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2010 Phoenix Real Estate Crystal Ball December 17, 2009

Posted by mkuhbock in Arizona Vacation Property, AZ Real Estate News.
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We all try to predict, guess, prognosticate … what is going to happen in the future. Whether it is the outcome of a game, Tiger’s future in golf and divorce court, the price of gas next week, when the economy is going to recover and of course one of the most popular water cooler discussions is the future of the housing market.

I came across an interesting article today titled ‘Foreclosure backlog estimated at 1.7 million’.

What caught my eye were the following facts from this article and other past articles;

  • 1.7 million homeowners were on the verge of foreclosure in the fall of 2009
  • This is up 1.1 million from the previous year
  • Distressed sale properties will flood the market in the next 12 months (banks have held a high percentage of properties off the market to try to mitigate the value free fall we have been experiencing over the last 3 years and will finally be forced to move these assets off their books)
    .
  • 6.7 million U.S. households with mortgages, or about 13%, are behind on their payments or are in the foreclosure process
    .
  • About 20% of owners of single-family homes with mortgages owe more than the current estimated value of their homes, according to Zillow.com, in the third quarter of 2009 almost 10.7 million households had negative equity in their homes
    .
  • Option ARM Silent Bomb: $189 Billion in outstanding option ARMs with $134 billion recasting in 2 years, 94% of the borrows made the minimum payment

My personal observations include an increase in short sale listings and aggressively price properties in fringe communities. I define fringe communities as great places to live but they are a bitch to commute from. I have seen listings for 2000+ sq ft, 4 & 2 or 4 & 3 with granite & stainless appliances, freshly painted, pebble tech pool, nice community with an historic sales price of $350,000 now listed in the high 100’s, which is only the asking price. If you go into a market that is above $250,000+ then it is more aggressive with houses that have been on the market longer. Jump to the high six figure or million plus and you can write your own ticket as it seems that half of Paradise Valley has a for sale sign on the property…..

Bottom line my crystal ball says now is not the time to sell but a great time to carefully observe the market and look at jumping in sometime in 2010.

Cheers,

Michael

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Phoenix Trustee Auctions – make sure you are ready to play with the big boys December 11, 2009

Posted by mkuhbock in Arizona Vacation Property, AZ Real Estate News.
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I did a post some time ago about auctions with a link to a great article that explained the process titled Buyer Beware,  but there is a new article out that goes into the details of how these auctions work. The only problem with the article is that the average non professional investor will read only one thing, how much one professional made in a quick one week flip.

This article can be found here and is titled House Flipping Makes a Comeback. Great article and make sure to look at the slide show but and it is a big but… these people that work the trustee sales are professionals with years of experience and teams in place. They have the cash or the access to cash to close in the required 24 hour period, they have done their research on the properties they bid and purchase via drive bys and walk arounds and even may have had access to the property to assess the repairs it will need. Another issue in the property/ investment flip game is that everyone is now getting into it and the competition for great deals is much greater than it use to be 2 or 3 years ago.

On a  $75,000 to $150,000 flip you will need at least $20,000 net profit on the purchase to turn around a $10,000 net profit on the sale. That is if you have a good Realtor and the all of the market factors of the home are aligned. Properties can drop in value by 25% overnight, (if comparable sale properties in a couple of block radius drop their prices due to being banked owned or going into foreclosure this will affect your ability to sell at your planned price) I have experienced it first hand thus you need to be well healed and have all the necessary resources at hand.

Properties of great value might produce greater margins but will also have greater costs associated in the transactions and are tougher to resell, more first time buyers than those looking for a $250,000 family home. Then when you get into the luxury market you can steal properties but good luck trying to sell it unless you have it on the market substantially below current market prices like the example in the last article.

On a positive investor note it is anticipated that there will be a new wave of properties entering the Phoenix market in the spring, not good if you purchased a home and will be trying to slog it off in the next couple of months but good if you are waiting to enter the market in the early spring.

