Arizona Real Estate News Access
All the real estate and mortgage news you need to know in Arizona

November 2009
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Obama Signs Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension. Will It Be Effective?
Filed under: General, Real Estate, Mortgages
Posted by: Lillian Wong @ 8:29 pm

It is finally official.  The homebuyers’ tax credit has been extended to April 30, 2010.


President Barack Obama approved the extension as part of a $24 billion economic stimulus bill signed Friday.  The bill also includes an extension of unemployment benefits to the longtime jobless and tax credits for some businesses.  more…

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Expert answers questions on short sales, deeds
Filed under: General, Real Estate
Posted by: Lillian Wong @ 4:39 pm

Real-estate attorney Christopher Combs answered reader questions during an online chat Monday.

Here are excerpts. Read the full chat at money .azcentral.commore…

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Luxury-home sales gathering steam in Valley as deals abound
Filed under: General, Real Estate
Posted by: Lillian Wong @ 4:15 pm

Phoenix Business Journal - by Jan Buchholz Friday, November 6, 2009


Sales of luxury homes in Paradise Valley and portions of Scottsdale are picking up, largely because of dramatic price discounts that have prompted all-out bidding wars.


“It’s out-of-state buyers, it’s in-state buyers — but what’s selling are the deals,” said Rusty Davis, a luxury-home specialist with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty.


As an example, Davis cited a spec home just east of Mummy Mountain that was completed about a year ago and listed for more than $4 million. The construction lender took possession of the property after the builder defaulted and put it back on the market Aug. 15 for about $1.6 million.


“There were more than 15 bona fide offers,” Davis said.


The winning bid was for more than $2 million. The buyers closed on the deal within two weeks, bringing all cash to the table.


Another spec house northeast of Camelback Mountain, which Davis describes as one of the prettiest homes he’s ever seen, also sold for less than half of its original list price of nearly $6 million. It was a short sale, meaning a deal was made before the property was sold to the highest bidder at a trustee sale. The cash deal closed for almost $2.8 million, Davis said.


The amount of inventory of very high-end homes remains staggering. There’s an estimated five- to six-year supply of homes valued at more than $3 million throughout the Valley, and capable buyers are snatching up what they believe are the best long-term deals.


“The majority of them are wealthy people with a lot of cash. We’re especially seeing Canadian buyers,” said Evan Katz, an agent with Realty Executives in Paradise Valley.


With conventional lenders requiring down payments of 20 percent to 30 percent, some creditworthy buyers are having to pass on the best deals — but not everyone.


Beth Jo Zeitzer, president of ROI Properties in Phoenix, brokered a recent deal using a “professional loan,” which is being offered locally by Compass Bank.


A physician and his family who were moving to Phoenix from Tampa, Fla., purchased a spec house near Hayden Road and Sweetwater Avenue in Scottsdale. When it was built, the list price was close to $1.8 million. As the market declined, the price dropped to $1.1 million. The first-time home buyers with high credit scores negotiated the price below the $1 million threshold in a short sale. The family ended up putting 5 percent down on a $950,000 professional loan through Compass Bank.


In another instance, a physician who moved from New York to take a position with Phoenix Children’s Hospital purchased a home south of Shea Boulevard, near 56th Street. During the height of the real estate market, homes in that area were selling for more than

$1 million. In this case, the lender had repossessed the home and deeply discounted it to $554,900. A bidding war ensued, with the doctor offering $565,000 to seal the deal with a conventional loan.


Courtney Thissell-Blake, a Compass mortgage banking officer, said her bank is the only one doing the low-down-payment professional loans in the Valley.


“Bank of America was doing these loans for doctors only, but they cut off the program about four months ago,” she said.


In a normal market where values have stabilized, the Compass professional loan program is designed to be a 100 percent loan — a rare opportunity even the best of market conditions. Compass’ jumbo professional mortgages are available to attorneys, physicians, oral surgeons, dentists, certified public accountants, CEOs and CFOs of publicly traded companies. New graduates in these fields are eligible if they have an offer letter from an employer, Thissell-Blake said, and all borrowers must have high credit scores.


Zeitzer said one of the positive aspects of the luxury-home market is the predominance of buyers who will occupy the property.

“Investors are totally out on the sidelines. When they look at how long it will take to absorb the inventory, it doesn’t make sense,” Zeitzer said. “This market presents a phenomenal opportunity for many buyers.”


Get Connected

Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty:

Realty Executives:

ROI Properties:

Compass Bank:

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Real estate investors coming to Valley for REITWorld 2009
Filed under: General, Real Estate, Finance
Posted by: Lillian Wong @ 3:24 pm

Phoenix Business Journal - by Jan Buchholz Friday, November 6, 2009


About 1,000 of the world’s most savvy corporate real estate investors will be in Phoenix next week for REITWorld 2009, the annual conference of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.


The three-day event at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa will cater to the issues surrounding REITs, public and private entities that pool individual investors’ money to purchase large commercial and residential portfolios.


Some of the largest publicly traded REITs will be represented at the conference, including Macerich Co., Prologis and Camden Property Trust.


According to NAREIT, its members represent about $500 billion in commercial real estate assets.


“The key themes will be capital market activities, in particular equity offerings, debt markets and the (initial public offering) outlook. We’ll also take a look at acquisitions and how REITs can avail themselves of those opportunities,” said NAREIT spokesman Matt Bechard.


While REIT­World attendees represent huge pools of investment money, there’s no telling if any of them will slip away to scout out distressed commercial properties.


“I can’t say for sure if anyone will be looking at acquisitions while in Phoenix, but REIT executives are smart managers, many of which have a diverse geographic portfolio,” Bechard said. “The industry as a whole has strengthened its balance sheets through issuing equity and debt and (is) in a position to make acquisitions when opportunities arise.”


But Gary Linhart, managing partner of Phoenix-based Via West Properties LLC, said he doubts Phoenix will be foremost on the minds of the REIT heavy hitters. He’s one of just 15 people from Arizona registered for the event.


Via West traditionally has acquired local commercial properties, but recently started a new division that invests in REITs.


“REITs buying distressed opportunities in this market will be difficult for them,” Linhart said.“Once the fundamentals in Phoenix stabilize, the (REITs) may change their perspective.”


Reitworld 2009

Where: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix
Who: 1,000 REIT executives expected
When: Nov. 11-13

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Builders appear ready to deal on land again
Filed under: General, Real Estate
Posted by: Lillian Wong @ 2:52 pm

LOS ANGELES - The housing bust left homebuilders with plenty of red ink on their books as they walked away from swaths of land they no longer needed.

But now homebuilders are on the hunt, vying for choice parcels even in foreclosure-riddled markets, such as Las Vegas, Southern California and Orlando, where prices are cheap and there are signs of recovery.  more…

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Forecast still gloomy for Valley housing market
Filed under: General, Real Estate
Posted by: Lillian Wong @ 2:49 pm

SAN FRANCISCO - The rapid rise and fall of Phoenix’s real-estate market has become a cautionary tale for national experts in growth and housing gathered here at the annual Urban Land Institute conference.


Many said they see tough times ahead, but also opportunities for the Valley where potential growth is still strong.  more…

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