Now this is some good news I can handle for Colorado. I have had the same feelings about our market in Crested Butte, CO but just barely. I believe we may be at the bottom, but it will be a slow moving bottom in this cycle so plenty of time to get an incredible investment.
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Cisneros: Worst over for Colorado housing market
Colorado’s housing market will continue to face challenges, but the worst appears to be over, according to national housing expert Henry Cisneros, a former Cabinet secretary who was in Denver on Tuesday.
“I think the bleeding has stopped in Colorado,” Cisneros said of the state’s housing market. “There are no huge drops in price here, no large inventories.”
Cisneros, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton and now executive chairman of CityView, was in Denver discussing the U.S. Treasury Department’s recent Housing Finance Summit. Cisneros also is an advocate for equal opportunity in homeownership.
CityView, a real estate investment company based in Los Angeles, is an investor in The Peloton condo project in Boulder.
A major top of discussion at the summit was the fate of Freddie Mac (OTCBB: FMCKN.OB) and Fannie Mae (OTCBB: FNMA.OB), two government-sponsored enterprises that buy mortgages on the secondary market, pool them and sell them as mortgage-backed securities to investors. The entities have been partly blamed for the recent U.S. housing crisis, and were taken over by U.S. regulators in the fall of 2008, as high loan delinquencies and property foreclosures brought them close to collapse.
U.S. lawmakers have been considering what to do about Freddie and Fannie, including possibly disbanding the entities, splitting them into separate pieces or replacing them with a new entity.
“I think it’s playing with fire to abolish Freddie and Fannie,” Cisneros said. “I think there will be a restructuring of them, but I don’t know what it will look like yet.”
Cisneros explained that, despite their recent problems, Fannie and Freddie contribute greatly to many Americans’ ability to buy a home. If what they do were fully privatized, mortgage costs likely would go up.
“Freddie and Fannie are essential to the homeownership process,” he said.
Cisneros believes Colorado’s housing market, particularly in Denver and the rest of the Front Range area, is coming out of its doldrums because this area’s housing market started having trouble earlier than other areas. What’s more, as economic development experts also have said, the state’s relatively strong economy — based in part on future growth industries such as technology, bioscience, sustainable energy, etc., and which attract workers from other states — is helping its housing market.
“Colorado has the kind of economy that can come back … and Denver is a prototype for smart growth — sustainable, denser building,” said Cisneros, whose father grew up in Brighton.
CitiView, started in 2000 by Cisneros, has generated more than $2 billion in urban investment in 45 U.S. markets, according to the company.
CityView’s $150 million, 390-unit Peloton project is on Arapahoe Avenue at 33rd Street in Boulder. Its 191-unit first phase has sold more than 70 units for $23 million total, since dropping prices in mid-2009. Remaining units are priced at about $250,000 to the low $500,000s.