Monday, December 10, 2007

Bankruptcies Up, Home Sales Down in Phoenix

Bankruptcy filings are way up this year-to-date, says the Arizona Republic:

Through November, the Phoenix area recorded 6,484 total filings, up 60 percent from 4,054 filings through the first 11 months of 2006. Statewide filings came to 9,577 through November, up 61 percent from 5,940 over the same span last year. Chapter-7 filings predominate both in the Valley and statewide, but Chapter-13 filings are growing at a faster clip.

Arizona's homestead exemption protects up to $150,000 in equity for homeowners, but that assumes there is equity.

"So many people (contemplating bankruptcy help) got into homes with a negative-amortization loan," said [Tempe bankruptcy attorney John] Volin.
There are two sources that I use to watch home sales in Phoenix/Maricopa County.
  • Number one is Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking (BMIT) which does a great job presenting inventory and sales data every month. (He gets his data "from The Arizona Real Estate Center and [it] includes only SFR and Condos.")
  • Number two is Melissa Data, which supposedly comes weekly from the County Recorder. I sample 59 metro ZIP codes.
Monthly residential sales in Phoenix metro:

We may be looking at two years of residential inventory in Phoenix right now.

I like to watch the "Tax Facts" releases from the Arizona Department of Revenue, but their newest release is August data.
  • General fund revenues for August YTD were up an anemic 0.4% and down 2.7% vs August 2006.
  • Transaction Privilege and Severance Tax Collections were up 3.3% year over year, but retail was flat.
It would be nice to see the October and November data. We do know the state is worried about the budget:
The Legislature’s budget staff now puts the state’s worsening shortfall at nearly $1 billion, aggravating an approaching confrontation between Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano and the Republican-led Legislature on how to keep the treasury in the black.

Napolitano has offered a $600 million plan to borrow, spend from the state’s rainy day reserve and temporarily reduce agency spending to protect funding for important programs, such as education and children’s services.
A year after a massive economic boom the state has to start borrowing?

1 comment:

johnsmith said...

Metro Phoenix, along with other cities where home prices shot up during the boom, has been labeled a declining real-estate market by most big lenders, the first time the region has been given such a designation.
As a result, many home buyers are forced to come up with bigger down payments because lenders are now funding less of a loan. At the same time, those counting on home-equity loans to pay for home repairs or emergencies are learning that lenders have frozen their lines of credit.

homes for sale by owner