Blog Archives

Sustainable Home Ownership Coalition formed by Phoenix non-profits

[Source: Teresa Brice, Local Initiatives Service Corp.] — Anticipating the magnitude of the bank-owned inventory in Arizona, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) convened a coalition of 14 community development corporations to form the Sustainable Home Ownership (SHO) coalition in 2008 in an effort to revitalize the local communities.  The result is a long-term strategy to increase the capacity of the non-profit housing sector by creating a single-source solution to match qualified buyers with available properties.

SHO provides one single point of contact for jurisdictions, real estate owned (REO) servicers and buyers.  Each of the 14 participating community development corporations brings a unique strength to the initiative, including: housing counseling, pre-purchase education, property rehabilitation, lending services, down payment assistance, and geographic reach.

The SHO initiative will provide ownership opportunities for buyers that are affordable at purchase and sustainable over the long-term which is “key to responsible communities.” Click here for information on becoming a new homeowner or to sign up for e-mail alerts.

Metro Phoenix housing prices dip again

[Source: J. Craig Anderson, Arizona Republic] — Lenders’ pledges to be more aggressive about modifying delinquent mortgage loans did nothing to ease Maricopa County’s swelling foreclosure rate in October, according to the latest housing report from Arizona State University.  Foreclosures on single-family homes increased from 3,655 in September to 3,745.  Meanwhile, home resales followed a predictable pattern of seasonal decreases, dipping to 4,465 transactions in October from 4,625 sales the month before.

The city with the highest ratio of foreclosures to resales was Phoenix, where there were 65 more foreclosures than regular sales.  The median resale price also fell slightly, to $175,000 in October from $180,000 in September.  The median price is down 30% from $250,000 in October 2007.

  Home Resale Median Price


2007 Population Foreclosures Per Capita
Chandler           250 $241,200             1,335      246,399 0.542%
El Mirage             85 $101,925               100        26,431 0.378%
Surprise           280 $157,250               215        90,717 0.237%
Goodyear           125 $158,000               110        52,864 0.208%
Avondale           160 $142,250               160        79,798 0.201%
Peoria           195 $214,350               165      146,743 0.112%
Glendale           315 $154,650               275      253,152 0.109%
Phoenix        1,270 $121,950             1,335   1,552,259 0.086%
Mesa           440 $174,000               365      452,933 0.081%
Gilbert           290 $227,000               165      207,550 0.079%
Scottsdale           265 $441,500               155      235,677 0.066%
Tempe             75 $240,000                 35      174,091 0.020%
Sun City             40 $190,000                   5        39,000 0.013%
Maricopa Co.        4,465 $175,000             3,745   3,880,181 0.097%

Color Key: East Valley (green), West Valley (yellow), Phoenix (orange)

Arizona proposition resolution 2008

[Source: Tucson Weekly] — The payday-loan industry may be on its way out of business in Arizona.  Gay marriage is even more illegal in the state, and once again, voters have rejected the idea of giving lawmakers a raise.  With 99.1 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, here are the latest results.

The payday-loan industry suffered a stunning defeat after 59.5 percent of voters rejected Proposition 200, the Payday Loan Reform Act.  Prop 200, which was funded with more than $14 million from the payday-loan industry, would have allowed the industry to continue to operate in the state past 2010, the year in which the law that allowed them to set up shop will expire.

Business owners did not get a break from voters after the stunning defeat of Proposition 202.  The Stop Illegal Hiring Act, supported by a variety of business interests, would have granted Arizona companies additional defenses if caught with illegal workers on their payroll.  However, with the defeat — 59.1 percent of voters were saying no — the state’s employer-sanctions law, said by many to be the toughest in the nation, will remain on the books.

Voters also ensured that they will still be able to increase taxes at the ballot box by overwhelmingly rejecting Proposition 105, aka Majority Rules, which would have required that any statewide initiative that hiked taxes or fees be approved by a majority of all registered voters, not just the ones who cast ballots in the election.  A whopping 65.7 percent of voters rejected the measure…

Gay marriage became even more illegal in Arizona after 56.5 percent of the voters supported Proposition 102, which will amend the Arizona Constitution to limit marriage to being between only one man and one woman.  Arizonans rejected a broader law that would have also banned civil unions and domestic partnerships by a narrow margin two years ago…

State lawmakers will continue to be a bargain for taxpayers after 64.5 percent of voters rejected Proposition 300, which would have increased annual legislative salaries from $24,000 to $30,000.

Proposition 101, aka the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, remained too close to call as of Wednesday morning, when voters were rejecting it by just more than 2,100 votes.  If it were to make up the difference and somehow pass, Prop 101 would amend the state Constitution to ban the state from interfering with health-insurance options.

Arizonans will never be required to pay a sales tax on the purchase of a home after voters resoundingly approved Proposition 100, aka Protect Our Homes, which was placed on the ballot by the Arizona Association of Realtors to block the state from charging a real-estate transfer tax, a revenue mechanism in some states.  Some 76.9 percent of voters added this amendment to the state Constitution.

However, buyers of new homes will not be getting a longer guarantee on their houses after 77.9 percent of voters rejected Proposition 201.  Homebuilders successfully argued that the proposition would increase lawsuits and raise home prices…

Phoenix tops list for U.S. home price declines

[Source: Adam Kress, Phoenix Business Journal] — A new read on the housing market shows Phoenix home values have dropped nearly 31% in the past 12 months — the steepest decline of any major city in the nation.  Home prices across the country fell in August for the 25th consecutive month and prices in 10 major markets plunged a record 17.7% from August 2007, according to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price 10-city index.  From July to August, prices dropped 1.1%.  The 20-city index marked a record year-over-year decline of 16.6% with a 1% fall from July to August. 

