Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Good News!

Some Good Signs for the Real Estate Market

Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sales ticked up for existing homes and new-homes, several real estate market indicators revealed last week, pointing to a housing market that may finally be entering recovery mode.

In the most recent report, the Census Bureau reported that the new-home market continued its rebound, with sales of new homes once again inching up last month. New-home sales rose 1.6 percent from October to November to an annualized rate of 315,000, and sales were up nearly 10 percent compared to November 2010.

The median sales price of a new-home in November was $214,100, the Census Bureau reported, and the inventory of new-homes nationwide decreased to a 6-month supply at the current sales pace.

"Inventories of new homes are very low: There's nothing on the shelf, so any increase in new home sales will translate directly into new housing starts," Bob Denk, senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders, told CNNMoney. "That means putting people back to work."

Other recent good news for the housing market: November sales of existing-homes increased 12 percent year-over-year, new-home building starts were up nearly 21 percent year-over-year, and mortgage rates reached new record lows last week, pushing housing affordability even higher.


Valley declines in foreclosures, home supply bode well for 2012 - Local builders and analysts said there are several reasons to anticipate a more robust new-home market in 2012. This year, homebuilders are on pace to sell about 7,200 homes. One of the most promising changes in the housing market since early 2011 has been the drastic reduction in the number of existing homes available to purchase in metro Phoenix, said Alan Jones, division president for homebuilder Lennar Corp. in Arizona. A related market condition that has improved significantly in the latter half of 2011 is the volume of home foreclosures in the area. Read article:

Mortgage Applications Increase as Low Mortgage Rates Remain Steady - The housing and mortgage markets are showing signs of recovery as mortgage applications increased 12.8% for the week ending December 2nd. Mortgage refinance applications were up 15.3% and purchases were up 8.3%. Freerateupdate.com's survey of wholesale and direct lenders show that for the past week mortgage rates, except jumbo 30 year fixed mortgage rates, remained steady bringing in a surge of borrowers. 30 year fixed mortgage rates are at 3.750%, while 15 year fixed mortgage rates are at 3.125%. These low mortgage rates are available with 0.7 to 1% origination fee for borrowers who have a history of good credit. Read article:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Beware of Down Payment Gift-Giving Rules - Last year, 27% of first-time home buyers received a financial gift from relatives or friends that they applied toward a down payment on a new home — up from 22% in 2009, according to data from the NAR. It's important to follow the IRS and banks’ gift-giving rules, including:
1. Home owners still need to come up with at least some of the down payment on their own.
2. You may need to document where the down payment money came from.
3. If you’ve had the gift for a long time, you likely won’t need to document it. If the gift has been in your bank account for three months or longer, it’s considered “seasoned”.
Read article:

Sunday, December 11, 2011


November housing stats for Phoenix show improvement - Here are some positive metrics based on data from the ARMLS:
* There were 1,889 property sales in November. That’s down from 2,029 sales recorded in October, but up from November 2010, when there were 1,677 sales.
* The November median price was $88,000, as compared with $83,000 in October and $80,000 in November 2010.
* Average days on the market for November stood at 59, as compared with 60 in October and 67 in November 2010.
Read article:

Report: Big Drop in Mortgage Delinquencies in 2012 - The number of borrowers behind on their mortgage payments is expected to drop sharply by the end of next year, according to a new report released by TransUnion. Rates are expected to rise to about 6% during the first three months of the new year before dropping to 5% by the end of 2012, TransUnion forecasts. At its peak in the fourth quarter of 2009, mortgage delinquencies stood at a 6.89% rate. Read article:

Monday, December 5, 2011


Housing is in last phase of 'bubble,' expert says - Nishu Sood, director of Wall Street's Deutsche Bank Securities, used the term "revulsion" to describe the current phase of metro Phoenix's housing market. Sood was the lead speaker at the Scottsdale-based Land Advisors' third annual housing forecast for the Phoenix area, presented to a group of the region's top real-estate executives. He was quick to point out that revulsion was the last phase in the "bubble" cycle before recovery for the region's housing market. Sood feels more positive about Phoenix's housing market and its oncoming recovery than he did about many other parts of the country. Read article:

Are the Holidays a Good Time to Sell? - Sixty percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because it’s a good time to sell. Seventy-nine percent of the agents surveyed said that more serious buyers come out during the holidays, and 61% say less competition from other properties make it a great time to sell. Plus, 17% of agents say the cold weather is actually a benefit, making homes feel more cozy. Read article:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Things are looking up :)

Housing in 2012: Things are looking up - Last year the economic forecasting firm Fiserv predicted that home values would sink around 5% in 2011, and that prices in three-quarters of the nation's major metro areas would fall. The bad news is, the firm wasn't that far off the mark. The good news: In the coming year, Fiserv thinks 95% of the 384 metro areas it tracks will see prices rise. Foreclosures will continue to weigh on the market. According to Core- Logic, there are 5.4 million homes that are for sale or part of the market's "shadow inventory". Read article:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Have we hit rock bottom?

