2009.  One in every 144 households in the area (7,250 properties) was in some stage of the foreclosure process in the first three months of the year, according to RealtyTrac. The total is down more than 22 percent from fourth quarter 2008 and down almost 46 percent…
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Boasting 109 Energy Star certified buildings, Denver ranks No. 7 in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) March study of cities with the greatest number of energy-efficient buildings, Forbes.com reports.  Notable Denver buildings include Union Tower, Financial Plaza, Harlequin Plaza, Wells Fargo Center and the Denver Marriott.

The EPA gives out its Energy Star rating to commercial buildings and manufacturing plants that emit 35% less carbon dioxide and consume 35% less energy than like-sized buildings. Among the structures the EPA rates are schools, hospitals, office buildings, courthouses, grocery and department stores and auto plants.

The number of Energy Star-certified buildings is up 130% from last year. The majority of spaces that receive the…
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Asking prices rose 1.1 percent in March according to Altos Research’s latest 10-city composite index.  The reason for the increase in median listing prices, BusinessWeek.com writer Prashant Gopal clarifies, is that the more expensive ones are lingering on the market while less expensive ones are selling.  

“It implies some amount of stability in that the bottom is not falling as much,” said Mike Simonsen, co-founder and CEO of Altos Research.

In the cities of Los Angeles, Houston, Boston, San Diego and San Francisco, asking prices rose more than 2 percent. In contrast, Salt Lake City had a monthly drop of 4 percent in its median listing price.
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Prices of existing homes in the Denver area declined 2.7 percent in January from the previous month, Standard & Poor’s reported on March 31. This is a much steeper decline than the two previous months.

Even so, when compared to the previous January, Denver's existing-home prices fared better than all but one of the 20 cities compared in the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

Denver showed an existing-home price decline of 5.1 percent between January 2008 and January 2009.  Dallas had a smaller decline of 4.9 percent. The average drop for all 20 cities was 19 percent.

The report said Denver had a home-price index of 122.33 in January, meaning home prices as of that month were 22.33 percent higher than in January 2000.

Home prices in Denver…
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Five Colorado cities made the top 40 of Forbes magazine’s latest list of the best places for business and careers, reported the Denver Business Journal. Fort Collins ranked No. 2, Colorado Springs, 10; Denver, 14; Boulder, 20; and Greeley, 37.

Forbes evaluated the 200 largest U.S. metro areas (population of 241,000 or more) on 11 criteria. The criteria included cost of doing business, cost of living, job-growth trends, crime rates and cultural attributes.

The criteria included two new measurements: projected job growth and fewest sub-prime mortgages as a percentage of total originations over a three-year period.

Fort Collins ranked in the top 15 of U.S. cities in four categories: educational attainment of its population (6th), past income growth (9th),

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It might become easier to buy a house worth $1 million or more, writer Prashant Gopal reported on BusinessWeek.com, because rates for jumbo mortgages could fall to more affordable levels.

The average interest rate for a jumbo loan has dropped from a high of 7.9 percent at the end of October to 6.6 percent. That is the lowest average rate since the end of 2007, according to financial publisher HSH.com in Pompton Plains, N.J.

The underwriting requirements, however, are strict. Borrowers typically need a down payment of at least 20 percent, a credit score of above 720, full financial documentation, and at least six months of cash reserves. In some markets, the down payment requirement is as much as 40 percent.

Declining interest rates for jumbo loans is…
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Houses for sale in zip code 80125 – home to Littleton, Colorado -- boast rising listing prices, BusinessWeek.com reports. Home-buying activity this spring is happening in middle-class neighborhoods like Littleton.

The publication asked Altos Research in Mountain View, California, to find the zip codes large metro areas where listing prices were actually rising. They had expected those zip codes to be in places where competition was pushing up asking prices as homes changed hands quickly. Instead, the study found that:
  1. The zip codes showing the most listing-price appreciation were among the most expensive markets.
  2. In many cases, the median listing price was rising because more luxury listings were entering the mix.  Wealthy homeowners were putting their
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Forbes Traveler rates Denver as one of the country’s Top 10 Golf Cities. What makes a great golf city?  Paul Rogers, senior editor at Travel & Leisure Golf, says "it starts with the concentration of courses—great golf cities have at least several good public courses along with private clubs that have history and some kind of golfing soul.”

“Denver has at least 10 quality public four-star courses that you can play for under 60 bucks," points out Travelin' Joe Passov, senior editor of Golf Magazine.   

"You can feel like Superman here because you hit the ball a lot farther at 5,000 feet,” says Jon Rizzi, publisher of Colorado Avid Golfer, referring to Denver’s high elevation.  

And the unique landscape adds to the golfing experience. For example, Arrowhead, a…
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Borrowing money for home loans is now at its lowest level in almost four decades according to today's Denver Business Journal report.

Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.78 percent this week. This is a full 1 percent lower than a year ago and the lowest 30 year rate since Freddie Mac started track rates in 1971. Also, the average one year adjustable rate mortgage hit 4.75 percent this week.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said “Mortgage rates followed other interest rates lower this week amid reports of slower economic growth. The final estimate of economic growth in the fourth quarter was revised lower and personal incomes fell 0.2 percent in February, below market consensus.”
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According to Forbes.com's recent report, Denver, Colorado, rates amongst the top ten U.S. cities where Americans are relocating. In 2007, Denver increased its population by 2.17% and in 2008 Denver was the 10th fastest growing metro area in the U.S. at 2.09%.

The 10 cities on Forbes’ list include:
  1. Raleigh, N.C.
  2. Austin, Texas
  3. Charlotte, N.C.
  4. Phoenix
  5. Dallas
  6. San Antonio, Texas
  7. Houston
  8. New Orleans
  9. Atlanta
  10. Denver

Denver recently topped the list as the most desirable place that Americans desire to relocate to. Both newcomers and residents alike enjoy Denver for its many days of sunshine, activities, culture, and business opportunities.

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