Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fed Misread Crisis in 2008, Records Show - NYTimes.com



WASHINGTON — On the morning after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in 2008, most Federal Reserve officials still believed that the American economy would keep growing despite the metastasizing financial crisis.

The Fed’s policy-making committee voted unanimously against bolstering the economy by cutting interest rates, and several officials praised what they described as the decision to let Lehman fail, saying it would help to restore a sense of accountability on Wall Street.

Read more...Fed Misread Crisis in 2008, Records Show - NYTimes.com

What's ahead for small businesses in 2014? - Newsday

There is no crystal ball for small businesses,

What stresses small business owners the most? Our conversations with them and the research we come across suggest it's a lack of clarity. Well, there's no small business crystal ball -- at least one we are aware of -- but if one existed, here's a look at what it might reveal for 2014:

HELP FROM WASHINGTON?

Look for a more conciliatory attitude in Congress. Lawmakers' collaboration on a budget deal in December is a sign that they'll cooperate on issues affecting small business, including tax reform, says Barbara Kasoff, president of Women Impacting Public Policy, a group that advocates for women and minorities in business. The deadlock over the budget and government shutdown in 2013 hurt small businesses including federal contractors.

Read more...What's ahead for small businesses in 2014? - Newsday

Retirement is eluding some blue-collar workers in U.S.



Tom Edwards grew up in a family that’s been cutting trees and hauling timber in the Pacific Northwest for more than a century. The Spanaway, Wash., resident says he has worked as a logger since he was a kid — it’s just what an able-bodied youngster was expected to do.

Now, at 53, with business in a slump and little money in savings, he’s pessimistic about his chances of retiring.

“It’s never going to happen. By the time I reach retirement age, there won’t be Social Security. There’s not going to be any money,” Edwards said.

Read more...Retirement is eluding some blue-collar workers in U.S.

Downtown Scottsdale sees boom in multifamily housing

Broadstone Waterfront

A growing number of people are going to be calling downtown Scottsdale home in 2014 and beyond with the completion of numerous multifamily projects.

The area is going to see even more towering cranes this year as ongoing apartment projects progress and construction starts on new ones. The most striking construction site has been Alliance Residential Co.’s Broadstone Waterfront, a 259-unit high-end apartment complex with 8,000 square feet of restaurant space along Marshall Way.

The project, south of the Nordstrom parking garage and along Via Soleri Drive, will complete the Scottsdale Waterfront. The first phase of the complex, which includes 65 units, will be ready for occupancy in May. Among those 65 units will be 17 two-story penthouses.

The complex is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Read more...Downtown Scottsdale sees boom in multifamily housing

Brewer says Arizona financially sound again, but leveraged buildings say otherwise

 

Gov. Jan Brewer tells anyone who will listen about the great “Arizona comeback.”

In the five years since she’s been governor, she likes to say, Arizona has gone from being $3 billion in the hole to having a $1 billion surplus and a rainy-day fund to help the state avoid a future economic crisis.

She predicts the state’s budget will be structurally balanced — with more recurring revenue coming in than spending going out — by the time her term ends in January 2015. She credits her sound fiscal leadership with helping the economy and state revenue rebound.

“We were known as having one of the worst budget crises in the nation,” said John Arnold, director of Brewer’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting. “I think the national perception on Arizona now is we are doing well and this is a place businesses want to be.”

Read more...Brewer says Arizona financially sound again, but leveraged buildings say otherwise

Credit-score tips for Arizonans working to ease debt

 

Arizonans made some important strides in getting out of debt last year, which likely improved the credit scores of tens of thousands of people around the state.

As an example, bankruptcy filings were running 19 percent lower through the first 11 months of 2013, reported the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Phoenix, which hasn’t yet released numbers for December.

Also, fewer homeowners were delinquent on mortgages; Arizona showed one of the biggest improvements nationally in this measure. One year earlier, 5.1 percent of homeowners here were 60 or more days past due. That’s now down to 3.3 percent, said credit-researcher TransUnion.

Read more...Credit-score tips for Arizonans working to ease debt

Commercial real estate set to heat up in Phoenix area

 

Metro Phoenix’s commercial-real-estate market, once battered like the region’s housing sector during the crash, is on the rebound and rapidly gaining popularity with big investors again.

In the latest “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” report, considered one of the real-estate industry’s most influential surveys, Phoenix moved up eight spots from last year, to rank No. 25, in a list of the best places in the U.S. for investors to put their money.

The Valley’s employment and population growth, as well as a relatively low cost of doing business, helped the area improve its position with small and large investment funds.

Phoenix’s population is projected to grow 2.6 percent in 2014, according to the report’s publishers, PwC and the Urban Land Institute.

That figure is higher than local estimates.

