Mortgage And Real Estate News

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Why areas with good jobs have hard-to-afford homes

WASHINGTON –It's the new career trade-off:

Around the country, areas with the strongest job markets increasingly have some of the costliest homes. And areas with the most affordable homes lack a solid base of middle-class jobs that attract workers.

College graduates and younger families have been clustering in coastal cities such as New York, San Francisco and Seattle, where incomes are generally ample and solid middle-class jobs plentiful. Yet studies and government data show that homes in these areas have become prohibitively expensive — driven up in part by demand from the very residents who find homes there too costly.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2014/12/13/areas-good-jobs-hard-afford-homes/20373463/

Monday, December 22, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright house plans concern Phoenix neighbors

The empty house on Exeter Boulevard in Arcadia sleeps in the shadow of Camelback Mountain, surrounded by about 5 acres of sprawling land dotted with olive trees and an immaculate lawn.

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son, the circular David and Gladys Wright House stands like a sculpture, the mountain a still backdrop.

Read more...  http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2014/12/15/phoenix-frank-lloyd-wright-house-plans-concern-neighbors/20438099/

Changes to Gateway Airport loan could cost Mesa $75 million

A proposal to essentially forgive nearly $75 million in Mesa loans to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is proving a tough sell at the council dais, with some officials arguing the move would be a betrayal of the public's trust.

For years, Mesa mayors and council members have promised constituents the city's investments in Gateway eventually would be paid back. Now, both airport and city staff say a failure to recharacterize decades of loans from the airport authority's six member agencies as contributions would decimate any chance the airport has to thrive on its own.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/mesa/2014/12/10/mesa-75-million-loan-agreement-phoenix-mesa-gateway-airport/20193087/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

Friday, December 12, 2014

Capital Economics: 4 predictions impact renting and homebuying

House prices and rental prices are about to switch roles after three years of soaring home prices and tepid growth in rental prices, a new Capital Economics report said.

Over the next few years, Capital Economics predicts that rents are likely to rise at an annual average rate of 5% or more, while house price inflation will settle around 4%.

Read more...  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/32320?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+housingwire%2FuOVI+%28HousingWire%29&utm_content=FaceBook

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Barclays: New Fannie, Freddie mortgages will take business from FHA

The government-sponsored enterprises officially announced Monday the introduction of new, lower down payment mortgages.

And already the mortgage industry is reacting, with one analyst arguing that the boost to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could come at the expense of the Federal Housing Administration.

Read more...  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/32277-barclays-new-fannie-freddie-mortgages-will-take-business-from-fha

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Choose the right lender for home loan

Getting a home loan can be costly and stressful. Securing the right lender can help reduce both.

Although a quick online search for mortgage lenders might bring up mind-boggling options, in the end, the choices come down to three basic places to securing funds — a broker, a banker or a hybrid of both. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option.

Read more...  http://www.azcentral.com/story/life/house-garden/2014/11/28/home-loan-lender-differences/19624639/

Friday, December 5, 2014

All I want for Christmas is a mortgage

Black Friday 2014 may be over, but holiday home shoppers still have something to look forward to in the form of less stringent mortgage standards. Although shopping for a mortgage may not be as exciting (or dangerous) as competing for that one 42-inch flat-screen TV remaining on the store shelf, the recent loosening of mortgage qualification guidelines is a gift that promises to keep on giving for homebuyers and the economy at large.

Read more...  http://www.inman.com/2014/12/05/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-a-mortgage-2/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+inmannews+%28Inman+News+-+Headlines%29&utm_content=FaceBook

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Luxury Home Sales still Ascendant as Buyers Shift

Redfin, the large national real estate firm based in Seattle, is reporting that, while sales of homes costing over $1 million is still outpacing the rest of the market, the source of these sales is changing.  The company says that the luxury housing market, which was the first segment to recover after the housing crisis, continues strong, driven by a record high stock market, low interest rates and by foreign investors.

