Friday, December 28, 2012

Ryland buying Trend Homes

Gilbert-based Trend Homes, one of metro Phoenix’s largest homebuilders, is being purchased by Ryland Group Inc. The deal is another sign the region’s homebuilding market is recovering.

Phoenix-based investment firm Najafi Cos. is selling Trend Homes after buying the builder in 2008 for $85million. Trend Homes then was operating under bankruptcy protection. The terms of the sale to Ryland haven’t yet been disclosed.

The purchase of Trend Homes marks Ryland’s re-entry into the Valley’s housing market. The Westlake Village, Calif.-based homebuilder sold all its assets and closed its offices in the state a few years ago amid the housing crash.

Read more: Ryland buying Trend Homes

Ryland buying Trend Homes

Gilbert-based Trend Homes, one of metro Phoenix’s largest homebuilders, is being purchased by Ryland Group Inc. The deal is another sign the region’s homebuilding market is recovering.

Phoenix-based investment firm Najafi Cos. is selling Trend Homes after buying the builder in 2008 for $85million. Trend Homes then was operating under bankruptcy protection. The terms of the sale to Ryland haven’t yet been disclosed.

The purchase of Trend Homes marks Ryland’s re-entry into the Valley’s housing market. The Westlake Village, Calif.-based homebuilder sold all its assets and closed its offices in the state a few years ago amid the housing crash.

Read more: Ryland buying Trend Homes

Chandler sees need for new housing

Chandler’s economic-development savvy has made headlines in recent years, as the city’s growing employment hubs prompted big-name companies like Intel, eBay and Ports America to take over or construct sprawling Chandler facilities.

But when it comes to the young, mobile professionals who work at those companies — and who may not want to be saddled with mortgages — the city hasn’t had many new residential options to offer.

Read more: Chandler sees need for new housing

Chandler sees need for new housing

Chandler’s economic-development savvy has made headlines in recent years, as the city’s growing employment hubs prompted big-name companies like Intel, eBay and Ports America to take over or construct sprawling Chandler facilities.

But when it comes to the young, mobile professionals who work at those companies — and who may not want to be saddled with mortgages — the city hasn’t had many new residential options to offer.

Read more: Chandler sees need for new housing

Shrinking inventory for big investors

As foreclosures continue to fall in metro Phoenix, the dominant buyers and sellers in the region are changing.

Fewer sales of lender-owned inexpensive foreclosure homes means a rapidly shrinking pool of houses for investors to purchase.

As a result, more homeowners will be able to sell to buyers for higher prices because they aren’t competing with lenders.

Read more: Shrinking inventory for big investors

Shrinking inventory for big investors

As foreclosures continue to fall in metro Phoenix, the dominant buyers and sellers in the region are changing.

Fewer sales of lender-owned inexpensive foreclosure homes means a rapidly shrinking pool of houses for investors to purchase.

As a result, more homeowners will be able to sell to buyers for higher prices because they aren’t competing with lenders.

Read more: Shrinking inventory for big investors

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Russians, Brazilians, Canadians among foreigners active in buying area real estate » Naples Daily News Mobile

NAPLES — International homebuyers aren't so foreign any more in Southwest Florida.

They're coming from more countries these days, including Russia, Brazil and even China.

"We are seeing new countries represented," said Craig Jones, vice president of marketing for Premier Sotheby's International Realty in Naples. "We are seeing a real uptick in the Russian buyer. That's at the top end. That's a true luxury, high-net-worth buyer and we are seeing the same thing from Brazil."

Read more:  http://m.naplesnews.com/news/2012/dec/27/russians-brazilians-canadians-among-foreigners/

Russians, Brazilians, Canadians among foreigners active in buying area real estate » Naples Daily News Mobile

NAPLES — International homebuyers aren't so foreign any more in Southwest Florida.

They're coming from more countries these days, including Russia, Brazil and even China.

"We are seeing new countries represented," said Craig Jones, vice president of marketing for Premier Sotheby's International Realty in Naples. "We are seeing a real uptick in the Russian buyer. That's at the top end. That's a true luxury, high-net-worth buyer and we are seeing the same thing from Brazil."

Read more:  http://m.naplesnews.com/news/2012/dec/27/russians-brazilians-canadians-among-foreigners/

Home Prices Hit a Milestone - Yahoo! Finance

Home prices are on track to notch their first yearly gain since 2006, the strongest performance since the housing bust and a development that could accelerate the real-estate rebound even as the broader economy stutters.

The housing market's revival has had several false dawns in recent years, but a recovery that began in the spring has strengthened throughout the summer and fall. The latest confirmation came on Wednesday, when the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index showed that prices rose by 4.3% from a year ago in October. Since January, prices are up 6.9% so far this year, the largest year-to-date gain since 2005. A separate index released Wednesday by Lender Processing Services Inc. showed that national home prices were up by 5.2% this year through October.

Read more: Home Prices Hit a Milestone - Yahoo! Finance

Home Prices Hit a Milestone - Yahoo! Finance

Home prices are on track to notch their first yearly gain since 2006, the strongest performance since the housing bust and a development that could accelerate the real-estate rebound even as the broader economy stutters.

The housing market's revival has had several false dawns in recent years, but a recovery that began in the spring has strengthened throughout the summer and fall. The latest confirmation came on Wednesday, when the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index showed that prices rose by 4.3% from a year ago in October. Since January, prices are up 6.9% so far this year, the largest year-to-date gain since 2005. A separate index released Wednesday by Lender Processing Services Inc. showed that national home prices were up by 5.2% this year through October.

Read more: Home Prices Hit a Milestone - Yahoo! Finance

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2013: How Rising Prices Could Boost Housing Demand - Developments - WSJ

Potential buyers now have something they haven't had in a long time: urgency (save for a few months when the government was paying people to buy homes with a first-time home-buyer tax credit). This next year will be the first time since 2006 where prices ended the previous year in positive territory. Surveys already show that buyers' expectations of future home prices have improved throughout the past year.  Read more:   http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/12/18/2013-how-rising-prices-could-boost-housing-demand/

2013: How Rising Prices Could Boost Housing Demand - Developments - WSJ

Potential buyers now have something they haven't had in a long time: urgency (save for a few months when the government was paying people to buy homes with a first-time home-buyer tax credit). This next year will be the first time since 2006 where prices ended the previous year in positive territory. Surveys already show that buyers' expectations of future home prices have improved throughout the past year.  Read more:   http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/12/18/2013-how-rising-prices-could-boost-housing-demand/

What real estate trends suggest for 2013 | HousingWire

As 2012 comes to an end, most real estate professionals sit on the edge of their seats, anticipating the outcome of the fiscal cliff and how it will affect the housing market going into 2013.  Read more:  http://www.housingwire.com/news/what-2012-housing-market-trends-are-suggesting-2013?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+housingwire%2FuOVI+%28HousingWire%29#.UNF9h6y3PFo

What real estate trends suggest for 2013 | HousingWire

As 2012 comes to an end, most real estate professionals sit on the edge of their seats, anticipating the outcome of the fiscal cliff and how it will affect the housing market going into 2013.  Read more:  http://www.housingwire.com/news/what-2012-housing-market-trends-are-suggesting-2013?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+housingwire%2FuOVI+%28HousingWire%29#.UNF9h6y3PFo

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Experts’ Prescription for Arizona Economy in 2013: Patience and a Positive Attitude

At the 49th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon, co-sponsored by the W. P. Carey School of Business Department of Economics and JPMorgan Chase, two experts offered their insights into Arizona’s economy in 2013. The message, from Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business and Elliott D. Pollack, CEO of the economic and real estate consulting firm Elliott D. Pollack and Company was: Arizona’s economy is getting better. Slowly.

