Saturday, February 29, 2020

January's new home sales spike 18.6% from 2019

Michael Yearout Photography

Sales of new homes jumped in January to an annualized rate of 764,000, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

According to Census data, January’s pace increased from December, which was upwardly revised from 694,000 to 708,000.

January’s total, which is 7.9% above December’s pace, was also 18.6% higher than January 2019, when new home sales hit an annualized rate of 644,000.

During the month, new home sales surged boosted by lower interest rates, warm weather and an uptick in home building, said Robert Frick, corporate economist for Navy Federal Credit Union. 

“We can expect the trend to continue as mortgage rates have fallen even lower in recent weeks, and more jobs are driving up demand,” Frick said.

 “However, scant evidence exists that home builders are making more low-priced homes, which are sorely needed by first-time homebuyers.”

“Years of supply shortages have bid up home prices out of reach of many lower- and even middle-income Americans, and to bring the opportunity of homeownership to those Americans we’ll need millions more homes built in the next few years, and more lower-priced homes,” Frick said.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale by the end of January was 324,000, representing a supply of 5.1 months at the current sales rate, rising from the previous month’s pace.

The median sales price of new homes was $348,200, while the average sale price was $402,300, according to Census data.

“After a mixed housing starts report and mediocre existing home sales report, this new home sales report is the first unambiguously positive sign for the housing market this month,” said John Pataky, executive vice president at TIAA Bank.

“Strong housing starts data through the second half of 2019 likely will contribute to solid new home development throughout the beginning of 2020,” Pataky said. “Additionally, this supply pipeline could help keep a lid on price growth, which ticked up toward the end of last year.”

As we head into the spring homebuying season, Pataky warns rising prices will swing the market toward sellers, but with a continued strong economy and low rates, he anticipates consumers will not enter empty-handed.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Summit County unveils new draft of hazard mitigation plan, seeks public feedback

#Summit County #Colorado

What are the biggest dangers to living in Summit County, and how do people work proactively to lower the risk?
Those are the questions being put to community members as officials once again ask for public feedback in finalizing the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan update — a comprehensive document meant to guide public safety policy and outline hazard mitigation projects over the next five years.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires each county to update its plan every five years. After five months of development, including an online community survey and input from numerous stakeholders, the Summit County Office of Emergency Management unveiled a draft of the new plan Monday evening. 
“It’s a lot of work, and there are a lot of moving parts,” county Emergency Management Director Brian Bovaird said. “The benefit that we have is that our existing plan is very comprehensive, and it gave us a really good base to go off of. This will give us a really good description of what hazards we face and our exposure to them.”
The plan — a bulky 665 page document including separate annexes for the county’s towns and special districts — identifies and ranks potential hazards by severity and probably to happen, and provides insight on mitigation strategies for each. 
Unsurprisingly, the most significant hazards noted in the plan deal with wildfires, floods, avalanches and severe winter weather.As the plan nears completion, officials are hoping to collect more public input before moving forward with adoption. Community members can access the draft plan on the emergency management page of the county’s website, along with another online survey to provide comments or suggestions through March 3.
Courtesy Summit Daily.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Breckenridge Town Council approves East Peak 8 development with conditions

