Mortgage And Real Estate News

Monday, December 7, 2015

Phoenix's Christown Spectrum mall sells for $115 million

Christown Spectrum, Arizona's oldest mall, has sold for $115.2 million.

The central Phoenix shopping center was purchased by New York-based retail giant Kimco Realty, according to property records. The deal closed late Monday.


Banks, at odds with personal finance sites, disrupt service

NEW YORK — The uneasy relationship between banks and companies that use their data to provide personal finance services has shown signs of fraying in recent months, causing some frustrating disruptions in service to people trying to track their spending.

Who knew keeping tabs on your monthly coffee budget could be so contentious?


Warm Regards,

Lillian Wong
Sr. Loan Officer
NMLS  630337
Prospect Mortgage
14635 N. Kierland Blvd. Ste. 100
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Cell    480 650 5412
Fax   877 220 7982

Join in going green. Please do not print this email unless it is absolutely necessary.

The mystery of metro Phoenix's stolen real estate 'for sale' signs

A few weeks ago, Phoenix real estate agent Bobby Lieb drove by a north Central house he's trying to sell and noticed his 'for sale' sign wasn't in the yard.

The next day he noticed another one of his signs was missing. Then another. And another.
Other agents began to call him asking if they could borrow signs because theirs had vanished, too.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gold price plummets to almost 6-year low

Here's what people aren't buying right now: Gold.

The yellow metal traded as low as $1,051.60 an ounce on Friday, the cheapest price in nearly 6 years.

Gold prices haven't been this depressed since February 2010 -- before the popular show "Downton Abbey" was even on television -- when gold fell under $1,045 an ounce.


4 Cool Ways to Make Your Flat-Screen TV Practically Vanish - Real Estate News and Advice

Today, flat-screen TVs are ubiquitous—hanging serenely on walls, freeing up space once hogged by bulky traditional boob tubes and the hulking entertainment stands that supported them. Still, a flat-screen TV still looks like … a TV. Not exactly a work of art gracing your wall.

Lucky for you, plenty of other homeowners are on the case and have come up with some ingenious ways to keep these screens under wraps. Check out a few of their strategies below.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Developer plans more amenities, activities for Lake Pleasant marina

A Scottsdale-based development company is planning to make waves at a Lake Pleasant marina over the next two decades by improving amenities and introducing more activities at the West Valley natural attraction.

Desert Troon Cos. was named the new concessionaire of the Scorpion Bay Marina earlier this month after nearly a year of negotiations with the marina's developer, Skipper Marine Development, which opened the marina in 2009. Desert Troon now is tasked with overseeing operations and developing the West Valley marina for the next 25 years.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Case-Shiller high end home prices in San Francisco

The San Francisco housing market is red-hot.

But the really startling increases are being seen in the high-end part of the market, which includes homes that cost over $950,000. For homes in this price bracket, San Francisco is sharply outpacing the appreciation seen in other markets around the country.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

In the Wake of Strong Cubs Season, Wrigleyville Teardown Lists for $9.8M

The Chicago Cubs have a special shine to them these days, and the longtime owner of a home near Wrigley Field hopes it rubs off on her property — to the tune of $9.8 million.

"The seller strongly feels that this is the price," said real estate agent Amy Duong Kim of Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, who's marketing the listing as about 536 feet from home plate.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Book review: 'Shaky Ground' exposes zombie side of Freddie, Fannie

The two finance the bulk of U.S. home loans, using money borrowed from around the globe. That makes them a mainstay of America's $10 trillion housing market and of the national and world economies. If Fannie and Freddie tank, it could all tank. But whether they should be run wholly as federal agencies, or partially or not at all has been debated for decades, especially since the Great Recession. The issue's always half-alive because it's key to the financial well-being of so many, but always half-dead because special interests ensure no one has the political stomach or clout to resolve it.


RealtyTrac report finds Tampa a hotbed for home flipping - Tampa Bay Business Journal

In the market to flip some homes? Tampa's a great place to be for that.