Read more...  http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/12032014_luxury_home_market.asp

Monday, December 1, 2014

Investor Overlays Expected to be Reduced; Rise of Niche Products

I still own a typewriter. But Discover Home Loans conducted a national survey of more than 1,000 recent homebuyers and found that most homebuyers believed they were better buyers due to technology. The survey discovered that 89% of respondents used some form of online technology to help them in the home buying process, 76% felt technology made them a more knowledgeable home buyer and 69% said technology made them more confident. About half of respondents said that using technology saved them money and 92% said it saved them time. For Realtors out there, almost three quarters (74%) said it's essential for their real estate agent to be tech savvy and 42% of buyers working with agents said they did most of the work to initially find properties. And heck, most of the millennials haven't even hit the market yet!

Read more...  http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/channels/pipelinepress/12012014-penguin-commercials-nina.aspx

Saturday, November 29, 2014

AK-47 Rifle Price Drops; Is This Gun a Good Investment?

"Price is what you pay; value is what you get. Whether we're talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down."

--Warren Buffett
Actually, make that "whether we're talking about socks, stocks ... or AK-47 semiautomatic rifles with wooden stocks." Because today, dear investor, we're going to take a short break from the subject of investing in stocks (although that's our very favorite subject), to talk instead about investing in guns.
Specifically, the AK-47 rifle.

Read more...  http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/11/29/ak-47-rifle-price-drops-is-this-gun-a-good-investm.aspx?source=ehesitrf0000001

Want to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early? Not So Fast

Most of us want to keep our financial ducks in a row. Many of us work hard at it, living below our means, establishing emergency funds, saving and investing for retirement, and paying off or staying out of credit card debt. It's easy to think that it would be smart to pay off your mortgage early, and many financial experts recommend having it paid off by retirement. After all, the thought of having mortgage payments looming over you while you live on a more limited income can be unsettling. Give the decision some thought, though, because there are some reasons you may not want to rush to pay that loan off.

Read more...  http://www.fool.com/how-to-invest/personal-finance/credit/2014/11/28/paying-off-your-mortgage-in-a-hurry-not-so-fast.aspx?source=ehesitrf0000001

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Home Values: 5 Best Markets For Q3 2014

Home values were up 4.9 percent nationally from the third quarter of 2013 to the same period of 2014, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. See the five best markets where prices went up fastest.

Read more... http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/home-values-best-markets-2.aspx

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New Cable Network to Focus on Real Estate

There are cable television networks that seem to cover almost every business, leisure and political pursuit. And coming in 2016, a new network will aim its cameras at the real estate world.

According to a report in the entertainment trade journal Variety, a start-up called The Real Estate Network is seeking to reach 50 million U.S. homes through cable television and a wider global audience via Internet platforms. The endeavor is being spearheaded by Bobby Atkinson, a former Minneapolis-based commercial real estate broker who has been planning the network since 2008.

Read more...  http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news64016/new-cable-network-focus-real-estate

GOLDMAN: We Disagree With The Fed

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve finally ended quantitative easing, one of its extraordinary monetary policy measures aimed at stimulating the economy. It was confirmation that the days of the financial crisis are behind us and that the US economy is returning to normal. "Labor market conditions...

http://www.businessinsider.com/goldman-disagrees-with-the-fed-on-labor-market-slack-2014-11

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tomorrow’s Mortgage Space

What will next year's potential borrowers pursue? If this year's trend is any indication, jumbo mortgages will continue to be very popular in 2015.

"There is heavy competition between banks and mortgage bankers over jumbo loans," said Ruth Lee, executive vice president of sales, marketing and business development at Denver-based Titan Lenders Corp. "If we look at a $750,000 to $1 million loan amount, there is a significant amount of pent up demand. And the risk appetite is really conservative—no one wants to be on the bleeding of edge of how to finance jumbos."

Read more... http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news61698/tomorrow%E2%80%99s-mortgage-space-part-iii

Sunday, October 5, 2014

You Know It’s a Tough Market When Bernanke Can’t Refinance

Ben S. Bernanke said the mortgage market is so tight that even he is having a hard time refinancing his own home loan.

