Daily Archives: September 13, 2008

Foreclosures comprise 44% of Phoenix home sales, says ASU

[Source: Associated Press] — Sales of foreclosed homes in the metro Phoenix area made up nearly half of all existing homes sold in the area last month, a new study shows.  Of the 7,505 resale home transactions recorded in Maricopa County in August, 44% were bought out of foreclosures, according to the Realty Studies department at Arizona State U.  That’s a 2% increase from July and more than double the 20% of sales recorded in August 2007.

There’s no end in sight for the housing market slump, according to the director of Realty Studies at ASU’s Polytechnic campus in east Mesa.  “Most potential buyers still confront a weak economy, slumping levels of confidence and tighter underwriting guidelines,” Jay Butler said.  “Thus, the local housing market still contains considerable uncertainty over when any potential strengthening can be expected.”

The federal government takeover of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) has driving mortgage prices down, bad economic news is keeping buyer sentiment low, Butler said.  The median price of a home bought out of foreclosure in August was $161,875, compared with a non-foreclosure price of $193,550.  A year ago the median prices were $220,010 and $258,000 respectively.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Neurotic in New York seeks orderly in Arizona: Personality study of people in the USA by state

Personality study of people in the USA by state.[Source: Current.com] — The personalities of people in the USA often differ according to the state in which they live, a new study led by Cambridge University has revealed.  Researchers used the results from more than half a million online surveys to create a “personality map” of the United States, showing that different types of people are more likely to live and flourish in different parts of the country.  The research team found “striking” wider geographical trends, such as a national “stress belt” dividing the more anxious and impulsive eastern USA from the comparatively relaxed west.  They also identified strong links between personality traits and certain social phenomena, such as crime and life expectancy rates.

The study is the first analysis of its kind and was led by Dr. Jason Rentfrow.  “Although these are preliminary findings and require more evaluation, they did throw up some striking geographical trends,” Dr. Rentfrow said.  “Obviously it’s not as simple as saying that a person is guaranteed to be more anxious if they come from West Virginia or more religious because they happen to live in New Mexico; but we did find pretty clear signs that there are meaningful differences in the personalities of people living in different areas of the United States.

Among the key findings (summarized below), Arizona ranked high in Conscientiousness and low Neuroticism:

EXTRAVERSION (Personality traits: Sociable, energetic, and enthusiastic)

  • High-scoring states: ND, DC, NE, MN, GA, SD, UT, IL, FL
  • Low-scoring states: VT, WA, AK, NH, MD, ID, VA, OR, MT, MA

AGREEABLENESS (Personality traits: Warm, compassionate, co-operative, and friendly)

  • Highest-scoring states: ND, MN MS, UT, WI, TN, NC, GA, OK, NE
  • Lowest-scoring states: NY, NV, WY, DC, AK, ME, RI, VA, CT, MT

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS (Personality traits: Dutiful, responsible, self-disciplined)

  • Highest-scoring states: NM, NC, GA, UT, KS, OK, NE, FL, AZ, MO
  • Lowest-scoring states: WY, RI, HI, ME, AK, CT, NJ, NH, MA, NY

NEUROTICISM (Personality traits: Anxious, stressful and impulsive)

  • Highest-scoring states: WV, RI, NY, MS, NJ, PA, KY, LA, OH, AR
  • Lowest-scoring states: AK, OR, SD, CO, UT, WA, AZ, NE, ND, NV

OPENNESS (Personality traits: Curious, intellectual, creative)

  • Highest-scoring states: DC, NY, OR, MA, WA, CA, VT, CO, NV, MD
  • Lowest-scoring states: WI, AL, AK, WY, ND, HI, KY, NE, IA, DE

Phoenix #10 U.S. city for singles, says Forbes.com

[Source: Business Wire] — Atlanta bumped San Francisco out of first place as the No. 1 city on Forbes.com’s 8th annual ranking of America’s “Best Cities For Singles.” According to Forbes.com Executive Editor Michael Noer, “Atlanta got the top spot because of its hopping nightlife, relatively high number of singles, and sizzling job growth.”

The list ranks 40 of the largest urbanized areas in the U.S. in seven categories, including a city’s “cool factor,” cost of living alone, culture, job growth, online dating, nightlife, and the number of singles.

  1. Atlanta
  2. San Francisco
  3. Dallas
  4. Minneapolis
  5. Washington D.C.
  6. Seattle
  7. Boston
  8. New York City
  9. Orlando
  10. Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix’s CityScape developer lands key funding

[Source: Andrew Johnson, Arizona Republic] — The developer of downtown Phoenix’s CityScape project will draw on $200 million in funds for current and future projects under a new partnership with a Texas investment-management firm.  Red Development LLC will use the money to help pay construction and development expenses, the company announced Friday.

The money comes from a fund managed by CDK Realty Advisors in Dallas.  The firm typically buys stakes in real-estate projects to generate a return for institutional investors.  The company has invested in prior Red projects.  The partnership gives Red access to capital at a time when banks and private lenders are hesitant to finance large-scale construction projects.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Take a tour of Phoenix’s SoDo District, Sept. 27

[Source: Lyle PloBrickhouse interior.JPGcher] — One building and one business at at time, Phoenix’s Warehouse District on the south side of downtown is “coming to life.”  On Saturday, September 27 from 1 to 5 p.m., owners of SoDo (South Downtown Phoenix) restaurants, coffee shops, galleries, loft condos, etc. will open their doors, so visitors can get a “first hand look.”  

The Explore SoDo Tour is being held in conjunction with the week-long Urban Affair which encourages Phoenix residents to explore downtown Phoenix.  To take the tour, drop by the 1928 Anchor Building at 525 S. Central on the afternoon of the 27th to pick up your tour program and “go explore.”

How does Arizona rate in funding transportation? Find out on Sept. 25.

On September 25, the Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE) will release the results of a major new study of state funding and finance for transportation.  Learn how Arizona ranks nationally in terms of fiscal performance and support for transportation investment. Jason Jordan from CFTE will present the findings from this national study, followed by a panel of Arizona policymakers and transportation experts who will respond to the study and comment on what it means for our state.

  • Date: Thursday, September 25, 2008
  • Time: 2 – 4 p.m.
  • Place: 201 E. Washington St., #1795, Phoenix, AZ 85004-2428
  • Parking: Colliers Center parking structure

To RSVP call 602-252-6317 or send an e-mail by Sept. 19, 2008.  Only limited seats left for this event, so call now to reserve a seat!  Refreshments and parking validation provided by AARP Arizona.  Sponsored by: AARP, LISC Phoenix, and Sonoran Institute.