Sunday, July 8, 2012

Decrease in foreclosures increases bidding wars

Bidding wars among investors and regular homebuyers continue to escalate because of the lack of supply.

Residential foreclosures in metro Phoenix fell again last month.

That's good news for some struggling homeowners, but it means fewer bargain-priced homes on the market for potential buyers.

In June, lenders took back 1,719 homes, according to AZ Bidder. That's about 300 fewer than in May.

Demand for commercial properties is also heating up as banks move to take back fewer office, industrial and retail properties in the region and small-business owners compete with investors for the shrinking supply of foreclosure buildings for sale.

"It is competitive out there now to buy commercial properties," said Beth Jo Zeitzer, president of Phoenix-based R.O.I. Properties.

Only about 120 of the foreclosures in metro Phoenix last month came on commercial properties.

Now, the majority of commercial-real-estate buyers in the Phoenix area are individuals and owner-occupants trying to buy their own facility before prices climb too high again.

Unlike with residential foreclosures, Zeitzer said, many individuals and small-business owners are able to compete with investors on commercial foreclosure deals.

But Zeitzer said that as in the residential market, commercial foreclosures have already peaked and will likely continue to decline.

Freescale site makeover

Phoenix's Wentworth Property Co. was launched in 2005 during the real-estate boom.

But the commercial-real-estate firm, led by veteran real-estate broker and developer Jim Wentworth and his son Jim Jr., took on its biggest project during the downturn.

Last summer, Wentworth and partner Northwood Investors paid $53.7 million for a 136-acre commercial project in Tempe at Elliot Road and Loop 101.

Freescale Semiconductor sold the office park and is leasing back three of its buildings. Another three are vacant and ready to lease.

The Wentworth group renamed the project at the former Motorola campus -- which had become home to Freescale -- Discovery Business Park. The real-estate firm spent another $13 million renovating the business park's buildings, parking and landscaping.

"Discovery Business Park will end up being more than a $200 million deal that will take us through the next cycle," Jim Wentworth Jr. said.

Discovery Business Park is zoned for another 1.6 million square feet of office, retail and hotel space.

by Catherine Reagor - Jul. 6, 2012 03:01 PM The Republic |

Decrease in foreclosures increases bidding wars

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