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Phoenix Residential Market Report ~ August 2014

As you can see from the first chart above, Position Realty Market Index, the first time home buyer tax credit created a great deal of demand in the market similar to the real estate boom from 2004 to 2006. Currently the number of transactions is slowing down as a result there is an increase in inventory because the number of listings is not being purchased at a fast enough rate.

Since September 2013 (12 months ago), the average sold price has increased approximately +5.5% (up from last month), the average days on market have increased approximately +42.6% (up from last month) and the number of transaction has increased approximately 2.6% (up from last month). Since the month of September the average sold price has teeter tottered up and down with no upward trend. This is good news since the market has not formed a downward trend. We will not see an indication of a market reversal until there have been two to three consecutive months of upward or downward pressure on the average sold price, DOM and number of transactions. The current average sold price is approximately $252,000 which is unchanged from last month.

The volume of foreclosure purchases since September 2013 (12 months ago) has decreased approximately -19.3% and the volume of short sales have decreased approximately -59.7%. Since October 2013 the volume of foreclosure purchases have teeter tottered up and down with no upward trend. Since August 2013 the volume of short sale purchases have consistently decreased because the inventory of homes “up-side-down” have been exhausted and values have risen to a point where consumers can break-even or sell with some equity.

Since September 2013 (12 months ago), the number of homes for sale on the market have increased approximately +18.3%. This increase in the number of listings is caused by investors leaving the market and sellers that purchased during the real estate boom are putting their homes on the market to break-even or sell with a small amount of equity. During the month of August the number of homes for sale has decreased from 26,903 homes to 26,063 homes or a decrease of approximately -3.1%. This is a good sign for the market since an oversupply of homes on the market will cause real estate prices to decrease and the summer buying season has been slower than in recent years.

As more and more sellers enter the market and as more of the supply of residential homes increase, real estate prices may start to decrease (more supply and weaker demand causes prices to decrease).Real estate prices are still at an all time low (near 2008 prices), mortgage rates are still at a historical low and the market is improving both in terms of prices and the overall economy. Give us a call to discuss your best investment strategy, TODAY!!

Phoenix Luxury Real Estate Market Report ~ February 2014

Prices in the Phoenix luxury real estate markets typically go up during the winter season and go back down during the summer months. Since the end of the summer in August 2013, the average sold price has increased approximately +9.% (down slightly from last month), the average days on market have decreased approximately -27.1% (down from last month) and the number of transactions have decreased approximately -3.3% (down from last month). The average price per square foot is approximately $327 PSF, average days on market is 167 days and 88 transactions last month. This holiday season the average sold price has increased, the average days on market decreased and the number of transactions decreased.

The luxury market is following its typical trend during the winter months: the average sold price trend is upward, the average days on market are decreased but the numbers of transactions were down as compared to the winter months in 2012. The slowdown in the number of transaction indicates the market is in confusion regarding the overall direction of the market and macro economy as a whole.

Trying to “time the market” for the perfect time to buy is nearly impossible but there is no better time than now to purchase. Real estate prices are at an all time low as compared to past price performance and the economy is continuing to show signs of improvement in terms the overall economy. Time to buy in the Luxury market is NOW!! Give us a call to discuss your best buying strategy, TODAY!!

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More Home Owners Stay-Put in Foreclosure

More lenders are allowing home owners in default to stay-put in their homes longer–and even negotiating special arrangements with them, such as the lender paying the home insurance if the home owner pays the utility costs, The New York Times reports.

Why the postponement? Banks don’t want the cost of maintaining more homes on their books. Many municipalities are forcing banks to better maintain foreclosed homes, which has been adding to the costs.
By the end of January, more than 644,458 homes were under bank ownership. What’s more, about 710,725 are in the foreclosure process, awaiting to add to that number, according to data by RealtyTrac.

“Under normal circumstances, the banks would be able to cover the cost of maintenance, upkeep, and property taxes by just reselling the property, but these are desperate times, and banks are resorting to somewhat desperate measures in some cases,” Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac, told The New York Times. “It is more of a factor now because property values have come down and will not cover all these costs when the banks resell the property, if they can resell the property.”

In 2007, the average time it took to complete a foreclosure was four months. By the end of 2011, that has stretched to a year. In some states the slowdown is even more pronounced, such as in Florida where defaulting home owners often stay put for more than two years, or in New York in which foreclosures in 2007 once took 263 days to complete and in 2011 now average 1,019 days.

