Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mortgage lending loosens in June | HousingWire

Mortgage lending eased a bit in June, with credit becoming more widely available when compared to recent years, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

An uptick in jumbo, investor and higher LTV loans eased some of the slack.

According to the MBA's Mortgage Credit Availability Index report, which analyzes data from AllRegs Market Clarity product, the MCAI ticked up to an index score of 109.8 last month, growing almost 1% from 108.9 in May.

The index evaluates credit scores, loan types and loan-to-value ratios to compute the score.

The May figure is well above the benchmark score of 100. Higher index values suggest credit is loosening and lending is less strict, while lower values are indicative of tightening standards.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sterling’s DC Ranch villas nearly sold out


Sterling at Silverleaf, a small development of villas in the Silverleaf section of DC Ranch, has sold 14 of 16 homes in its first phase, with 12 more planned in a subsequent phase.

The project, a revival of a previous effort by Scottsdale architect Bing Hu, was sold in a foreclosure auction in 2008. The new developer is the Sterling Collection Development Group.

Construction got under way on the Sterling Collection’s efforts in April 2011.

The two homes remaining are models priced at a little more than $1.7 million. Both have 3,439 square feet with four bedrooms and 41/2 baths.

Read more: Sterling’s DC Ranch villas nearly sold out

New cancer center at Mayo Clinic may mean 1,000 new jobs


When Mayo Clinic opens its cancer center in 2015, health-care leaders say, people will come from all over the world to receive treatment at the northeast Phoenix facility.

The center will offer innovative treatment that’s not available in the Southwest.

But beyond the care, officials say, the center also signals progress for economic development in the area.

Officials expect the center, an expansion of Mayo’s Phoenix campus, to provide more than 1,000 medical-related jobs, including more than 100 physician positions.

 And developers envision the 380,000-square-foot cancer center as one piece of a vast biomedical corridor surrounding the facility.

Read more: New cancer center at Mayo Clinic may mean 1,000 new jobs

HOA ends dispute with Paradise Valley resort


The Mountain Shadows resort in Paradise Valley has inched yet closer to resurrection.

One of the two adjacent homeowners associations has come to a private agreement with the owners of the resort property, MTS Land LLC and MTS Golf LLC.

The Mountain Shadows West Board of Directors has approved an agreement involving resort amenities and land use.

Rick Carpinelli, senior vice president of acquisition and development with Crown Realty and Development, said the agreement ends confrontation from the HOA that has taken the shape of possible lawsuits and opposition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Read more: HOA ends dispute with Paradise Valley resort

Controversial condo project in Mesa gets 7-0 OK


A controversial condominium project in east Mesa won unanimous City Council approval last week despite a legal protest and opposition from dozens of neighbors.

The case sparked the longest City Council zoning hearing since the recession all but smothered Mesa’s building industry five years ago.

The 95-minute discussion began with confusion as to whether the legal protest was valid and ended with a 7-0 vote that was more than enough to carry the project even if the protest had been upheld.

Ellsworth & U.S. 60 LLC, represented by zoning attorney Reese Anderson, plans to build a 42-building, 240-unit, gated community on about 15 acres on the west side of Ellsworth Road, south of Southern Avenue.

Read more: Controversial condo project in Mesa gets 7-0 OK

‘Renting is new buying’: Apartments booming in Scottsdale


A giant crane towers over the massive construction site for the final phases of the Scottsdale Waterfront in downtown Scottsdale.

Alliance Residential Co. is progressing ahead of schedule on Broadstone Waterfront, a 259-unit apartment complex with restaurant and retail space along Marshall Way. It also is ahead of schedule on Broadstone Lincoln, a 264-unit apartment complex northwest of Scottsdale Road and Lincoln Drive.

Scottsdale is leading the Valley in apartment development, said Tom Simplot, president/CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association. He also serves on the Phoenix City Council.

Read more: ‘Renting is new buying’: Apartments booming in Scottsdale

Planners OK revised Las Sendas site plan in east Mesa


After granting repeated extensions to allow developers and neighbors to hash out their differences, the Mesa Planning and Zoning Board on Wednesday finally approved a revised site plan for 145 single-family homes next to Las Sendas.