The former Federal Reserve chairman, speaking at a conference in Chicago yesterday, told moderator Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics Inc. -- "just between the two of us" -- that "I recently tried to refinance my mortgage and I was unsuccessful in doing so."

Read more... http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-02/you-know-it-s-a-tough-market-when-ben-bernanke-can-t-refinance.html

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Despite Builders’ Optimism, Housing Starts Tumble 14%

Nationwide housing starts plunged in August, mostly attributed to a 31.7 percent decline in the multifamily market, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau reports.

Overall, housing starts – reflecting both multifamily and the single-family construction – were down 14.4 percent in August, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 956,000 units.

Read more. ..http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/09/19/despite-builders-optimism-housing-starts-tumble-14#sf4734977

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fed Policy: From Tapering to Tightening | ETF Trends

Over the past nine months, the Federal Reserve (Fed) has gradually reduced the pace of its asset purchases in conjunction with an improvement in the strength of the U.S. economy. With "tapering" expected to end October 29, we believe that investors should now look beyond 2014 and start to focus on when, not if, the Federal Reserve will raise the Federal Funds Rate.

Read more. ..http://www.etftrends.com/2014/09/wisdomtree-fed-policy-from-tapering-to-tightening/

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Credit scores to improve with settled debt, bills under FICO revamp

Many consumers who have been denied credit or charged higher interest rates due to a low credit rating could soon be in a better position as the nation's most widely used credit scoring agency is revamping how it computes credit scores.

Fair Issac Corp., creators of the FICO score, announced its calculations will no longer include any record of a consumer failing to pay a bill if the bill has been paid or settled with a collection agency. The new FICO score also will give less weight to unpaid medical bills that have gone to collection agencies.

Read more...http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/08/22/Credit-scores-to-improve-with-settled-debt-bills/stories/201408220014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fed Weighs Change to Rate Guidance for Added Flexibility

Federal Reserve officials are considering whether to alter their guidance on the likely path of interest rates to give them more flexibility to react to changes in the economy.

The Fed has said since March that its benchmark rate would stay low for a "considerable time" after it completes monthly bond buying intended to boost growth. With purchases set to end late this year and the Fed nearing its full-employment goal, that assurance will soon become obsolete.

Read more...http://bloom.bg/1wfLL99

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ECB's Draghi Takes a Gamble on QE-lite - WSJ

It was a watershed moment. All year, the European Central Bank has faced growing pressure—from governments, markets, the mainstream economics establishment, the International Monetary Fund—to embark on a large-scale government bond-buying program. And all year, the ECB had resisted, arguing repeatedly that quantitative easing would yield little benefit in the eurozone's bank-centric, structurally challenged economy and warning of the political and moral hazard that would arise as a result of exposing the ECB balance sheet directly to sovereign credit risk.

Read more... http://online.wsj.com/articles/ecbs-draghi-takes-a-gamble-on-qe-lite-1410121204

World Bank warns of global jobs crisis

Sydney (AFP) - The world is facing a global jobs crisis that is hurting the chances of reigniting economic growth and there is no magic bullet to solve the problem, the World Bank warned on Tuesday. In a study released at a G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting in Australia, the Bank said...

Read more...http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-world-bank-warns-of-global-jobs-crisis-2014-9

A Penny Saved Is Far Easier Than a Penny Earned

The saying "A penny saved is a penny earned" has often been misattributed
to Benjamin Franklin." He didn't say it quite like that, but whomever first
coined the now-famous version of the phrase is even more on the money
today. These days, the reality is that you need to earn far more than a
penny.

Read more...http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/09/06/a-penny-saved-is-far-easier-than-a-penny-earned/

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to effortlessly use online reviews to grow your real estate business | Inman News

Consumers have always relied on the opinions of others to help make their buying decisions, but where they find those opinions has migrated online over the last decade. Increasingly, consumers are searching online to find service providers, the best products or reputable businesses.

