Monthly Archives: February 2016

Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District In Central Phoenix

ENCANTO-PALMCROFT HISTORIC DISTRICT

Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District runs from Seventh to 15th Avenues, and McDowell Road to the Encanto Park and Golf Course. It was recently ranked the wealthiest neighborhood in Phoenix.

Encanto-Palmcroft Homes For Sale

Encanto-Palmcroft Today

Encanto Palmcroft Historic DIstricrt Home Phoenix

A stunning example of an Encanto-Palmcroft Historic Home In Phoenix

Encanto-Palmcroft is one of Phoenix’s priciest historic neighborhoods. Fortunately for those who like to fawn over early-20th-century Tudors and colonial call-backs, a walk through this European-style setup of abodes is not only open to the public, but also is absolutely free. Dating back to 1927, this (technically) West Phoenix pocket of 330 homes is situated along circular drives, winding roads, and the 222-acre Encanto Park. For newcomers and non-residents, this maze-like area is easy to get lost in, but you’ll hear little complaint from pedestrians who like to take in the suburban scenery. Here, well-manicured lawns and rose gardens highlight all styles of residence, from Pueblos to Ranch Revivals. Whether it’s a home tour, a film crew, or simply a nearby neighborhood dog walker, residents are sure to find their fair share of window shoppers in Palmcroft-Encanto.

Today, the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District is still significant for its architectural diversity, picturesque homes and landscapes which are excellent representations of an early design philosophy which successfully integrated landscape and building. Architecturally, the district is one of the most important because it is an intact collection of the finest historic Phoenix homes in the city and one of the most desired historic districts in downtown Phoenix. Well appointed, designed by prominent early architects, built of high quality materials and distinguished by detailing and craftsmanship of a bygone era, the harmonious mix of diverse architectural styles in Encanto-Palmcroft create one of the most distinctive neighborhoods in Phoenix.

Architectural Styles and Square Footage: The Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District features a distinctive, wide variety of architecture like Monterey/Colonial Revival-styles, Spanish Colonials, Ranch Style, Tudor Revivals, Period Revivals, Spanish Revivals, Spanish Colonial/Ranch combos, Spanish Colonials, Mediterranean-style,  Contemporary American International-style, English Cottage Revivals, two-story Spanish Colonial Revivals, two-story Monterey Colonial Revivals, Brick Regency Revival-styles, Single-Story Regency Revivals, Two-story Brick Mediterranean-styles, New England-style homes,

These 1920’s and 1930’s homes in this vicinity have mature trees and well kept landscaping by proud neighbors. Combine this with a curving line of 80-year-old Mexican Fan Palm trees street side and you get some of the most beautiful and spacious historic homes in all of downtown Historic Central Phoenix!

Most of the estate like homes here flaunt large living spaces, swimming pools, guest houses and amenities not commonly found in many of the other historic Phoenix districts. From wine vaults, servant’s quarters and second stories, the homes are definitely unique & artsy. Many have large backyards and many do not. However, Encanto-Palmcroft offers other amenities. The neighborhood has its own security company, lingering sidewalks layered with dog walkers and stroller moms, Encanto Park which is one of the largest public parks in Phoenix, a highly desirable & admirable address, close & direct access to downtown life, walking to shops, restaurants & night life and a Hollywood type lifestyle right here in downtown, historic Phoenix!

Fun Facts: Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District – Period of Significance 1920-1939.
Encanto-Palmcroft was voted the 2009 Best Places to Live – Phoenix Magazine (May 2009) and BEST NEIGHBORHOOD TO WALK THROUGH (2015).

The Neighborhood Association is tight and offers many perks such as Its own security company.

Getting Around In Encanto Palmcroft, Getting Lost and Getting Home

To get a real feel for downtown Historic Phoenix, take a jaunt to the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District but know that this jaunt comes at a price. Smaller houses and fixer-uppers in Encanto-Palmcroft (if you can find one) fetch about $275,000 on up, while more finished out homes attract urban professionals who have no problem spending $500,000 and up. This is one of the priciest historic districts in downtown Phoenix but there are SO many wonderful reasons why.