New stats indicate Arizona's housing market may have hit bottom - There are indications that the state's housing market may finally have hit bottom. A few of the state's metro areas moved into the positive range in the last quarter in terms of average home values. Marshall Vest, economist at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona points to the increase for the metro Phoenix area which includes both Maricopa and Pinal counties. While small - just 2.2% over the prior quarter - he said it bucks what has been a multi-year trend of declines. Read article:

Monday, November 28, 2011


Stronger Lure for Home Buyers - Home prices and mortgage rates have fallen so far that the monthly cost of owning a home is more affordable than at any point in the past 15 years and is less expensive than renting in a growing number of cities. The Phoenix market has a median mortgage Payment of $651 and a median rent of $762 for an affordability gap of -$111 -- a significant incentive for potential buyers. Read article:

Should I Take My Home Off The Market During The Holidays? - Although buyer activity may appear to slow down, the buyers who are actively looking during the holidays are that much more serious. Here are some more things to remember: 1) Relocating families often don't have a choice in when they can leave for their new destination. 2) Allowing buyers to view your home during this most hospitable of seasons lets them better picture their own family life in the attractive environment you have created. When is your home ever more beautiful and inviting? 3) With reduced inventories and motivated buyers, you will have all the members of the MLS on your team. 4) If you do get a contract, you can arrange the terms to suit your needs. Read article:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Will Rates Stay Low? - While the Federal Reserve has promised to keep rates "low" until 2013, it is clear to many experts that the current historical lows we are experiencing will not last. According to the latest projections from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), interest rates should gradually rise out of historic lows as we move through 2012. The NAR reports that current surveys reflect the tight credit conditions. Read article:

Saturday, November 12, 2011


More Arizonans can refinance under plan - Many homeowners will be able to find out next week how to seek refinancing, no matter how underwater they are on their mortgages. The new program, as laid out by the president, would be open only to homeowners who are current on their payments or have missed no more than one in the past year. It applies only to those with mortgages backed by government-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the two entities back more than half of all mortgages, meaning many homeowners are likely eligible. Read article:

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Averages 3.99 Percent - Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates changing little from the previous week amid a mix of economic data reports as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.995, dropping below 4.00% for the second time this year. The 30-year fixed averaged 3.94% in the October 6, 2011 survey. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.99% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending November 10, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 4.00%. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.17%. Read article:

Monday, October 31, 2011

10/31/11 HAVE A SAFE HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12 Most-Searched Housing Markets - Which cities are home buyers targeting the most? Realtor.com recently released its search rankings of 146 metros during the month of September. The Phoenix-Mesa market made the list at #7 with a median list price of $150,000. Read article:

Survey Reveals 5 Home Buying Myths - Overall, today’s home buyers tend to be fairly knowledgeable about the real estate market. However, a recent survey revealed five main areas of confusion. According to the survey, 41% of buyers think they will have to purchase private mortgage insurance, regardless of the amount of their downpayment. In reality, buyers only need to purchase PMI if their downpayment is less than 20% of the home’s purchase price. Additionally, 56% of the buyers said the purpose of the appraisal was to determine if a home was in good condition. In reality, the purpose of an appraisal is to estimate fair market value. Read article:

Monday, October 24, 2011


Obama To Promote New Steps To Help Housing Woes - According to an administration official, Obama's housing initiative will help homeowners with little or no equity in their homes refinance by cutting the cost of doing so and removing caps for deeply underwater borrowers. The new rules apply to homeowners with federally guaranteed mortgages who are current on their payments. With the president's jobs bill struggling in Congress, the White House is refocusing its efforts on steps Obama can take to address the nation's economic woes without getting lawmakers' approval. Read article:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

10/20/11 this weeks update

CoreLogic: Good and bad in Phoenix, U.S. housing markets - CoreLogic released its U.S. Housing and Mortgage Trends report today with an interesting mix of national and local information. Here’s a look at data for the Phoenix metro area for July 2011:
- Total sales: 9,346
- REO sales: 3,415
- Short sales: 1,327
- Percent of sales that were distressed: 50.7 percent
- Home prices month-over-month: Up 1.3 percent
- Percent of home loans 90 days delinquent or longer: 9.9 percent
- Pre-foreclosure filings: 6,022
- Auction filings: 6,035
Read article:

