Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Home prices continue steady rise | Inman News

The 10- and 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices posted monthly increases for the fifth month in a row in August, according to a report released today.

Seventeen of the 20 metros tracked by the index posted annual gains in August, with home prices up by an average of 2.0 percent from a year ago.

All but one of the markets tracked in the 20-city composite index posted gains from July to August. The 20-city composite was up 0.9 percent from July on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.

Read more: Home prices continue steady rise | Inman News

Monday, October 29, 2012

Experts see home prices increasing

Metro Phoenix home prices are expected to continue climbing during the next few years.

Housing analysts agree that demand for homes in the region is strong, and many don't appear to be concerned about prices rising too fast and shutting the door on regular homebuyers or investors.

Several experts are looking for metro Phoenix home prices to climb more than 10 percent annually during the next three years.

Read more: Experts see home prices increasing

Housing improving, but news has been oversold | Inman News

Markets seem at last to have noticed the possible range of consequences from the election 10 days hence, and the result is a wide-eyed, jaw-dropped, don't-do-anything.

Absent constant paddling, stocks tend to sink, and that's what they've done between frozen days.

Read more: Housing improving, but news has been oversold | Inman News

Valley Home Values: Median home prices by city

The following is a sampling of median home prices for Maricopa County municipalities with at least 50 sales of single-family detached houses during the past two years. (Some municipalities overlap into Pinal County.) See how your community's median home price for 2012 compared to last year's price and which municipality had the biggest overall increase:

Read more: Valley Home Values: Median home prices by city

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Phoenix-area homeowners see market on the rebound

For the past five years, tens of thousands of homeowners have been frozen in place, unable to sell their homes for a profit.  Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/business/realestate/articles/20121027phoenix-housing-market-rebound.html

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Behind the data: Housing

Many metro Phoenix homeowners will be happy to see the latest Valley Home Values special report in Sunday’s Arizona Republic. It’s more solid proof the area’s housing market is recovering. The information also might spur more buyers to purchase a house before prices climb higher.

The twice-a-year report, which I helped launch in 1997, has evolved with the sophistication of Phoenix’s housing market. This region has some of the best real-estate data in the country. Home sales and foreclosures are all public record, so it’s possible to find out quickly what’s happening.

Arizona’s housing market is one of its biggest, most important economic drivers. Providing the best coverage for our readers requires the best data.

Many real-estate-data research groups, locally and nationally, offer insight and numbers into metro Phoenix’s housing market. The Information Market, which was recently purchased by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, has been the data source for Valley Home Values since the report’s inception.

Several other entities, including Arizona State University, the Phoenix Housing Market Letter, the Cromford Report, AZBidder.com, Belfiore Consulting, ARMLS and the National Association of Realtors, are also great sources for our reporting.

In addition, many individuals in the Valley’s real-estate industry track their own numbers.

We rely less on S&P Case Shiller’s national home price because it lags a few months. But the index serves as an important national indicator and reliable home-sales information for states that don’t require real-estate transactions to be made public.

In Arizona, foreclosures are a tricky real-estate transaction to track. They involve both notices of trustee sales and trustee sales. Both can be canceled and refiled, often making it difficult to get accurate overall counts.

In preparing this special report, I enjoyed researching and writing about the upbeat trends for the market and for homesellers, especially after the tough times the market has seen since 2007.

Read more: Behind the data: Housing

Owners scrap plan to raze Wright house

The owners of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in east Phoenix that has been the focus of a controversial city-preservation effort have allowed a city-issued demolition permit to expire and will instead focus on finding a buyer.

However, the threat of a lawsuit against the city by the owners of the David and Gladys Wright House remains as the city presses forward with an effort to designate the structure a historic property to stave off redevelopment on the site.

The Phoenix City Council will vote on the historic designation Nov. 7. Both the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission and the city Planning Commission have recommended approval.

Read more: Owners scrap plan to raze Wright house



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US suit alleges mortgage fraud

NEW YORK - The latest federal lawsuit over alleged mortgage fraud paints an unflattering picture of a doomed lender: Executives at Countrywide Financial urged workers to churn out loans, accepted fudged applications and tried to hide ballooning defaults.

The suit, filed Wednesday by the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, also underscored how Bank of America's purchase of Countrywide in July 2008, just before the financial crisis, backfired severely.

The prosecutor, Preet Bharara, said he was seeking more than $1 billion, but the suit could ultimately recover much more in damages.