Let’s Get a Little Lost for Fun

I live 2 blocks away from Encanto-Palmcroft. Not long ago, I took my dog for a walk in the neighborhood as I adore strolling in the winding streets of this exclusive district. Well, to no joke, we DID get lost even though I’ve been through there a thousand times! From one Coronado Street to one Palmcroft Street to another…round & round we went. It was embarrassingly hysterical. Let’s just say both my dog & I got an excellent workout in that evening. Neighbors know their way around and they have no trouble spotting visitors (like me that evening) who look a little tired at the intersection of streets named Palmcroft Way, Palmcroft Drive, Palmcroft SE, Palmcroft SW, Palmcroft NE, Palmcroft NW.  Even though we were pretty tired, we never stopped admiring the gorgeous Bungalows, Spanish Colonials and Cape Cods as they just don’t stop reeling you in. The layout, not the norm for a downtown Phoenix neighborhood, keeps traffic away and creates much privacy in Encanto-Palmcroft.

Encanto-Palmcroft is an elegant, beautiful historic neighborhood near downtown Phoenix and is surrounded by other classy, historical Phoenix neighborhoods.

If you ever want to get lost for fun, mosey on over to Encanto-Palmcroft with your dog. Just be sure to bring lots of water.

If you like Encanto-Palmcroft, you’ll like Willo Historic District and Roosevelt Historic District as well.

Read the History of Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District

Arcadia Historic Neighborhood In Midtown Phoenix Arizona

The Arcadia neighborhood is one of the most desirable addresses in Phoenix.

Camelback Mountain Arcadia Historic Neighborhood

Camelback Mountain is prominently seen from many homes in the Historic Arcadia Neighborhoods

I personally lived in Arcadia starting in 1989 as the first house I purchased was in this eclectic neighborhood. I had a stunning view of Camelback Mountain in my back yard like so many homes in Arcadia do. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a home that doesn’t have a view of Camelback Mountain, at least to some degree. I can attest to all the wonderful attributes Arcadia has to offer but don’t take my word for it; get in your car and go cruise the area. You’ll fall in love with it.

Arcadia is bounded by 44th Street to 68th Streets and from Indian School Road to Camelback Mountain. Immediate surrounding areas have more recently been referenced as Lower Arcadia or the Arcadia area but the true Arcadia corridor begins at the corner of 44th Street and Indian School Road going north and east from there. Contrary to many people trying to ride on the “Arcadia” name, there is indeed a true, defined Arcadia Corridor.

Arcadia neighborhood is not officially a historic district and its eastern edge is in the City of Scottsdale but Arcadia has more than earned its huge place in Phoenix history.

Arcadia Homes For Sale

Arcadia is one of the most desirable and priciest addresses in Phoenix. The homes range from small ranch houses under 1,000 Square feet to stunning luxury estates that sit on five acres with a lot of in-between. You’ll find a wide variety of architectural styles from sprawling 4 to 5-bedroom ranches built in the postwar era to Revivals and Pueblo-style homes dating to the late 1920’s and early 1930’s

The neighborhood is surrounded by original luxury guest resorts along Camelback Road like the Royal Palms and is walking distance to many trending restaurants are bars such as The Vig, LaGrande Orange Grocery and Pizzeria, Postino’s Wine Cafe, Zipps, The Arcadia Tavern, the famous Pete’s Fish and Chips and so much more! Eating and drinking your way around Arcadia is fun and can take some time.

Many people now refer to Arcadia as Midtown as it’s in the middle of everything superb and its overall location is in the center of it all. Sky Harbor Airport is just a hop and a skip away as is Biltmore Fashion Park, Fashion Square in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley along with a plethora of fantastic golf courses! Downtown and Central Phoenix is just a very short jaunt as is I-10, the Loop 202, the 51 and the 143.