This research, of course, includes reading customer reviews from all kinds of sources, including a business's own website, review sites (like Yelp) and large online portals dedicated to the real estate industry. Today, 85 percent of consumers use online reviews to evaluate local businesses.

Read more... http://www.inman.com/next/how-to-effortlessly-use-online-reviews-to-grow-your-real-estate-business/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+inmannews+%28Inman+News+-+Headlines%29

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

China’s Property Market: The Risks for Banks | Pragmatic Capitalism

Despite worries about a collapse in China's property market, we think the financial system will navigate the coming credit cycle if banks can buy time to resolve loan problems—and receive government support if needed.

As we've noted, fundamentals in the property market remain strong. But what about the risks from the standpoint of banking and finance? Among China's financial institutions, banks lend the most to the property sector: by 2013, they had provided RMB9 trillion (US$1.46 trillion), compared with RMB5.4 trillion from the shadow-banking sector. For property developers, though, banks aren't the main source of liquidity. Nearly 70% of their liquidity comes from nonbank sources, 39% from their own cash and 28% from customer deposits, so they don't rely too much on bank funding.

Read more... http://pragcap.com/chinas-property-market-the-risks-for-banks?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Countrywide’s Mozilo speaks: “We didn’t do anything wrong”

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Countrywide's Mozilo speaks: "We didn't do anything wrong"
//All HW content

Six years after the financial crisis and the government is still seeking justice for the financial crisis, targeting Countrywide Financial co-founder Angelo Mozilo. But to Mozilo, he did nothing wrong.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Generation X housing woes impact entire market

Generation X, people 35 to 49, got hit the hardest by the financial crisis and as a negative side effect are now prohibiting the rest of the market from making any progress.

Generation X homeowners are far more likely to be underwater on their mortgage than millennial and baby boomer homeowners, according to the second quarter Zillow Negative Equity Report.

Read more...http://www.housingwire.com/articles/31155?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+housingwire%2FuOVI+%28HousingWire%29

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Vacant retail plaza in Mesa's Fiesta District to become office hotspot

Mesa residents hoping to see signs of life in the struggling Fiesta District could see sprouts of progress early next year.

Phoenix Rising Investments has acquired the Valley East Plaza Shopping Center. The long-vacant plaza at Southern Avenue and Longmore used to house the Bed Bath & Beyond, Petco and Circuit City stores.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/mesa/2014/08/07/vacant-retail-plaza-mesa-fiesta-district-office-hotspot/13728521/

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Condos to be built near Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn

Condominium development finally is coming to a property near Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center after a previous project stalled for nearly a decade.

The L-shaped property, at 7300 E. Earll Drive, was rezoned for condominium development in 2005. The property is south of the medical center and Scottsdale Stadium.

The previous property owner, Elliott Glasser, requested the rezoning and planned to build a 99-unit condominium complex. The acreage now houses an older office and warehouse building.

Read more...http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2014/08/05/condos-built-near-scottsdale-healthcare-osborn-campus/13627263/

Old resort site to feature multimillion-dollar homes

New homes soon will go up on the former site of the Mountain Shadows resort in Paradise Valley.

Cullum Homes plans to build 40 multimillion-dollar houses on the eastern edge of the 68-acre site at 56th Street and Lincoln Drive. The $100 million development is called the Village at Mountain Shadows.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/real-estate/catherine-reagor/2014/08/09/old-resort-site-feature-multimillion-dollar-homes/13820045/

Zillow and Trulia have become the status quo and are ripe for disruption

There is a lot of doom and gloom out there about Zillow's plans to buy Truila, and some anger, too. As a real estate agent, I find it perplexing that Zillow and Trulia's customers are real estate agents — not homebuyers or sellers.

Real homebuyers and sellers don't care about you or about your website. They just want to buy or sell a home.

Read more... http://www.inman.com/2014/08/08/zillow-and-trulia-have-become-the-status-quo-and-are-ripe-for-disruption/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+inmannews+%28Inman+News+-+Headlines%29


Monday, August 4, 2014

Chinese Investors Love London's Property Market

London has been the most popular destination for Chinese real estate investors in the first half of 2014 with buyers looking for both residential and commercial properties, new research shows.