A new report from RealtyTrac found that among 101 markets with at least 75 single family and condo flips in the third quarter of 2015, Tampa had the fourth-highest share of home flipping, equaling about 9 percent of sales.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

A 'new' old home for Jerry Brown -- he's moving into the governor's mansion

After decades as a staid museum, California's Victorian-style governor's mansion will become a home again.

Gov. Jerry Brown, whose father occupied the home as governor in the 1960s, plans to leave his modern loft in downtown Sacramento and move into the newly refurbished, three-story house with his wife and two dogs in the coming months.


Tempe's 'Sin City' near ASU sees redevelopment boom

Aging apartment complexes, vacant lots and an old motel are giving way to sleek, modern housing in the latest surge of redevelopment along Tempe's light-rail corridor just east of Arizona State University.

The Tempe area some have dubbed "Sin City" has long been known for its loud parties, dense housing and higher crime rate, but now it's also a magnet for millions of dollars in private investment from major national developers.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Interest Rate Hike 2015: China Warns Against Federal Reserve Increase Because Of Critical Dollar

The United States shouldn't raise interest rates to avoid hurting developing nations dependent on the U.S. dollar, China's finance minister said. Lou Jiwei said the dollar remained critical to the global economy.

"The United States isn't at the point of raising interest rates yet, and under its global responsibilities, it can't raise rates," Lou said in an interview published in the China Business News Monday. He spoke during the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Lima, Peru.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Builders want to move homes, meet goals as year ends

Think year-end sales are only important to auto dealers? Think again.

Plenty of successful companies want to reach fiscal goals by the end of the calendar year, and homebuilders aren't any different.


5 housing projects breaking ground in Phoenix neighborhoods

Cranes dot the downtown skyline as construction crews transform lots on nearly every major street. Housing projects run the gamut from apartments to townhouses, from the central city to the suburbs.


Why new slow-it-down mortgage rules may be a good thing

If you are looking for a house now, it's likely going to take a little longer to get a mortgage to buy it.

The expected delay is due to a new federal rule that's supposed to give consumers more protection when they are making one of their biggest financial decisions.

Last week, the "know before you owe" requirements went into effect. The biggest change for borrowers will be the three days they get to review all the final costs of their home loan before they sign.


Freddie Mac sells off $305 million in seriously delinquent mortgages

Freddie Mac announced late Friday that it sold $305 million in seriously delinquent loans from its mortgage investment portfolio.

The sale, which was initially announced last month, was completed via auction, with two pools containing 1,611 total loans being sold to a pair of buyers.

According to Freddie Mac, these loans have been delinquent for approximately two years, on average.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Old Town Scottsdale to get new apartment complex

Old Town Scottsdale is about to get some additional living space.

A 134-unit apartment complex called the Standard is scheduled to be built next to the Hotel Valley Ho. The complex will have eight floor plans consisting of one- to three-bedroom apartments and penthouses. Sizes will range from 650 to 1,750 square feet.


Popular Tempe Marketplace mall sells for $367 million

Tempe Marketplace, the popular open-air mall near Arizona State University's main campus, sold today for $367 million. It is one of the priciest real-estate deals in Arizona history.

The 1.3 million-square-foot shopping center has dozens of stores and restaurants, including Nordstrom Rack, H&M and Dave and Buster's. The mall was sold in an unusual deal, with its developer Vestar being part of the groups buying and selling it.


Scottsdale apartments to open near Loop 101

Property management company P.B. Bell recently announced that a new apartment community called the View at Cascade is expected to open sometime in October. The 187-unit apartment complex is located just below Loop 101 in north Scottsdale and will offer one- and two-bedroom apartments.

According to the marketing company representing P.B. Bell, apartments will range from 757 to 1,657 square feet in size. The company also says that rent will run between $1,340 and $2,485 per month, though there's also one two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse that costs $4,405 per month. P.B. Bell is accepting applications.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Soho Scottsdale expects to break ground this fall

They say not to take your work home with you, but does that apply if your home and office are separated by a flight of stairs?