Arcadia Park, G.R. Herberger Park, Camelback Mountain (and its hiking trails) along with easy access to the canal gives many options for hiking, jogging, biking and walking.

Arcadia is also known for its top tier public schools (some of the best in the state) such as Hopi Elementary School, Ingleside Middle School and Arcadia High School in the Scottsdale Unified School District making it an extremely family friendly community. There are also private schools in the area.

This is the type of neighborhood where the neighbors know each other, walk their dogs and are out with their children enjoying the tranquility this wonderful neighbor offers!

Arcadia homes have character, are well-kept and have high property values as the neighborhood is adjacent to the upscale suburbs of Paradise Valley, the Biltmore area, Scottsdale and North Central Phoenix. Most lawn have lush, green lawns, custom landscaping, palm trees and citrus trees galore!

Built on former citrus groves, Arcadia is known for well-irrigated, mature landscaping. Several yards prominently feature orange, lemon and grapefruit trees as reminders of the area’s past. The area used to be occupied by citrus farmers from 1919 to the mid-1950’s. In the mid-1950’s, the rest of Phoenix caught up with the farms and the area suburbanized with characteristic ranch homes on large lots. Arcadia High School serves and derives its name from the neighborhood.

The film, Everything Must Go, takes place in Arcadia.

In 2002, CNNMoney voted Arcadia as one of the “Best Places To Live” stating:

In stark contrast to Ahwatukee’s desert foliage are the lush green lawns of Arcadia, a neighborhood that sits on the Phoenix and Scottsdale city line. Arcadia is a former orange grove with its own irrigation system, and rows of citrus trees line its blocks of quaint homes built in the 1950’s and 1960’s on large lots.

Because Arcadia is so highly regarded for its greenery and high-performance schools, which are in the Scottsdale system, prices are on the high end: Starter homes begin at $300,000. Homeowners tend to do a lot of remodeling, adding much diversity to the once similar-looking homes; it’s not uncommon to see a country cottage adjacent to a Spanish hacienda. Residents brag about being close to Scottsdale’s high-end shopping, a world-class resort, arts centers and good restaurants, as well as downtown Phoenix.

I couldn’t agree more. After all, living in Arcadia for so many years, I’m hooked.

Read the History of Arcadia Historic Neighborhood

Historic Districts Real Estate In Downtown and Central Phoenix

DOWNTOWN LIFE

Places to Live In Downtown and Central Phoenix

The downtown Phoenix scene has become re-energized in recent years with the arrival of several new mixed-use commercial buildings breathing new life into living downtown. The shopping, arts and dining scene isn’t too shabby either and is walking distance or a short light rail ride to many, many cool establishments. Central Phoenix, or CenPho, as the hipsters like to call it, is the heart of the ever-growing culture. Living in downtown or Central Phoenix is place to discover that great new restaurant, catch a play, or dance the night away at a downtown club.

The Downtown Phoenix Condo and Loft Scene

Metro Light Rail, Phoenix, AZ

Metro Light Rail In Downtown Phoenix

The number of high-rises, mid-rises and low-rises being built, restored and renovated have been absolutely BOOMING in Central Phoenix! These buildings are old mixed in with new and provide amenities galore. Downtown Phoenix is the new home of loft traditions where space and creativity have been merging into stylistic, personalized urban expression. Many industrial buildings have been converted into desirable, luxurious, lofts or condominiums for your taking. If a single-family home is not for you but simple living is, (no yard responsibilities, etc.), then you’ve come to the right place. Or maybe you’re an artist looking to live where you work. I have ideas for you.

Here, you will find real-time, live listings of all Downtown, Central and North Phoenix condos for sale, Urban Lofts for sale, Condos in High-Rises for sale, and pretty much any dwelling type that is not a single-family home. Whether you wish to buy, sell, renovate or design a loft or condominium in Phoenix, HistoricPhoenixDistricts.com and Downtown Life has the property and solution for you.

