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Case-Shiller: Home price gains slow nationwide; Denver hits new price peak in June 

August 26, 2014 — The data released today by the S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed a sustained slowdown in price increases. Although the national index gained 6.2% in the 12 months ended in June — and the 10- and 20-city composities gained 8.1% — all three indices saw their rates slow from last month.

Even so, Denver was one of two cities that continues to set a new peak in home price gains: $154.39. That means home prices in Denver are 54.39 percent higher than the 100 base value of prices in January 2000. This represents a 1.2% change in prices from May and a 7.7% change from 2013 to this year.

David M. Blitzer, chair of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, observed that home prices continue to ease throughout the country, and for the first time since February 2008, all cities showed lower annual rates than the previous month. Yet other housing indicators — such as starts, existing home sales and builders' sentiments — are positive. "Taken together," he said, "these point to a more normal housing sector."

Blitzer added, "Bargain basement mortgage rates won't continue forever; recent improvements in the labor markets and comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen and others hint that interest rates could rise as soon as the first quarter of 2015." And while rising mortgate rates won't send housing into a tailspin, Blitzer said, they "will further dampen price gains."

Associate Member recovers from traumatic automobile accident

August 26, 2014 — In May, HBA Associate Member Erik Myklebust was involved in a serious automobile accident on Highway 36.  The after effects of the accident have taken a toll on the entire Myklebust family and Erik's business, Integrated Electronic Systems.  In the true spirit of this member organization, please join the HBA of Metro Denver is welcoming Erik back to the low-voltage/electronic aspect of our community.  Erik can be reached at 303.427.9289, via email erik@applecontrolsystems.com or online at www.AppleControlSystems.com

Industry Night was once again a huge success!

August 22, 2014 — On Friday, August 8th, over 750 industry professionals gathered together at the Skyestone Community located in Broomfield to celebrate the opening of the 2014 Parade of Homes.  The celebration, known as Industry Night was hosted by Taylor Morrison Homes.  Sponsors treated guests to brick oven pizza, a full service bar, a variety of bite sized snacks and even an ice cream station.  A huge thanks to all of our sponsors!  View Platinum Sponsors here.   

The weather cooperated beautifully, and guests were able to tour six impressive models at the newly opened active adult community.  View Photos of the exciting event here.

Colorado ranks 6th for lot production in second quarter

August 22, 2014 — MetroStudy, a Hanley Wood company, reported that lot production is in full gear and has caught up with demand in some markets throughout the country. In the Colorado market, MetroStudy reported that 3,985 single family residential homes were started in second quarter, and 3,275 lots were delivered.

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Builder confidence rises in August

August 19, 2014 — Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single family homes rose two points — to 55 — on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for August. This is the third consecutive monthly gain, and the highest level the for the index since January. The West registered a four-point gain, to 56.

While homebuyers continue to face tight credit conditions and homebuilders face a shortage of finished lots and labor, NAHB Chair  Kevin Kelly, observed that as the employment picture brightens, homebuilders "are seing a noticeable increase in the number of serious buyers entering the market."

The HMI index gauges builder perceptions of current single family home sales and expectations for the next six months as good, fair or poor. And the survey asks builders to rate traffic as high, average or low. The indices that gauge current sales conditions and expectations for future sales rose two points, to 58 and 65, respectively. The index that guages traffic of prospective homebuyers increased three points, to 42.

"Builder confidence appears to be firming, following an uneven spring," said David Crowe, NAHB's chief economist.  "Factors contributing to this rise include sustained job growth, historically low mortgage rates and affordable home prices, which are helping to unleash pent-up demand."

Leading Markets Index shows housing continues its recovery

August 14, 2014 — Markets in 56 of the 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index. This represents a net gain of seven markets from last year.

Based on current permit, price and employment, the nationwide average is running at 89 percent of normal economic and housing activity; 78 percent of markets have shown an improvement over last year. "Things are gradually improving," said NAHB Chair David Kelly. "As the job market grows, we expect to see a steady release of pent up demand."

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe agreed and added that the bright spot in these numbers is employment, "where the number of metro areas that reached or exceeded their norms grew from 26 to 46 in a year." 

What's more, in the 22 markets where permits are at or above normal, Kurt Pfotenhauer observed that the overall index indicates that these markets have fully recovered. The vice chair of First American Title Insurance Company, which cosponsors the NAHB/LMI report, said, "This finding shows the impact that an uptick in permits can have on the overall health of markets."

The LMI is calculated by comparing the current levels of three components — employment, which is derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; house prices, which comes from Freddie Mac and single family permits, which is provided by the Census — to their normal levels. The current level as a share of normal level is calculated compared for each component. The LMI is the average of these three shares. 

 

Brookfield Homes' Midtown project requires homebuilders use beetle-killed wood

August 12, 2014 — The Midtown development by Brookfield Homes has a strong focus on energy efficient homes. And homebuilders who are building in the 180-acre development that's zoned for 1,300 homes must use pine beetle-killed wood in their homes. The Denver Business Journal reported that there are a number of reasons for this mandate.

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The 2014 Parade of Homes opens with 74 new homes - the largest Parade in Denver's history!

August 7, 2014 — This year, 23 custom, local and national builders are participating in this year's Parade and will showcase a wide variety of home styles from single-family, townhomes, luxury, condos and lofts as well as exhibit the latest in construction technology, design and energy efficiency, priced from $220,000 to $1.3 million.  The Parade also features four Dream Homes valued at more than $750,000; and three Spotlight Communities, or unique master planned communities. 

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Jack Fisher Homes takes over Henry Walker Communities

Updated August 7, 2014 — In April, Oakwood Homes bought Utah-based Henry Walker Homes and the majority of its assets.  However, according to the Denver Business Journal, the communities in Longmont, Firestone, Dacono and Windsor were not part of the transaction and will now be built by newly created Jack Fisher Homes.

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DBJ names Oakwood Homes healthiest employer in its category

August 5, 2014 — Congratulations to Oakwood Homes, which was named the Healthiest Employer by the Denver Business Journal in the medium-sized companies category (76-250 employees). In the fourth year of the competition, companies needed to meet some key selection criteria, including a tobacco-free workplace policy, biometric screening, obesity coaching or management, incentives to modify 'at risk' behavior and tracking absenteeism because of sickness.

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