Tag Archives: Affordable Housing

REPORT: Phoenix Ranked Second-Best Metro Area For Homeowners

Bankrate.com Aug 31, 2016

The Phoenix metro area is the second-best in the nation for homeowners, according to a Bankrate.com report released Wednesday.

phoenix,az,market report,real estate,historic,bestPortland, Phoenix, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Minneapolis/St. Paul round out the best metropolitan areas for homeowners, according to the report. Bankrate.com is a leading aggregator of financial rate information and this marks their first time releasing such a report.

The study reviewed eight factors: home affordability; price appreciation; property taxes; homeowners’ insurance, energy and maintenance costs; foreclosures and how rapidly rents rose over the past six years for which data are available.

Phoenix ranked high on the list for several reasons, including strong home-price appreciation, few foreclosures and inexpensive homeowners’ insurance, according to the report.

“Phoenix was one of the best cities in all the categories we looked at,” said Claes Bell, Bankrate.com analyst. “We were looking to see which cities were the best for attainability, sustainability, affordability and if there was a rewarding financial benefit to owning a home in these areas.”

The Phoenix area scores fifth lowest on the scale of rent hedging, which is a way of measuring rent increases compared with the home price appreciation. In Phoenix, house prices have also been rising faster than rents over the past five years, contributing to the Valley’s high ranking. The Phoenix metro area had the tenth highest energy cost among the 50 metro areas, a reflection of high air conditioning bills during the summer months, according to Bankrate.com.

Home values plunged during the housing bust, but now they are recovering, according to Bankrate.com, and the pace of home appreciation in Phoenix in the last five years is second fastest among the 50 largest metro areas.

The greater Phoenix area also has bounced back from the foreclosure crisis. For the last three years the city has had the second lowest foreclosure rate among top metro areas.

“Builders stopped building during the housing bubble and now demand beats out supply,” Bell said. “Phoenix is no different in that way from the rest of the country. What’s different is the property tax rate and the affordability of the home itself. In cities like New York and L.A., housing costs are half to three-quarters of a person’s annual income.”

Strong home-price appreciation over the past five years is a common thread in Phoenix, Atlanta and Las Vegas. The Twin Cities’ best housing attributes are strong home-price appreciation and a dearth of foreclosures.

Hartford, Connecticut ranks last because of high carrying costs: It has above-average property tax, energy, homeowners’ insurance and maintenance fees. The New York City metro area is second-worst due to high property taxes, minimal home-price appreciation and expensive maintenance costs. Only Los Angeles (fourth-worst) prevented a northeastern sweep of the bottom five (Providence is third-worst and Buffalo is fifth from the rear), according to the report.

“Major cities in the middle of the country did really well in this ranking,” Bell said in a press release. “Out of the top 15 metro areas, only one is within 250 miles of an ocean. Homeowners in America’s largest coastal cities face a number of challenges, ranging from sky-high mortgage payments gobbling up an outsized portion of homeowners’ incomes to high property insurance rates, especially in hurricane-prone areas, and our ranking reflects that.

It’s a terrific time to buy or sell a home in the Phoenix Metro area.

Phoenix housing project to undergo $44 million renovation


Once in danger of demolition, a housing project in south Phoenix is getting a new lease on life with a $44 million renovation.

The Coffelt-Lamoreaux Housing Project near 19th Avenue and Buckeye Road, built for Korean War veterans, now houses many low-income individuals and families in the Phoenix area.

Phoenix Housing Project,Historic Homes“Most of the affordable housing we’re able to develop these days are multi-family buildings,” said Mike Trailor, director of the Arizona Department of Housing. “So this property is unique because there are 300 duplex units on 38 acres.”

Construction workers broke ground on the renovations Wednesday after three years of planning. The units will be gutted and redone with new appliances, flooring, plumbing and more. However, workers will preserve the outside because of the historical status of the buildings.

The Housing Authority of Maricopa County had slated the complex for demolition and had planned to sell it to private investors.

“We didn’t want to see Coffelt demolished, but they were not happy with the current condition of the property,” said Brian Swanton, Arizona market president for Gorman and Company Inc. “The housing authority gets a very small amount of money each year from the federal government to maintain this development, and it’s just woefully inadequate.”

A combination of federal, city, local and private entities helped come up with the $44 million renovation money, which included trust funds and historic tax credits.

The reduced rent housing eligibility is based on a number of qualifications.

For residents like Yolanda Ramirez, the affordability and location are important to her as a mother.

“I need to afford my kids because I don’t have a husband,” Ramirez said.

In late 2012, during the discussion of demolition, the community realized that nearly two thirds of the nearby elementary school students came from the homes.

“There was a lot of community pushback,” Arthur M. Hamilton School Principal Nicole Shamblin said.

The elementary school would have been shut down as a result of low enrollment, officials said.

“That would’ve been a complete disaster not just for Coffelt, but for the surrounding community as well,” Swanton said. “So this became (the Board of Supervisors’) top priority redevelopment project, and they asked us to step forward and find a way to recapitalize the development to save it from being demolished.”

The Coffelt-Lamoreaux homes make up the the oldest operational public housing project in Maricopa County. They were developed in 1953 and taken over by the city of Phoenix in 1959.

“As a community, if we can do a better job of providing decent, safe, affordable housing, and we give people opportunities, we become stronger as a community,” Trailor said.

The development will offer residents a health clinic, tutoring, a robotics program and county services like parenting, financial literacy and job training, according to Maricopa County. Officials expect to finish the renovations in 18 months.