Downtown and Central Phoenix is fun, urban living. It is a series of distinct urban and historical phoenix neighborhoods where neighbors know each other and are constantly welcoming new neighbors as the downtown area continues its growth.

Downtown Phoenix and the Central Avenue Corridor has enjoyed tremendous growth since the completion of light rail and ASU opening its Downtown Phoenix Campus.

You can walk for coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and entertainment including the First Friday Art Walk, museums, sporting events, shopping, parks and more. It is a place populated by people seeking a way of life that doesn’t require hours of commuting each day. Many people enjoy driving any one of the many Historic Phoenix Districts just to view the architectural designs of the beautiful homes that encompass Phoenix Historic neighborhoods.

While downtown Phoenix grows, you can and experience urban living at its best. No matter what your taste there are homes that will make you happy. Live in an area full of cultural venues and experience the convenience a downtown residence can provide whether in a modern or historic condominium, historic loft, or a townhome. Come be part of downtown life.

Annual Coronado Home Tour In 2016 will Highlight Country Club Historic District

Sunday, February 28, 2016 is the 29th Annual Coronado Historic Neighborhood Home Tour from 11 am–4 pm. Start at Circle Park, 10th Street & Windsor, Phoenix 85006. This year, Country Club Park Historic District will be featured.

Coronado Historic District 2016 Home Tour

Coronado Historic District’s Annual Home Tour

From the Coronado Neighborhood Association Website

The Coronado Neighborhood Association welcomes you to a Picnic in the Park, the 29th Annual Coronado Home Tour. This year we will gather at Circle Park and enjoy food and picnic games surrounded by music, arts and crafts for the kids, a lively street fair, homes open for tour and the Coronado Classic car and bicycle show.

This year’s tour will highlight the Country Club Historic District, one of three historic districts in the Greater Coronado neighborhood. Country Club Park earned historic designation in 1993 and has a history dating to 1888 when Charles Orme filed a homestead patent for the area. Read the full history of County Club Park Historic District here.

Home Tour tickets can be purchased in advance online for $13 (including fees) or on Tour Day for $15 cash or credit. Pick up your wrist band (your pass to the homes on tour) and Home Tour Guide at the ticket booths on each end of Circle Park.

VEHICLE PARKING: Coronado is a residential neighborhood, so you may park in front of any home throughout the area and walk to Circle Park on Windsor Ave. (two blocks south of Thomas Rd.) between 8th and 10th St. Please be courteous of residents and do not block driveways.

BIKE PARKING: We encourage you to ride your bike to the event. There will be over a dozen bike racks available around Circle Park and in front of homes on the tour you can lock your bike up to. Just make sure to pick up your bike by 4pm if in front of a home or 5pm if locked up at Circle Park.

For tickets and more information, click here. Check out other historic districts in Phoenix, AZ.

9 am Kids Parade around Circle Park

9 am – 4 pm Fair, Family Festival and Picnic Games in the Park

80+ vendors, 10+ food trucks & treat booths

live music entertainment

11 am – 4 pm Coronado Classic car and bicycle show

 

Celebrate Arizona Beer Week in Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix Events

Beer Week Arizona 2016

Arizona Beer Week 2016

Arizona Beer Week festivities begin this Thursday and whether you’re a craft brew connoisseur or just a beginner, you’re sure to find something to please your beer-drinking palate. Events are scheduled across the state from February 11 through February 21, but here is a list of events you’ll find in the greater downtown Phoenix area.

