GJ’s high housing market rating bittersweet, analysts say

Local housing market watchers say a national Web site’s listing of Grand Junction as the seventh-strongest real estate market is bittersweet at best.

Housingpredictor.com, which made the announcement last week, provides housing forecasts for 250 markets nationwide and said the cities in the top 10 showed strong sales and bucked national trends of housing decline.

“It’s kind of sweet misery,” said Bob Reece, president of Advanced Title Technology, who regularly runs local market numbers. “We’re at a spot that still is not good from our standpoint but maybe better than others. We already knew our real estate situation wasn’t as bad as the rest of the world, but this still doesn’t make it good.”

Once the secondary home mortgage market runs the speed it should, Reece said, “I think all of us will breathe a sigh of relief. It will help turn over mortgages, and financing will get rolling again.”

The report said Grand Junction was the only city in Colorado where the housing market is projected to grow, predicting 4 percent growth through the end of the year. The energy boom gets credited for the figures being better than the rest of the state.

Trustees across the state have been in communication on how to handle the shakeout of the foreclosures that are being put on hold, Mesa County Trustee Paul Brown said.

“From our viewpoint, I guess I would say the good news is we’re not as bad off as those other guys,” Brown said.

He pointed out foreclosures are up 20 percent this year over last year.

“It hasn’t reached what I think is a crisis situation yet, but we are seeing some effect,” Brown said. “Some of the banks that have been closed down or sold have in some cases put foreclosures on hold. We’re not sure for how long or what effects that’s going to have on us.”

“It’s a tough situation, anywhere you go almost.”


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