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Could There Be Inventory Relief in Sight?

Years ago I was visiting friends in Dallas and discovered something interesting about an area surrounded by absolutely no mountains whatsoever – when you see a storm cloud on the horizon, slowly growing larger, it’s coming for you and there’s nothing that’s going to stop it. That’s not the way storms work here in the Phoenix area; throughout the summer we watch thunderheads build on the horizons, bringing rain to the White Mountains in northeast Arizona or down in Tucson. But in Phoenix itself, a thunderstorm on the horizon only means someone else is getting rain and, with a little […]

Emerging from the Rabbit Hole

Or, at least, shifting the insanity that is the current debates over online real estate to my long-forgotten Real Estate 1 Point 5 site since there’s a more than excellent chance that I’m starting to bore my three readers. Once upon a time this was of less concern – I happily wrote about national issues as often as local. And while this still isn’t the place to learn about the community sale that’s happening up the block from you, it makes a lot more sense to focus on the local market as national matters have less impact here, at least […]

And in Other News, the Sky’s Still Blue

That little vein is starting to throb in the center of my forehead, which means there must be another article out there touting a company stating the obvious. Yep, here it is … Product Manager for Statistics and Trends at Redfin, Tim Ellis wrote, “Apparently every weekend is open-house weekend in San Francisco. In fact, holding an open house is so expected there that homes that don’t hold an open house are a full seven percentage points less likely to sell than those that do. In Las Vegas and Phoenix, where open houses are rare, the exact opposite is true. […]

It’s the Same Old Song But You Don’t Hear the Real Tune

The calls always start off about the same way … “would you like some more business?” I’ve gotten quite used to answering that question in the negative, not because it’s true but because, as my dear friend Teresa Boardman pointed out, the sales monkeys sitting in the boiler rooms have no idea what to do with that answer – it’s not to be found on any of the prospecting scripts. On those few occasions where I don’t hang up shortly thereafter, primarily out of the same ennui that causes a cat to play with a mouse for a while before […]

A Blog Day Without Snark, Doom or Hysteria

Twitter usually explodes during these events; today, the only two items of note I saw were the unexpected appearance of Jay Thompson (less than a week after a heart attack and a couple of stint insertions) and the statistically accurate and largely irrelevant note that 60 percent of all people using Zillow aren’t working with a real estate agent. Damn it. I tried to get through without any snark but it’s just not possible; not when I’m watching the above stat get retweeted as gospel without anyone stopping to ask how many of those 60 percent simply are homeowners poking […]

Real Estate Investors: Go Away, For Your Own Sake

Assuming you didn’t take my advice based solely on the headline, here’s the line of thought for today inspired by an e-mail I sent one of my investors on Monday: In this market, with inventory as thin as it is, about the only way to secure a home is to overpay for it. There are no bargains out there right now. Everything – everything – new to the market is going to be a multiple offer, highest and best scenario where the highest cash offer will win. And the ones on the market longer, such as this one, are going to be […]

Quick Notes on Eagle Heights New Builds

Right now, the dominant trend in the new build arena is the completion of long-abandoned projects. It’s happening in Tolleson in communities such as Country Place and Hurley Ranch and it’s happening in Glendale in Eagle Heights, between Loop 101 and Deer Valley Road on 75th Avenue. Originally conceived as $700,000-plus luxury homes when the development started a couple of years ago, Eagle Heights since has been taken over by K Hovanian and has new models at decidedly lower price points. If these remain out of your price range, no worries. There are a number of communities starting in the […]

Shafts of Blue Amid the Gathering Clouds

Let’s see … There are thunderstorms expected from the western Great Lakes through north Texas. Snow (seriously, in April?) is expected north of the frozen tundra of Green Bay. And temperatures in the Ohio Valley are in the 70s and 80s. All of which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with our high today in Phoenix of 93 and the way-too-early onset of triple-digit temperatures coming this weekend. And that’s really the point today – what is happening nationally in real estate, much like the weather, doesn’t necessarily apply to the Phoenix area. Let’s go back to April 6, […]

The Bedrock of the Market

I’m a sucker for David McCullough’s histories. And so it was that last year I found myself reading “The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge” and learned of the marvels of engineering involved with this iconic landmark’s construction. Some may find the creation of Roebling wire the most interesting; others the series of angled support cables that allowed the spans to be draped over only the single mid-river support. For me, though, what was most remarkable was the utterly grim and desolate work of men working within caissons, removing material from the bottom of […]

Playoff Hockey and Phoenix New Builds

It’s virtually impossible to describe playoff hockey to someone who hasn’t experienced it. There is a palpable energy in the building, the sensation of 18,000 people holding their breath simultaneously and releasing at sporadic moments throughout the game – a shot on a goal, a crisp pass and, especially, a hard check into the boards. The first time I experienced playoff hockey was while covering the Phoenix Roadrunners of the since-defunct International Hockey League. And that still wasn’t preparation for 1997, when the Phoenix Coyotes made the playoffs on their first season here and faced the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Laguna […]