Thursday, February 11

Clever Koi – THAT Brewery Beer Dinner

Friday, February 12

Oven & Vine – Two Brothers Beer & Food Tasting

Angels Trumpet Ale House – Stone/Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover

The Coronado – San Tan Brewing Craft and Charity Night

Saturday, February 13

Angels Trumpet Ale House – Brunch Before the Storm

Steele Indian School Park – Strong Beer Festival

Sunday, February 14

Phoenix Ale Brewery, The Velo Bike Shop/Bicycle Nomad Cafe, ThirdSpace, The Rose & Crown Pub – Phoenix Ale Beer & Bike Social Ride

Flowers Beer and Wine – VIP Wristband

Rose & Crown Pub – VIP Wristband

Sun Up Brewing Co. – Central Phoenix Brewery Tour

Pizzeria Bianco – Historic Brew Co. “Beer is for Lovers” Dinner

Monday, February 15

Sun Up Brewing Co. – Food Pairing with Copper Dome Pilsner

Tuesday, February 16

Sun Up Brewing Co. – Cupcake and Beer Pairing

Stand Up Live – Strong Beer Night

Wednesday, February 17

DeSoto Central Market – Sonoran and Phoenix Ale Tap Assault and Burger Night

Circle 6 Studios Gallery – Hot Glass Cold Beer with THAT Brewery

Thursday, February 18

Angels Trumpet Ale House – Arizona Firkin Day

Friday, February 19

Sun Up Brewing Co. – Cigars with Uwe

Rose & Crown Pub – Left Hand Keep the Pint Night

Sunday, February 21

ThirdSpace – Ice Cream Beer Brunch with SanTan Brewing

Roosevelt Row BID Proposal Faces New Challenges

Since April 2014, Downtown Phoenix Journal has been sharing the story of the developing proposal for a Roosevelt area Enhanced Municipal Services District, more commonly known as a Business Improvement District or BID. 

Roosevelt Row Historic Phoenix

Roosevelt Row, Phoenix, AZ

Over the past 18 months, the Roosevelt Row community has been engaged in the process of forming a business improvement district (BID), which would provide enhanced municipal services for the area. Though the proposal for the BID passed the Phoenix City Council in January, it is now in danger of being invalidated due to a bill that is advancing in the state legislature.

HB 2440 would essentially change the process for the formation of BIDs – not just in downtown Phoenix, but across the state. If passed, it would incorporate more government oversight into the process and would be retroactive to January 1, 2016. The bill is sponsored by Representative Warren Petersen of Gilbert and is supported by a group of Roosevelt Row land owners who oppose the formation of the BID. The bill passed the House this week and is now on its way to the Senate.

Earlier in the week, Roosevelt Row CDC sent a letter to Roosevelt business owners informing them about the bill. The letter is excerpted here:

Dear Roosevelt Row Business Owner,

As many of you are aware, the Phoenix City Council recently approved the formation of a business improvement district for our Roosevelt Row area. That vote gives us the opportunity to create an organization that represents us, the small business owners of Roosevelt Row, to collectively market our area as an evolving canvas of creativity. By forming this district we will be able to promote arts, music, dining and shopping opportunities which will increase business and community awareness of Roosevelt Row as a culturally diverse destination welcoming to everyone.

To be clear, the Council’s vote to approve the District is contingent upon us working together to develop by-laws and a budget which reflects our priorities in a fiscally responsible manner. Once those documents are completed the City Council will then review, modify, and/or approve what we submit.

While we are currently in the process of developing those items (budget and by-laws), a lobbying firm, which recently purchased a building on Roosevelt Row, is using its influence to retroactively stop our district from being formed and essentially prohibiting any future Business Improvement Districts from ever being organized again. Public Policy Partners, a lobbying firm owned and operated in part by lobbyist Marcus Dell’Artino, has successfully gotten a Gilbert lawmaker to introduce House Bill 2440, which would essentially prohibit any types of these organizations from ever being organized again anywhere in Arizona! And the bill is retroactively dated to the date our district was approved by Phoenix City Council.

Currently business improvement districts are successfully operating in Downtown Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Tucson and Flagstaff – they have been highly effective in revitalizing these urban core areas by recruiting, retaining and expanding locally-owned and independently operated small businesses and promoting these areas as unique cultural, artistic and commercial destinations. They have proven to be powerful economic engines to spur business and job growth.