Read more: US suit alleges mortgage fraud

CityNorth developer suing law firm

A prominent Phoenix law firm is the target of a lawsuit claiming its actions put the developer of CityNorth out of business.

The developer, a subsidiary of the Klutznick Co. called Northeast Phoenix Partners, also controlled development rights throughout the 5,700-acre Desert Ridge development in northeast Phoenix.

But Northeast Phoenix Partners, or NPP, lost both CityNorth and Desert Ridge in a lawsuit with another developer, Gray Development Group, resolved earlier this year.

The new lawsuit, filed last week, claims Gammage & Burnham was NPP’s attorney when it advised Gray on how to proceed with an effort to increase residential density on a Desert Ridge parcel north of Desert Ridge Marketplace. The suit says Gammage gave NPP conflicting advice, urging them to oppose Gray’s effort.

Read more: CityNorth developer suing law firm

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shrinking Supply of Distressed Homes Makes Room for Homebuilding

A steady drop in distressed home sales may spell a better future for builders, Capital Economics analyst and property economist Paul Diggle says. Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/lack-of-distressed-homes-makes-room-for-homebuilding-2012-10-25

Once-Invisible Inventory Can Be Seen on Zillow

Instead of finding clever ways to chase shadow inventory, Zillow has decided to make things easy for thrill-seeking homebuyers and investors who are trying to track down unlisted, invisible inventory. Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/once-invisible-inventory-available-through-zillow-2012-10-25

Mortgage Rates Jump Back To Recent Highs

Mortgage rates are sharply higher today, as global markets abandoned bond market holdings at the quickest pace of the week. When investors favor selling bonds vs buying, prices fall and yields--or interest rates--move higher. Even before the domestic trading session was underway, bond yields were much higher after Asian and European trading. This led to the secondary mortgage market starting the day off at the worst levels in over month. Read more:   http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/280644.aspx

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Home Builders Need Mortgage Bankers to Keep Recovery Alive

A jump in signed contracts to buy newly built homes in September brought volumes to the highest level since April of 2010, when the home buyer tax credit temporarily infused the housing market. Read more:  http://m.cnbc.com/us_news/49533856

Monday, October 22, 2012

Phoenix metro becomes virtual investor's housing market

Buying sprees by billion-dollar hedge funds and real-estate investment firms have investors owning nearly 20 percent, or one out of every five, of the region's single-family houses and condominiums, according to an Arizona Republic analysis of recent sales data.

That's double the number of rentals considered normal in metro Phoenix in 2000, according to housing-market analysts.

Although it is too soon to gauge the impact of such a large increase in rental properties, the jump in investor-owned properties has the potential to change the character of neighborhoods, influence the options available to other homebuyers and ultimately alter the trajectory of the region's housing recovery.

Read more: Phoenix metro becomes virtual investor's housing market

Your Money: Cleaning up your credit report

I heard from a mother the other day who wanted to know if there was any way her daughter could get rid of some bad blemishes on her credit report.

Could you ask creditors if they'd remove such items, she wondered?

Read more: Your Money: Cleaning up your credit report

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Details on Fannie Mae's bulk REO sale in Phoenix remain elusive

Who bought Fannie Mae’s bulk portfolio of foreclosure homes in metro Phoenix has been a controversial secret since summer.
In late July, almost 300 foreclosure houses across metro Phoenix were purchased in a very quiet $34million cash deal. The buyer was a limited partnership called SFR 2012-1 US West based in Pasadena, Calif. Further investigation found the partnership was created by the seller, Fannie Mae. No public information was provided by Fannie Mae about the mystery deal.



Read more: Details on Fannie Mae's bulk REO sale in Phoenix remain elusive

Wrights' heirs are heartsick over home

In lower Arcadia, within walking distance of her grandparents' historic home, Anne Wright-Levi is trying to take life one day at a time and hope for the best.
In June, she found out that the David and Gladys Wright House -- a home her great-grandfather Frank Lloyd Wright built for his son -- was in jeopardy.
In the wrangling that has ensued, Wright-Levi has become a sympathetic figure to some as well as a lightning rod, blamed for not having the home designated a historic landmark when she and her two sisters inherited the property in 2008.
Read more: Wrights' heirs are heartsick over home

Hub On Campus, Tempe’s Newest Student Living High-Rise, Tops Off This Week - PR.com

Tempe, AZ, September 13, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Hub On Campus, Tempe, Arizona’s newest high-rise apartment complex opening August 2013, tops off construction at 19-stories this week.
Hub On Campus will be home to over 630 residents in its 17-stories of residential space. There will be 25,000 square feet of retail space as well as 6,550 square feet of restaurant space on its first and second floors to total 19-stories in all.
“Construction is progressing smoothly and on schedule,” says Hub On Campus project manager Eric Grimm. “We are looking forward to the August 2013 opening.”
Read more: Hub On Campus, Tempe’s Newest Student Living High-Rise, Tops Off This Week - PR.com

Profits soar at 2 largest mortgage lenders - Yahoo! Finance

NEW YORK (AP) — Is the mortgage market really back?