Read more: Experts’ Prescription for Arizona Economy in 2013: Patience and a Positive Attitude

Experts’ Prescription for Arizona Economy in 2013: Patience and a Positive Attitude

At the 49th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon, co-sponsored by the W. P. Carey School of Business Department of Economics and JPMorgan Chase, two experts offered their insights into Arizona’s economy in 2013. The message, from Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business and Elliott D. Pollack, CEO of the economic and real estate consulting firm Elliott D. Pollack and Company was: Arizona’s economy is getting better. Slowly.

Read more: Experts’ Prescription for Arizona Economy in 2013: Patience and a Positive Attitude

Ryland buying Trend Homes

Gilbert-based Trend Homes, one of metro Phoenix's largest homebuilders, is being purchased by Ryland Group Inc. The deal is another sign the region's homebuilding market is recovering.

Phoenix-based investment firm Najafi Cos. is selling Trend Homes after buying the builder in 2008 for $85 million. Trend Homes then was operating under bankruptcy protection. The terms of the sale to Ryland haven't yet been disclosed.

The purchase of Trend Homes marks Ryland's re-entry into the Valley's housing market. The Westlake Village, Calif.-based homebuilder sold all its assets and closed its offices in the state a few years ago amid the housing crash.

Read more: Ryland buying Trend Homes

Ryland buying Trend Homes

Gilbert-based Trend Homes, one of metro Phoenix's largest homebuilders, is being purchased by Ryland Group Inc. The deal is another sign the region's homebuilding market is recovering.

Phoenix-based investment firm Najafi Cos. is selling Trend Homes after buying the builder in 2008 for $85 million. Trend Homes then was operating under bankruptcy protection. The terms of the sale to Ryland haven't yet been disclosed.

The purchase of Trend Homes marks Ryland's re-entry into the Valley's housing market. The Westlake Village, Calif.-based homebuilder sold all its assets and closed its offices in the state a few years ago amid the housing crash.

Read more: Ryland buying Trend Homes

Scottsdale infill-incentive projects slow to get off drawing board

Scottsdale’s downtown infill-incentive district and plan, adopted in summer 2010, has netted only one actual construction project.

A divided City Council adopted the district and plan, which established a building-height maximum of 150 feet north of the Arizona Canal and surrounding Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center.

The district and plan allow property owners downtown to request amended development standards, such as increased height and density, in exchange for public benefits, such as investment in public art and amenities.

Read more: Scottsdale infill-incentive projects slow to get off drawing board

Scottsdale infill-incentive projects slow to get off drawing board

Scottsdale’s downtown infill-incentive district and plan, adopted in summer 2010, has netted only one actual construction project.

A divided City Council adopted the district and plan, which established a building-height maximum of 150 feet north of the Arizona Canal and surrounding Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center.

The district and plan allow property owners downtown to request amended development standards, such as increased height and density, in exchange for public benefits, such as investment in public art and amenities.

Read more: Scottsdale infill-incentive projects slow to get off drawing board

Monday, December 10, 2012

New owner puts Phoenix Metrocenter Mall on a mission

Metrocenter, once one of Arizona's most successful malls, hope mixed-use projects can breathe new life into the struggling shopping center.

The New York-based Carlyle Development Group plans to submit a rezoning application to the city in early 2013 to turn the mall into a mixed-use project, which would stretch the offerings beyond only retail.  Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com//community/phoenix/articles/20121205new-owner-puts-metrocenter-mission.html

New owner puts Phoenix Metrocenter Mall on a mission

Metrocenter, once one of Arizona's most successful malls, hope mixed-use projects can breathe new life into the struggling shopping center.

The New York-based Carlyle Development Group plans to submit a rezoning application to the city in early 2013 to turn the mall into a mixed-use project, which would stretch the offerings beyond only retail.  Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com//community/phoenix/articles/20121205new-owner-puts-metrocenter-mission.html

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lot owners upset over Sereno Canyon plan for resort, homes

A group of lot owners in Sereno Canyon, an undeveloped subdivision just outside the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, say they bought a vision, not just a piece of land.

“We looked at it when it was in the raw, and my wife is an animal lover, and we saw horses and everything, so to us that’s where we wanted to live,” said Jim Canning, who lives in Fountain Hills.

“They sold us a beautiful place, a tranquil spot away from all the hustle and bustle, so we could build a really nice home,” Scottsdale resident Rick Popper said.

Read more: Lot owners upset over Sereno Canyon plan for resort, homes

Lot owners upset over Sereno Canyon plan for resort, homes

A group of lot owners in Sereno Canyon, an undeveloped subdivision just outside the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, say they bought a vision, not just a piece of land.

“We looked at it when it was in the raw, and my wife is an animal lover, and we saw horses and everything, so to us that’s where we wanted to live,” said Jim Canning, who lives in Fountain Hills.

“They sold us a beautiful place, a tranquil spot away from all the hustle and bustle, so we could build a really nice home,” Scottsdale resident Rick Popper said.

Read more: Lot owners upset over Sereno Canyon plan for resort, homes

Reagor: Colony behind big buy

The winning bidder for Fannie Mae's bulk sale of more than 300 sought-after foreclosure houses in metro Phoenix has been revealed: Santa Monica, Calif.-based Colony Capital.

But the true cost of the houses is still a mystery because of the complex financing deal approved by Fannie Mae's regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The more than 300 houses in Arizona are lumped in with a total of 970 foreclosure homes Colony is buying. The other properties are in California and Nevada.

Read more: Reagor: Colony behind big buy

Reagor: Colony behind big buy

The winning bidder for Fannie Mae's bulk sale of more than 300 sought-after foreclosure houses in metro Phoenix has been revealed: Santa Monica, Calif.-based Colony Capital.

But the true cost of the houses is still a mystery because of the complex financing deal approved by Fannie Mae's regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The more than 300 houses in Arizona are lumped in with a total of 970 foreclosure homes Colony is buying. The other properties are in California and Nevada.

Read more: Reagor: Colony behind big buy

Friday, December 7, 2012

Home Values Up in Q3 Per Fed Report

Fueled by a $370 billion jump in the value of household real estate, household net worth grew $1.7 trillion in the third quarter to $64.8 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday in its quarterly Flow of Funds report.

And, while the value of owner-occupied household real estate increased, total residential mortgage debt fell $85.8 billion. As a result, owners' equity increased almost $390 billion. Homeowners' equity as a percentage of the value of the real estate rose to 44.8 percent, the highest level since 2007, according to the report.  Read more:   http://www.dsnews.com/articles/home-values-up-in-3q-per-fed-report-2012-12-06

Home Values Up in Q3 Per Fed Report

Fueled by a $370 billion jump in the value of household real estate, household net worth grew $1.7 trillion in the third quarter to $64.8 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday in its quarterly Flow of Funds report.

And, while the value of owner-occupied household real estate increased, total residential mortgage debt fell $85.8 billion. As a result, owners' equity increased almost $390 billion. Homeowners' equity as a percentage of the value of the real estate rose to 44.8 percent, the highest level since 2007, according to the report.  Read more:   http://www.dsnews.com/articles/home-values-up-in-3q-per-fed-report-2012-12-06

RealtyTrac: Short Sales, Pre-Foreclosure Sales Increase in Q3

Although short sales continue to be utilized more and more as an alternative, RealtyTrac suggested the trend may change if the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 does extended.

According to RealtyTrac's Q3 foreclosure and short sales report, short sales increased quarterly and yearly by 15 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Out of all residential sales, short sales represented about 22 percent of the total in Q3.  Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/realtytrac-short-sales-increase-in-q3-2012-12-06

RealtyTrac: Short Sales, Pre-Foreclosure Sales Increase in Q3

Although short sales continue to be utilized more and more as an alternative, RealtyTrac suggested the trend may change if the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 does extended.