Efforts to market to Chinese investors is paying off and overall Chinese outbound investment was 17% higher in the six months of the year than over the same period of 2013 at US$5.4 billion.

Read more...http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/articles/chinese-investors-love-londons-property-market-61999.aspx?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Real Estate Market Trends: International Home Buyers Cashing in on U.S. Market

All real estate is local, an industry maxim states, but a new real estate market trends report issued by the National Association of Realtors finds that "a significant share of home purchases are made by people whose primary residence is outside of the U.S."

For the period April 2013 through March 2014 total international sales have been estimated at $92.2 billion, an increase from $68.2 billion from the previous comparable period. In 2014, nearly 60 percent of reported international transactions were all cash, compared to only one-third of domestic purchases.

Read more...http://millionairecorner.com/Content_Free/Real-estate-market-trends.aspx

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Don't Believe Housing Numbers: These Homebuilder Stocks Could Go Higher (DHI, HOV, PHM)

Homebuilders took a hit when the National Association of Homebuilders, or NAHB, reported a surprise drop in new home construction for last month. Housing starts plummeted 9.3% in June and May data was revised lower. This was in contrast to expectations for new construction of 1.02 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate, or SAAR, slightly above the 1.0 million reported in May.

Read more.. http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/07/23/dont-believe-housing-numbers-these-homebuilder-sto.aspx

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Housing Market Sending Mixed Signals -Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac said today that its Multi-Indicator Market Index or MiMi for May is sending out mixed signals to the housing market.  While more markets entered their stable range of housing activity, most markets remained stalled, just as they were in April, due primarily to weak mortgage application activity. 

Read more...http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/07232014_freddie_mac_mimi.asp

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rent Prices Inch Up in Second Quarter Nationwide

The median entry-level rent prices for the nation went up by 1.44 percent in the second quarter of 2014, according to Apartment Guide data.

As of April 1, 2014, the nationwide median entry-level rent price was $765; it had increased to $776 by June 30.

Read more...http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5570390?&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000036

Saturday, July 19, 2014

US states with higher minimum wages gain more jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Maybe a higher minimum wage isn't so bad for job growth after all. The 13 U.S. states that raised their minimum wages at the beginning of this year are adding jobs at a faster pace than those that did not, providing some counter-intuitive fuel to the debate over what impact a hi...

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2014/US-states-that-raised-their-minimum-wages-this-year-saw-faster-job-growth-in-first-6-months/id-d105c49adc9846e6a086df3903ee82e5

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fannie Economist Sees Rates Rising to Top of Range

Almost one year ago Mark Palim, Fannie Mae's Vice President of Applied Economic and Housing Research, analyzed what impact rising rates might have on the housing recovery.  When he wrote about this for the company's website last July, rates which had recently (in May) bottomed out at 3.35 percent had increased by 116 basis points to 4.51 percent.

Read more...http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/06232014_mortgage_rates.asp

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Retirement Savings Calculator: How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?

Use this calculator to estimate the future value of your retirement savings and determine how much more you need to save each month.

http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/retirement/T047-S001-retirement-savings-calculator-how-much-money-do-i/index.php

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

A look into a housing inflexion point brought on by a dysfunctional real estate market