The country's two biggest mortgage lenders, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, reported Friday that a surge in home lending pushed them to record profits.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon declared that the housing market "has turned the corner." Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said that "every quarter, we have more confidence."

Wells said it issued $139 billion in mortgages from July through September, compared with $89 billion in the same period last year. JPMorgan wrote $47 billion in mortgages, compared with $37 billion last year.

Read more: Profits soar at 2 largest mortgage lenders - Yahoo! Finance

Apartment developer looks to close on Rural/Metro property

Rural/Metro Corp. will relocate the last remaining portions of its Scottsdale billing and call center to make way for a 261-unit apartment complex, at the northeastern corner of Indian School and Granite Reef roads.

Wood Partners, a developer of multifamily residences, is in escrow to purchase the 5.65-acre parcel from Rural/Metro, said John Berry, a zoning attorney working for the developer. The property originally was occupied by a grocery store and later was renovated to house Rural/Metro's operations in 1996.

Read more: Apartment developer looks to close on Rural/Metro property

Home prices up in northeast Valley

Home prices in August showed continued gains in the Northeast Valley over last year with a slight increase in Scottsdale and a 61 percent spike in Paradise Valley.

Scottsdale's median home price of $366,000 was up 1.67 percent from last August, according to the monthly report from the Arizona State University Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice.

Read more: Home prices up in northeast Valley

Resort redo outlook is still cloudy

The Paradise Valley Town Council this month will move forward with reviewing plans submitted by the owners of Mountain Shadows to redevelop the long-shuttered property.

But the future of the resort, which closed in 2004, remains cloudy.

On Sept. 24, the Planning Commission recommended the special-use permit to the council, with more than 100 stipulations attached.

Read more: Resort redo outlook is still cloudy

370-unit apartments proposed at major Arcadia intersection

Developers are hoping to add a luxury apartment complex with as many as 370 units to the southwestern corner of Camelback Road and 44th Street.
Kevin Ransil, Arizona regional partner for JLB Partners, says the Residences at Camelback will complement the Arcadia area offering a needed high-quality housing alternative that is close to amenities at a "dynamic and vibrant" intersection.
Read more: 370-unit apartments proposed at major Arcadia intersection

City debt refinancing will lower some property-tax bills

Residents in three Scottsdale communities will see a significant drop on their property-tax bills after the city successfully refinanced more than $28 million of debt.

Homeowners in the DC Ranch, McDowell Mountain Ranch and Via Linda Road communities-facilities districts will save an estimated $97 to $159 a year.

Read more: City debt refinancing will lower some property-tax bills

Existing home sales slowed in September - Oct. 19, 2012

The pace of previously owned home sales slowed slightly in September, even as the long-battered housing market showed signs of a broader recovery. Read more:  http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/19/real_estate/existing-home-sales/

Thursday, October 18, 2012

FNT- Title Talk: Get Excited!! Crystal Ball 2013 Real Estate Rebound

Unsure where our market is headed for 2013? Have questions related to lending? Interested in non-traditional markets? Arizona's elite title partners, Fidelity National Title Agency and Lawyers Title, present the Crystal Ball 2013 Real Estate Rebound. Read more:  http://fntarizona.blogspot.com/2012/10/get-excited-crystal-ball-2013-real.html?m=1

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Housing lifts growth in most U.S. regions

WASHINGTON - Stronger housing markets helped boost economic growth at the end of the summer in nearly every region of the United States, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday.  Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/business/realestate/articles/2012/10/10/20121010housing-lifts-growth-most-us-regions.html?nclick_check=1

US foreclosure filings hit 5-year low in September

U.S. foreclosure filings dropped to a five-year low in September as fewer homes were on track to be seized by lenders.  Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/business/realestate/articles/2012/10/11/20121011us-foreclosure-filings-hit-year-low-september.html?nclick_check=1

Financial crisis haunts banks

NEW YORK - The hot trend in banking now: Betting which one will be next to get sued.  Read more:  http://m.cbsnews.com/fullstory.rbml?catid=57530629&feed_id=999&videofeed=999

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Metro Phoenix bankruptcies continue dip

Metro Phoenix bankruptcies continued their prolonged downtrend in September, with filings hitting a seven-month low. Read more:   http://azc.cc/8hBcjz

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fed open to linking rate hike to economic gauge - Businessweek

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve wants to find a clearer way to signal to the public when it might start raising interest rates.

