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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Phoenix housing supply shifts again; ABS East kicks off

October 7, 2013
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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee is a quick look at the news coming across the HousingWire weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues.

The Phoenix real estate market remains a dichotomy of sorts. After facing a wave of foreclosures in the wake of the housing meltdown, the market’s real estate prices dropped dramatically until finally rebounding on investor activity, tighter inventory and home sales.

A new report published by the W.P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University notes that Phoenix home prices in August rose 28% when compared to year ago levels, suggesting a turnaround for sellers. But the same report says buyers may be getting another break, with housing supply beginning to increase to meet demand. The luxury market is also coming back – and could stay that way as long as sales and closings are not impacted too much by the government shutdown. 

“Phoenix-area home prices have shot up since hitting a low point in September 2011. From last August to this August, the median single-family-home price rose 28 percent – from $150,000 to $192,000,” ASU reports. “Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 22 percent. The median townhouse/condo price rose 31%.”

ABS East kicked off in Miami on Sunday, with hundreds of attendees descending on the luxurious Fountainebleau Resort in Miami, Florida. HousingWire editorial has boots on the ground and coverage is underway.

The event, organized by the Information Management Network, kicked off with a few mortgage-related panels. 

The big news of the day dealt with the federal shutdown, which meant speakers from the Treasury could not travel to the event. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is still in attendance, however, as the institution is not funded through appropriation. 

Three massage chairs were available, greeting those coming into the exhibit hall. The masseuses did not disappoint: "This is what I needed after two flights," said one attendee, settling in.

Stay tuned to HousingWire for more updates from the conference.

One particular tax form that is a required part of the home closing process is tying up homebuyers with the government and IRS offices still closed.

As the San Francisco Chronicle reports – at least one homebuyer in San Francisco is more than ready to close on a $699,000 property, but she's facing a new headache with the government shut down. Unfortunately, the buyer cannot get the loan processed because she is unable to obtain the IRS document required by her lender.

A simple form from the IRS, known as the 4506-T tax verification transcript, is usually easy to obtain, but it’s now a difficult task with the government closed, leaving buyers, like the woman in San Francisco, and many sellers in limbo.

Pushback from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has put a Vallejo, Calif., foreclosure property ordinance in limbo.

The city previously passed its Vacant and Foreclosed Residential Property Registration Program to ensure parties responsible for homes are tracked and charged. But now a federal judge has thrown the program in question by exempting the GSEs from following a similar ordinance in Illinois. Witnessing the release of that opinion forced the Vallejo City Council to take a step back.

Mortgage services firm LenderLive Network Inc. is now an approved third-party due diligence provider for transactions rated by ratings firm DBRS.

"Having this DBRS designation means the rating agency has recognized our quality personnel, processes and capabilities," said Rick Seehausen, president and CEO of LenderLive. "The DBRS approval is highly regarded in the industry and provides our clients enhanced confidence in our services. In its assessment process, DBRS found that LenderLive has robust quality control procedures as well as significant systems capabilities and data-checking capabilities."

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported no bank closings for the week ending Oct. 4.

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