According to RealtyTrac's Q3 foreclosure and short sales report, short sales increased quarterly and yearly by 15 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Out of all residential sales, short sales represented about 22 percent of the total in Q3.  Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/realtytrac-short-sales-increase-in-q3-2012-12-06

Thursday, December 6, 2012

No vote on Phoenix Wright house before Jan. 16

The Phoenix City Council will not vote on the historical status of a famous Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in east Phoenix until at least Jan.16.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio said Wednesday that the extension will allow for more time to accomplish two goals for the David and Gladys Wright House in Arcadia: to continue searching for a sole buyer who will preserve the home and to challenge preservationists and supporters of the house to begin raising funds to save the house for good.  Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/nephoenix/articles/20121204phoenix-wright-house-no-vote-before-january.html

No vote on Phoenix Wright house before Jan. 16

The Phoenix City Council will not vote on the historical status of a famous Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in east Phoenix until at least Jan.16.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio said Wednesday that the extension will allow for more time to accomplish two goals for the David and Gladys Wright House in Arcadia: to continue searching for a sole buyer who will preserve the home and to challenge preservationists and supporters of the house to begin raising funds to save the house for good.  Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/nephoenix/articles/20121204phoenix-wright-house-no-vote-before-january.html

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Citigroup Job Cuts: Bank Plans To Slash 11,000 Jobs In Aim To Save As Much As $1.1 Billion Per Year - The Huffington Post

* Cuts include technology and support jobs around the world

* Consumer banking due for 35 pct of restructuring charges

* Company expects annual expense savings of $1 billion

* Stock rises 4 percent on news

Read more:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/12/05/citigroup-job-cuts_n_2243975.html?utm_hp_ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=120512&utm_medium=email&utm_content=NewsEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

Citigroup Job Cuts: Bank Plans To Slash 11,000 Jobs In Aim To Save As Much As $1.1 Billion Per Year - The Huffington Post

* Cuts include technology and support jobs around the world

* Consumer banking due for 35 pct of restructuring charges

* Company expects annual expense savings of $1 billion

* Stock rises 4 percent on news

Read more:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/12/05/citigroup-job-cuts_n_2243975.html?utm_hp_ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=120512&utm_medium=email&utm_content=NewsEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

Increase in Asking Prices Exceeds Rent in Certain Markets

National gains for rentals still grew faster than asking prices for homes in November, but in certain metros, the trend was reversed, Trulia reported Tuesday.

According to data from Trulia, rent prices in November increased by 5.6 percent year-over-year, while
prices for homes were up 3.8 percent, representing the biggest increase so far this year.

Even though rents stayed improvements, asking prices in 14 of the 25 largest rental markets managed to post greater increases compared to rents, the data provider revealed. Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/asking-prices-for-homes-surpass-rents-in-certain-metros-2012-12-04

Increase in Asking Prices Exceeds Rent in Certain Markets

National gains for rentals still grew faster than asking prices for homes in November, but in certain metros, the trend was reversed, Trulia reported Tuesday.

According to data from Trulia, rent prices in November increased by 5.6 percent year-over-year, while
prices for homes were up 3.8 percent, representing the biggest increase so far this year.

Even though rents stayed improvements, asking prices in 14 of the 25 largest rental markets managed to post greater increases compared to rents, the data provider revealed. Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/asking-prices-for-homes-surpass-rents-in-certain-metros-2012-12-04

Radar Logic Questions Recovery's Sustainability

Despite reports of improvements in home prices and sales, Radar Logic argued that upon closer examination, the housing market is not doing as well as assumed.

As of September 25, 2012, Radar Logic's RPX composite price increased 5.2 percent year-over-year across 25 metro areas, according to the company's monthly housing report. In addition, sales activity has gone up by 12.3 percent over a one-year period.  Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/radar-logic-questions-strength-of-recovery-2012-12-04

Radar Logic Questions Recovery's Sustainability

Despite reports of improvements in home prices and sales, Radar Logic argued that upon closer examination, the housing market is not doing as well as assumed.

As of September 25, 2012, Radar Logic's RPX composite price increased 5.2 percent year-over-year across 25 metro areas, according to the company's monthly housing report. In addition, sales activity has gone up by 12.3 percent over a one-year period.  Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/radar-logic-questions-strength-of-recovery-2012-12-04

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Historic landmark vote for Wright house delayed

PHOENIX — A city councilman says he wants to delay a decision on whether to designate as historic a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house here.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who represents the Arcadia district in this city where the David and Gladys Wright House is located, said the delay would allow time to start fundraising to purchase and preserve the iconic house with views of Camelback Mountain.  Read more:  http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/1744629

Historic landmark vote for Wright house delayed

PHOENIX — A city councilman says he wants to delay a decision on whether to designate as historic a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house here.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who represents the Arcadia district in this city where the David and Gladys Wright House is located, said the delay would allow time to start fundraising to purchase and preserve the iconic house with views of Camelback Mountain.  Read more:  http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/1744629

Phoenix-area home prices rise again

Metro Phoenix's median home price climbed 5 percent in October after four months of remaining flat.

The region's median price of an existing house reached $157,000 in October, up from $150,000 during the previous few months, according to Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business.  Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/mobile/www/article.php?url=http://www.azcentral.com/business/realestate/articles/20121203phoenix-area-home-prices-rise-again.html

Phoenix-area home prices rise again

Metro Phoenix's median home price climbed 5 percent in October after four months of remaining flat.

The region's median price of an existing house reached $157,000 in October, up from $150,000 during the previous few months, according to Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business.  Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/mobile/www/article.php?url=http://www.azcentral.com/business/realestate/articles/20121203phoenix-area-home-prices-rise-again.html

CoreLogic Reports 25 Percent Monthly Drop in Foreclosures in October | Mortgage News | Daily National and State Headlines

CoreLogic has released its National Foreclosure Report for October that provides data on completed U.S. foreclosures and the overall foreclosure inventory. According to CoreLogic, there were 58,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in October 2012, down from 70,000 in October 2011 representing a year-over-year decrease of 17 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures fell from 77,000 in September 2012 to the current 58,000, representing a decrease of 25 percent. As a basis of comparison, prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.9 million completed foreclosures across the country.  Read more:  http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news32697/corelogic-reports-25-percent-monthly-drop-foreclosures-october

CoreLogic Reports 25 Percent Monthly Drop in Foreclosures in October | Mortgage News | Daily National and State Headlines

CoreLogic has released its National Foreclosure Report for October that provides data on completed U.S. foreclosures and the overall foreclosure inventory. According to CoreLogic, there were 58,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in October 2012, down from 70,000 in October 2011 representing a year-over-year decrease of 17 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures fell from 77,000 in September 2012 to the current 58,000, representing a decrease of 25 percent. As a basis of comparison, prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.9 million completed foreclosures across the country.  Read more:  http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news32697/corelogic-reports-25-percent-monthly-drop-foreclosures-october

Jumbo Lending in Today’s Environment | Mortgage News | Daily National and State Headlines

Historically, the "hard to finance" borrower was one with a risk-filled profile, usually consisting of late payments, low or sporadic income, and credit indicators that suggested an unwillingness or inability to manage one's debts. In the 1970s and 1980s, these borrowers were led to private money investors. Typically, these investors were high net worth individuals building portfolios of first and second trust deeds arranged at very low loan-to-values (LTVs) with substantially higher interest rates. The brokers who arranged these loans were later dubbed "hard money" lenders. As time evolved and credit markets became aware of the huge opportunity that existed in this segment, the "hard money" lenders were replaced with Wall Street firms creating mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and the business was renamed the far more innocuous "sub-prime" or "non-prime."  Read more:  http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news32705/jumbo-lending-today%E2%80%99s-environment

Jumbo Lending in Today’s Environment | Mortgage News | Daily National and State Headlines