In Phoenix, Arizona, many homeowners are able to stay in their homes for 1 year or more before receiving the Arizona Notice of Foreclosure and then they still have 90 days before the trustee sale. Approximately half of all Arizona trustee sale are being postponed on any given day for one reason or another.

NAR: REO Rental Programs Largely Unnecessary

Housing markets are complex and varied, and a government pilot program to turn properties into bank-owned rentals could be disruptive and counterproductive in some markets, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

NAR urges the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to proceed cautiously with its Real Estate-Owned (REO) Initiative pilot program to sell homes repossessed by government agencies to private investors to convert into rental units.

“REALTORS® support efforts to reduce the high inventories of foreclosures, but all real estate is local and we are concerned that REO-to-rental programs are not necessary in some areas and could even hinder the recovery,” NAR President Moe Veissi said. “In many communities REOs are already moving well through the normal processes, so we urge caution when proceeding with a rental program.”

According to a recent NAR analysis, while the overall visible inventory of foreclosures has been trending down across the country, there is a noticeable difference in foreclosure inventories in states that require judicial proceedings to foreclose on a property versus inventories in states that do not require the court’s intervention. Foreclosure inventories in judicial states are currently 2.5 times higher than non-judicial states. In addition, the disposition of foreclosure inventories is considerably faster in non-judicial states, where foreclosure sales rates are four times higher than in judicial states.

“Inventories of condos and single-family homes for sale continuously fell last year, suggesting that there is no significant oversupply of visible foreclosure inventory in the market,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Even the shadow inventories of distressed homes have fallen, though they remain elevated and are an ongoing concern. The government REO-to-rental plan could work in areas where buyers are not quickly absorbing the shadow inventory.”

To prevent further increases in foreclosure inventory, NAR has repeatedly called for improved lending to creditworthy home buyers and have urged lenders to make more loan modifications, mortgage refinancings, and short sales, which will help stabilize struggling housing markets.

“While REO-to-rental programs could be successful in a few communities, we believe that doing more to ensure mortgage availability for qualified home buyers and investors could be even more beneficial in helping absorb excess foreclosure inventories across the country,” Veissi said.

NAR urges that a national advisory board be created to ensure that current and future REO-to-rental pilot programs truly benefit the local community, minimize taxpayer losses and stabilize home values, and suggests substantial participation of local market experts, especially licensed real estate professionals, who have unparalleled knowledge of local market conditions.

In Arizona, we have seen a number of bank owned properties being converted into rental properties. Arizona bank owned properties are being managed by large property management companies and will later be put on the market to sell. The inventory of bank owned properties in Arizona have decreased which is a good sign for the market.

Economic Update ~ Week of January 23

Employment news was a headline maker last week with first-time claims for jobless benefits at their lowest level since April 2008, according to data from the Employment and Training Administration. Initial claims for the week ending January 14 dropped to 352,000, a whopping 50,000 claims down from the previous week’s revised figure of 402,000. The four-week moving average was 379,000, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 382,500.

The administration also reported that the total number of insured unemployed workers during the week ending January 7 was 3,432,000, a decrease of 215,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,647,000. The four-week moving average was 3,576,250, a decrease of 34,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,610,250. All in all, while jobless claims tend to vary from week to week, they have been on a steady downward trend.

In real estate news, existing home sales were on their third month of an upswing, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million in December from a downwardly revised 4.39 million in November. Existing-home sales are 3.6 percent higher than December 2010’s 4.45 million-unit level. Overall in 2011, existing-home sales rose 1.7 percent to 4.26 million, topping sales of 4.19 million in 2010.

Building permits issued during December for private housing dropped to an annual rate of 679,000, marking a 0.1 percent drop from November’s revised rate of 680,000, the Census Bureau reported last week. That said, December’s performance was 7.8 percent above December 2010’s estimated rate of 630,000. Permits for construction of single-family homes in December were at a rate of 444,000, which was 1.8 percent above November’s revised rate of 436,000.

Construction starts on private housing in December dropped to an annual rate of 657,000, which was 4.1 percent below November’s revised estimate of 685,000, but was 24.9 percent over December 2010’s rate of 526,000. Starts on single-family housing in December were at a rate of 470,000, which was 4.4 percent over November’s revised rate of 450,000.