You would think that with all the surefire bets in housing that people would be dialing up their realtors and heading out every weekend to make those lustful multiple offers presented in PowerPoint format on properties. Yet the overall market data shows a different story. The house horniest of them all, investors, are clearly pulling out of markets including sunny and inflated California. Apparently home prices do matter when making investment decisions. Cash strapped hormonal buyers will keep on buying but housing prices are set on the margin. That margin is becoming razor thin on current volume. I find it interesting that the biggest housing supporter of them all, the National Association of Realtors is also somewhat tepid on this recovery. Why? Because home sales volume is pathetic. Keep in mind they make money on selling and buying. Volume is key. Their model doesn't work so well with banks holding onto properties like Gollum holding onto the ring and the foreclosure process being dragged out like the forever college student enjoying year 10 at Santa Monica City College. You see this overarching trend occurring in many metro areas across the country. Investors have been propping up the market since 2008. They are now slowly pulling back. You are also starting to see a convergence of analysts putting out their predictions on how overvalued housing is and backing it up with mountains of data. The other side of the argument points to prices. Sure, they've gone up but value is created by actual price and that is sort of the point. The answer as always isn't so simple but using your thinking cap it is important to understand that housing is not a "no brainer" decision in this market.

Read more...http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2014-05-15/look-housing-inflexion-point-brought-dysfunctional-real-estate-market

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Posh ‘Easy Street’ project in Carefree gets new life

Butte Development

Plans for a $90 million project with condominiums over retail shops in Carefree have been revived and negotiations are under way to anchor the development with a Phoenix Art Museum satellite location.

Town leaders have announced the revival of developer Ed Lewis’ “Easy Street” project. The development, which Carefree town leaders approved in 2006, was put on hold in 2009 because Lewis said the existing economic climate did not support it.

But now, the tide is turning, Lewis said.

“The luxury-condo market is coming back faster than other luxury markets,” Lewis, president of Scottsdale-based Butte Development, said. “It’s always best to try to get started in the early stages of recovery.”

Read more...Posh ‘Easy Street’ project in Carefree gets new life

Increasing property values in Phoenix area point to recovery



Median assessed values of Valley homes and businesses increased this year by double-digit percentages for the first time in seven years, suggesting local real-estate markets are recovering, the Maricopa County assessor says.

About 1.6 million valuation notices for the 2015 tax year were mailed out at the end of February. All classifications of properties — vacant lands, single-family homes, condominiums, apartments, commercial properties and manufactured housing — saw improvements in value this year. Commercial-property values have increased for the first time since 2009.

“That shows you that even in one year, market conditions have improved dramatically,” Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen said. “That’s a good thing overall, because it shows the health of the real-estate market in Maricopa County is better, much improved.”

This is the second year in a row that single-family residential properties’ median full cash values increased by 10 percent or more.

Read more...Increasing property values in Phoenix area point to recovery

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Are you carrying too much housing debt into retirement?

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It used to be routine for Americans to pay off their mortgages before quitting the workforce, allowing people to ease financially into retirement. But money pressures made worse by the 2007-2009 recession have saddled too many retirees with significant housing burdens.

Rising mortgage balances are "threatening the retirement security of millions of older Americans," said the federal Consumer Financial Protection BureauCQ in a new report. "Older consumers are carrying more debt, including mortgage, credit card and even student loan debt, into their retirement years than in previous decades."

Read on to learn some warning signs and factors behind this unfortunate new reality:

Read more...Are you carrying too much housing debt into retirement?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pending Sales of Existing Homes in U.S. Decline for Eighth Month - Bloomberg



Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in February for an eighth straight month, a sign of further weakness in the industry.

The index of pending home sales decreased 0.8 percent after a 0.2 percent drop the prior month that was previously reported as a gain, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.2 percent rise.

Read more...Pending Sales of Existing Homes in U.S. Decline for Eighth Month - Bloomberg

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Greasewood Flat to be relocated on Cavalliere property



Greasewood Flat, a popular Western-themed restaurant in north Scottsdale, will be relocated and reopened under a deal between the owners, the Cavalliere family, and Taylor Morrison Homes, which purchased the land the restaurant currently occupies in November.

The transaction involves Taylor Morrison developing not only the 42-acre tract at Alma School Parkway and Pinnacle Vista Drive, where Greasewood now sits, but also 80 acres of land the family owns to the east. The Cavalliere family would retain 40 acres of the eastern parcel for the new restaurant and several homes.

Read more...Greasewood Flat to be relocated on Cavalliere property

Downtown Scottsdale eyesore may finally be rebuilt

Delux Scottsdale

Downtown Scottsdale finally may see the redevelopment of arguably its biggest eyesore this coming fall.