Residents of the east Mesa master-planned community had lambasted the proposal when it was revealed earlier this year, saying the development wouldn’t mesh with their nature-centric neighborhood and charging that it would create additional traffic and overcrowding at nearby schools.

Developers were able to assuage some of that anger by including Las Sendas representatives as they considered and implemented design modifications in recent months, according to Las Sendas Homeowners Association President Jeff Brugos.

Read more: Planners OK revised Las Sendas site plan in east Mesa

Scottsdale council OKs high-end Sierra Reserve plans


The Scottsdale City Council on Tuesday gave its final approval to developer Lyle Anderson’s plan for a high-end residential and resort community adjacent to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

The council unanimously approved a final plat and easement abandonments for Sierra Reserve, which will encompass 223 acres at 118th Street and Dynamite Road. In November 2011, the council approved a non-major General Plan amendment and rezoning for the project.

Anderson has been working with the city on Sierra Reserve, formerly known as the eco-resort at the Reserve, since 2010.

Read more: Scottsdale council OKs high-end Sierra Reserve plans

AV Homes attracts $135 million in capital

Another Arizona homebuilder has attracted the attention of billion-dollar investment firm TPG Capital.

Scottsdale-based AV Homes has landed a $135 million investment from the group, formerly known as Texas Pacific Group.

The international private-equity firm, started by David Bonderman and James Coulter, will own almost 42 percent of AV after the deal is completed.

TPG owns a significant stake in Scottsdale-based Taylor-Morrison Homes Corp., which raised more $526 million in an April initial public offering.

Read more: AV Homes attracts $135 million in capital

Home projects proposed in Scottsdale as economy heals


New-home projects are being proposed in Scottsdale by the dozen as the recession loosens its grip and the economy shows signs of recovery.

At Thursday’s meeting of the Development Review Board, aspects of three projects were considered. Earlier, the board had approved nine other projects. The review board is the first step in the approval process for home developers and others wishing to change zoning on a parcel of land. The board’s recommendations go to the Planning Commission and ultimately to the City Council.

Read more: Home projects proposed in Scottsdale as economy heals

Lennar adds 127 home sites in north Phoenix, citing demand


Citing a great location and high demand, Lennar Corp. is developing 127 additional home sites at the Estates at Lone Mountain in the Northeast Valley.

The new homes, near 64th Street and Lone Mountain Road in northeast Phoenix, have base prices around $400,000 to $460,000 and will be 2,900 to 3,600 square feet. The development currently has about 400 houses.

Alan Jones, division president of Lennar Arizona, said the values in the market are increasing at “such a prime location.”

“We’re going to be sold out fairly soon, and so these are the home sites that will be a replacement for what we’re currently building,” Jones said.

Builder Taylor Morrison also is selling homes in the development.

Read more: Lennar adds 127 home sites in north Phoenix, citing demand

Construction sector picks up


Arizona’s construction industry added 6,200 net jobs in May, the largest one-month gain since at least 1990, state employment data released Thursday shows.

The gains in construction and other private-sector jobs could not offset the 10,000 government jobs lost last month, leaving the state with a net 200 fewer workers, according to the Office of Employment and Population Statistics.

Even so, Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell in May to 7.8 percent from 7.9 percent in April. In May 2012, Arizona’s unemployment rate stood at 8.4 percent. In Maricopa County, the unemployment rate was 6.1 percent last month.

Read more: Construction sector picks up

Taxation Vexation: Tax appeals frequently lead to dead ends

As the owner of two houses in Scottsdale and one in Glendale, Walter Juessen probably knows more than most about real estate in Maricopa County.

Even so, he finds himself surprised by a property-tax system that seems to him at odds with common sense.

Two years ago, Juessen appealed the valuation of his Glendale house after finding that taxes on that property were proportionately higher than in Scottsdale.

In some ways, his experience reflects that of many others who challenge their property valuation in the county: He lost his appeal.

Read more: Taxation Vexation: Tax appeals frequently lead to dead ends

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