May 2009

There are 7 blog entries for May 2009.

Based on criteria ranging from the average commute time to the number of currently available government jobs, Denver ranks No. 12 in’s Top 25 Cities for Government Careers.

GovCentral looked specifically at a city’s growth rate, cost of living, average commute time, unemployment figures, the rate that unemployment increased since February 2008, and, most importantly, the number of jobs currently posted on USAJobs.

Several key characteristics of Denver caught their attention include:
  • The city is a major energy research center and a regional headquarters for government agencies.
  • Its major employers are concentrated in air transportation, telecommunications, aerospace and manufacturing.
  • The downtown financial district houses both major
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According to the S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price Indices, Denver fared the best among 20 U.S. cities. The 20-City Composites recorded annual declines of 18.7%. This is a slight improvement from the return reported for February.

“Declines in residential real estate continued at a steady pace into March,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “All 20 metro areas are still showing negative annual rates of change in average home prices with nine of the metro areas having record annual declines. Seventeen metro areas recorded a monthly decline in March, with Minneapolis, Detroit and New York posting record monthly declines. On a positive note, nine of MSAs are reporting a relative improvement in year-over-year returns and

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About 50 percent of nationwide transactions are sales of distressed homes, resulting in market distortions in otherwise stable neighborhoods, Robert Freedman reports in REALTOR Magazine.

The median national home price today is about $169,000, down almost 14 percent from a year ago and an estimated 30 percent from its peak. “We’re only capturing transaction prices,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “and those prices might be 20 percent to 25 percent below actual values.”

Lenders add to the problem of market distortion by not refinancing mortgages of troubled owners. Not being able to refinance worsens a homeowner’s financial situation. The lack of reasonably priced financing for higher-cost homes also contributes to the problem.

If all

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Many states started monetizing the first-time homebuyer tax credit before the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced its plan to do so. Nearly a dozen states make bridge loans (advance loans) available to households that want to claim the tax credit, Brian Summerfield reports in REALTOR® Magazine. The loan is repayable with proceeds from the first-time homebuyer’s tax credit.

On May 13, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the department will allow consumers to obtain a bridge loan, repayable with proceeds from their tax credit, to help cover their down payment. Guidelines for the new policy will be released shortly.

For states to consider offering bridge loans, they need to be convinced they will get a return on

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Denver, Colorado, is projected number one of five top American real estate markets on the verge of recovery from the housing slump per Barbara Corcoran speaking on MSNBC Today.

Characteristics of a city that could rebound:

1. Job growth.
2. Growing population.
3. Location with good weather.
4. Lost of First-Time Home Buyers.
5. No overbuilding of condos or office spaces.
6. Vital Downtowns where people can live without a car.
7. Well educated population.
8. Large number of foreclosures early.

Top housing markets:

5. San Francisco, CA
4. Seattle, WA
3. Austin, TX
2. Raleigh, NC
1. Denver, CO

Some reasons Denver leads the nation mentioned are that in Denver you can get a 3 bedroom, 2 bath for $193,000. Denver is a great real estate success story. It once had the

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The cost of home loans from $625,500 to $729,750 in high-cost regions should come down in the next few weeks, Kathleen Pender reported in Although the economic stimulus act passed in February increased the conforming loan limit in high-cost regions to a maximum of $729,750 for single-family homes through the end of this year, lenders have been waiting for Fannie and Freddie to issue underwriting criteria before lowering their rates. Fannie issued its criteria March 30 and Freddie on April 16. Both will start buying loans of up to $729,750 from lenders on May 4.  

The conforming-loan limit is the biggest mortgage that can be purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Anything over the limit is called a jumbo loan, which costs considerably more. On…
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The Cherry Hills Country Club is scheduled to reopen its 18-hole golf course May 1, after a $7.6 million, eight-month restoration, according to the Colorado Golf Association, reported the Denver Business Journal.  

Key goals of the upgrade were to bring back many aspects of the original course design by William Flynn and to keep attracting U.S. Opens, PGA Championships and other key golf tournaments. The club will host the Palmer Cup, a competition between U.S. and European college players, in June. And the U.S. Amateur championship will be played at the course in 2012.

The golf course restoration included:

• Lengthening the course by 291 yards.

• Redoing all tee boxes and bunkers, and rebuilding some greens.

• Replacing the irrigation system.

• Removing 200…
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