#Breckenridge #Colorado

The Breckenridge Town Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve the East Peak 8 development with conditions, including the abandonment of the club membership component and the requirement that there be 46 commercial parking spaces at the development site that will not be used for paid skier parking. 
Town attorney Tim Berry made a statement listing the conditions but said the official written decision would be prepared for the next Town Council meeting March 10. 
The project previously was approved Jan. 7 by the Breckenridge Planning Commission, but on Jan. 14, the project was called up by council, members of which had concerns about the proposal
The development, which was first presented to the Breckenridge Planning Commission in October 2018, is proposed to include 49 condominiums, 137 guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, a pool and spa, and ski lockers, among other amenities. A club membership program was added to the planning process in October 2019. That proposal would have provided up to 150 people with day-use access to certain hotel facilities, including parking. 
The proposal originally was scheduled to be presented to council Jan. 28, but it was pushed to Tuesday at the request of the developer, Lionheart-LH Mountain Ventures, which wanted to complete a traffic study on Ski Hill Road to determine the impacts of the proposed club. The traffic study was included in the council meeting agenda packet and was reviewed by a third party — Charles Buck of Felsburg, Holt and Ullevig — which was selected by the town.
Breckenridge staff wrote in the council packet that the traffic study was consistent with a previous study completed in 2018 that was required for the approval of the original development agreement. Recommendations determined from the study included working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to improve signal timing and increasing lane queuing lengths at the Ski Hill Road and Park Avenue intersection as well as the Ski Hill Road and Main Street intersection
Courtesy Summit Daily.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Breckenridge Town Council to determine fate of East Peak 8 development

#Breckenridge #Colorado

Breckenridge Town Council members will determine the fate of the controversial East Peak 8 hotel development at their meeting Tuesday, Feb. 25. The project was approved Jan. 7 by the Breckenridge Planning Commission, but on Jan. 14, the project was called up by council for review
The original proposal for the hotel project first was presented in October 2018. The project is proposed to include 49 condominiums, 137 guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, a pool and spa, and ski lockers, among other amenities. A club membership program that would provide up to 150 people with day-use access to certain hotel facilities, including parking, was introduced in October 2019. Drainage improvements and infrastructure also were proposed for the Cucumber Gulch Preventative Management Area.
A call-up by council is rare when it comes to planning matters, according to Breckenridge Community Development Director Mark Truckey. However, council members had questions about the development, specifically in regard to parking, traffic and the club membership aspect that was introduced later in the planning process. 
“I’m a little concerned with the impacts it will have on parking,” council member Wendy Wolfe said about the club membership piece at the Jan. 14 Town Council work session. 
The project was scheduled to be presented to council Jan. 28 but was pushed to Feb. 25 at the request of the developer, Lionheart-LH Mountain Ventures. It asked to push the hearing so it could conduct a traffic study on Ski Hill Road to determine the impacts of the proposed club. 
The issue will be brought up in the council work session from 4:30-5 p.m. as well as at the regular meeting as a planning agenda item. The regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. Town of Breckenridge spokeswoman Haley Littleton said there will be an opportunity for public comment during the regular meeting. Littleton said written comments submitted to the town also will be shared.
“Letters and correspondence submitted to the town are made part of the record, supplied to council for review and supplied to the applicant,” Littleton wrote in an email.
The traffic report, which was reviewed by a third party, is included in the meeting agenda packet as part of the 433-page Town Council staff report regarding the development. The packet includes the submitted letters as well as the update from the applicant that “proposes to limit the initial offering of club memberships” to 90 with incremental increases over time. A maximum 150 memberships could be offered “if certain thresholds are met.” 
The traffic study segment of the packet includes the following note:
“Based on the current traffic study, it was determined that 72 additional parking spaces could be added to the project area (adding to the current 333 stalls) above the applied 1.2% annual traffic volume growth, which would still allow acceptable traffic operations of the intersection in the peak days of the peak season in 2040.”
The study uses club density calculations, which makes one membership equal to one lodging room for density purposes. 
“Based off of the proposed unit count of 214 overnight units and the applicant’s desire to sell up to 150 memberships, 41.2% of the selected amenity space should be attributed to the private club and the remaining 59.8% should be attributed to overnight guests,” the study reported.
Courtesy Summit Daily.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Zillow Founder Rich Barton Is A Billionaire One Year After Taking Back The Company

Rich Barton Zillow

Zillow founder Rich Barton is a billionaire after strong results of a risky new home buying strategy sent shares up 17% Thursday.

The result came almost a year to the day since he returned as CEO.Zillow shares closed above $64 a piece for the first time since June 2018.

Barton owns 15.8 million shares, including over 700,000 he bought in November 2018 when the stock was at a low point.