Completed private housing construction in December hit an annual rate of 605,000, which was 9.2 percent over November’s revised estimate of 554,000 and 7.1 percent above December 2010’s rate of 565,000. Completions of single-family homes in December were at a rate of 448,000, which was 0.9 percent below November’s revised rate of 452,000. Overall, an estimated 583,900 housing units were completed in 2011. This was 10.4 percent below the 2010 figure of 651,700.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 3 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Similar to November’s CPI-U, the energy index declined in December and offset increases in other indexes. The gasoline index declined for the third month in a row and the household energy index declined as well. The food index rose in December, with the index for food at home moving up after declining last month.

The Bureau’s Producer Price Index for finished goods declined 0.1 percent in December. Prices for finished goods moved up 0.3 percent in November and fell 0.3 percent in October. At the earlier stages of processing, the index for intermediate goods decreased 0.5 percent in December, and crude goods prices moved down 1.1 percent.

The Federal Reserve reported last week that industrial production for December increased 0.4 percent after having fallen 0.3 percent in November. For the fourth quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 3.1 percent, its 10th consecutive quarterly gain.

This week will see a relatively light financial calendar, starting late on Thursday with initial jobless claims for last week from the Employment and Training Administration. Also on Thursday, the Census Bureau will release durable goods orders for December, as well as new home sales for the month. Thursday finishes up with December’s leading economic indicators from The Conference Board.

Top 10 Cities Foreign Investors Are Targeting

From Chinese investors flocking to California to Canadian snowbirds heading to Arizona, international home buyers are offering a growing niche for more real estate professionals.

But which places are international investors targeting in their home search? Point2Homes.com evaluated where buyers from overseas are looking online to gauge possible current and future home-purchasing patterns.

Canadian investors have a growing appetite for U.S. real estate, Point2 finds. Canadian investors made up 91.89 percent of the overall international traffic to Arizona listings, 75.90 percent to Hawaii, 73.92 percent to Michigan, 70.55 percent to Nevada, and 65.05 percent to California.

Las Vegas had the highest overall international traffic online among U.S. cities, with Canadians serving as the leading source of traffic there at 70.47 percent, followed by 5.28 percent of the traffic coming from UK residents and 2.19 percent from France.

The top 10 cities for international traffic online by international buyers in the third quarter are:

1. Las Vegas, NV.
2. Orlando, FL.
3. Kissimmee, FL.
4. Detroit, MI.
5. Pompano-Beach, FL.
6. Miami, FL.
7. Mesa, AZ.
8. Davenport, FL.
9. Phoenix, AZ
10. Indio, CA.

Overall, Florida emerged as the top state attracting international traffic online for the third-quarter, according to Point2.

National and Phoenix Economic Updates – December 19th, 2011

Real (adjusted for inflation) seasonally adjusted national retail and food sales for November increased 0.2% over October 2011 and 6.7% over November 2010. Virtually all retail sales came in below expectations in November. But, at least they continue to expand.

National jobless claims for the week ending December 10th declined to 366,000. This is a decline of 19,000 claims from the previous week. This represents a 10.6% decline from a year ago.

Industrial production declined modestly by 2.7% in November compared to October but 3.7% above year earlier levels. As would be expected, capacity utilization also dropped to 77.8% from 78.0% month over month. While this might seem like a small decline, it increases the amount of excess capacity in the economy and will delay the point (usually 80% capacity utilization) when businesses historically begin to expand plant spending. This is important because increases in plant spending generally necessitate increases in employment. Thus, the data suggests that the inflection point in employment will take a while longer to reach.

Consumer prices seem to be under control. The consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in November on a seasonally adjusted basis. The CPI-U now stands 3.4% above year earlier levels. As for the base rate of inflation (all items less food and energy) the index was up 0.1% over October and 2.2% over a year ago.

Employment in Arizona and Greater Phoenix continued to expand, albeit slowly. In November, Arizona had 45,800 more jobs (1.9%) relative to a year ago. All sectors except Other Services were up compared to a year ago. In Greater Phoenix, job growth increased by 33,400 jobs (2.0%) over a year ago. All sectors except Information and Professional & Business Services experienced positive growth. Arizona ‘s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined 0.3% to 8.7% in November.

Overall, the slow recovery continues to be on track.

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