What Your Clients Can Do If Rejected for a Loan - Lending experts say buyers shouldn’t give up if rejected for a loan — they may still be able to qualify for a mortgage if they keep trying. They should take a close evaluation of why the original mortgage application was turned down, and find ways to address those issues. Applicants can, by law, find out why they were rejected in a mortgage application. Some borrowers may need to save up for a larger down payment or take steps to improve their credit score. Others may find shopping around for other lenders can help. Read article:

Additional articles that you may find of interest:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Assistnace for short sale assistance

Arizona trying new ways to assist homeowners - Of the $268 million allotted to the state since 2010, only about $4 million has been spent as of this week. Last week, officials launched a program to use the funds to help borrowers complete short sales. The state agency is now offering homeowners $4,500, plus money to pay closing costs such as the real-estate agent's fee, if they work with their lender to complete a short sale. It started taking applications for its short-sale assistance last week, and several real-estate agents already have made inquiries. Read article:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Positive sign for housing

Shadow Inventory Drops: ‘Positive Sign for Housing’ - The nation's residential shadow inventory as of July declined slightly to 1.6 million units, representing a supply of five months, according to CoreLogic. That's down from 1.9 million units, a supply of six months, from a year ago, and follows a decline from April when shadow inventory stood at 1.7 million units. "The steady improvement in the shadow inventory is a positive development for the housing market," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. Read article:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New requirements for landlords

New Requirements for Landlords Who Deny on the Basis of Credit Score - Landlords and their agents need to be aware of how they may be affected by new requirements imposed upon them by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Landlords who take “adverse action” regarding a tenant application will have to provide specified information if that adverse action is based upon the applicant’s credit score. What might adverse action be? At least one of the following: 1) Denying the lease/rental application; 2) Requiring a co-signer; 3) Requiring a higher security deposit; and 4) Requiring an increased rent amount. Read article:

Friday, September 23, 2011

lower rates again

Fed’s Latest Move May Send Rates Lower - The Federal Reserve announced this week that it will invest $400 billion in long-term Treasury securities over the next nine months, which is expected to send interest rates on mortgages even lower. The Fed’s move is yet another attempt to try to stimulate economic growth. Economists predict that interest rates could drop by a few tenths of a percentage point. Read article:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

9/20/11 lots of changes

Phoenix new home sales up 26 percent in August - New-home sales improved in August, according to the Phoenix Housing Market Letter produced by RL Brown Reports. There were 632 new closings in August, compared with 500 in August 2010. Building permits were up from 504 in August 2010 to 692 in August 2011. RL Brown also tracks resales, including homes not listed on the MLS. Resales were up for both the month and the year to date. There were 8,605 resales in August and 67,804 for the year to date, compared with 6,623 last August and 61,730 for the first eight months of 2010. Read article:

Top 5 States Where Home Prices Will Rise in the Next 6 Months - Real estate professionals in Arizona are the most optimistic about home values rising in their market in the next six months. Read article:

Don't Misjudge a Property by Its Street Face - For real estate buyers, the process of purchasing a home can be overwhelming. Many purchasers, particularly first-time or first-time-in-a-long-time buyers, are relieved that at least part of the process is easy—viewing properties. That's where they make a big mistake. It seems easy:
• Look at a house from the street, and you either like it or you don't.
• Walk through a house or condominium in 30 minutes or less, and you either love it or hate it.
Without specific construction knowledge and an eye for interior design—and in less time than typically spent picking out new clothes—buyers decide whether or not to buy. Read article:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

mistakes investors make

Six Mistakes Housing Investors Make - Investing in real estate right now can be surprisingly profitable, if everything goes well. Investors will want to avoid falling into one of these common traps:
* Mistake 1: Confusing a cheap deal for a good deal.
Homes in deserted subdivisions aren't any more appealing to renters than they are to buyers. The same is true for less-attractive properties or those in less-desirable school districts.
* Mistake 2: Overlooking key costs.
Factor in closing costs of 3% to 6%, the costs to fix up the place and maintain it, and your holding costs.
* Mistake 3: Forgetting that time is money.
You lose money when your property is empty, whether you are painting it or between tenants.
Read article:

Additional articles that you may find of interest:

Monday, September 12, 2011

want to pay off your mortgage early?