In any case if you decide to venture down the path of playing the trustee auctions then best of luck in swimming with the sharks. 🙂

Have a great weekend wherever you are!

Michael

Real Estate News Headlines…. Are you as Confused as I am?? November 24, 2009

Posted by mkuhbock in AZ Real Estate News.
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Well the newest real estate articles are posted below and once again they can educate and also add to our daily confusion on what the hell is going to happen to the real estate market in the US.

One thing is for certain, if you don’t like the market prognosis today you will only have to wait a couple of hours to have it change to your liking. 🙂

October home sales rise 10.1 pct from September
October home sales up 10.1 percent, beating expectations as tax credit spurs sales

* By Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer
* On 4:18 pm EST, Monday November 23, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home sales surged for the second month in a row in October, climbing to the highest level in 2 1/2 years as first-time buyers rushed to take advantage of an expiring tax credit…  Link to full article

Home prices up slightly in September

Home prices up slightly in September; analysts expect declines as foreclosures rise

  • By Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer
  • On 11:59 am EST, Tuesday November 24, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The summer’s trend of rising home prices is ebbing as the traditional home shopping season ends, two reports Tuesday showed… Link to full article

10 Questions on the Volatile Housing Market

James R. Hagerty
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lower prices have spurred home sales, but looming foreclosures and high unemployment are clouding the outlook

The U.S. housing market has been in a slump for the past four years. When will it ever end?

In recent years, real estate has proven as jittery and unreliable as any other market.

Link to article and the 10 answered questions

1 in 4 Mortgage Borrowers is Under Water

Posted by David S Morgan

Nearly a quarter of U.S. mortgage holders owe more on their loans than their houses are worth, according to a report today in the Wall Street Journal.

Data from First American CoreLogic, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based real-estate information company, shows that in the third quarter of 2009 almost 10.7 million households had negative equity in their homes.

Link to the full article

Housing Bottom? “Not Even Close,” Barry Ritholtz Says

Posted Nov 24, 2009 02:07pm EST by Aaron Task

A fifth-straight monthly gain for the Case-Shiller Index Tuesday and Monday’s stronger-than-expected existing home sales report is giving renewed hope to the housing bulls.

“Disregard them,” says Barry Ritholtz, CEO of Fusion IQ,….

Link to video and article

New US home sales rise 6.2 percent

October new US home sales up 6.2 percent in sign of stability for housing

  • By Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer
  • On 10:55 am EST, Wednesday November 25, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes rose last month to the highest level in more than a year as strong activity in the South offset weakness in the rest of the country.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales rose 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000 from an upwardly revised 405,000 in September. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a pace of 410,000….

Link to full article

Arizona second in underwater loans

Phoenix Business Journal – by Jan Buchholz

Arizona has more homeowners who are underwater with their mortgages than any other state, save one.

About 48 percent of homeowners here owe more on their mortgages than the home is worth. That is second only to…

Link to full article

When will the market hit bottom??? November 16, 2009

Posted by mkuhbock in Arizona Vacation Property, AZ Real Estate News.
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The elusive question everyone is asking, ‘When will we hit the bottom of the real estate market?’ has no definitive answer but the tells point to the fact that we are still moving towards the bottom an not there yet.

Here is a decent video with Dan Alpert of Westwood Capital who sides with the real estate bears and puts the bottom in perspective with some economic fundamentals to consider when making our own guess.

Video and article

 

To be a real estate analyst….. November 13, 2009

Posted by mkuhbock in Arizona Vacation Property, AZ Real Estate News.
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To be an analyst it todays market means that you would never be wrong… all you need in your predictions is the word ‘but’.

The market has stabilized but … The market is up over last (choose your date) but … Recovery is just around the corner but …..

We have hit bottom but ….