You might find that answer at Soho Scottsdale, where residents can work in their office on the first floor and relax in their residence upstairs.

The townhouse and condo project, with a mix of retail shops, restaurants and offices near Bell Road and 92nd Street — not far from WestWorld  — should break ground Nov 1.


Chandler set to open new downtown concert stage

Downtown Chandler will soon open its new concert stage, the Downtown Stage, which will serve as an area for concerts and community gatherings in the near future.

Chandler's newest venue was made possible by a partnership between both the city and the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership (DCCP). The partnership was created in 2014 in hopes to make improvements upon any construction or maintenance the stage may need.


5 things to know about the mid-decade census in the Phoenix area

Between now and Thanksgiving, residents of six Valley cities can expect a knock on their front door from an eager federal employee ready to ask questions about their family. Answering those questions could mean big bucks for a host of municipal services.

On Oct. 1, a mid-decade census began in Buckeye, Chandler, Gilbert, Goodyear, Peoria and Queen Creek and census workers set out to collect information about the residents of each household. Maricopa also is participating.

Read more....

Tempe squatters lose court fight for junkyard property downtown

A man whose family has squatted for more than a century on a patch of land in Tempe has lost his court battle to claim the increasingly valuable plot as his own.

Tempe, a judge ruled, has clear title to the land, which is both historic and an eyesore in the city's expanding and popular downtown area.


Ben Bernanke: More execs should have gone to jail for causing Great Recession

WASHINGTON — This season, Ben Bernanke was able to sit through an entire Nationals game.

During the financial meltdown in 2008, the then-chairman of the Federal Reserve would buy a lemonade and head to his seats two rows back from the Washington Nationals dugout, a respite from crisis. But often he would find himself huddling in the quiet of the stadium's first-aid station or an empty stairwell for consultations on his BlackBerry about whatever economic catastrophe was looming.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Yellen is giving the dollar a lift

The Fed's Chair seemed to have surprised the market with her comments after North American markets closed yesterday.  She reiterated what the Fed said last week.  It is still on the path to hike rates before the end of the year, barring a significant economic surprise.  She did put the concerns about the global environment in a larger perspective, suggesting that, based on current information, if does not look like developments abroad will have a material impact on policy. 


Monday, September 7, 2015

Frank Lloyd Wright school meets $1 million deadline

The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture met its first million-dollar deadline Thursday to ensure its survival.

The school has until the end of this year to raise a second million or the master's of architecture program will be closed. In 1932, the famous architect began the apprenticeship program that would turn into an exclusive, international school of acclaim.


The Fed is handcuffing itself. Here's how

Wall Street is in the throes of a wild guessing game. The question on everyone's minds: September or December?

That's because the U.S. Federal Reserve has said that its historic rate hike will come this year. And Wall Street has pinned its hopes on exactly those two months.


Once all powerful, Pimco is a fast fading superstar

Once the world's largest and most influential bond fund, Pimco continues to fall from that stature.

Its star has dramatically dimmed after its founder, the "bond king" Bill Gross, left Pimco almost a year ago.

Investors started taking out billions of dollars from Pimco after Gross left and continue to do so. Just in August, they pulled $1.8 billion out of Pimco's Total Return fund, Gross' former signature fund. Today it has less than $100 billion in total assets, the lowest level since 2007, according to the company.


Which Scottsdale luxury community is tops when it comes to home-value appreciation?

It's the question almost every Scottsdale homeowner and homebuyer wants the answer to: In which neighborhoods are homes appreciating the fastest? A recently released real estate report sought that answer, and found that DC Ranch experienced the greatest home-value appreciation of any of the eight luxury communities tracked. Silverleaf, a community within DC Ranch, was a close second.


Phoenix ranks No. 8 among big cities for affordable homes

Metro Phoenix's calling card to new residents has long been its affordable home prices.