4 ways to pay off your mortgage earlier - Paying off the mortgage early is in. Refinancing to take money out of our homes is out. Living through the foreclosure crisis, more people want the security and the psychological benefit of owning their home free and clear. If you want to see magic, start playing with mortgage calculators and see how adding a little payment to your principal here and there can shorten the length of your loan. Another option is to refinance into a mortgage for 10, 15 or 20 years, but 15-year mortgages are the most common. Your payments will be higher on a 15-year loan, but perhaps not as high as you think. Read article:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Septmeber 7 update

Housing indicators hit reverse - It could be the heat or the economy, but August wasn't a great month for metro Phoenix's housing market. After a few months of record sales, small price increases and drops in foreclosures, many of those key market indicators reversed their course last month. There were 5,105 notices of trustee sales filed in Maricopa County last month, compared with 4,015 in July, according to the Information Market. An early tally put the region's median at $113,000, lower than the $115,000 it has hovered around for most of this year. Read article:

A Sweet Spot in Real Estate - The rental market is continuing to heat up and can offer the potential for big returns for buyers willing to jump into the landlord role. For investors looking to take advantage of low record-reaching mortgage rates and big discounts on home prices, the opportunities are plenty. Rents are rising and demand is up too, partially due to the 4 million former home owners who’ve faced a foreclosure and are now renters. Read article:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New info on help for refinancing

Obama may unveil mortgage plan next week - The Obama administration is considering unveiling new plans next week to revive the ailing housing market and reduce foreclosures, including an effort to help troubled borrowers refinance their mortgages. The refinancing initiative would allow certain borrowers to refinance loans that are backed by government-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or the Federal Housing Administration. A broad-based effort to automatically refinance millions of mortgages is not in the works, yet the administration is looking to take targeted changes to an existing program that would allow more borrowers to take advantage of low mortgage rates, including allowing borrowers to refinance even if they owe a significant amount above their property's current value. Read article:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

County homeowner tax cut

Most county homeowners to get tax cut - For the first time since the downturn of metro Phoenix home values, most of the region's homeowners can expect a noticeable drop in their property taxes. Maricopa County property-tax bills are being mailed this week, and the average homeowner bill is expected to decline more than $60 from last year's bill. Most of those districts raised tax rates this year, but the overall amount of taxes those districts plan to collect is down almost 6 percent. Read article:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

news this week 8/25/11

Reagor: Feds want foreclosures sold in bulk to be rentals - The federal government would like to sell some of its huge portfolio of foreclosure homes to investors who will rent them out. Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requested proposals from groups to buy the homes and turn them into rentals. Arizona is one of several states that received federal money last year to help homeowners modify their loans and keep their houses. Part of the deal with the $268 million Arizona received is that lenders have to match principal reductions for a loan modification to work. Read article:

Investors Bank on Rentals and Abandon Flipping - Investors are renting out about half of the homes they purchase instead of renovating or flipping the properties. A recent survey estimated that investors will rent out nearly 50% of the properties they acquired in July. In July 2010, investors would have rented out only 28% of their properties. The survey also found that first-time home buyers increased to 36.9% in July compared to 35.4% the prior month. Read article:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

foreclosures slowing down 8/23/11

Foreclosures, mortgage delinquencies slowing in Arizona - Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosure starts both declined in Arizona during the second quarter. The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on residential properties was 8.10% at the end of the second quarter, down from 8.22% in the first quarter. Foreclosure starts in the second quarter fell from 1.82% of loans in Arizona to 1.6%. Foreclosures in process fell from 4.84% to 4.2% of loans. Read article:

Monday, August 22, 2011

8/22/11 updates

Arizona retail sales swell 7.5% - Arizona retail sales grew 7.5% in June compared with a year earlier, with growth strongest among motor-vehicle dealers, the Arizona Department of Revenue reported. Overall sales rose to $3.8 billion, with growth reported across a variety of categories. Wholesalers reported a 14% increase in sales. Arizona State University economist Dennis Hoffman said the June numbers capped a solid spring for retailers in the state and was notable because so many sectors reported growth. Read article:

5 iPhone Apps to Help Manage Documents - This article reveals the top iPhone apps for managing documents, which can help you better access, edit, and share documents while on-the-go. Here are a couple of the apps that made the list:
- Scanner Pro: Scan multipage documents; upload to Dropbox and Evernote - $6.99
- Documents Free (Mobile Office Suite): Edit and manage spreadsheet and text files, online and offline; use it to open files on your PC or Mac - Free
Read article:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

$$$$$$ for buying a condo.... anyone want to go shopping?