Bottom line is the Valley housing market has a long way to go before it is in a ‘real’ recovery phase that shows sustainable positive numbers and real upward trends across all classes of homes and all areas of the Valley. We are close to the bottom and will bounce along it now until the economic recovery takes hold. When will that happen? Your guess is as valid and as good as anyone elses as it is a crap shoot now.

House resale values in some market segments still have a way to fall, some analysts are calling for another 24% + drop, some market segments have stabilized and some small pockets in the Valley are even seeing an uptick in value. But … make sure you compare apples to apples, something that is not always done.

We are even seeing the new home construction now compete with resale in the same areas as builders have to keep their businesses afloat and need to move product to do so, deals are to be had if you have the kahoonas to risk investing with a developer that might not be around after you have put up half the money and your dream home is only 1/3 completed. Make sure you work with a stable developer that has a long history in the Valley and a well sold development, there are many out there but caveat emptor.

Foreclosure properties are still a very BIG wild card, how many are sitting on the desks of the lenders not yet processed, how many will be coming on to the market in early 2010 once the economy tightens a little more and the next wave hits, how many investors will be walking away from portfolios of properties that will then go into the foreclosure mill?????

Below is a decent but very vanilla overview on the market, an interesting read at least.

I think my next post might rant about REO properties a little more but until then have a great weekend.

Phoenix Housing Market Showing Signs of Recovery, but Still Has Issues

Published: November 12, 2009 in Knowledge@W.P. Carey

t’s Indian Summer in the Phoenix real estate market: Like a replay of the traditional high sales months, resale activity increased in October — from 9,070 sales in September to 9,955. But although the level of activity appears strong, it’s not necessarily a sign of recovery, as foreclosures continue…….

 

 

AZ Real Estate News Articles November 5, 2009

Posted by mkuhbock in Arizona Vacation Property, AZ Real Estate News.
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The first article reviews some of the signs of a false bottom for the AZ real estate market and the second might be an indication of how the foreclosure supply might see an increase when underwater owners just throw in the towel and walk away. Is the recent Vally real estate good news a dead cat bounce phenomena? Time will tell and 2010 will definitely be interesting.

Unseasonably high home sales in October linked to tax rebate
Arizona Republic – Phoenix,AZ,USA

Phoenix real-estate agent and property manager Melinda Murphy attributed the relatively … Phoenix real-estate analyst Jim Belfiore of Belfiore Real Estate …

UA prof to some homeowners: Consider walking away
AZ Central.com – AZ,USA
She’s the keynote at Lambda Alpha International’s Phoenix real-estate conference on Tuesday. The event starts at 7:30 am at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown …

More walk away from homes, mortgages
By Stephanie Armour, USA TODAY
When Sharon Sakson was laid off recently from her job as a television writer and producer, she burned through her savings to pay the $2,400 monthly mortgage on her home. But she soon decided it didn’t make sense: Her home was worth thousands less than the mortgage she carried on it.

 

Fannie Mae seeks $15 BLN in US aid after 3Q loss
By Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fannie Mae is asking for an additional $15 billion in government aid after posting another big loss in the third quarter as the taxpayer bill from the housing market bust keeps rising.

The government-controlled company continued….

What the hell was I thinking? November 2, 2009

Posted by mkuhbock in Arizona Vacation Property, Uncategorized.
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Rarely do I post personal ramblings but for some reason I am possessed to do so.

Last Wednesday we decided to take the day off of real estate and golf and go for a hike in the mountains.

We chose to go hiking on a wonderful trail in Gold Canyon Weaver’s Needle Loop (Peralta Trailhead) that one of our partners recommended.

The hike has a 4 rating and is not too difficult as we both do some type of exercise for and hour plus everyday.

Well after about 20 minutes into the hike (straight up) we zigged instead of zagged on the trail and ended up deep in the middle of a tangled web of cactus and pointy bushes that cut the hell out of your legs…. now instead of doing the reasonable thing and head back we ventured on and up, after 45 minutes of mountain climbing we determined that we were screwed and not in a good way and continued on as we could no longer go back as some of the terrain we crossed was unpassable going in the other direction.