Valley home prices are steadily climbing, but the region's houses are still bargains compared to much of California, Seattle, Denver, Chicago and even Las Vegas.
Metro Phoenix is the eighth most affordable big U.S. city to buy a house now, according to a new ranking from a reputable financial research firm.


Stocks crash to push more China cash into global real estate

A wall of Chinese money is heading for global real estate as local investors look for alternatives to the country's crashing stock markets.

Chinese buyers have already spent billions in the U.S., UK and Australia, causing property prices to rise -- and experts say much more cash is on its way.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

US economy much stronger than believed

There are many headwinds keeping U.S. growth more moderate than in the past–including leverage levels and an aging population—and the latest gross domestic product (GDP) revisions testified to this.

However, while the corridor for U.S. growth is likely to remain lower than in the past, I believe the persistent hand-wringing and skepticism regarding the U.S. economy is grossly overstated, especially when you consider the technology renaissance occurring around us today.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Single-Family Property Renters May Be More Likely to Buy a Home Than Those in Apartments

New research conducted by Freddie Mac released Tuesday indicates that people living in single-family rental (SFR) properties (a house, townhouse, or condo) may be more likely to buy a home than those living in apartments.

Freddie Mac's latest survey, conducted in June, found that overall, about 55 percent of renters in both single- and multifamily properties intend to continue renting in the next three years. When dividing up the two categories, however, the data indicated that 53 percent of renters in SFR properties intend to buy a house in the next three years compared to just 36 percent of multifamily renters who plan to buy in that period.


New Home Sales Regain Momentum

While the disappointing new home sales reported last month for June were revised even lower today July sales redeemed at least some of the loss.  The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said that sales of newly constructed homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 507,000, a 5.4 percent increase from the revised June level of 481,000.  Last month the report had put new home sales at 482,000 units, a drop of 6.8 percent from May.


Wall Street rally goes up in smoke

In a dramatic session, major indices turned negative in the final minutes of trading after previously climbing almost 3 percent.

Investors cited more worries that a slowdown in China could hobble global growth, even after the country's central bank cut interest rates on Tuesday for the second time in two months. The move came after Chinese stocks slumped 8 percent on Tuesday, on top of an 8.5 percent drop on Monday.

Read more...!/article/wall-street-rally-goes-up-in-smoke-1.1905661

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Regulators delay APS solar-fee decision

Utility regulators voted Tuesday to set hearings that could lead to a vote on higher fees for Arizona Public Service Co. customers who install solar, but only after an analysis of the costs and benefits of rooftop panels.

The regulators split 3-2 on the matter.

APS, the state Residential Utility Consumer Office and other utility supporters hoped the five elected Arizona Corporation Commission members would raise the fees that solar customers pay to an average of $21 from about $5 today.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Manufactured home industry pushes for GSE-backed loan programs

The manufactured-housing industry wants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be required to fund higher-risk loans most commonly used to purchase mobile homes.

Industry representatives said this week that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the agency that oversees the government-sponsored enterprises, has been too slow to adopt a mandate in the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) that required additional financing for the industry.


REOs Are Back on the Rise

Foreclosure filings were on the rise in July, as bank repossessions rapidly began to tick up, according to RealtyTrac's July 2015 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

Foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions – were up 7 percent in July month-over-month and are up 14 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.


Home Sales Rise, Along With Bank Repossessions

The latest industry data finds more people purchasing existing homes and more lenders repossessing homes that fell into foreclosure.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing-home sales in July increased two percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.48 million in June. The level of sales activity last month remained at the highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million) and represents the tenth consecutive months of year-over-year sales.