In April 2018, Zillow made a sharp turn toward the transaction Barton had long coveted, entering the fledgling on-demand home buying market—known as “ibuying”—with a service called Zillow Offers. Prospective sellers in select markets can go to the Zillow listing for their own home and ask the company how much it is willing to pay for their houses.

In February 2019, the company announced Barton would return as CEO to lead the transition.

Despite Barton’s popularity, his return did not entirely calm investors. Concerns remained over how the company could manage an expensive and operationally intense home-flipping business alongside a high-margin ad sales one. The stock struggled through 2019.

With the release of its full earnings for the year on Wednesday, Zillow showed enough momentum in both businesses to send the stock sharply higher.

Last year, Zillow purchased 6,511 homes and sold 4,313 of them, bringing in $1.4 billion in home sales revenue. In the fourth quarter, when nearly half of the sales occurred, the average price per home was $317,155. Home revenue for the quarter was $603.2 million, with a pretax loss of $12.186 million. Meanwhile, the media business had $1.3 billion in revenue for the year, an increase of 6%.

Zillow has predicted that in under five years it will be buying 5,000 homes a month—1% of all U.S. residential sales—and booking home sale revenue of $20 billion a year, with $2 billion or so from selling real estate ads.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Summit County’s adoptable pets for the week of Feb. 23, 2020

#Summit County #Colorado
Catalonia | Michael Yearout Photography

The following animals are available for adoption at the Summit County Animal Shelter. Call the shelter at 970-668-3230 with questions. 


ASHTON, 9 months, domestic shorthair, black, neutered male
CATALONIA, 8 years, domestic shorthair mix, white and gray, spayed female 
CLARA BOW, 6 months, domestic shorthair, brown tabby, spayed female
DECKER, 3 years, domestic shorthair, brown tabby, neutered male 
DUANE ALLMAN, 4 months, domestic shorthair, orange and white, neutered male
GREG ALLMAN, 4 months, domestic shorthair, orange and white, neutered male
JINGLES, 4 years, domestic shorthair, orange and white, neutered male
JOAN JETT, 4 months, domestic mediumhair, black and white, spayed female
KRIS, 4 years, domestic longhair, black and white, spayed female
MARIA, 7 years, domestic shorthair, gray tabby, spayed female
MORRIS, 6 years, domestic shorthair mix, apricot, neutered male
NIJA, 4 years, domestic shorthair, gray tabby, spayed female
NUTMEG, 4 years, domestic shorthair mix, tortoiseshell, spayed female
PATTI SMITH, 4 months, domestic mediumhair, black and white, spayed female
PENELOPE, 3 years, domestic shorthair, gray tabby, spayed female
STERLING, 1 year 1 month, domestic shorthair, orange tabby, neutered male
TACOMA, 1 year 1 month, domestic shorthair, orange tabby and white, neutered male
TINKERBELL, 7 years, domestic shorthair, gray and white tabby, spayed female


ADA, 3 years, German shepherd, black, spayed female
BETTY, 3 years, Siberian husky and German shepherd mix, tan and black, spayed female
BLACKIE, 3 years, border collie, black and white, neutered male
CONFETTI, 2 years, Australian cattle dog mix, blue merle and white, spayed female
DINO, 2 years, mastiff and German shepherdmix, black, neutered male
HAWAII, 3 years, Labrador retriever and pit bull terrier mix, black and brown, spayed female
HOLLY, 1 year 4 months, Plott hound mix, brindle, spayed female
LEVI, 4 years, pit bull terrier, blue and white, neutered male
LUNA, 8 years, German shepherd mix, black and brown, spayed female
NYSNO, 3 years, Siberian husky, black and white, neutered male
SOLOVINO, 1 year 6 months, miniature schnauzer , white, neutered male

Guinea pigs

CHANEL, no age, Guinea pig, red and white, unaltered male
GIZMO, no age, Guinea pig, brown and white, unknown gender
PIKACHU, no age, Guinea pig, calico, unknown gender
PRADA, no age, Guinea pig, calico, unaltered male