Freddie Offers Cash Incentives for Buying Condos - Freddie Mac’s HomeSteps unit is offering cash to buyers willing to purchase one of its foreclosed condos. HomeSteps is hoping to unload some of its high inventory of foreclosed condos through the incentive program, known as HomeSteps Condo Cash. Through the “Condo Cash” program, condo buyers of HomeSteps properties can get up to $1,500 to help pay for standard home owner association dues. Read article:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Valley foreclosure rate under 30%

Valley foreclosure rate under 30%, a 1st since 2009 - The metro Phoenix foreclosure rate has not only fallen for the past five months but in July it dipped below 30% transactions for the first time since the spring of 2009, ASU reported. There were about 2,500 single-family foreclosures in July, compared with 3,300 in June and more than 3,800 in July 2010. The rate, which shows the percentage of single-family home transactions that include a foreclosure, dipped to 29% in July. It peaked at 46% last September before the moratorium. Read article:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sales still increasing 8/09/11

Existing-home sales increase slightly in 2nd quarter - Sales of existing homes in Maricopa County increased slightly in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, but home prices tumbled much lower, according to The Arizona Republic's latest quarterly housing snapshot. The quarterly housing snapshot is based on numbers from the realty-studies program at Arizona State University and Mesa-based research firm Ion Data. Existing-home sales increased by about 1% in the second quarter, from 20,080 sales in 2010 to 20,290 sales. Read article:

Friday, July 29, 2011


Phoenix Housing Market Shows Signs of Life - In June, Phoenix had the strongest resale activity in six years, helping to lift total sales from the year-ago month when federal tax credits were boosting the market. There were about 10,500 sales of new and existing houses and condos during June in the metro area covering Maricopa and Pinal counties, up 8.3% from May and 1.5% from June of last year, according to DataQuick, the real-estate research company based in San Diego. Read article:

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Follows Treasury Yields Higher - Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows mortgage rates changing little for the week amid mixed macroeconomic data. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.55% with an average 0.8 point for the week ending July 28, 2011, up from last week when it averaged 4.52%. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.54%. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, reports, "Macroeconomic data released this week were a mixed bag. On the positive side, the index of leading indicators in June rose for the second consecutive month, beating the market consensus forecast." Read article:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


New Grant for Military First-Time Home Buyers - A new program is offering financial assistance to first-time home buyers who are veterans or active-duty military members. The Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation is offering the assistance through its Dream Makers program. A grant up to $5,000 to use on down payments and closing costs when buying their first home. Read article:

Monday, July 25, 2011

7/25/11 update on housing market

Realtors' confidence levels shoot up, survey reports - Phoenix-area real estate agents are regaining confidence in the local housing market, according to the results of a survey released Thursday. The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service conducts a monthly survey of active real-estate agents to gauge their confidence in the housing market. In July, the index shot upward nearly 7 points. Read article:

Homebuyers Make Lifestyle Options Priority - The adage when it comes to real estate has been "location, location, location." A recent survey, though, shows that lifestyle options are a priority. These include health and safety, access to cultural activities, and family-friendly neighborhoods. Of course, location is still important, but today's buyers are looking for a sense of belonging in a community as well as creating a desirable lifestyle with the home they buy. Read article:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

7/21/11 newest update

Phoenix real estate market starting to stage a comeback - When will the Phoenix real estate markets return to normal? Either 2013 or 2014, according to several residential and commercial real estate experts who presented their opinions at Real Estate Forward, a forum sponsored by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service in conjunction with the Phoenix Business Journal. “This is not the time to go out and buy one home. It’s time to buy two or three homes,” said Scott Golba, who owns a property management firm and is an expert on residential rentals. Read article:

Gen Y to Lead 'Massive Increase in Housing Demand' - Watch out for Generation Y: This large, diverse, well-educated generation will drive the housing market recovery over the next 10 years, according to economists with the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate. Gen Y (15-32 year olds) boasts about 77.4 million members, which is about equal in size to the baby boomers (46-64 years old). Yet, Gen Y is much more diverse and educated (60% of Gen Y goes to college). Read article:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

week of 7/13/11

Phoenix-area foreclosures are down again - There was more good news for the Phoenix-area housing market in June, according to a recent ASU report. The rate of foreclosures continued to drop for the fourth consecutive month. Foreclosures represented 31% of the existing-home transactions in the Phoenix-area market in June, according to ASU, down from 35% in May, 36% in April, 38% in March, and 43% in January and February. Read article:

Mortgage Rates: Lingering Low Mortgage Rates Remain a Great Deal - A survey of wholesale and direct lenders shows that, except for jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rates, all other mortgage rates have remained stable for the past week. Current 30-year fixed mortgage rates are at 4.250% and 15 year fixed mortgage rates are at 3.500%. FHA continues to be the leader for lending these days with its low down payment requirements and easier credit qualifying. Jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rates fluctuated this past week and currently are at 5.000%. Read article:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

