South Mountain Freeway Update – Dec 28, 2018

2018 has been an important year with the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway in its second full year of construction. With the freeway nearly two-thirds completed, signs of progress abound in the 22-mile corridor.

South Loop 202
South Mountain Highway 32nd-st-girders

Asphalt pavement is being installed, concrete medians and artistic sound walls are being built and overhead message boards are above the future travel lanes.

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Arizona’s Growing Population May Gain its 10th Congressional Seat

While Arizona continues population growth, it is likely Arizona representation on Capitol Hill will add one more seat in a couple years.

A study shows Arizona could get a 10th congressional seat as a result of population shifts in the U.S. With the House of Representatives limited to 435 total seats, Arizona’s gain will mean another state’s loss.

Several states in the Northeast and Midwest such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and New York — are projected to lose seats in Congress.

In addition to Arizona, states in the South and West, including Colorado, Oregon, Florida, and North Carolina, are projected to gain seats.

The shift would give a bit more power to Arizona’s delegation on matters ranging from immigration to defense spending, all of which could impact local businesses in a positive way.

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Mortgage Rate – 12/19/2018

30 Yr 4.625 to 4.875 APR 5.12
15 Yr 4.125 to 4.625 APR 4.89

5 Yr Call Me On Rate
7 Yr Call Me On Rate

30 Yr 4.375 APR 5.54
15 Yr 4 APR 5.126

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The Metro Apartment Market Update – Dec, 2018

Recent transactions on apartment complexes are —

  • $58 million for the 310-unit Chandler Court in Chandler – $187,199 a unit
  • $32 million for the 186-unit River Ranch in Chandler – $172,050 a unit
  • $59 million for the 341-unit Vista Montana in Gilbert – $173,020 a unit
  • $90 million for the 349-unit Crescent Communities in Phoenix – 257,900 a unit
  • $158 million for the 279-unit The District on Apache in Tempe- $566,300 a unit *

* The District on Apache has 1B/1B, 2B/2B, 3B/3B, and 4B/4B units and it is residential housing @ ASU.

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Mortgage Rates – 12/10/2018

30 Yr 4.75 to 5 APR 5.38
15 Yr 4.25 to 4.625 APR 4.89

5 Yr Call Me On Rate
7 Yr Call Me On Rate

30 Yr 4.5 APR 5.635
15 Yr 4.125 APR 5.387

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Gilbert and Chandler made to the top list of American Safest Cities

According to WalletHub, the list of 2018’s Safest Cities in America includes Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Peoria landed in the top 25.

  • Gilbert is topping them all to rank as the sixth-safest city in the U.S.
  • Chandler was ranked No. 12.
  • Scottsdale was No. 15.
  • Peoria ranked No. 22.

Other Valley cities fared relatively well in the 180-city ranking, including Glendale (No. 47), Mesa (No. 40), Tempe (No. 35), Phoenix (No. 120), and Tucson (No. 157).

The rankings were compiled based on 39 safety indicators, ranging from assaults per capita to unemployment rate to road quality as well as active firefighters per capita.

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Best Time to Buy a Home

Many would-be homebuyers assume that spring and summer are the best times to buy a new house. After all, the kids are out of school, the weather’s nice and it seems like that’s when all the inventory hits the market. Why not use the nice weather and extra time to your advantage?

In reality, though, winter can be a favorable time to buy. From fewer bidding wars to a faster, easier closing, here’s what buying a house in winter can offer:

  • Lower Prices: There’s often lower demand in winter. Sellers will typically have to work harder to sell their homes during this season. That means price cuts, more concessions and maybe even some extra negotiation room for you.
  • Less Competition: Fewer people buy in the winter, and that often means a smoother homebuying process. You’re also less likely to contend with cash buyers and bidding wars, making it easier to get into the home you want.
  • Faster Timeline: All of the above means a potentially faster, more efficient closing. With fewer buyers to handle, inspectors, appraisers and agents are more likely to be able to work on your timeline. Movers, handymen and home cleaning services may also have more availability.
  • Better mortgage interest rate: We al know the rates are on the rise. It’s 4.875% this Thanksgiving season. Most certainly it will be above 5% starting 2019. It’s time to jump off the fence and act before spring comes.

These are just a few of the benefits of buying in this winter.

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Arizona Economic Indicators

Some economic indicators to share with you all…

So far FY 2018, Arizona ranks –
5th among the states for personal income gains,
6th for gross state product or output and
7th for job creation.

Worth to note, Arizona ranked in 2017
6th for population growth and
5th for domestic in-migration.

Arizona’s jobless rate, now at 4.7 percent, could ease to 3.9 percent by the end of 2019.

Despite the improvements mentioned above, Arizona still has catching up to do in some respects. For example, the state’s per capita personal income of $42,280 in 2017 ranked 43rd among the states and Washington, D.C. Yet this is also the momentum helping Arizona moving ahead in many other economic indicators.

Job growth has accelerated in recent months, with Arizona likely to add about 72,000 net jobs in 2018, up from 63,900 last year, and 71,000 in 2019.

Arizona’s population, now at 7 million, is expected to grow 1.6 percent in 2018 and 1.5 percent 2019, adding a bit more than 100,000 residents both years, as also happened in 2017.

People want to move to Arizona, they want to move to Phoenix, and they need housing.

As a caveat, housing prices in the Phoenix metro area have risen more than twice as fast as wages, pointing to a widening affordability gap that is starting to slow home sales and construction, along with higher interest rates.

However, the risks of a construction-fueled bust appear lower than in 2006, near the end of the last economic boom. Construction employment accounted for 9 percent of all Arizona jobs back then; it’s 5.7 percent today.

Higher home prices also are causing more people to rent, and apartment demand is high in parts of the Valley.

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