The hardest hit of all 20 cities on a year-over-year basis was Phoenix, where prices plummeted 30.7% during the past 12 months.  Las Vegas prices plunged 30.6% and Miami sank 28.1%.  The cities that held up the best were Dallas, which saw a decline of just 2.7%; Charlotte, N.C., down 2.8%; and Boston, off 4.7%.  No city showed a price gain during over the last 12 months.  From July to August, San Francisco saw the biggest price decline, down 3.5%.  Phoenix prices fell 2.9% and Las Vegas homes lost 2.4% in value.  Two cities showed gains in August.  Cleveland prices rose 1.1% and Boston prices inched up 0.1%.

The S&P Case-Shiller indexes compare the sale prices of the same homes year-to-year and are considered one of the most accurate home price gauges.

Viewpoint: Urban sprawl, high gas prices, and the housing bubble

[Source: Smart Growth Around America] — The CEO’s for Cities study from a few months ago, “Driven to the Brink,” has gained some traction, this time in video form (see above).  YouTube’s editors picked it up to highlight on the main page, and as a result, it has gotten over 120,000 plays and nearly 800 comments.   From the C4C website: “A new analysis shows that high gas prices are not only implicated in the bursting of the housing bubble, but that the higher cost of commuting has already re-shaped the landscape of real estate value between cities and suburbs.  Housing values are falling fastest in distant suburban and exurban neighborhoods where affordability depended directly on cheap gas.”

Phoenix home prices drop 29% in one year

[Source: Arizona Republic staff and wire reports] — July home prices in Phoenix were down a record 29% from a year earlier, according to a closely watched housing index released Tuesday.  The Standard and Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing index fell 16.3% in July, with home prices tumbling by the sharpest annual rate since the index was created in 2000.  Although the monthly rate of decline is slowing, experts say there is no turnaround in sight.

According to the index, which is based on same-home resale transactions, only Las Vegas experienced a sharper year-over-year decline in home values than Phoenix, with a 30% drop.  Miami was third with a 28% decline.  Phoenix home values have steadily decreased since the housing market’s peak in 2006, although the rate of decline has slowed in recent months.  They dropped 2.7% from June to July, according to the index.

Prices in the 20-city index have plummeted nearly 20% since peaking in July 2006.  No city in the Case-Shiller 20-city index saw annual price gains in July — for the fourth straight month.  However, the pace of monthly declines is slowing, a possible silver lining.  Between May and July, for example, home prices fell at a cumulative rate of 2.2% — less than half the cumulative rate experienced between February and April.

Arizona houses worth 9.2% less than year earlier

[Source: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services] — Home values in Arizona continue to plummet at faster and faster rates.  New figures from the Office of Federal Housing Oversight show the average value of Arizona homes dropped 4.4% in just three months ending June 30.  That compares with a 2.8% drop in the prior three months, a 1.2% drop the quarter before that and a decline of less than 1% a year ago.

Overall, home values in Arizona are now 9.2% lower than a year earlier.  That means a home worth $200,000 on June 30 last year now is worth less than $181,700.  That 9.2 percent drop compares with a nationwide decline of just 1.7%.  Only California, Nevada, and Florida had sharper year-over-year declines…  Home values in Maricopa and Pinal counties slid almost 5.2% between the first and second quarters of the year, compared with less than 3.3% between the last quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of this year.  And OFHEO calculates the value of homes tracked is down more than 11%.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Metro Phoenix home prices drop record 18%

[Source: J. Craig Anderson, Arizona Republic] — Valley home prices continued their year-over-year plunge in April, dropping a record 18% as the impact of foreclosures and other economic factors exerted even greater influence, according to an ASU report issued Tuesday.  The Arizona State University Repeat Sales Index, which tracks repeat same-home sales, reported an “off-the-cliff drop” in home prices because, in large part, of foreclosures, which made up 20% to 30% of all April home sales.  ASU real-estate Professor Karl Guntermann, who compiled the report, said the continued rise in foreclosures was significant, but that gas prices, interest rates, tougher lending standards, and buyer psychology also took their toll.  “It’s not just one thing,” he said.  “That’s what’s so depressing, in a way.”

For March, ASU reported a 13% drop in year-over-year home prices for the Phoenix metropolitan area, at that time the largest decline ever recorded:

  • Northeast region, which includes north Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale, saw its first-ever double-digit drop in home prices, down 10.2% from the previous April.  Its year-over-year decline in March was just 4.3%.
  • Southwest region, which includes Avondale, Buckeye, and Goodyear, had the worst year-over-year slide, as home prices plummeted 30.6% from a year earlier, falling even further from March’s 12-month decline of 22.9%.
  • Central region, which takes up most of Phoenix, saw an additional decline of 4% compared with the previous month, bringing the total year-over-year price dip in April to 18.4%.
  • Southeast and Northwest Valley regions each fell another 4% from the 12-month drops they had seen in March, bringing their April price decreases to 17.8% and 23%, respectively.  The only positive surprise was in Sun City and Sun City West communities, where home prices were down just 14.2% from April 2007, a slight recovery after six months of being among the hardest-hit areas.