6/22/11 freshest brew

Experts offer varied housing outlooks - Housing-market watchers are searching for signs Phoenix's five-year housing downturn is near an end. Several reports show the market improving, and prices inching up this year. Data from Phoenix groups the Cromford Report and the Information Market:
- Home sales were up 3.5% in May over April.
- Pending sales are almost flat in May from April, signaling June could be another good month.
- Listings continue to fall and are down almost 10% from May.
Read article:

More Lawmakers Fight 20% Down Payment - A proposed 20% down payment rule for qualified residential mortgages is too high, argues a growing group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives. Late last week, about 240 lawmakers in the House sent a second letter to federal regulators urging them to lower the down payment rule on QRMs. Last month, about 150 lawmakers had signed a letter urging the same. Read article:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fresh brew week of 6/11/11

How the self-employed get mortgages - "There are two main problems that self-employed borrowers face when qualifying for a mortgage," says Cory Martilla, corporate sales manager of Supreme Lending in Dallas. "First, they need to prove their income with tax returns rather than using a 'stated income' loan. Second, the recession has caused declining income for many self-employed people. Even if their income has stabilized, the loan will be based on the average of two years of tax returns, which could show reduced income." Read article:

Phoenix police warn about foreclosure rental scam - Phoenix police are investigating a scam that has people pay a deposit on a rental home that turns out to be in foreclosure and not available for renting, according to Phoenix police. The scammers are targeting people throughout the Valley. The scam works like this: After breaking into foreclosed homes and switching the locks on the doors, scammers use the Internet to target potential home renters. They place ads on websites such as Craigslist and mostly involve month-to-month rentals with no credit checks. These scams also target people who have recently had homes foreclosed. Read article:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beware Sellers!!!!!!!

Sellers beware: 8 factors that devalue a good home - There are a number of factors that sellers should consider regarding the resale value of their property. Some of these issues may devalue your home or scare some potential buyers away entirely, even if your home is an otherwise outstanding property. Among the issues, there's: 1) Location, location, location; 2) Good renovations gone bad; 3) Overly creative customization; 4) Unappealing curb appeal; and 5) Pets gone wild. See the full article for a complete list and details:

Monday, May 23, 2011

fresh brew 5\23/11

Valley housing auctions fast and furious - A record number of foreclosure houses were sold at trustee-sale auctions, in metro Phoenix in April. The number of sales has been growing for months and the record pace is expected to continue through next year. The outdoor food court in downtown Phoenix has effectively become the trading floor for the region's hottest commodity: foreclosed houses. Most days, more than 30 people surround the tables. At least five auctioneers set up their laptops and sell to the highest bidder. Read article:

Avoid Home Flaws Being Uncovered Too Late - Home inspections don’t always turn up everything wrong with a home, but unknowing buyers can quickly turn unsatisfied when they move into their new home if they find a bunch of problems. Home inspections, for example, don’t specifically test for environmental safety hazards like lead, asbestos, or radon. To help avoid post-move-in surprises, buyers also might consider bringing in additional safety inspectors to evaluate the home. Read article:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Homebuilding on the mend!!

Experts: Metro Phoenix new-home market is on mend - Metro Phoenix's homebuilding market is on the second step of a five-phase recovery process, according to one of the nation's top housing analysts. During a Urban Land Institute panel discussion this week on the future of homebuilding, real-estate consultant John Burns laid out the five stages the current market must go through to rebound: 1) job growth, 2) reduced housing vacancies, 3) a market in which demand exceeds supply, 4) increases in rents and home prices, and then, finally, 5) new construction. "Phoenix is on its way," said Burns. "The area has job growth and is firmly in Stage 2." Read article:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

new brew this week 5/11/11

Phoenix-area foreclosures down slightly in April - In April, for the second month in a row, the foreclosure rate among Phoenix-area homes decreased slightly from the previous month, according to a recent ASU study. In January and February, 43% of home-resale transactions in the Phoenix-area market were foreclosures. The incidence of foreclosure declined to nearly 38% of transactions in March and again to about 36% in April. Read article:

Mortgage Fraud Reaches Record High - Scammers are taking advantage of the real estate market, changing their schemes to take advantage of a distressed real estate market. Reports of mortgage fraud in 2010 reached the highest level on record, the Treasury Department reports. Mortgage fraud reports include everything from borrowers falsifying information on loan documents, fraudulent appraisals, to elaborate schemes that target home owners underwater on their mortgage. Read article:

Friday, May 6, 2011

BUY NOW!!!!!!

Gallup Poll: Americans Say Buy Now - Homes are more affordable now than they’ve been in the last 35 years, reports Zillow.com. The average buyer nowadays can expect to spend about 17% of her monthly gross income on a mortgage, which compares to a 25% average since 1975. Americans seem to be getting the message about the value of home ownership. Nearly 70% of Americans say now is a good time to buy. Read article:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lower Foreclosure Numbers

Encouraging Foreclosure Numbers?