The Fed has told investors that it plans to keep short-term rates low for at least another three years. But it appears to be leaning toward setting a more specific target, according to minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting.

Read more: Fed open to linking rate hike to economic gauge - Businessweek

Mountain Shadows makeover plan still faces uncertainties

The Paradise Valley Town Council this month will move forward with reviewing plans submitted by the owners of Mountain Shadows to redevelop the long-shuttered property.
But the future of the resort, which closed in 2004, remains cloudy.
Last week, the Planning Commission recommended the special-use permit to the council, with more than 100 stipulations attached.
Read more: Mountain Shadows makeover plan still faces uncertainties

Annexation near Loop 303 on radar for Glendale

Glendale and landowners' vision for annexing land near Loop 303, which was a hot topic in the boom but fell off the radar in the recession, is bubbling up again.

A plan should soon go before the City Council for review.

A group of landowners and city staff are working on a proposal to bring water and sewer infrastructure to the area, which the city strip-annexed decades ago, without financially burdening current residents.

Read more: Annexation near Loop 303 on radar for Glendale

Zillow CEO Talks QE3, Housing TRLA, Z - TheStreet TV

Zillow CEO Talks QE3, Housing TRLA, Z - TheStreet TV

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Construction jobs in Ariz. on upswing

Construction jobs are on the rise again in metro Phoenix, thanks to the start of a recovery in homebuilding.New data show 6,300 new jobs in the building industry have been created during the past year, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Read more:  http://azc.cc/5DQ7vH

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Survey Shows Americans Prefer Homeownership

Fannie Mae's latest National Housing Survey shows that more people than previously thought would prefer to own their own home than rent despite the changing landscape of the U.S. housing market. U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that 65% of Americans own their own homes, which hasn't changed much over the past year, and Fannie May's survey suggests that a majority of people who don't own their own homes are still interested in pursuing the American Dream. Read more:  http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/articles/survey-shows-americans-prefer-homeownership-59904.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nuwireinvestor%2Flatestnews+%28NuWire+Investor%3A+Latest+News%29&utm_content=FaceBook

Historic Wright home owners shock at meeting with lawsuit threat

Owners of an iconic east Phoenix house designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright are threatening to sue the city, claiming its effort to designate the property as historic is illegal. Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2012/10/03/20121003historic-wright-home-owners-shock-meeting-lawsuit-threat.html

Income inequality: Why it matters

The issue:  The income gap between the rich and everyone else is large and getting larger, while middle-class incomes stagnate. That's raised concerns that the nation's middle class isn't sharing in economic growth as it has in the past. And it sparked the Wall Street protests that spread to other cities in the country. Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/20121004why-matters-income-inequality.html

Metro Phoenix home prices inch up in August

Home prices and sales both were up slightly across metro Phoenix in August. The median price of an existing home inched up to $150,000 in August from $149,000 in July, according to the latest report from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, which was released Wednesday. Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/business/realestate/articles/2012/10/02/20121002metro-phoenix-home-prices-inch-up-august.html

Measure of US home prices rises by most in 6 years

WASHINGTON - -- A measure of U.S. home prices jumped 4.6 percent in August compared to a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase in more than six years. Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/business/realestate/articles/2012/10/02/20121002measure-us-home-prices-rises-by-most-years.html

CMBS Delinquency Rate Slips Below 10%: Trepp

Commercial delinquencies have posted substantial declines over the past two months, falling 21 decreased another 14 basis points in September, bringing the delinquency rate below 10 percent, just barely. Read more: http://www.dsnews.com/articles/cmbs-delinquency-rate-slips-below-10-trepp-2012-10-03

Foreclosures Decline but Remain High, Prepayments Surge: LPS

Foreclosure inventory continues to decline but remains more than eight times what it was in the decade prior to the housing crisis, according to the latest report from Lender Processing Services (LPS). Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/foreclosures-decline-prepayments-surge-2012-10-03

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Auto Sales, Home Prices Help Buoy Weak US Economy - ABC News

The U.S. economy is looking more resilient, thanks in part to encouraging signs for the two most expensive purchases most Americans make: cars and homes. Read more:  http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=17378834

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