A Long, Hot [REO] Summer in Arizona's Golden Corridor

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Coldwell Banker ROX Realty

Hindsight is really wonderful and clear, as we all know.  Looking back, I could not have written our first ROX REO 1 progress report at a better – or perhaps worse -  time than June 2010.

We had just closed our first round of residential  REO resales, and our time-adjusted yields looked on target and good;  the residential brokerage business was posting really healthy numbers, and I felt smart – briefly – again.  When asked if the federal tax credits had played a role, I said “not so much” but feared “maybe a little.”

The weeks rolled on with no action at all, except for one that got bought back immediately by the bank – that was nice.   ROX Residential was still posting good brokerage volume.  We checked and re-checked our numbers but couldn’t explain why nothing was selling.  In August our slope got really slippery, and we lowered a few of our asking prices.  Still naught but deafening silence.

Finally, in September we experienced a bit of an activity spike;  personally, I suspect that the buying public decided then that there would be a sea change in government in November – you know what I mean -  and heartened, loosened their purse-strings a little.  And finally, after a few more price reductions we put two of our older fix-ups in sale escrow;  both should close in profit this week, although at lower-than-hoped [time-adjusted] yields.   It is now obvious to me that the market was artificially pumped in the spring and early summer, and prices did indeed erode over the summer.

But oddly enough, except for a spate in July during which I personally bought a lot [as the fund was fully invested], there has been quite a dearth of product coming up for auction, and what has made it to the courthouse steps has opened way too high, causing a higher percentage of offerings to revert to the lenders.  Nevertheless, and notwithstanding what you hear on CNN, the foreclosure moratoria are being lifted, we are starting to see a healthy new flow come to auction, and we are buyers again…just in time for a recovering sales environment…?

We’re going to take a commercial break now, but don’t touch that dial, because when we come back…

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Rock Earle is principal and designated broker of ROX REAL ESTATE, a diversified residential and commercial real estate brokerage in Arizona’s Golden Corridor (the area of Pinal County between Phoenix and Tucson centered on Casa Grande and including Maricopa, Florence, Queen Creek, San Tan, Coolidge, Eloy, Arizona City and Marana)


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