Historically, the "hard to finance" borrower was one with a risk-filled profile, usually consisting of late payments, low or sporadic income, and credit indicators that suggested an unwillingness or inability to manage one's debts. In the 1970s and 1980s, these borrowers were led to private money investors. Typically, these investors were high net worth individuals building portfolios of first and second trust deeds arranged at very low loan-to-values (LTVs) with substantially higher interest rates. The brokers who arranged these loans were later dubbed "hard money" lenders. As time evolved and credit markets became aware of the huge opportunity that existed in this segment, the "hard money" lenders were replaced with Wall Street firms creating mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and the business was renamed the far more innocuous "sub-prime" or "non-prime."  Read more:  http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news32705/jumbo-lending-today%E2%80%99s-environment

REO Sales Diminish to Under 20% of Overall Home Sales: Clear Capital

Clear Capital released a new market report Tuesday, tracking home prices through the end of November. Nationally, quarterly price gains were cut by more than half compared to readings from the month before. For November, home prices edged up just 1 percent.  Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/reo-sales-diminish-to-under-20-of-overall-home-clear-capital-2012-12-04

REO Sales Diminish to Under 20% of Overall Home Sales: Clear Capital

Clear Capital released a new market report Tuesday, tracking home prices through the end of November. Nationally, quarterly price gains were cut by more than half compared to readings from the month before. For November, home prices edged up just 1 percent.  Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/reo-sales-diminish-to-under-20-of-overall-home-clear-capital-2012-12-04

Lenders, Homeowner Advocates Unite Behind Mortgage Debt Relief Act

The Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting homeownership, and the Financial Services Roundtable, a group of representatives from the nation's largest financial institutions, have come together to ask Congress to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which will otherwise expire at the end of this year.  Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/lenders-and-homeowner-advocates-unite-in-support-of-extending-mortgage-debt-forgiveness-act-2012-12-03

Lenders, Homeowner Advocates Unite Behind Mortgage Debt Relief Act

The Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting homeownership, and the Financial Services Roundtable, a group of representatives from the nation's largest financial institutions, have come together to ask Congress to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which will otherwise expire at the end of this year.  Read more:  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/lenders-and-homeowner-advocates-unite-in-support-of-extending-mortgage-debt-forgiveness-act-2012-12-03

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Revised plans for 572-unit apartment complex advance

The developer of an apartment complex at 74th Street and McDowell Road is moving ahead with a plan for the 572-unit project east of SkySong.

Mark-Taylor Development has revised its plan for the 31-acre site to include a one-block section of Culver Street and a 1.59-acre parcel southeast of 74th and McDowell.

The reconfigured site plan will give Mark-Taylor a significant presence along McDowell, with its main entrance near the middle of the block between 74th and Miller Road, zoning attorney Lynn Lagarde said.

“It makes the project so much better,” she said.

Read more: Revised plans for 572-unit apartment complex advance

Revised plans for 572-unit apartment complex advance

The developer of an apartment complex at 74th Street and McDowell Road is moving ahead with a plan for the 572-unit project east of SkySong.

Mark-Taylor Development has revised its plan for the 31-acre site to include a one-block section of Culver Street and a 1.59-acre parcel southeast of 74th and McDowell.

The reconfigured site plan will give Mark-Taylor a significant presence along McDowell, with its main entrance near the middle of the block between 74th and Miller Road, zoning attorney Lynn Lagarde said.

“It makes the project so much better,” she said.

Read more: Revised plans for 572-unit apartment complex advance

Eastmark to get more homes

More developers are signing up for pieces of the former General Motors Desert Proving Ground in southeast Mesa.

Scottsdale-based AV Homes Inc. and JEN Partners LLC of New York City announced Tuesday they have combined to buy 527 acres in the Eastmark property being developed by DMB Associates of Scottsdale.

A new entity called TerraWest Management Co. LLC will coordinate the two developments aimed at very different demographics:

Read more: Eastmark to get more homes

Eastmark to get more homes

More developers are signing up for pieces of the former General Motors Desert Proving Ground in southeast Mesa.

Scottsdale-based AV Homes Inc. and JEN Partners LLC of New York City announced Tuesday they have combined to buy 527 acres in the Eastmark property being developed by DMB Associates of Scottsdale.

A new entity called TerraWest Management Co. LLC will coordinate the two developments aimed at very different demographics:

Read more: Eastmark to get more homes

City adds 6,400 acres to preserve

Scottsdale completed a two-decade goal on Wednesday in buying 6,400 acres of state trust land in the far north of the city that will connect the McDowell Sonoran Preserve to the Tonto National Forest.

The city was the lone bidder at $88.2 millionfor three parcels east of the Legend Trail golf community that were auctioned by the Arizona State Land Department.

The link of the preserve's McDowell Mountains and desert terrain to the national forest provides a wildlife corridor and supports the natural cycle of plants propagating across the public lands.

Read more: City adds 6,400 acres to preserve

City adds 6,400 acres to preserve

Scottsdale completed a two-decade goal on Wednesday in buying 6,400 acres of state trust land in the far north of the city that will connect the McDowell Sonoran Preserve to the Tonto National Forest.

The city was the lone bidder at $88.2 millionfor three parcels east of the Legend Trail golf community that were auctioned by the Arizona State Land Department.

The link of the preserve's McDowell Mountains and desert terrain to the national forest provides a wildlife corridor and supports the natural cycle of plants propagating across the public lands.

Read more: City adds 6,400 acres to preserve

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Paradise Valley resort plan to cut debt is filed

The owner of the troubled Mountain Shadows resort in Paradise Valley has submitted a reorganization plan in Bankruptcy Court that it says will help it come out of bankruptcy and develop the long-shuttered property.  Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com//community/scottsdale/articles/20121126paradise-valley-resort-plan-cut-debt-filed.html

Paradise Valley resort plan to cut debt is filed

The owner of the troubled Mountain Shadows resort in Paradise Valley has submitted a reorganization plan in Bankruptcy Court that it says will help it come out of bankruptcy and develop the long-shuttered property.  Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com//community/scottsdale/articles/20121126paradise-valley-resort-plan-cut-debt-filed.html

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Reagor: $883 mil in aid for Arizonans

More than $880 million so far has been committed to helping Arizona consumers through the National Mortgage Settlement, according to the nation's top five lenders.

The latest report on the settlement, issued this week, is based on information from Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, CitiBank and GMAC/Ally. The data shows most of the aid so far, about $762 million, is coming from short sales approved by the lenders.

Another $61 million has been set aside or spent to help underwater borrowers refinance. About $60 million has gone toward modifying Arizona borrowers' primary mortgages. The lenders collectively report helping more than 13,000 of the state's consumers.

Read more: Reagor: $883 mil in aid for Arizonans

Reagor: $883 mil in aid for Arizonans

More than $880 million so far has been committed to helping Arizona consumers through the National Mortgage Settlement, according to the nation's top five lenders.

The latest report on the settlement, issued this week, is based on information from Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, CitiBank and GMAC/Ally. The data shows most of the aid so far, about $762 million, is coming from short sales approved by the lenders.

Another $61 million has been set aside or spent to help underwater borrowers refinance. About $60 million has gone toward modifying Arizona borrowers' primary mortgages. The lenders collectively report helping more than 13,000 of the state's consumers.

Read more: Reagor: $883 mil in aid for Arizonans

Economist: Local recovery ‘mediocre,’ another 2 years away

Arizona can expect a tepid economic recovery next year with an improving housing market but don’t expect a robust economy until 2015.

That’s the view of local economist Elliott Pollack, who spoke last week at an economic-forecast event presented by the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business in downtown Scottsdale.

“It’s a mediocre recovery,” Pollack said. “It’s been bad for so long that it will seem better than it is.”

Pollack, one of the featured speakers, was upbeat about declines in distressed-housing inventory and foreclosure notices as the market stabilizes. But he warned that the recovery could be derailed by some local and national issues that are already creating uncertainty.

Nationally, the so-called fiscal cliff is poised to push the country back into recession by the second quarter of 2013 if Congress doesn’t act, Pollack said.

Major tax cuts are scheduled to end at the start of next year along with deep cuts in federal spending for defense and other programs.