Japan's finance minister warns China on currency moves

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said Friday that recent moves by China to allow its currency to depreciate are a concern and could pose problems for Tokyo.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index fell 3 percent to 19,435.83 on Friday, slipping below the psychological 20,000 mark on widespread selling.
"Chinese factors are a big part of this, without a doubt," Aso said at a regular news briefing.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Vietnam Devalues Dong for Third Time in 2015 on Yuan Fallout - Bloomberg Business

Vietnam devalued the dong for the third time this year and widened the currency’s trading band, the latest sign of stress in Asian exchange rates after China depreciated the yuan last week.
The State Bank of Vietnam weakened its reference rate by 1 percent to 21,890 dong a dollar and increased the scope for fluctuations to 3 percent on either side, after doubling the range on Aug. 12. The dong fell 1.2 percent to 22,360 as of 3:04 p.m. in Hanoi, extending its drop this month to 2.4 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Malaysia’s ringgit leads regional losses so far in August with a 6.4 percent slide.

Read more...Vietnam Devalues Dong for Third Time in 2015 on Yuan Fallout - Bloomberg Business

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hackers stole secrets for up to $100 million insider-trading profit: U.S

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An alliance of mainly U.S.-based stock traders and computer hackers in Ukraine made as much as $100 million in illegal profits over five years after stealing confidential corporate press releases, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday.

Prosecutors announced charges against nine people in an insider-trading case that marks the first time criminal charges have been brought for a securities fraud scheme involving hacked inside information, in this instance 150,000 press releases from distributors Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire.


Plans for Arcadia Frank Lloyd Wright House include tours, weddings

Early plans for the David and Gladys Wright House envision the Arcadia home as a visitors' destination, including a shaded garden and underground education center for tours, performances and weddings.


West Valley cities seek to save desert land

Rocks stacked 3 feet high mark the remains of an ancient Native American marketplace on a dirt road in northern Peoria. Past saguaro cactus and spiky shrubs, cars zoom by on the freeway headed toward suburban neighborhoods that blur the landscape to the south.

"We're at a crossroads now," said Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat as she walked past the ruins. "We are at the situation where growth is about to boom again. We have a lot of areas that have beautiful land at stake right now, so if we don't do something to preserve and conserve those spaces, it will be lost to us forever."


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Currency Pegs & Their Risks

The devaluation of the Chinese renminbi (Yuan) raises serious implications both economically and politically. The mere fact that a peg exists allows for political criticism as if this were some currency war. First, China acted with devaluing the renminbi for its economy to remain on an even keel, trying to keep growth and employment high. Secondly, China acted to help make its currency a pre-eminent global currency which helps promote the country's diplomatic goals and solidify the country's centrality to the global economy. However, these two goals can also emerge in conflict with one another.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Want to catch a Millennial homebuyer? Make ‘em laugh

If the only visitor to an open house is the cat from next door, then the real estate agent needs a new social media and marketing approach.

That was part of the advice Millennial real estate agent Wes Pinkston of Los Angeles gave to thousands of real estate executives, agents and entrepreneurs last week at Inman Connect in San Francisco. His comment drew laughs ... and nodding heads.


Arizona developer, family plead guilty to 20 years of fraud

A Mohave County developer has admitted using other people's money to fund a lavish lifestyle as an international jet-setter and multimillionaire — and then filing a fake bankruptcy to try to get away with it.

John Hoover, owner of the El Rio Country Club and Golf Course in Mohave Valley, bought million-dollar homes in Arizona, Newport Beach and Paris. Records show he also owned a $150,000 Bentley, expensive artwork and jewelry and sent his daughter to a French school.


SEC Adopts CEO Pay Ratio Rule, Five Years After It Became Law

A new federal rule will require public companies to list their chief executives' total annual compensation as a ratio to their workers' median pay, after the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted the rule Wednesday.

Today's vote comes five years after Congress approved the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which includes the pay ratio rule. The vote also comes nearly two years after the SEC formally proposed the requirement.


Technology making it easier to submit mortgage documents, close on loans

Doug Johnson serves as the chief financial officer of two hospitals in the Wisconsin-Minnesota border area but doesn't consider himself to be especially tech-savvy.

Nevertheless, he was able to complete the entire mortgage-application process entirely online for an Arizona vacation home that he and his wife wanted to buy. That included shopping for interest rates and terms, inputting personal information and uploading the required supporting documents including copies of income-tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements and more.


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