Arizona Real Estate News

Category: News

On Q Financial Selected as Preferred Mortgage Lender for Maracay Homes

On Q Financial, Inc., a leading full service mortgage company with offices in 10 states announces today that the Company has been selected as the preferred mortgage lender for Maracay Homes, one of the premier home builders in Arizona with 18 communities throughout the state.  On Q Financial, recognized for its innovation, quality and customer service is one of the top 50 mortgage companies in the U.S.

This partnership will capitalize upon On Q Financial’s core strengths of providing a comprehensive range of mortgage options to solve specific challenges buyers often face, while also providing high touch customer service and on-time closings. Maracay home buyers will have access to some of the most competitive loan products to finance new home construction, with programs ranging from Conventional conforming, Jumbo, VA, FHA and FHA Combo Loans to Down Payment Assistance programs.

“We have cultivated a collaborative relationship with On Q Financial for the last two years. Selecting them as our preferred lender provides us with a great opportunity to leverage the natural synergy between the two companies,” says Andrea Goudge, Vice President and Controller of Maracay Homes. “On Q Financial has a strong commitment to quality and providing a high level of personalized customer service throughout all aspects of the lending process.  We believe this will have a positive impact in helping our home buyers fulfill their dream of home ownership.”

“We are honored to partner with Maracay Homes and work as an extension of their talented team to manage all the details involved with the new home financing process,” says John Bergman, President and CEO of On Q Financial, Inc. “Maracay has built more than 8,000 homes in Arizona and we are committed to leveraging our high quality and diversified home loan products, expert staff and unparalleled ‘Client First’ customer service to help Maracay Homes continue to lead the market.”

Another Housing Shortage on the Way?: Weak Demand Is Masking Low Supply

ASU WP Carey logoThe Phoenix area could soon see another shortage of homes for sale, like the one it endured from 2012 to 2013. According to a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, very weak demand is masking the fact that relatively few homes are coming onto the market for sale. The area only recently emerged from another shortage, when buyers had to battle each other for relatively few home options.

Here are the latest details about Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of May:

• The median single-family-home sales price was $205,000, almost unchanged for three months in a row.

• Activity in the market is extremely slow, with demand down around 20 percent from last May.

• This quietness is covering up the fact that the market’s supply of homes for sale has stabilized at about 10 percent below normal, which could lead to another shortage, if demand eventually picks up.

Phoenix-area home prices quickly rose from September 2011 to last summer, before slowing down and even dropping a little earlier this year. The median single-family-home sales price was $205,000 in May, about the same as it was in April and March. However, that’s still up about 11 percent from the median of $185,000 last May. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 6 percent year-over-year. The median townhouse/condo price went up 4 percent.

The market has now become extremely quiet, and further price increases are unlikely this year without some growth in demand. The amount of single-family-home sales went down 19 percent from last May to this May. Sales of townhomes and condos dropped 20 percent.

“Demand has been much weaker since July 2013,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “The slight recovery in demand that had been developing over the last two months dissipated again in May. While move-up homeowners and second-home buyers are starting to compensate for the departure of investors who went to other areas of the country for better bargains, activity by first-time home buyers is still unusually slow.”

Orr says some home sellers even appear to be canceling their listings and waiting for another time when buyers have a greater sense of urgency. These families are: 1.) choosing to stay in their homes longer than they did 10 to 15 years ago; 2.) possibly stuck with negative or little equity in their homes, discouraging buying or selling; and/or 3.) wanting to stay in their current homes to preserve their very low mortgage interest rates.

That means the market’s short supply of homes isn’t expected to get much bigger in the near future. Though the supply of active listings went up 69 percent from June 1, 2013 to this June 1, it basically stabilized at about 10 percent below normal. Completed Phoenix-area foreclosures were down 50 percent from last May to this May, eliminating another possible significant source of supply. This could lead to another shortage like the recent one when we saw 95 offers on a single home.

“Between 2012 and 2013, we experienced a chronic housing shortage in Greater Phoenix,” explains Orr. “This shortage has just been temporarily masked by unusually low demand, but that could change at any time. The market has plenty of pent-up demand.”

Orr points out that population and job growth have recovered faster in the Phoenix area than home construction has. The level of single-family-home construction permitting remains very small by historic standards, and single-family new-home construction and sales remain about 65 percent below normal. One bright spot is Pinal County, where new-home sales went up 22 percent from last May to this May.

Meantime, multi-family construction permits and rental-home demand remain strong in the Phoenix area. Unemployment, falling birth rates and greater home-sharing are helping to drive this demand. The supply of single-family homes available for rent was down to 32 days on June 1. The fast turnover and low vacancy rates have already pushed rent up in the most popular locations.

Orr adds, “In Maricopa County, the percentage of properties purchased without financing in May was still at 25 percent. The normal range for cash buyers is only 7 to 12 percent, so mortgage lending still has a long way to go toward recovery.”

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed and downloaded at A podcast with more analysis from Orr will also be available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at

Maracay Homes Joins Tri Pointe Homes In $2.8B Transaction

Phoenix-based Maracay Homes announced today that it has combined with TRI Pointe Homes, Inc. as part of the merger between TRI Pointe and Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company , which counts Maracay Homes in its family of builders. The transaction, one of the largest in homebuilding history, is valued at approximately $2.8 billion. It positions TRI Pointe as one of the top 10 largest public homebuilders in the United States by equity market capitalization based on the closing price of TRI Pointe common stock on July 3, 2014.  