A partially demolished building near Scottsdale and Camelback roads has sat dormant for the past seven years on the northeastern corner of Scottsdale and Shoeman Lane.

CF Waterfront Investments LLC owns the building, at 4443 N. Scottsdale Road, and another property approximately 130 feet east of it that was to be the site of architect Will Bruder’s Upton condominium complex. CF Waterfront also owns the Petite Maison restaurant property next door.

Read more...Downtown Scottsdale eyesore may finally be rebuilt

Program helps finance Phoenix-area homes



The dream of homeownership has been brought within reach of many lower-income Valley residents by a local finance program that also stabilizes neighborhoods hurt by the recession and the housing-market crash.

More than 1,500 low- to middle-income residents and veterans have bought houses through the Home in Five Advantage Program since it began in September 2012.

The program, run through the Industrial Development Authority of Phoenix and and the Industrial Development Authority of Maricopa County, has helped homeowners obtain more than $244 million in 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with a competitive mortgage-loan interest rate. The program helps homeowners obtain certain types of federally backed loans to purchase any home within Maricopa County — from Waddell to Queen Creek.

Read more...Program helps finance Phoenix-area homes

Famed architect Bruder takes on Scottsdale temple’s ‘oasis’ project

Will Bruder

World-renowned Phoenix architect Will Bruder is doing a mitzvah for the children and families of Temple Kol Ami in Scottsdale. Bruder, known for his innovative designs of stunning public spaces such as the Phoenix Public Library, also is the architect of Temple Kol Ami.

“I called Will as a courtesy,” said Michael Rosenthal, administrator of Kol Ami. “I wanted to give him a heads up on our plans to install a splash pad, and ask him if he thought we were locating it in a good place.”

Instead of answering the question, Bruder replied,” I would like to design the splash pad for you.”

Read more...Famed architect Bruder takes on Scottsdale temple’s ‘oasis’ project

Shea offers 3-D home design tool for buyers



Shea Homes is trying to take shopping for a new house 3-D, but buyers won’t need the special glasses.

The homebuilder has a patent-pending process that almost lets prospective buyers design their own houses. Shea3D allows customers to choose from three main living spaces — entertainment-centric, kitchen-centric, or outdoor-centric — and then add interchangeable spaces for their home to each one.

The builder launched the home-design tool in Gilbert’s Marbella Vineyards community last fall. Shea recently began offering its 3D design at new subdivisions called Inspire and Intrigue in Surprise’s Greer Ranch community. The builder soon plans to announce a Shea3D community in San Tan Valley’s Encanterra Country Club.

Read more...Shea offers 3-D home design tool for buyers

Maricopa County approves Vista Verde development

Vista Verde

Developers have revived a plan for Vista Verde after the recession nearly doomed the development north of the golf communities of Rio Verde and Tonto Verde in northeastern Maricopa County.

The plan, which includes an increase in density from one dwelling unit per acre to 1.7, won the approval of the County Board of Supervisors earlier this week despite vigorous opposition from property owners to the west.

Those property owners, who live in the Rio Verde Foothills area and are members of the Rio Verde Horseman’s Association, claim additional traffic and water use from wells along the Verde River will have a detrimental effect on their properties.

Read more...Maricopa County approves Vista Verde development

Hotel Monroe to be converted in time for the 2015 Super Bowl

Hotel Monroe

An iconic building in downtown Phoenix that has sat vacant for more than two decades is about to get a $40 million makeover, according to its new owners. Movie buffs might recognize the mid-rise tower from the opening scenes of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.”

The Art Deco building, known as Hotel Monroe, is scheduled to open as a boutique Hilton or Marriott hotel in time for Super Bowl XLIX, which will be played in Glendale on Feb. 1. Minneapolis-based CSM Lodging paid $7.85 million for the 12-story tower in late December.

Read more...Hotel Monroe to be converted in time for the 2015 Super Bowl

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