Oh by the way, did I mention that I was wearing shorts…….

Arizona has a unique trait, everything that grows out of the ground will draw blood if brushed against and even the soft looking friendly bushes that you decide to trundle through on one of these tramps up a mountain will take layers of skin (and sometimes flesh) off your body…

Soon we decided to hack our way through the pointy and scratchy bushes to a very high point on the wrong side of the canyon (we actually had no choice to go in this direction, see earlier note).

Now reaching the top I have determined that while bleeding profusely from a couple of hundred deep cactus scratches from my legs that I will NOT be beat by this mountain adventure!

We finally are able to determine that we are now on the wrong side of the canyon which is painfully a long way from what we think might be the actual trail on the other side.

So with fearless determination we set forth to cross the valley chasm in my blood soaked socks and red stained runners to reach the nirvana we call the “real trail” on the other side.

After about another 20 minutes of rock climbing over 10 foot drops into a lush spread of cacti and other pointy bushes and bush whacking with the golf wedge I brought along to fend off snakes and mountain lions we actually reach the real trail on the other side of the canyon!!!!!

We then proceeded to continue up for another hour but it was so boring as there were no prickly things you had to push through that made you bleed profusely. Thus we decided to head back down and go to the top another day when I wont have a squishy sound coming from my wet runners, blood is an amazingly loud and sticky substance!

The trail is great and we will be back, we look forward to reaching the top the next time we are in Phoenix but make sure you keep right on the red rocks that start moving further up the mountain and not go left along the white wash that looks like the trail.  Remember Red GOOD, White BAD!!!!

In retrospect, I could have played an enjoyable round of golf, sat and had cocktails on the patio and had a lovely day….once again what the hell was I thinking????

Michael, the slowly healing adventurer.

What is a real estate purchaser to believe???? October 21, 2009

Posted by mkuhbock in Arizona Vacation Property, AZ Real Estate News.
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I recently came across 2 separate articles that focused on the future of the real estate market. One was a national publication with grounded statistics while the other article was a local Phoenix publication that also was based on relatively hard numbers.

The funny thing is that both articles screamed the opposite opinion of where the market is going. The Phoenix based article speaks of a recovery and that the real estate slump is over while the national article talks about more pain and how real estate prices are about to go much lower.

My take is that the market will bounce along the bottom for another 36 to 48 months, great deals will be had and some insulated pockets in the Valley will actually see a decline in properties for sale and realize a marginal appreciation in value.

Check out the articles for yourself:

Phoenix-area consultants contend local real estate slump is over
Bizjournals.com – Charlotte,NC,USA
Two Phoenix real estate consultants are claiming the local residential real estate meltdown is over. Karl Guntermann, the Fred E. Taylor professor of real …

Housing Prices: Expected to Drop More in the Next Year?Home values are predicted to fall in 342 out of 381 markets in the next year, according to a new forecast. Learn why and find out which cities could buck the trend…

A good summary on US real estate opportunities October 19, 2009

Posted by mkuhbock in Arizona Vacation Property, AZ Real Estate News.
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The Close : October 19, 2009 : U.S. Opportunity Knocking?

Link to the BNN video

U.S. real estate prices continue to fall and the Canadian dollar continues to rise. With the Bank of Canada and the Fed expected to keep rates low, at least until mid-2010, is now a good time for Canadians to invest in U.S. housing? BNN speaks to Terry Ritchie, certified financial planner, Transition Financial Advisors, for a look at the opportunities and pitfalls of Canadians buying U.S. residential real estate.

Makes you think…. September 23, 2009

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PT 1-5 The Great American Bubble Machine

It was amazing how everyone was deceived and I wonder what is next around the corner…..

Watch the series of videos on YouTube