March saw a couple of records fall. One we’ve already mentioned: the number of homes purchased at auction by third-party buyers. There were 5,003 residential foreclosures in Maricopa County: 3,692 reverted to the beneficiary, and 1,311, or about 26.2%, were sold to third-party cash buyers. The smart money at auction, believing they are looking at a fleeing opportunity, continue to be aggressive with a strong rental market yelling in their ear, “Buy, buy, buy!” Why do auction buyers think time is of the essence? Let me give you a couple of reasons. In March we saw the biggest drop in active notices ever, a nearly 10% drop. Active foreclosure inventory fell from 37,533 to 33,955, a drop of 3,658 properties. Why are the numbers of active pending notices declining? We now have monthly trustee’s deeds nearly on par with new filings. In March we saw 5,692 new notices and 5,226 trustee’s deeds, leaving cancellations to hammer away at the existing inventory. In March, Maricopa County saw 3,582 residential cancellations. Looking a little farther downstream at the REO inventory, even with 3,692 properties returning to the banks, REO inventory declined slightly, from 20,076 in February to 19,861 in March. If we define the distressed property inventory as the number of active notices plus the number of REOs, our numbers are 33,955 plus 19,861, or 53,816, down from February’s 57,609.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

closing costs help

Fannie Offers Closing Cost Help for REOs - To spark more interest in its massive holdings of foreclosed properties, Fannie Mae is offering to cover up to 3.5% of closings for homeowners who can close by June 30. Fannie sells most its REO properties through HomePath, which also provides financing for second homes and investment properties. Buyers receiving closing cost assistance must certify that they will be owner occupants. Read article:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Valley rebounding... thanks to winter visitors

Valley rebounding as winter-visitor mecca - This season's influx of snowbirds delivered the best numbers in years for the Valley's winter-visitor industry. The snowbird season started to rebound last year, and the trend has continued as more winter visitors arrived earlier and stayed longer. "We've seen a lot of activity," builder Jeff Blandford said. "We've had a big influx of Canadians in the last two years, but this year, they came earlier and are going home later. Some of them come back to enjoy Phoenix or to buy a house. It's a very nice thing that's happened to our industry." Read article:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Avoid refinancing after divorce

Avoiding Refinancing Costs After Divorce - Divorced homeowners wrangling with the task of removing a former spouse’s name from the mortgage after buying out his or her equity stake in the marital house may think that refinancing is the only choice. There is another, little-known option that can avoid refinancing and its costs, which generally run 3 to 6 percent of the outstanding loan principal. Not all lenders or mortgage servicers offer this option, known as release of liability. Read article:

Friday, April 1, 2011

this weeks brew

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Up Slightly for Second Week - 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.86% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 31, 2011, up from last week when it averaged 4.81%. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.08%. 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.09% with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.04%. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, reports, "Low rates have benefited from relatively benign inflation reports. Inflation as measured by the 12-month growth in the core price index for consumer spending, a metric preferred by the Federal Reserve, is hovering near the lowest pace since 1960 when this data series began." Read article:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Whats brewing this week

Peoria enters talks on development near sports complex - Plans are in the works for a four-star hotel, a three-story parking structure, retail shops, restaurants and luxury lofts on what is now a city-owned 17-acre parking lot west of the spring-training ballpark. The Peoria City Council Tuesday voted unanimously to accept a development proposal submitted by Osage West LLC, a partnership between local developer Mike Oliver and Osage LLC, a business arm of the Oklahoma-based Osage Nation. Read article:

Real estate: It's time to buy again - Metrostudy is finding an extraordinary reversal of the new-home glut that helped sink prices just a few years ago. In the 41 cities Metrostudy covers, a total of 78,000 houses are now either vacant and for sale, or under construction. That's less than one-fourth of the 343,000 units in those two categories at the peak of the frenzy in mid-2006, and well below the level of a decade ago. "If we had anything like normal levels of buying, those houses would sell in 2½ months," says Mike Castleman of Metrostudy. "We'd see an incredible shortage. And that's where we're heading." Read article:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

more brewing in Phoenix

HUD home sale to ban investors - Organizers of a foreclosure-home auction scheduled for Saturday in Phoenix said their event will be unlike any previous home auction in Arizona for one simple reason: No investors are allowed. BLB Resources is tasked with disposing of all Arizona homes foreclosed on by HUD. Saturday's auction will feature 150 detached homes and condo units in Phoenix, Maricopa, Mesa, Glendale, Buckeye and other Valley communities. Read article:

