The Dealmaker: 4/6/2017

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The Dealmaker is a daily note of the day’s top real estate stories served just in time for lunch. Bon Appetit! Subscribe here to receive the Dealmaker to your inbox.






Americans are taking out the largest mortgages on record. That’s according to MBA’s latest “purchase loan data.” MarketWatch sums it up this way: “Bigger homes, more expensive inventory, and lower down payments all add up.” For a “select years” look at the bite that a median-size mortgage is taking out of the average annual income (and to chew on other details), click it:

Loan activity constrained by prices, inventory. Not to mention the 4 percent dip in “refinancing activity.” (Thanks higher mortgage rates!) All these factors contributed to the “1.6 percent drop in total mortgage applications last week.” CoreLogic and MBA bigwigs offer insight at REALTOMag, which also has a link to the full CNBC report: “Mortgage Applications Fall 1.6%, But Average Loan Size Hits Record High.”

BALANCING ACT – Why mortgages, other interest rates could go up faster than you think. According to the wonks at CNBC, it’s “because the Federal Reserve, in the minutes from its last meeting, announced that it would begin to shrink its balance sheet, ending some of the extreme measures it took to save the economy during the financial crisis.” Read and/or WATCH the report on the “winddown” here:

FHA, servicing rules changes could add $300B in mortgages per year.HousingWire looks at the wide-ranging, 2017 shareholder letter from JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, noting that the letter “paints a rosier picture of mortgage business” than did 2016’s, with Dimon now suggesting that “with some (significant) changes, the mortgage business could expand considerably in 2017 and beyond.” KEY QUOTE: “The regulatory environment is unnecessarily complex, costly and sometimes confusing.”

Pending home sales warmed in February. “Buyers came back in force last month as a modest, seasonal uptick in listings were enough to fuel an increase in contract signings throughout the country.” More from NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun on the “combination of factors” that contributed to February’s 5.5 percent leap in pending home sales (‘to their highest level in almost a year’!), at RISMedia.

Location, Location: Trading up costs $450 more a month, with exceptions; See Phoenix data. RISMedia presents Zillow’s “Cost of Moving up Analysis,” which looks at major markets and calculates the “cost of trading up from homes with one bedroom to two, three bedrooms to four,” etc. This report includes data for Phoenix along with a typo in the final paragraph that made us chuckle: “Knowing what to expect in terms of trade-up costs could give prospective spellers the push they need to put their homes on the market this spring.”

Arizona’s one-of-a-kind Kentucky Derby Party returns May 6th at Turf Paradise –

As a supplement to the Dealmaker, we thought you might enjoy these articles!

A privacy shield that comes with a cost; Lauren Reynolds, Rose Law Group litigation attorney who focuses on privacy and data breach issues, comments. In the wake of Congress voting last week to ditch online privacy rules that “would have required broadband providers… to get permission from customers before selling their browsing history to advertisers,” The New York Times explores the pros and cons of a “privacy shield” that many consumers are considering turning to in response: Virtual Private Networks.  Lauren Reynolds: “Although some of these alternatives, like VPNs and ad-blockers, alleviate privacy concerns to a certain extent, they are imperfect… [A]t least a few of these solutions result in slower Internet speeds and other consequences that will likely discourage use by consumers in a society that values speed and immediate results.”
LUCID DREAMING – Take a video tour of Lucid Motors’ electric car that will be built in Arizona. “Lucid will begin production on the Air when its Casa Grande plant opens next year. The 500-acre site is expected to employ 2,000 people by 2022…. YouTuber Marques Brownlee was given a first look at one of the company’s Air models.” Pretty cool!  WATCH at KTAR.
Residents of CG historic district want to be able to ‘opt-out.’ In this UPDATE on a story we brought to you a few weeks back regarding Casa Grande’s historic district and rules regarding a “homeowner’s right to make exterior changes,” Pinal Central reports that the “City Council on Monday directed staff to begin working on revisions to a proposal for changes in the Historic Preservation Code.” Says one district resident: “I’m very happy… Each homeowner deserves the right to decide what to do with their own homes…. Everyone wants to opt-out.”
What’s old is new again: Why townhouses are the latest ‘it’ homes. “[T]he lovechild of a condominium and standalone house is back again and hotter than ever with both buyers and builders. In fact, townhomes are now the fastest-growing segment of the single-family housing construction market, according to the National Association of Home Builders.” Check out the townhomes data and what® chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, has to say about the “secret of their popularity.”
Governors of legal marijuana states ask feds not to interfere. “Existing federal policy is ‘vital to maintaining control over marijuana in our states’ says a letter dated April 3, signed by [AK] Gov. Bill Walker and the governors of Oregon, Washington and Colorado…. The letter points to two pieces of federal guidance the marijuana industry and state regulators rely on (no, NOT “Cheech” & “Chong”): The Cole Memorandum, and guidance to banks from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.” Details in Governing.

Luxury Apartments Close in Off Market Transaction for $25M Read more

Over 600 People Attend Grand Opening at Iconic New Rosewood Grove Read more

CableOne Gifts $100,000 for Hance Park Amphitheater Read more

Rose Law Group Reporter, which provides Dealmaker’s content and service, is contracted by Rose Law Group.  Rose Law Group is a full service real estate and business Law Firm practicing in the areas of land use/entitlements, real estate transactions, real estate due diligence/project management, special districts, tax law, water law, business litigation, corporate formation, intellectual property, asset protection, data breach/privacy law, ADA compliance, estate planning, family law, cyber-law, online reputation and defamation, lobbying, energy and renewable energy, tax credits/financing, employment law, Native American law, equine law, DUIs, and medical marijuana, among others.  The views expressed above are not necessarily those of Rose Law Group pc or its associates and are in no way legal advice. This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

Belfiore Real Estate Consulting is Arizona’s leading housing market research firm.  The company couples its surveys of up to 350 new home subdivision sales personnel monthly with resale and public data, as well as the perspectives of leading development, homebuilding, lenders, brokerage, real estate law, contractors, and investors to report on and forecast residential housing market conditions.

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