Today's Forecast Sunny. Hi 75 Never Windy
Volume 2, April 2009 Edition
Commentary and Perspective from one of
America's most unique small town areas, edited by Preston Westmoreland of
Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty.
Who just flew their airplane into nearby Deer Valley Airport for some
Arizona R & R?
(scroll down for answer)
Where it all begins. . .
A trip to the baseline monument, from where ALL Arizona land is
Avondale- A simple concrete cross on a small
mountaintop near Phoenix International Raceway, marks the site of the
cadastral survey marker. A single point, on Monument Hill, marked by
an inset brass marker, where all land in Arizona was surveyed from.
This current marker onto the 150-foot-high-hill, was constructed in 1984,
but the original marker was placed in 1865, after Arizona was deemed a
territory. According to the Arizona Republic (Jan.16, 2009),
"surveyor William H. Pierce was paid $7500 in 1867, to survey two lines
beginning at the marker, one line running 36 miles to the east, and another
running 96 miles north." He and a crew moved rod and chains along the
lines, sometimes with U.S. Army bodyguards to protect them from possible
Indian attacks. To hike the monument today, head south on Avondale
Blvd, and enter the parking lot of the Phoenix International Raceway, near
Gate 8. Proceed to the parking area around the left side of the hill.
Be sure to take extra water and sturdy shoes, as the trail is straight up
the broken rocks, and not well maintained.
Moving to the Desert? Would you know what
insect kills more than a rattlesnake? Why should you NOT use a
snakebite kit? Which
cactus can tell you direction? Take the desert
survival quiz and see highlights of the program Stay Alive-A Guide to
Survival in the Desert Southwest. Taped in the Carefree area www.stayalive.net
Cave Creek Home Featured Twice
on Local Television
Cave Creek, AZ-Good Morning Arizona's "Home Sweet Home" feature just
spotlighted one of the Valley's most incredible homes, located on a
mountaintop estate in North Cave Creek. Host Olivia Fierro took
viewers through the more than 10,000 sq.ft. home located on 75 acres. And
you can buy it two ways: with 25 acres for $ 9.4 million, or the whole
mountain for $ 15.5 million. The home had also been showcased on Fox10's
"Cool House" segment. The host said it was "the most incredible home we've
ever featured! See the tour at:
Click on the "Best Listings" button
John Travolta, the
Goodwill Ambassador for Quantas airlines, recently landed his amazing
aircraft at Deer Valley Airport for some R & R in Arizona.
Travolta is the only private citizen in the US to own and operate a 707.
He reportedly employs a cockpit crew of six. The aircraft is a
rare "short" version of the Boeing plane, model 707-138B. Tail number is
|Maricopa County Active Listings: 47,449
|Maricopa County Actives Last mo.52,600
|Carefree Active Homes (last mo
|Carefree Homes Under Contract 12
|Cave Creek Active Homes (was 443)
|Cave Creek Homes Under Contract
|Scottsdale Zip Code 85262 Actives 891
|Scottsdale Zip 85262 Under Contract
|Paradise Valley Active Listings
|Paradise Valley Under Contract
|Paradise Valley short sale/fore prop
|Most Expensive P.V. Home
|Homes sold in
the last 30 days/1 year ago: Carefree-2/6, Cave Creek
zip 85262- 28/36, Paradise Valley 6/16
Carefree foreclosure/short sales 15, same last mo, Cave Creek
short sale and foreclosure up to 132 from 110
Bottoms UP! Carefree/CaveCreek
Commentary from Preston Westmoreland
The number one phrase we have heard for the last year in
local real estate is: "I'm waiting for the bottom," but now, at least in
our area, we think it's arrived. I remember going out of town last June
and checked the total number of homes and condos for sale in the county.
It was around 57,000 units. Five or six months later, it was still around
57,000 units. Then property started to move. Now, we're around
47,500 units and anything priced under $ 600,000, especially REO's, are on fire!
I saw one foreclosure in Dove Valley last week priced at $ 185,000, and the
price now has been raised to $215,000. Investors are snapping up short
sales and bank-owned property, with construction crews on stand-by, for when the
property closes escrow. They swarm onto the property, fixing and painting, and
within a matter of weeks, the home is back on the MLS for sale again. The
flippers are here. It's a sure sign of a buyer's market. And now, we're hearing
of multiple offers to get a property. One Realtor in Chandler reports a
home listed around $ 200,000 and 14 offers drove the selling price to around $
310,000. You'll see some other columns in this month's edition that reflect this
burgeoning feeling of confidence beginning to emerge. Consumers have been so
beaten up lately, that even a few up days on the market, seems like a rally.
Let's drink to that. . . .bottoms up!
Outlook: Rates and Applications Improve
by Kenneth R. Harney
We've all learned not to get too far out ahead of occasional spurts of good
economic news, and not to assume too early that the long-awaited real estate
turnaround has arrived.
But for the past few weeks the positives have been significant and
sustained. You really can't ignore them.
Take mortgage rates and new loan applications. Rates hit their low point
in decades last week, and it looks like they're going lower in the wake of
the Federal Reserve's announcement that it plans to pump hundreds of
billions more into mortgage securities.
Average thirty year fixed rates dropped to 4.89 percent, according to the
Mortgage Bankers Association's latest national survey. Fifteen year rates
hit four and a half percent with one point.
Not surprisingly, loan applications are rocketing. Last week they were up by
21 percent over the previous week and are now 31 percent higher than
applications were at the same time in 2008. A lot of the volume is for
refinancing, but applications for home purchases are up as well.
Meanwhile, housing starts took a surprise jump of 22 percent in February
over January's depressed levels. Most of the increase was attributable to
apartments and condominiums, but single family starts were up by one
percentage point, and new home permits were up by 11 percent, after
months of sharp declines.
Even sales may be starting to stir in the depressed new home sector. A
survey of sales at sixteen hundred new home communities in 80 metropolitan
markets by John Burns Real Estate consultants found small but noteworthy
"improvements in sales that can't be explained by just "seasonal " changes
in buying habits, according to the study.
On the west coast of Florida, builder John Cannon of John Cannon Homes told
the Sarasota Herald Tribune that "there's a different buzz in the air (now)
than we had sixty to ninety days ago. People are (suddenly) out there
looking. Astute buyers know that they (can) take advantage of low pricing"
and today's bargain financing rates.
Too much optimism here? After all, unemployment keeps rising and the
national economy is still in recession. But Fed chairman Ben Bernanke sees
reason for cautious optimism about the months ahead. He told a national TV
audience last week that the recession will likely be over later this year.
"I do think we will get it stabilized" and then "pick up steam" as the
recovery gets rolling into next year.
But here's what we believe at Realty Times: Real estate as a sector will see
its own recovery sooner than most sectors. The signs are pointing that way
Published: March 24, 2009