Pollack, who admitted he was a cranky after returning from an overseas trip, is skeptical of what will happen in Washington because he said there is “no leadership in the White House or Congress.”

“If anyone tells you we don’t need spending cuts and tax hikes they’re a (expletive) moron,” said Pollack, apologizing for his profanity. “We have to have tax increases.”

Demand high for home lots

Locally, home builders are ramping up to meet demand for new homes but there is a scarcity of developed lots and available land for new communities.

“We will run out of lots in 2014 and then you’re done building,” he said.

That shortage has been good for him. Pollack said he bought land in greater Phoenix in 2008-09 when prices plummeted and is selling it back now.

Earlier, land broker Nate Nathan said land sales have been brisk. By the end of the year, land transactions will be completed on 110,000 residential lots in Maricopa and Pinal counties, Nathan said.

Longer term, Pollack said the Phoenix area will add 1 million people and 200,000 homes within the next eight-to-10 years.

Baby Boomers have delayed their retirement but many of them eventually will retire in the Valley, he said.

Pollack said much of the growth will be in outlying areas because there is not enough infill land to meet the demand for housing.

He also dismissed speculation that the Valley will run out of water.

“There is not now, nor will there ever be, a water shortage,” said Pollack, adding that increasing water rates would reduce use and extend the supply.

Investors bullish on market

Pollack told the group of real estate professionals that investor groups from Wall Street are continuing to buy up big blocks of single-family houses in the Valley.

That has created fear that local prices will fall if real estate investment trusts sell thousands of homes at the same time.

But adding 2,000 homes to the available listing would not have a huge impact in a housing market with about 1.2 million homes, Pollack said.

“I still think it’s a good time to buy single-family houses,” he said.

It is encouraging that more than half the monthly home sales are traditional deals, not short sales, foreclosures or investor flips, Pollack said.

During the recession, traditional sales dipped as low as 24 percent, he said.

“Essentially we’re working our way through the problem,” Pollack said. “The lights are getting brighter.

The economic forecast included moderators Bill Gray and Fletcher Wilcox, and panelists Sal DiCicio, Scott Golba, Tom Noble, Bill Rodgers, Gerrick Taylor, Keith Watkins and Nate Nathan. Wayne Stutzer of RBC Wealth Management was the other featured speaker.

By Peter Corbett The Republic | azcentral.com Tue Nov 20, 2012

Economist: Local recovery ‘mediocre,’ another 2 years away

Economist: Local recovery ‘mediocre,’ another 2 years away

Arizona can expect a tepid economic recovery next year with an improving housing market but don’t expect a robust economy until 2015.

That’s the view of local economist Elliott Pollack, who spoke last week at an economic-forecast event presented by the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business in downtown Scottsdale.

“It’s a mediocre recovery,” Pollack said. “It’s been bad for so long that it will seem better than it is.”

Pollack, one of the featured speakers, was upbeat about declines in distressed-housing inventory and foreclosure notices as the market stabilizes. But he warned that the recovery could be derailed by some local and national issues that are already creating uncertainty.

Nationally, the so-called fiscal cliff is poised to push the country back into recession by the second quarter of 2013 if Congress doesn’t act, Pollack said.

Major tax cuts are scheduled to end at the start of next year along with deep cuts in federal spending for defense and other programs.

Pollack, who admitted he was a cranky after returning from an overseas trip, is skeptical of what will happen in Washington because he said there is “no leadership in the White House or Congress.”

“If anyone tells you we don’t need spending cuts and tax hikes they’re a (expletive) moron,” said Pollack, apologizing for his profanity. “We have to have tax increases.”

Demand high for home lots

Locally, home builders are ramping up to meet demand for new homes but there is a scarcity of developed lots and available land for new communities.

“We will run out of lots in 2014 and then you’re done building,” he said.

That shortage has been good for him. Pollack said he bought land in greater Phoenix in 2008-09 when prices plummeted and is selling it back now.

Earlier, land broker Nate Nathan said land sales have been brisk. By the end of the year, land transactions will be completed on 110,000 residential lots in Maricopa and Pinal counties, Nathan said.

Longer term, Pollack said the Phoenix area will add 1 million people and 200,000 homes within the next eight-to-10 years.

Baby Boomers have delayed their retirement but many of them eventually will retire in the Valley, he said.

Pollack said much of the growth will be in outlying areas because there is not enough infill land to meet the demand for housing.

He also dismissed speculation that the Valley will run out of water.

“There is not now, nor will there ever be, a water shortage,” said Pollack, adding that increasing water rates would reduce use and extend the supply.

Investors bullish on market

Pollack told the group of real estate professionals that investor groups from Wall Street are continuing to buy up big blocks of single-family houses in the Valley.

That has created fear that local prices will fall if real estate investment trusts sell thousands of homes at the same time.

But adding 2,000 homes to the available listing would not have a huge impact in a housing market with about 1.2 million homes, Pollack said.

“I still think it’s a good time to buy single-family houses,” he said.

It is encouraging that more than half the monthly home sales are traditional deals, not short sales, foreclosures or investor flips, Pollack said.

During the recession, traditional sales dipped as low as 24 percent, he said.

“Essentially we’re working our way through the problem,” Pollack said. “The lights are getting brighter.

The economic forecast included moderators Bill Gray and Fletcher Wilcox, and panelists Sal DiCicio, Scott Golba, Tom Noble, Bill Rodgers, Gerrick Taylor, Keith Watkins and Nate Nathan. Wayne Stutzer of RBC Wealth Management was the other featured speaker.

By Peter Corbett The Republic | azcentral.com Tue Nov 20, 2012

Economist: Local recovery ‘mediocre,’ another 2 years away

Beach-club area construction creates some waves

Nearly an entire block in downtown Scottsdale’s entertainment district is teeming with construction as developer Shawn Yari’s beach club-anchored entertainment complex quickly takes shape.

However, revelers will have to wait several months until the first bars open, and the beach club itself won’t be opening until next summer.

As of now, the complex, being developed by Triyar Entertainment, owned by Yari, will include the indoor-outdoor beach club in the center and three restaurant-bars along the eastern side.

The complex will encompass most of the block that housed Myst nightclub on Shoeman Lane, and Suede restaurant and bar on Indian Plaza, just south of Axis/Radius. The area is in the city’s entertainment district south of Camelback Road and east of Scottsdale Road.

Read more: Beach-club area construction creates some waves

Beach-club area construction creates some waves

Nearly an entire block in downtown Scottsdale’s entertainment district is teeming with construction as developer Shawn Yari’s beach club-anchored entertainment complex quickly takes shape.

However, revelers will have to wait several months until the first bars open, and the beach club itself won’t be opening until next summer.

As of now, the complex, being developed by Triyar Entertainment, owned by Yari, will include the indoor-outdoor beach club in the center and three restaurant-bars along the eastern side.

The complex will encompass most of the block that housed Myst nightclub on Shoeman Lane, and Suede restaurant and bar on Indian Plaza, just south of Axis/Radius. The area is in the city’s entertainment district south of Camelback Road and east of Scottsdale Road.

Read more: Beach-club area construction creates some waves

U.S. banks cut mortgages by $6.3B in homeowner settlement | The Tennessean | tennessean.com

Less than a year after a landmark foreclosure abuse settlement, five of the nation’s biggest banks have cut struggling homeowner’s mortgages by $6.3 billion, part of a total $26.1 billion in home loan relief the banks agreed to provide.

In Tennessee, roughly $85 million worth of relief has been provided for 2,134 borrowers between March 1 and Sept. 30, according to a report issued Monday by Joseph Smith, monitor of the settlement. Additionally, $51 million in loan modification trials are in progress.

More than $37 million in local relief came in the form of short sales, in which lenders agree to accept less than what the seller owes on the mortgage. About $18 million was provided through refinancing loans.