Read more...Commercial real estate set to heat up in Phoenix area

Program helping owners fix up homes

 

One wouldn’t know by looking at the modest house on Chipman Road in south Phoenix that often there are angels inside.

Since 2000, Stardust Building Supplies, a Valley non-profit that promotes reuse and recycling of building materials, has operated its Angels on Call program. Stardust has three thrift stores where it collects donated building materials that it then sells to the public to raise money for programs like Angels on Call.

Stardust supplies the materials for worthy renovation projects while volunteers and other non-profits provide the labor.

Read more...Program helping owners fix up homes

Scottsdale-based builder reimagines housing for Baby Boomers in Arizona with Victory

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Scottsdale-based DMB Associates is taking on the Baby Boomer housing market, a population notoriously difficult to please.

The developer’s first age-restricted community, called Victory, is going up within its Verrado development in Buckeye. Victory is the first of several communities for wealthier Baby Boomers that Scottsdale-based DMB Associates plans to open across the West over the next decade.

Here are some questions and answers with DMB Chairman Drew Brown and Victory General Manager Nick Taratsas.

Read more...Scottsdale-based builder reimagines housing for Baby Boomers in Arizona with Victory

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jeffrey Gundlach's 2014 Outlook - Business Insider

Jeffrey Gundlach has basically gone full contrarian for 2014.
In a webcast earlier today, the bond fund veteran expressed views that are effectively the opposite of what the consensus expects.
Wall Street sees healthy gains for the S&P 500, but Gundlach expects volatility as the Federal Reserve tapers its extraordinary stimulus. He also said record high margin debt levels suggest the stock market may be topping.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Housing market shifts back to metro Phoenix’s core

 

New houses are sprouting up — but not on the usual far-flung lots.

In the heart of metro Phoenix’s core communities, new houses and condo projects are in the works on vacant parcels, in half-built subdivisions and in teardown projects replacing run-down buildings.

Prospective buyers who want to live closer in instead of on the region’s fringes are spurring builders, big and small, to develop infill housing at the fastest pace in Valley history.

By percentage, growth of infill homebuilding is outpacing the rest of metro Phoenix’s new-home market.

Read more...Housing market shifts back to metro Phoenix’s core

Minn. developer buys Hotel Monroe in downtown Phoenix for $7.85 million

 Hotel Monroe

The historical building known as the Hotel Monroe has been sold to a Minnesota-based developer.

The vacant former bank headquarters in downtown Phoenix, built in 1931, recently was purchased for $7.85 million by the Minneapolis-based CSM Corp., according to Vizzda, a Tempe-based commercial-real-estate research firm.

The 12-story tower at Central Avenue and Monroe Street has been mired in bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings. Developer Grace Communities bought the building in 2005 and planned to transform it into a 150-room boutique hotel. Grace took out a $27 million loan with now-bankrupt Mortgages Ltd. to renovate the building in 2007.

Read more...Minn. developer buys Hotel Monroe in downtown Phoenix for $7.85 million

New Boomer community rethinking life after 55

 

Del Webb’s Sun Cities defined retirement living for America’s first generation of post-war retirees. Now, another prominent Arizona developer wants to redefine living after 55.

An age-restricted community called Victory, within Buckeye’s well-known Verrado development, will open in mid-2014. Victory is the first of several communities for wealthier Baby Boomers that Scottsdale-based DMB Associates plans to open across the West over the next decade.

It’s a generation that expects to keep involved with work even if it scales back the hours — and Boomers, as they have proven over a lifetime, have ideas often different from their parents’ about retirement. They don’t want to live with people just their age who look just like them. They often plan to hike or work out instead of playing golf. They still want to be close to their families — but with a little space to themselves. And they really, really care about their living space.

Read more...New Boomer community rethinking life after 55

Senior Urban Housing Development Opens | KJZZ.org

 

Another senior urban housing development was unveiled Thursday afternoon, this time in Mesa. The 81-unit complex is located downtown.

Encore on First is walking distance from the Mesa Arts Center, restaurants and shops. It was built with money from a tax credit. Private investors put money into the development and in turn get a federal tax break.

This arrangement ultimately means residents pay lower rent. Roberta Becker moved in a few weeks ago. She said the complex fit all her needs as an active senior.

Read more...Senior Urban Housing Development Opens | KJZZ.org

Deal on land in downtown Surprise OK’d

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Phoenix signed off on a historic deal Wednesday that cut the city’s ties to a square mile of land in the heart of Surprise it has held for more than 65 years.

The agreement clears a key legal hurdle that has long delayed Surprise’s plans to build an urban downtown. Is also allows Phoenix to reap fair market value from a decade-old land swap.

Meanwhile, nearby Luke Air Force Base, which is in Glendale, will be able to fly jets over the site without fear of liability, except if a plane crashes or something is damaged by an object that falls from a plane.

Read more...Deal on land in downtown Surprise OK’d

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