If you agree with the Roosevelt Row CDC and would like to voice your support for the BID, follow this link to contact members of the Arizona Legislature: http://www.rooseveltrow.org/save-roosevelt-row/

Mortgage Rates Move Lower Than Expected

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2016

Janet Yellen Interest Rates

For the fifth consecutive week, mortgage rates trended down, surprising even forecasters. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now at its lowest average since April 30, 2015.

“Market volatility — and the associated flight to quality — continued unabated this week,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped another 15 basis points, and the 30-year mortgage rate fell 7 basis points as well, to 3.72 percent. Both the Treasury yield and the mortgage rate now are in the neighborhood of early-2015 lows. These declines are not what the market anticipated when the Fed raised the Federal funds rate in December. For now, though, sub-4-percent mortgage rates are providing a longer-than-expected opportunity for mortgage borrowers to refinance.”

This week the market forecasted zero hikes in 2016 for the Fed’s short-term rates, which could keep mortgage rates low. Analysts are now predicting that the closely monitored Fed Futures market has nearly a 60 percent chance of no rate hikes at all this year, marking a “dramatic U-Turn from only a month ago when the market was pricing in a 75 percent probability the Fed would increase rates at least once in 2016,” CNNMoney reports.

The Fed had risen rates 0.25 in December, its first increase in nearly 10 years. But with stock markets spiraling downward and the fragile global economy, analysts believe this will likely prompt the Fed to pause in raising rates.

“Things have happened in financial markets and in the flow of economic data that may be in the process of altering the outlook for growth,” Fed vice chairman Bill Dudley told MarketWatch this week.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Feb. 4:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.72 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.79 percent average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.59 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.01 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.07 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 2.92 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.85 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 2.90 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.82 percent.

The opportunity to buy a home at low interest rates is still here. For how long, who knows?

DOWNTOWN PHOENIX LIFE

The City of Phoenix defines Downtown as the area between 7th Street and 7th Avenue, from McDowell Road on the north to Buckeye Road on the south. However, the majority of downtown development is concentrated in the smaller area surrounding the intersection of Washington St. and Central Avenue. Downtown Phoenix is one of a the few major business districts in the city and is the central business district of the City of Phoenix, Arizona.

It’s located in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area or ‘Valley of the Sun’ with a large variety of designated historic districts housing some classic, vintage homes attracting people from all walks of life.

Phoenix, being the county seat of Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, serves as the center of politics, justice and government on the local, state and federal levels. The area is a major center of employment for the region, with many financial, legal, and other national and international corporations housed in a variety of skyscrapers. Major arts and cultural institutions also call the area home. Downtown Phoenix is a center of major league sports activities, live concert events, and is an equally prominent center of banking and finance in Arizona. Regional headquarters for several major banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Bank of America, Compass Bank and MidFirst Bank are all located within or close proximity to the area.

A Little History of Downtown Phoenix

Territorial era

In 1870, a meeting was held to select a town site for the influx of pioneers coming to the recently recognized town of Phoenix. 320 acres were purchased for $50 raised by popular subscription. This original site, the whole of the town of Phoenix in that day, encompasses what would presently be the Downtown Core, bordered by Van Buren Street south to Jackson Street, and Seventh Street to Seventh Avenue.

With the first survey of the new town, streets were laid out in a grid, with Washington Street as the main east-west thoroughfare. The north-south streets originally bore Native American tribal names, but were changed to more easily remembered numbers, with everything east of Center Street (later Central Avenue) named as streets and everything west as avenues. The town continued to grow, and was eventually incorporated as a city on February 28, 1881 centered around downtown.

Throughout the 1880’s the newly incorporated city made many strides toward modernization with the construction of one of the first electric plants in the West as well as the opening of the horse-drawn streetcar line. The Phoenix Street Railway system was eventually electrified and expanded to several different lines that connected Downtown Phoenix to other neighborhoods and cities in the Valley. Independence Day of 1887 heralded the arrival first Southern Pacific train. This opened up the economy of the young city, as goods now flowed in and out by train as opposed to wagon. As Phoenix became the center of commerce in the territory, the capital was moved to Phoenix, with temporary offices being set up in Downtown.