Read more: U.S. banks cut mortgages by $6.3B in homeowner settlement | The Tennessean | tennessean.com

U.S. banks cut mortgages by $6.3B in homeowner settlement | The Tennessean | tennessean.com

Less than a year after a landmark foreclosure abuse settlement, five of the nation’s biggest banks have cut struggling homeowner’s mortgages by $6.3 billion, part of a total $26.1 billion in home loan relief the banks agreed to provide.

In Tennessee, roughly $85 million worth of relief has been provided for 2,134 borrowers between March 1 and Sept. 30, according to a report issued Monday by Joseph Smith, monitor of the settlement. Additionally, $51 million in loan modification trials are in progress.

More than $37 million in local relief came in the form of short sales, in which lenders agree to accept less than what the seller owes on the mortgage. About $18 million was provided through refinancing loans.

Read more: U.S. banks cut mortgages by $6.3B in homeowner settlement | The Tennessean | tennessean.com

Harassing calls can be reported

Question: I’ve been registered on the Do Not Call list for years but still get repeated telemarketing calls every month — many from the same companies. When I try to have my number deleted by pressing a suggested button, I only get more calls. Where can I report this harassment?

—Nancy Halvorson,

Phoenix

Answer: I get this question often, and my answer always disappoints readers.

The Do Not Call Registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission. If you’re receiving harassing calls from telemarketers, you can file a complaint with the FTC at donotcall.gov. The FTC says it will investigate these complaints and punish offenders. Until they’re caught, some disreputable companies will continue to ring your phone off the hook. But the truth is: They may never be caught.

Don’t bother filing complaints against charities, political groups, pollsters and companies conducting surveys. These groups are exempt from the registry and can call you as much as they choose.

By Dave Cherry 12 News Mon Nov 19, 2012

Harassing calls can be reported

Harassing calls can be reported

Question: I’ve been registered on the Do Not Call list for years but still get repeated telemarketing calls every month — many from the same companies. When I try to have my number deleted by pressing a suggested button, I only get more calls. Where can I report this harassment?

—Nancy Halvorson,

Phoenix

Answer: I get this question often, and my answer always disappoints readers.

The Do Not Call Registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission. If you’re receiving harassing calls from telemarketers, you can file a complaint with the FTC at donotcall.gov. The FTC says it will investigate these complaints and punish offenders. Until they’re caught, some disreputable companies will continue to ring your phone off the hook. But the truth is: They may never be caught.

Don’t bother filing complaints against charities, political groups, pollsters and companies conducting surveys. These groups are exempt from the registry and can call you as much as they choose.

By Dave Cherry 12 News Mon Nov 19, 2012

Harassing calls can be reported

$150,000 grant from bank to help first-time homebuyers in Chandler

The partnership between Chandler and the Newtown Community Development Corp., in working to put first-time homebuyers into empty houses, got a boost recently.

Newtown, the Tempe-based non-profit organization that administers much of Chandler’s neighborhood stabilization efforts, received a $150,000 Priority Markets Grant Friday from Wells Fargo bank. The money will be used to bolster the down-payment assistance program for first-time buyers and help set up a rotating loan fund for repairs to existing homes in the program.

Newtown Executive Director Allen Carlson said $100,000 of the money would be combined with $200,000 in existing funds for down-payment assistance. The remaining $50,000 from the grant would start the loan fund.

Read more: $150,000 grant from bank to help first-time homebuyers in Chandler

$150,000 grant from bank to help first-time homebuyers in Chandler

The partnership between Chandler and the Newtown Community Development Corp., in working to put first-time homebuyers into empty houses, got a boost recently.

Newtown, the Tempe-based non-profit organization that administers much of Chandler’s neighborhood stabilization efforts, received a $150,000 Priority Markets Grant Friday from Wells Fargo bank. The money will be used to bolster the down-payment assistance program for first-time buyers and help set up a rotating loan fund for repairs to existing homes in the program.

Newtown Executive Director Allen Carlson said $100,000 of the money would be combined with $200,000 in existing funds for down-payment assistance. The remaining $50,000 from the grant would start the loan fund.

Read more: $150,000 grant from bank to help first-time homebuyers in Chandler

Habitat for Humanity working on 8 Peoria homes

In a few months, Michel’le Dinkins will move into her first home — one she has helped construct, nail by nail.

The 22-year-old single mom, a part-time student and full-time St. Mary’s Food Bank employee, will get the key in February to one of eight Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona projects under way in Peoria.

The faith-based non-profit builds and renovates homes and sells them to low-income families at affordable prices with no-interest mortgages. The organization owns three vacant lots in Peoria not yet under construction and has built a new home and renovated seven others this year.

Read more: Habitat for Humanity working on 8 Peoria homes

Habitat for Humanity working on 8 Peoria homes

In a few months, Michel’le Dinkins will move into her first home — one she has helped construct, nail by nail.

The 22-year-old single mom, a part-time student and full-time St. Mary’s Food Bank employee, will get the key in February to one of eight Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona projects under way in Peoria.

The faith-based non-profit builds and renovates homes and sells them to low-income families at affordable prices with no-interest mortgages. The organization owns three vacant lots in Peoria not yet under construction and has built a new home and renovated seven others this year.

Read more: Habitat for Humanity working on 8 Peoria homes

Sale of Frank Lloyd Wright -designed Arizona home falls through

PHOENIX - A sale of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home that had been slated for demolition has fallen through and the home once again will go on the market, a real estate broker marketing the property said Monday.

The buyer, who has not been identified, decided during an inspection period to not proceed with the purchase because of unspecified personal and business reasons, said Robert Joffe. "I don't think I'm ever going to know the truth."

The home will again be listed for sale for $2,379,000, the price on which the now-canceled agreement was based, Joffe said.

However, he said the window to sell the home runs only until Dec. 4 because the Phoenix city council plans on Dec. 5 to consider approving an historic designation for the property.

Read more: Sale of Frank Lloyd Wright -designed Arizona home falls through

Sale of Frank Lloyd Wright -designed Arizona home falls through

PHOENIX - A sale of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home that had been slated for demolition has fallen through and the home once again will go on the market, a real estate broker marketing the property said Monday.

The buyer, who has not been identified, decided during an inspection period to not proceed with the purchase because of unspecified personal and business reasons, said Robert Joffe. "I don't think I'm ever going to know the truth."

The home will again be listed for sale for $2,379,000, the price on which the now-canceled agreement was based, Joffe said.

However, he said the window to sell the home runs only until Dec. 4 because the Phoenix city council plans on Dec. 5 to consider approving an historic designation for the property.

Read more: Sale of Frank Lloyd Wright -designed Arizona home falls through

Construction begins on $17 mil senior complex in Mesa

The first major private investment in downtown Mesa in Councilman Chris Glover’s lifetime is off and running.

Glover, 25, who represents downtown Mesa, helped break ground this week on a $17 million, 81-unit senior-housing complex southwest of the Mesa Arts Center.

For the past quarter-century, all the big-money projects in downtown Mesa, most notably the nearly $100 million Mesa Arts Center, have been government-funded.

Encore on First Avenue is one of three subsidized housing projects approved in Mesa this year; the others are the redevelopment of the Escobedo Apartments and a major overhaul of the La Mesita Family Shelter.

Read more: Construction begins on $17 mil senior complex in Mesa

Construction begins on $17 mil senior complex in Mesa

The first major private investment in downtown Mesa in Councilman Chris Glover’s lifetime is off and running.

Glover, 25, who represents downtown Mesa, helped break ground this week on a $17 million, 81-unit senior-housing complex southwest of the Mesa Arts Center.

For the past quarter-century, all the big-money projects in downtown Mesa, most notably the nearly $100 million Mesa Arts Center, have been government-funded.

Encore on First Avenue is one of three subsidized housing projects approved in Mesa this year; the others are the redevelopment of the Escobedo Apartments and a major overhaul of the La Mesita Family Shelter.