How to finance a duplex or multi-unit home - Mortgages are available for buyers of duplexes, as well as of three- and four-unit dwellings. The options for financing multifamily homes depend on whether the buyer intends to occupy one of the units. Owner-occupants can choose between FHA or VA or conventional financing, but investors are limited to conventional mortgage loans. Read article:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

first time buyers

Selective First-Time Buyers Can Miss Deals - In a recent poll, 87% of respondents felt that finding a "move-in ready" home was important. Some agents say first-timers are being more selective; and some are turning away from well-priced homes because they do not have granite countertops or they need a new carpet. Agents believe TV shows have made buyers more knowledgeable about home design, but some worry that such programming also has given buyers unrealistic expectations. Read article:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

new first time home buyer new rules

New Rules for First-Time Home Buyers - Without a house to sell , first-time home buyers have had a field day in the depressed housing market. Until recently, anyway. A series of new rules, regulations and policies have changed the landscape, making buying that new home harder and more expensive. This month, fees on most new mortgages will rise by up to 0.50%. In April, fees on small-down-payment mortgages, a first-time buyer favorite, will spike. Meanwhile, more lenders are requiring larger down payments, and new proposals from the Obama administration call for mortgages to become more expensive and limited in size. Read article:

Monday, February 28, 2011

whats brewing this week 2/28/11

Why 2011 May Be the End of the Housing Crash - Housing is the most affordable it has been in decades, according to analysts at Moody's Analytics. They don't just look at house prices. They also look at incomes. Nationally, the cost of a house is the equivalent of about 19 months of total pay for an average family, the lowest level in 35 years. Prices usually average close to two years' pay, although that varies nationally. "Housing prices will probably bottom in 2011," says Scott Simon, a managing director at money-management firm Pimco in Newport Beach, Calif. He foresaw the housing crash, helping his firm dodge losses that plagued Wall Street. Read article:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

todays new brew

more good news

Existing-Home Sales Up Again in January - The uptrend in existing-home sales continues, with January sales rising for the third consecutive month with a pace that is now above levels a year ago, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Existing-home sales increased 2.7% in January from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million, and are 5.3% above January 2010's total. This is the first time in seven months that sales activity was higher than a year earlier. Read article:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

new brew

things are looking up YAY

Is Luxury Making a Comeback? - "Personal embracement of luxury is now back to (pre-recession) 2007 levels," marketing specialist Jim Taylor, author of “Selling to the New Elite,” told USA Today. "We're seeing that in cars, private jet usage and finally, in high-end real estate. There's a real change in the way people feel about money. They're making purchases they put off during the recession." Read article:

Metro Phoenix top home sales of the past week

Scottsdale condo prices increase in January

Have an awesome day

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

whats brewing this week?

check this out

Consumer confidence highest in 3 years

Phoenix retail market turning the corner

Until next time

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Things are looking up in the northwest valley: read on

Peoria, Buckeye adult communities rank high in sales - Two West Valley communities - Trilogy at Vistancia in northern Peoria and Sun City Festival in Buckeye - led in sales and closings among active adult communities in 2010. Trilogy at Vistancia's 137 sales in 2010 leads the pack among the 10 active adult communities under construction in Arizona. Sun City Festival closed on the most sales: 119 closings compared with 118 at the Vistancia's 55-and-older community. Read article:

Monday, January 17, 2011

new stuff brewing


Hope emerges for Phoenix office market - The Phoenix office market remained lackluster in the fourth quarter of 2010 but there are a few glimmers of hope. That’s the assessment of the Metro Phoenix Office Market Report published by Lee & Associates in Phoenix. Absorption rates — the amount of new space leased compared with a previous period — have improved slightly in some submarkets and may improve modestly this year. One bright spot, according to the report, is that investors are buying office properties, given lower prices and in anticipation of the eventual market turnaround. Read article:

More Borrowers Face Expiring Lock-in Rates - With rates on the rise, lenders have reported an increase in lock-in agreements in recent weeks. However, in 2010, the average mortgage took 52.1 days to close. While most rate locks last from 30 to 60 days, more and more borrowers are finding their lock-in agreements are expiring before they’ve been able to make it to the closing table. While most mortgage brokers do not charge money to extend a lock-in agreement, some borrowers who deal directly with lenders may have to pay anywhere from 0.10 to 0.25 for a percentage point of the loan amount for a 15-week extension.

Have a successful year

Whats brewing in 2011

Check these out:

Housing Starts Expected to Climb in 2011

10 Successful Rules of New Homes Sales

Mortgage Rates Down for Second Week