The city of Phoenix’s story begins as people from those settlements expanded south, in conjunction with the establishment of a military outpost to the east of current day Phoenix.

The town of Phoenix was settled in 1867, and incorporated in 1881 as the City of Phoenix. Phoenix served as an agricultural area that depended on large-scale irrigation projects. Until World War II, the economy was based on the “Five C’s”: cotton, citrus and cattle, climate and copper. The city provided retail, wholesale, banking, and governmental services for central Arizona, and was gaining a national reputation among winter tourists. The post-World War Two years saw the city beginning to grow more rapidly, as many men who had trained in the military installations in the valley, returned, bringing their families. The population growth was further stimulated in the 1950’s, in part because of the availability of air conditioning, which made the very hot dry summer heat tolerable, as well as an influx of industry, led by high tech companies. The population growth rate of the Phoenix metro area has been nearly 4% per year for the past 40 years. That growth rate slowed during the Great Recession but the U.S. Census Bureau predicted it would resume as the nation’s economy recovered, and it already has begun to do so. While currently ranked 6th in population, it is predicted that Phoenix will rank 4th by 2020. Currently it the 6th most populous city in the United States.

Housing Affordability Still High, For Now

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 02, 2016

Home prices may have been on the rise the last few years, but homes are still more affordable now than they were in the pre-bubble years, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor Report released by Black Knight Financial Services.

Households are using 21 percent of the national median income to pay a mortgage on a median-priced home. In 2000-2002, the average payment-to-income ratio was 26 percent, and in 2006, it was 33 percent.

However, Black Knight’s report warns that if home prices continue to increase – as they have year-over-year for 43 consecutive months – the affordability picture in home ownership could start to change in two years.

Black Knight factored in a continuing 5.5 percent annual home price appreciation as well as interest rate rises of 50 basis points a year. Under that scenario, “we see that in two years home affordability will be pushing the upper bounds of that pre-bubble average,” says Ben Graboske, senior vice president at Black Knight Data and Analytics. “At the state level under that same scenario, eight states would be less affordable than 2000-2002 levels within 12 months and 22 states would be within 24 months.”

Graboske notes that Hawaii and Washington, D.C., in particular, are already less affordable than they were during the pre-bubble era. On the other hand, he says, even after 24 months under this scenario, Michigan – and a few other states – would still be much more affordable by the end of 2017 than it was in the early 2000s.

Within 12 months, the average mortgage payment is expected to rise by $114, which would then require 24 percent of a household’s monthly income – still below the 2000-2002 levels, according to Black Knight. But by the end of 2017, monthly mortgage payments are expected to be $240 more than today, which would push the tally to 26.5 percent of a household’s income and the upper levels of the pre-bubble averages, the report notes.

If you’re on the fence and are thinking about buying a home in Phoenix, please call Laura B.

These Are the ‘Happiest’ States in the U.S. Arizona Makes List

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 02, 2016

Downtown Phoenix Skyline

Skyline of Downtown Phoenix, Arizona

Hawaii reclaims its number one spot as the “happiest” state in the country – bumping out last year’s winner Alaska. The state has held the happiness title five times since 2008, according to the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The index measures the well-being of states across five elements: purpose, social, financial, community and physical. In 2015, financial well-being increased as well as physical fitness while there were also declines in both food and healthcare insecurity. What’s more, life evaluation – in which how Americans rate and perceive their lives – surged to a record high, according to the index.

“Well-being in the U.S. exhibits regional patterns, with the northern plains and mountain west reporting higher levels of well-being, along with some western states and pockets in the northeast and Atlantic states,” according to the report.

For 2015, here are the states that scored the highest in well-being, according to the index:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Alaska
  3. Montana
  4. Colorado
  5. Wyoming
  6. South Dakota
  7. Minnesota
  8. Utah
  9. Arizona
  10. California
  11. Texas
  12. Florida
  13. Wisconsin
  14. Iowa
  15. North Dakota