What's in a Name? The real story behind Gordon Lightfoot's song, Carefree Highway
Carefree (PW)-Could there possibly be another Carefree Highway somewhere, that Gordon Lightfoot noticed and wrote a song about? "No, it's this Carefree Highway in Arizona," he explained to us backstage after a performance one night. The story goes that he was on the band's bus, traveling for an engagement at the Gammage Auditorium, when he saw the large marquee freeway sign along Interstate 17. He actually had the bus driver pull over so he could get out and snap a close-up photo of the huge off-ramp sign. When he arrived home, he had the picture blown up and placed on his living room wall. He wrote the song while on the bus, and it became one of his biggest hits, exposing millions around the world to the Carefree Highway. "Good to see my old friend. . ."
|Maricopa County Active Listings- 36,503|
|County Listings in Jan, 2010- 34,835|
|Carefree Active Homes Listed- 85|
|Carefree Bank-owned homes-
Carefree Homes Under Contract- 13
Carefree Homes sold last 30 days- 5
Cave Creek Active Homes Listed- 306
|Cave Creek Homes Under Contract- 125|
|Cave Creek Bank-owned Homes- 102
Cave Creek homes sold last 30 days- 49
|Scottsdale Active Homes- 2,587|
|Scottsdale Homes Under Contract- 802
Scottsdale Bank-Owned Homes- 681
Scottsdale Homes sold last 30 days- 357
|Paradise Valley Active Listings- 357|
|PV Homes Under Contract- 61|
|Paradise Valley Bank-owned Homes- 45|
|PV Homes sold last 30 days- 34
Top Home Sale in the Valley
last month-6742 N 48th ST Paradise Valley, $ 5.9 million
Metro Phoenix's real-estate recovery is further off than expected.
Top analysts and economists at Urban Land Arizona's annual conference Thursday said that the Valley's real-estate market will continue to slow this year and in 2010. A significant increase in home prices and sales likely won't happen until 2012.
Here's why a recovery will take longer than a year or two: The foreclosure problem won't go away this year and will continue to push down home values. And the Valley's dependence on the three industries that led the nation into recession - construction, housing and financial services - will make any recovery more difficult.
"Growth locally (in Phoenix) really was related to the housing boom. When the rug was pulled out from under housing, the rug was pulled out from under Phoenix's economy," said economist Arthur Margon of New York-based Rosen Consulting.
He predicts Valley home prices will climb 1 percent in 2011 and perhaps 2 percent in 2012.
"If you can slug it out for a few years, all those frowns out there will go away," Margon told the crowd.
The event has become a must-attend for people involved in Arizona real estate because of the expert speakers and their startling projections. Last year, attendees were stunned when analysts predicted that home prices would fall 30 to 35 percent from their late 2005 to early 2006 peak and that any recovery was years away. So far, home prices are more than 40 percent off the peak.
Here are other projections from Thursday's conference on key Valley real-estate indicators:
As long as foreclosure rates climb, recovery of the Valley's housing market will be delayed.
"Another tsunami of foreclosures is expected," said Wall Street housing analyst Ivy Zelman, one of the few analysts who early on warned of a dangerous housing bubble in the U.S.
Valley home sales have slowed to almost one-third of the levels of the boom of 2005 and are bound to slow more.
Valley home building has fallen to 1992 levels, a fraction of what it was during the boom. But all the analysts agreed this is a good thing.
"The last thing Phoenix needs now is more new homes," said Gadi Kaufmann, a national analyst with Washington, D.C.-based real-estate consulting firm Robert Charles Lesser and Co. Zelman said only 2,000 new homes should go up in metro Phoenix this year. Fewer than 18,000 new homes were built in metro Phoenix last year.
"Banks are telling builders to stop construction for a while," said Tim Sullivan, a national housing analyst with Sullivan Group Real Estate Advisors of San Diego.
One of the more startling statistics was how much Phoenix's job growth had slowed.
Phoenix ranked above only Detroit for job creation on a list of the nation's top 25 metro areas, Rosen Consulting said.
"Phoenix has been in the top five for job growth from before there was even a list," Margon said. "This is strange."
He said the low ranking is due to Phoenix's dependence on industries that are "ground zero" for the recession.
"But the outlook for Phoenix job growth is phenomenal," Margon said. "We don't think Phoenix will crawl back up the list. It will leap back up."Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/realestate/articles/
A Carefreetimes.com exclusive by Preston Westmoreland
Don't think that we're losing it here at the Carefree Times and watching too many X-Files, but this story has been kicking around since October of 1947 and always makes a good Halloween tale. . . . Several years ago, a grizzled miner came up to me one night in Cave Creek, after I emceed a "Meet the Candidates" forum, and what he said shocked me. .I only knew this man as "Pete the Miner" who worked the famous Mistress Mine near Seven Springs. "You're not going to believe this," he said, "but a friend of mine watched some government agents back in the late 1940's, recover and truck away wreckage of what looked like a flying saucer. He told me to look it up in the book by Timothy Good "Above Top Secret." Sure enough, on page 394, there it was, a description of a UFO crash just south of the present-day Carefree Highway. So the story goes, the Cave Creek landfill was placed there to cover the site. The landfill is closed now.
Debris along with dirt were trucked down to be placed in the Dreamy Draw Dam along Northern Avenue, a dam that many experts say was never necessary, and finally, Cave Creek Road was "bent" or aligned further to the east. I was equally astonished when I told then Phoenix city-councilwoman Francis Barwood about this and she decided to investigate. She called me soon afterwards to tell me that many of the records involving whatever had happened were no longer available or had been destroyed! There were markings on the old quadrangle map that showed the alignment for Cave Creek Road moved, an alignment that would have taken it toward the crash site. Decide for yourself, here's a link to a rare interview done by Mufon, with the last surviving witness, Paradise Valley businessman and pilot Selmon Graves, who has since passed away. As a young man, he was the one sitting by the Go John Mine, watching what must have been an incredible sight. Click on the box below to launch the video on youtube.com
Published by Fox10: Friday, 09 Jul 2010, 7:33 PM MDT
PARADISE VALLEY - Even the valley's wealthiest people are having trouble paying their mortgages. There are a record number of mansions that are going to the auction block.
It appears as if the rich are looking at their homes as an investment -- if you aren't going to make money or get any money back -- get out before it gets worse.
A sprawling estate in Paradise Valley, six acres in a prime location, is on the market for $4.7 million. Down the street is another foreclosure, 10,000 square feet for $3.7 million.
The bank owns those properties and more may be on the way.
In May, the valley saw 15 million-dollar homes foreclose. In June, that number doubled to 30. And a recent study showed that the rich are foreclosing more and more often.
"If you really need to sell a house, you have to be the best deal on the block. You have to be the one that people stop at and it has to be too good to be true," says luxury realtor Preston Westmoreland.
Westmoreland says there are so many amazing deals in the high-end market, sellers can't compete and it appears many of them are just giving up.
These huge properties usually require a cash buyer or a huge down payment. In this economy, the buyers are scarce, so homes tend to sit on the market a long time.
According to the study, published in the New York Times, 1 in 7 million-dollar homeowners are approaching foreclosure.
It's 1 in 12 for middle-class homes.