Read more: Construction begins on $17 mil senior complex in Mesa

Tanger to bring 85 new stores to Westgate in Glendale

Something always seemed to be missing at Westgate City Center, Glendale’s signature entertainment and shopping district: critical mass.

The crowds from nearby sports venues and a movie theater were sporadic, not reliable enough to fill Westgate’s restaurants, bars and concert events on a regular basis.

That could all change Thursday, when Tanger Outlets Westgate opens nearly 85 stores. The mall will be a critical third anchor, along with Jobing.com Arena and University of Phoenix Stadium, for the Westgate complex. Up to 5 million shoppers will go to Tanger each year, according to the mall owner’s projections.

Tanger is the tipping point, say executives with a stake in the 6-year-old Westgate. A company called iStar Financial Inc. took over a year ago.

Read more: Tanger to bring 85 new stores to Westgate in Glendale

Tanger to bring 85 new stores to Westgate in Glendale

Something always seemed to be missing at Westgate City Center, Glendale’s signature entertainment and shopping district: critical mass.

The crowds from nearby sports venues and a movie theater were sporadic, not reliable enough to fill Westgate’s restaurants, bars and concert events on a regular basis.

That could all change Thursday, when Tanger Outlets Westgate opens nearly 85 stores. The mall will be a critical third anchor, along with Jobing.com Arena and University of Phoenix Stadium, for the Westgate complex. Up to 5 million shoppers will go to Tanger each year, according to the mall owner’s projections.

Tanger is the tipping point, say executives with a stake in the 6-year-old Westgate. A company called iStar Financial Inc. took over a year ago.

Read more: Tanger to bring 85 new stores to Westgate in Glendale

A reverse mortgage can add up

Question: My wife and I are in our 60s, our house is paid off and we have no plans to move. What do you think about a reverse mortgage?

—Dave Cole,

Phoenix

Answer: Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners age 62 and older. The mortgage relationship is reversed; the mortgage company pays you every month and then gets its principal plus interest back when your heirs sell the house. You are essentially drawing on your home’s equity while still living in it.

Typically, the loan doesn’t need to be repaid until after your death. If the house sells for more than the loan balance, your heirs keep the difference.

Reverse mortgages are expensive. You pay a loan origination fee, closing costs and insurance. If you fail to maintain your property and pay homeowner’s insurance and taxes, you risk foreclosure.

Consumer Reports estimates that 54,000 reverse mortgages are in default, mostly due to homeowners’ inability to pay taxes and insurance. Before you call any lender, talk with a counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It’s free, and counseling is required by law to get these loans.

The counselor can help you figure out if you qualify and if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

By Dave Cherry Calll 12 for Action Mon Nov 12, 2012 A reverse mortgage can add up

A reverse mortgage can add up

Question: My wife and I are in our 60s, our house is paid off and we have no plans to move. What do you think about a reverse mortgage?

—Dave Cole,

Phoenix

Answer: Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners age 62 and older. The mortgage relationship is reversed; the mortgage company pays you every month and then gets its principal plus interest back when your heirs sell the house. You are essentially drawing on your home’s equity while still living in it.

Typically, the loan doesn’t need to be repaid until after your death. If the house sells for more than the loan balance, your heirs keep the difference.

Reverse mortgages are expensive. You pay a loan origination fee, closing costs and insurance. If you fail to maintain your property and pay homeowner’s insurance and taxes, you risk foreclosure.

Consumer Reports estimates that 54,000 reverse mortgages are in default, mostly due to homeowners’ inability to pay taxes and insurance. Before you call any lender, talk with a counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It’s free, and counseling is required by law to get these loans.

The counselor can help you figure out if you qualify and if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

By Dave Cherry Calll 12 for Action Mon Nov 12, 2012 A reverse mortgage can add up

Group will build houses in Valley for injured vets

For Mike and Cheryl Leonard, Peoria represents a new chapter -- a fresh start after a roadside-bomb explosion in Afghanistan turned their lives upside down.

Mike Leonard, a first sergeant in the U.S. Army, was riding in a medical vehicle two years ago when an explosion knocked him unconscious.

"I just remember telling my senior medic, 'Just get everybody out. Get everybody out,' " the 41-year-old said.

Read more: Group will build houses in Valley for injured vets

Group will build houses in Valley for injured vets

For Mike and Cheryl Leonard, Peoria represents a new chapter -- a fresh start after a roadside-bomb explosion in Afghanistan turned their lives upside down.

Mike Leonard, a first sergeant in the U.S. Army, was riding in a medical vehicle two years ago when an explosion knocked him unconscious.

"I just remember telling my senior medic, 'Just get everybody out. Get everybody out,' " the 41-year-old said.

Read more: Group will build houses in Valley for injured vets

Real estate exec sees commercial looking up

Housing gets most of the attention in metro Phoenix because of the past year’s rise in home prices, but the commercial real-estate market may be on the upswing as well.

Commercial market veteran Pete Bolton, executive vice president and managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in Phoenix, offers current views on the office, industrial and retail market.

Question: Summarize how the Phoenix commercial real-estate market is faring and how Wall Street and other investors are affecting it.

Answer: The Phoenix-area commercial market is moving along — finally — at a modest pace. The good news is that activity levels, as far as tenants are concerned, have definitely increased over the past 18 months. Expansions are starting to occur, again at a very modest pace. Corporate America is not confident enough overall to start making the moves it needs to make to improve our market substantially. As far as Wall Street is concerned, the effect of their perception is that stocks for companies in the commercial real-estate sector have remained well below where they were in 2007-08. There are hundreds of billions of dollars sitting on the sidelines waiting to invest in commercial real estate. I would put Phoenix in the middle of the country as far as recovery — we certainly aren’t at the bottom; we are halfway through the recovery process.

Q. What’s going on in the office market? What kind of tenants are looking for space now?

A. Most of the new space/expansion space is coming from a very patient corporate America that is taking a flier on the fact that, after five years in a commercial real-estate hole, it’s got to get better. They have to make a commitment to office space somewhere, sometime. We actually have submarkets in the Valley that have 5 percent vacancies, but then on the other hand, we have a few that are between 20 to 25 percent vacant.

Q. Phoenix’s calling card to many companies is its warehouse market. There’s some speculative building under way. What does that mean for the industrial market?

A. Warehouse/distribution space has been filling quite nicely during 2012. The big-box distribution space of 150,000 feet or more is not available today. There are a few speculative buildings under way in this category, but it has taken well over a year to get financing, permits, etc., to build these big distribution centers. They will fill as soon as they are near completion. As far as the building you see around town, most of it is build-to-suit activity for tenants either coming into town or needing to expand to larger facilities. Industrial space overall has a 12 percent vacancy — we like to see it around 10 percent for it to be a healthy market.

Q. Rooftops are selling, and new-home building is up last year. What’s happening with retail?

A. Retail is definitely responding to an anticipation of a better world/U.S./Phoenix market. At the peak, we saw a 13 percent vacancy, but it has decreased to 11.8 percent. Retail strip centers are doing the best at this time — pad sales are picking up and activity has definitely increased. These are all good signs of a recovering market. I believe the home-building excitement plays a part in this. Alternative uses for larger spaces continue to be an interesting part of retail absorption. As the small spaces absorb, tenants will start to gravitate towards these larger centers. Then everyone, landlords and tenants, will be feeling better.

Q. What is the forecast for the commercial market for next year?

A. If you were to take a poll of the commercial brokerage community, it would certainly tell you that on the whole, things are getting a lot better than they have been over the past four years. This has been a tough go for commercial real estate in all sectors, with a possible exception of multifamily investment sales during the second half of 2011 and to date in 2012. Our forecast is that we see an increase in activity continuing throughout office, industrial and retail sectors in 2013 and beyond. So 2013, 2014 and 2015 will be good years for commercial real estate. And it’s about time.

