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Mortgage News

by Roberts Johnson and Rachel Diedrich, Real Estate B
Fed bond-buying decision keeps mortgage rates at record lows
Thursday, September 22nd, 2011, 9:32 am

The Federal Reserve's plan to reinvest principal payments on some bonds into mortgage-backed securities is already contributing to the nation's record low mortgage interest rates, Bankrate said Thursday.

Bankrate said the Federal Open Market Committee seems to be taking direct aim at mortgage rates by shifting $400 billion from short-term holdings into long-term government bonds. The program, which begins Oct. 3 and runs through June, will involve longer-term Treasury securities with remaining maturities of six years to 30 years, and will be financed through the sale of shorter-term Treasurys with maturities of three years or less.

"This program should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates and help make broader financial conditions more accommodative," the FOMC said in a statement following its two-day meeting.

Analysts also said anemic economic growth and European debt fears are keeping investors on the sidelines.

Rates are unlikely to increase until mortgage refinancing and purchasing activity picks up, Bankrate said.

"In order to get the most economic impact out of low mortgage rates, the pool of prospective refinancers needs to be expanded. Deeply upside-down homeowners, those with second liens or mortgage insurance, and lender concerns about buyback liability are all formidable impediments to refinancing," according to the firm, which aggregates rate data from across the country.

The Freddie Mac primary mortgage market survey showed the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged this week at 4.09%, while the 15-year, fixed rate dropped one basis point to a new record low of 3.29%.

Meanwhile, the five-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.02%, up from 2.99% last week and down from 3.54% a year ago.

The one-year, Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.82% this week, up from 2.81% a week earlier and down from 3.46% last year.

"A sluggish economy and investor concerns over the European debt markets left mortgage rates largely unchanged this week," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

"Manufacturing activity in both the New York and Philadelphia regions contracted in September," he said. "Moreover, the Federal Reserve board reported that households lost nearly $150 billion in net worth in the second quarter, representing the first quarterly decline in a year."

Bankrate data show the 30-year FRM at record lows for the fifth consecutive week. The average rate for a traditional mortgage fell to 4.29%, from 4.32% last week, while the 15-year FRM declined to 3.42% from 3.44%.

In addition, the 5/1 ARM decreased to 3.05% from 3.07% last week.

Write to Kerri Panchuk.

Home sales up!

by Roberts Johnson and Rachel Diedrich, Real Estate B

Home sales jump 7.7 pct. as foreclosures rise

By DEREK KRAVITZ AP Real Estate Writer
Updated: 09/21/2011 08:04:35 AM MDT

WASHINGTON—The number of Americans who bought previously occupied homes rose in August. But sales were driven by an increase in foreclosures, evidence the housing market remains weak.

The National Association of Realtors says home sales rose 7.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million homes. That's below the 6 million that economists say is consistent with a healthy housing market.

Last month's pace was slightly ahead of the 4.91 million sold in 2010, the weakest sales year in 13 years.

Home at risk of foreclosure made up 31 percent of sales, up from 29 percent in July.

First-time homebuyers were unchanged at 32 percent of all sales. The normally make up 50 percent of sales in healthy markets.


Colorado Foreclosures Down

by Roberts Johnson and Rachel Diedrich, Real Estate B

Colorado metro foreclosure filings, sales down so far this year

Updated: 09/16/2011 02:52:08 AM MDT

(Associated Press file photo)

Foreclosure filings and sales in Colorado's metropolitan counties were down during the first eight months of this year compared with the same period of 2010, the Colorado Division of Housing said Thursday.

August was the ninth consecutive month in which both filings and sales were down when compared with the same month a year ago, said Ryan McMaken, an economist for the division.

Foreclosure filings from January through August fell 31.4 percent, to 16,481 filings, compared with 24,032 filings during the same period last year.

Foreclosure sales at auction were down 18.5 percent during the same eight-month period.

There were 11,502 sales at auction from January through August of this year, compared with 14,114 during the same period last year.

However, from July to August of 2011, foreclosure filings increased 34.2 percent and sales at auction rose 32 percent. Foreclosure filings hit a six-month high in August, while foreclosure sales at auction reached a two-month high.

"This sizable increase from July may signal that some lenders are beginning to process foreclosures more quickly, or it could be due to the increase in new mortgage delinquencies reported during the second quarter," McMaken said.

He said all metro counties showed decreases in foreclosure filings and sales in the year-to-year comparisons.

Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939 or

Read more: Colorado metro foreclosure filings, sales down so far this year - The Denver Post
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Downtown Denver's New Urban Market

by Roberts Johnson and Rachel Diedrich, Real Estate B

Downtown Denver gets its own grocery store with Dean’s Urban Market

Family-owned market opened last month in a 12,000-square-foot space Denver’s Ballpark district

Posted: 09/14/2011 06:24:14 AM MDT   Updated: 09/14/2011 06:25:21 AM MDT   Author: Matthew Rodriguez

Bradford Peterson of Denver shops for crackers last week at Dean’s Urban Market, at 1415 Park Ave. in Denver. The grocery store opened Aug. 5 in the city’s Ballpark district. Photo by Matthew Rodriguez, YourHub



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Tags:   ballpark  denver  news  staff stories

Tonya Dean Steiner lived in downtown Denver for about a year, but she said the area lacked a convenient grocery store.

“It was my one complaint about living downtown,” she said.

Now, Steiner is a partner in family-owned Dean’s Urban Market, which opened last month in a 12,000-square-foot space at 1415 Park Ave. W. in Denver’s Ballpark district.

The idea for the store came about at a Father’s Day barbecue last year at Steiner’s former home downtown. The family ventured out to find some items for the barbecue and ended up scouting out potential grocery store locations.

“We started walking around saying, ‘If we could put a grocery store somewhere, where would it be?’” Steiner said.

Councilwoman Judy Montero said the grocery store offers a combination of items that are in standard, as well as natural and organic, grocery stores in an area that was essentially a food desert.

“They have the choices of healthy food,” she said.

Some Dean family members also co-own a grocery store in Fairplay.

Brandon Kelley, 28, said he has lived in the Ballpark area for more than a year and the store is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

“I like the fact that it’s locally owned,” he said. “I wish them nothing but success.”

Matthew Rodriguez: 303-954-2409 or


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