“We are excited to announce that the transaction with TRI Pointe has officially closed and that we are part of a dynamic and highly respected group of companies,” said Andy Warren, president of Maracay Homes. “The ability to tap into the financial strength of our new parent company while still remaining an active decision maker at the local level will give us a heightened capacity to grow our operations in the Arizona market.”  

“With the success of this completed merger, TRI Pointe is well-positioned as a leading homebuilder focused on some of the nation’s most attractive housing markets,” said Doug Bauer, Chief Executive Officer of TRI Pointe. “Having built a stellar reputation for innovative design and outstanding quality over the more than 20 years it has operated in the Arizona market, Maracay Homes will continue to be led by the exceptional local, executive team that has helped build its standing as a market leader. Like TRI Pointe, Maracay Homes’ success is largely driven by its entrepreneurial spirit and ability to make decisions on a local basis. That philosophy will stay in place, as Maracay Homes will continue to craft customizable, energy-efficient homes that deliver comfort, style and sustainability.”  

Maracay Homes’ beautiful single-family homes are designed for the way premium buyers want to live. The company will continue to offer its suite of proprietary processes and tools, which include FlexDesign and LivingSmart, to increase home buyers’ customization options.  

Maracay Homes is one of the five WRECO homebuilding companies that have joined TRI Pointe as part of the larger merger with WRECO. With complementary geographic footprints, the new TRI Pointe companies, which will continue to operate under their respective brand names, include:  

  • Maracay Homes – Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona
  • TRI Pointe Homes – Northern and Southern California and Colorado
  • Pardee Homes – Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Quadrant Homes – Puget Sound region of Washington State
  • Trendmaker Homes – Houston, Texas
  • Winchester Homes – Washington, DC metro area and Richmond, Virginia

The leadership at all levels will remain focused on executing a disciplined homebuilding strategy, including securing new opportunities for growth. Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Capital Group, will remain as Chairman of the TRI Pointe Board of Directors, which has been expanded from seven to nine directors. The merger with WRECO is expected to provide TRI Pointe with significantly enhanced scale, with more than 3,400 new home deliveries and $1.6 billion in revenue on a historical combined basis over the past twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

West USA Realty, Inc. Hires Michael Hofstetter as New Managing Broker

MichaelPHofstetterWest USA Realty, Inc. Operations Officer Todd C. Menard announced today that Michael P. Hofstetter has been named as its newest Managing Broker for the company. Hofstetter will join a team of Brokers that include Bob Stephens (Managing Broker), Duane Fouts (Managing Broker) and C. Dale Hillard (Designated Broker).

Hofstetter, former owner of MPH Real Estate, has been a licensed real estate agent in Arizona since 1993. He served as CEO and a Team Leader at Keller Williams in Scottsdale, Managing Broker at Prudential AZ Properties’ Scottsdale location and Assistant Broker at Zip Realty, Inc.

In addition, Hofstetter served in the United States Navy as a Civil Engineer from 1986 to 1992 and is a Desert Storm Veteran. He started his real estate career in 1993 as a Real Estate associate with West USA Realty. Hofstetter’s education includes the University of Phoenix where he studied business management, Texas Institute where he studied civil engineering and Tom Hopkins where he received sales training. His interests include exploring the outdoors, computer programming, photography, ATV riding and black belt marital arts.

“Michael is a huge addition to our Broker team and we are excited to welcome him back to the West USA family,” said Todd C. Menard, Operations Officer.

Upcoming Valley Partnership Breakfast To Feature Discussion On What We’re Doing Right When It Comes To Recruiting New Companies To the Valley

Valley Partnership has announced the topic for its upcoming monthly breakfast on Friday, June 27. The panel at this month’s breakfast will feature a candid discussion about what Valley communities are doing right when it comes to recruiting new companies. Panelists will discuss site selection trends, the things Arizona is getting right, touch on the areas that still need improvement, and talk about what’s next for the Valley of the Sun.

The discussion panel will feature John Lenio, economist and managing director of CBRE’s Location Incentives Group; Auguste Goldman, chief people officer of Go Daddy, Inc.; and Justin Meritt, senior investment professional with Southwest Value Partners. The panel will be moderated by Christine Mackey, economic development director for the City of Chandler.

“As the economy continues to improve and major companies look to relocate, expand, or startup operations, economic development and real estate professionals are working alongside municipalities to create business friendly environments that will attract these major employers to the Valley,” said Richard Hubbard, president and CEO of Valley Partnership. “The Valley has already experienced some very big wins in this department and if we can continue to develop our recruitment and retention strategies it’s clear that in the coming years there will be even more to celebrate. Valley Partnership is excited to bring these experts together to educate our partners on site selection trends and what they mean for Arizona.”

In addition to the panel discussion the inaugural Valley Partnership Advocates Class of 2014 will graduate. The Valley Partnership Advocates Progam is an annual professional development program providing a select group of Valley Partnership’s younger leaders with a unique opportunity to leverage their involvement in the organization. The Advocates program is designed to coordinate exclusive access to top industry leaders and their successful development projects, within a professional experience focused on networking, mentoring, and philanthropic activities throughout a program year.