By Catherine Reagor The Republic Fri Nov 9, 2012 Real estate exec sees commercial looking up

Real estate exec sees commercial looking up

Housing gets most of the attention in metro Phoenix because of the past year’s rise in home prices, but the commercial real-estate market may be on the upswing as well.

Commercial market veteran Pete Bolton, executive vice president and managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in Phoenix, offers current views on the office, industrial and retail market.

Question: Summarize how the Phoenix commercial real-estate market is faring and how Wall Street and other investors are affecting it.

Answer: The Phoenix-area commercial market is moving along — finally — at a modest pace. The good news is that activity levels, as far as tenants are concerned, have definitely increased over the past 18 months. Expansions are starting to occur, again at a very modest pace. Corporate America is not confident enough overall to start making the moves it needs to make to improve our market substantially. As far as Wall Street is concerned, the effect of their perception is that stocks for companies in the commercial real-estate sector have remained well below where they were in 2007-08. There are hundreds of billions of dollars sitting on the sidelines waiting to invest in commercial real estate. I would put Phoenix in the middle of the country as far as recovery — we certainly aren’t at the bottom; we are halfway through the recovery process.

Q. What’s going on in the office market? What kind of tenants are looking for space now?

A. Most of the new space/expansion space is coming from a very patient corporate America that is taking a flier on the fact that, after five years in a commercial real-estate hole, it’s got to get better. They have to make a commitment to office space somewhere, sometime. We actually have submarkets in the Valley that have 5 percent vacancies, but then on the other hand, we have a few that are between 20 to 25 percent vacant.

Q. Phoenix’s calling card to many companies is its warehouse market. There’s some speculative building under way. What does that mean for the industrial market?

A. Warehouse/distribution space has been filling quite nicely during 2012. The big-box distribution space of 150,000 feet or more is not available today. There are a few speculative buildings under way in this category, but it has taken well over a year to get financing, permits, etc., to build these big distribution centers. They will fill as soon as they are near completion. As far as the building you see around town, most of it is build-to-suit activity for tenants either coming into town or needing to expand to larger facilities. Industrial space overall has a 12 percent vacancy — we like to see it around 10 percent for it to be a healthy market.

Q. Rooftops are selling, and new-home building is up last year. What’s happening with retail?

A. Retail is definitely responding to an anticipation of a better world/U.S./Phoenix market. At the peak, we saw a 13 percent vacancy, but it has decreased to 11.8 percent. Retail strip centers are doing the best at this time — pad sales are picking up and activity has definitely increased. These are all good signs of a recovering market. I believe the home-building excitement plays a part in this. Alternative uses for larger spaces continue to be an interesting part of retail absorption. As the small spaces absorb, tenants will start to gravitate towards these larger centers. Then everyone, landlords and tenants, will be feeling better.

Q. What is the forecast for the commercial market for next year?

A. If you were to take a poll of the commercial brokerage community, it would certainly tell you that on the whole, things are getting a lot better than they have been over the past four years. This has been a tough go for commercial real estate in all sectors, with a possible exception of multifamily investment sales during the second half of 2011 and to date in 2012. Our forecast is that we see an increase in activity continuing throughout office, industrial and retail sectors in 2013 and beyond. So 2013, 2014 and 2015 will be good years for commercial real estate. And it’s about time.

By Catherine Reagor The Republic Fri Nov 9, 2012 Real estate exec sees commercial looking up

Capital-improvement projects on the rise

For the first time in at least three years, Paradise Valley is seeing a substantial increase in capital-improvement projects, returning activity to pre-recession numbers.

At least five projects are included in the 2012-13 budget.

Town Manager Jim Bacon says this will bring more construction to the town streets, which in the long run, fares well for everybody.

Because a very difficult economy is getting better, capital budgets are returning, he said.

“We’re trying to re-establish capital projects as a part of what we do,” Bacon said. “Street systems, sidewalks, drainage — these are things people don’t really think about a whole lot, but they’re just-as-important services that government provides as public safety.”

The town has invested in capital improvements this year at a level comparable to before the economic downturn.

Read more: Capital-improvement projects on the rise

Capital-improvement projects on the rise

For the first time in at least three years, Paradise Valley is seeing a substantial increase in capital-improvement projects, returning activity to pre-recession numbers.

At least five projects are included in the 2012-13 budget.

Town Manager Jim Bacon says this will bring more construction to the town streets, which in the long run, fares well for everybody.

Because a very difficult economy is getting better, capital budgets are returning, he said.

“We’re trying to re-establish capital projects as a part of what we do,” Bacon said. “Street systems, sidewalks, drainage — these are things people don’t really think about a whole lot, but they’re just-as-important services that government provides as public safety.”

The town has invested in capital improvements this year at a level comparable to before the economic downturn.

Read more: Capital-improvement projects on the rise

Developer’s plans may clash with Borgata shopkeepers’

A homebuilder has plans to redevelop the Borgata of Scottsdale, but merchants at the faux-Italian village say they are open for business and aren’t closing their doors anytime soon.

Femme de Paris owner Cindy Carias said she and a few other tenants have leases through December 2014 and plan to stay until then.

“The new owners have a long way to go to get permits to bulldoze this place down,” Carias said. “I want people to know we’re still here.”

The shopping center northwest of Scottsdale Road and McDonald Drive has been in flux since AV Homes Inc. bought the 90,000-square-foot property in September for $12.8 million.

The Scottsdale builder submitted preliminary plans to Scottsdale this week to build 250 condos in buildings of up to four stories, said Ken Plonski, AV Homes vice president of communications.

Read more: Developer’s plans may clash with Borgata shopkeepers’

Developer’s plans may clash with Borgata shopkeepers’

A homebuilder has plans to redevelop the Borgata of Scottsdale, but merchants at the faux-Italian village say they are open for business and aren’t closing their doors anytime soon.

Femme de Paris owner Cindy Carias said she and a few other tenants have leases through December 2014 and plan to stay until then.

“The new owners have a long way to go to get permits to bulldoze this place down,” Carias said. “I want people to know we’re still here.”

The shopping center northwest of Scottsdale Road and McDonald Drive has been in flux since AV Homes Inc. bought the 90,000-square-foot property in September for $12.8 million.

The Scottsdale builder submitted preliminary plans to Scottsdale this week to build 250 condos in buildings of up to four stories, said Ken Plonski, AV Homes vice president of communications.

Read more: Developer’s plans may clash with Borgata shopkeepers’

New Chandler high-end townhouses called key for downtown growth

After wrapping the residential phase of a roughly $50 million project designed to bring vibrancy and customers downtown, developers and Chandler are moving on to the plan’s commercial elements.

Desert Viking Properties broke ground on Villas & Shops at San Marcos Commons before the recession hit, ultimately riding out the economic downturn to build 79 high-end townhouses at Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard. All but seven have been sold.

Chandler believes the complex, along with a nearby townhouse community built by Tempe-based Benton-Robb Development Associates, marks a significant step in the city’s effort to create a consistently active downtown. The city's South Arizona Avenue Entry Corridor Study calls for 1,800 residential units between Boston Street and Pecos Road.

Read more: New Chandler high-end townhouses called key for downtown growth

New Chandler high-end townhouses called key for downtown growth

After wrapping the residential phase of a roughly $50 million project designed to bring vibrancy and customers downtown, developers and Chandler are moving on to the plan’s commercial elements.

Desert Viking Properties broke ground on Villas & Shops at San Marcos Commons before the recession hit, ultimately riding out the economic downturn to build 79 high-end townhouses at Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard. All but seven have been sold.

Chandler believes the complex, along with a nearby townhouse community built by Tempe-based Benton-Robb Development Associates, marks a significant step in the city’s effort to create a consistently active downtown. The city's South Arizona Avenue Entry Corridor Study calls for 1,800 residential units between Boston Street and Pecos Road.

Read more: New Chandler high-end townhouses called key for downtown growth

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