On the Market: Steamboat Walgreens store breaks ground | SteamboatToday.com

On the Market: Steamboat Walgreens store breaks ground

— Jeff Evans, Waner Construction Co.'s superintendent on the new Walgreens store in Steamboat, said Thursday, he will use more than a half dozen local subcontractors on the project, including, but not necessarily limited to engineering firms, plumbing contractors, asphalt and fire suppression.

Evans was supervising this week as heavy equipment moved dirt to prepare the site for the 16,450-square-foot store.

Routt County Regional Building Department Official Carl Dunham said he expects the foundation permit for the new building to be issued soon, followed by a permit for vertical construction after a few details are completed.

Foreclosures on pace for 300-plus in 2011

Routt County Public Trustee Jeanne Whiddon confirmed Wednesday that after processing 31 notices of election and demand, foreclosure filings here have grown to 153, putting them on pace to top 300 again in 2011.

"We'll end up somewhere between 300 and 350 if it keeps up," Whiddon said. "Traditionally, June and July are a little bit slower.

The number of foreclosure filings eclipsed 300 for 2010 on Dec. 21. A local Realtor said in late march that buyers' appetite for distressed properties is keeping up with the growing number of foreclosure filings, effectively absorbing them.

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"Even though the foreclosures are still entering the books at a rapid clip, the inventory is not building once they hit the market," said Darrin Fryer, of Prudential Steamboat Realty. "There have been 50 to 55 bank-owned properties listed for about a year now and there are only 43 on the market (as of March 23)."

Based on current numbers, Whiddon expects her office to process about 25 NED's in June.

The fact that an NED has been filed on a property does not necessarily mean the owner will lose it. Foreclosures are not infrequently withdrawn, sometimes because the owner has cured the default. Properties facing foreclosure are also selling in the current market.

National Realtors group backs mortgage reform bill

The National Association of Realtors went on record this week supporting legislation aimed at accomplishing comprehensive reform of the nation's housing finance market that protects taxpayers and ensures the availability of affordable mortgage credit into the future.

"NAR believes that a methodical, measured and comprehensive approach for reforming the secondary mortgage market is in the best interest of home buyers and taxpayers," NAR President Ron Phipps said. "A comprehensive and effective mortgage reform strategy is critical to help keep a level of certainty in the marketplace and not further disrupting the still fragile housing market recovery."

NAR supports the objectives of H.R. 1859, the Housing Finance Reform Act of 2011, introduced last month by Reps. John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.). The bill takes a comprehensive approach for reforming the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and not shut them down as some are advocating.

The national group acting on behalf of Realtors opposes the piecemeal approach of recent proposals that would quickly constrain or shut down existing secondary mortgage market facilities before identifying a viable replacement that would allow securitization to function under all market conditions.

"While NAR has concerns with some aspects of the legislation, we strongly support the bill's comprehensive approach to reforming the secondary mortgage market and greatly appreciate the efforts of Reps. Campbell and Peters to protect the affordable 30-year fixed rate mortgage, shield taxpayers from unnecessary additional bailouts, and ensure the availability of mortgage capital to all markets under all economic conditions," Phipps said.

He said his organization is wary of completely privatizing the system of providing home loans.

"We believe that a fully private system is not a viable or sustainable alternative to the existing housing finance system and will severely restrict mortgage capital, raise costs for qualified, creditworthy homebuyers, and place taxpayers at greater risk as too-big-to-fail government-backed financial institutions dominate the market," Phipps said. "NAR looks forward to working closely with Congress; the time has come to have a serious discussion about comprehensive reform of our nation's housing finance system."

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