Arizona Real Estate News

Category: News

Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty Agents Hit the Streets to Hand Out Water On Anniversary of Hottest Day: June 26, 1990

Standing in the heat and handing out water to those in need might not be the coolest way to spend time on Thursday, June 26, but that’s how dozens of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty agents will embrace the hottest day ever recorded in Phoenix history, which occurred at 2:47 p.m. on June 26 in 1990.

The agents will be handing out water as part of a year-long service project, dubbed V Corps, which started in early March as part of a new Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation.

Since the 501(c)3 launched this spring, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty’s agents and employees have performed more than 1,020 service hours and raised $10,000 for charity in just the first quarter of 2014.

On June 26th from 11:30a.m.-1:00p.m., 2:00-3:15p.m. and 4:30-6:00p.m. about 30 Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty agents will handing out water to those most at risk for heat related illnesses at the northwest corner of Van Buren and Central Avenue and in front of the Arizona Center at 400 East Van Buren in downtown Phoenix.

“It’s exciting to be on the ground floor of a program that every month positively affects the lives of so many Arizonans across our great state,” said Chief Executive Officer and Owner, Todd Gillenwater. “There’s no other place our agents would rather be than handing out water in the heat on the hottest day of the year.”

This past March as part of the volunteer initiatives — agents and employees with the Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty’s Waterfront office delivered hundreds of boxes of cereal to St. Vincent de Paul in downtown Phoenix. Other highlights from this past year of service projects include:

Approximately 375 agents and employees involved from 12 Russ Lyon Sotheby’s offices participated across the state, including Tubac, Tucson, Scottsdale, Pinnacle Peak, Carefree/Cave Creek, Desert Mountain, West Valley, Sedona and Flagstaff.

500 pounds of trash removed from Scenic Oak Creek Canyon – Sedona 74,000 meals prepared for Feed the Starving Children by the RLS Pinnacle Peak office. 5,000+-plus pounds of pasta bagged for St. Mary’s rescue boxes by RLS West Valley office. $5,000 has been raised for the Care and Angels organization by the RLS Desert Mountain office. Russ Lyon Sotheby’s hopes to increase participation with a 2014 goal of 10,000 hours served and $50,000 raised for charity. The funds will be reinvested into the communities by virtue of the Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation and V-Corps. “There are many metrics by which companies are evaluated and valued, character is one of them. I believe our actions here speak volumes as to our character,” Gillenwater said. Those in interested in partnering with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty for a community project should contact their local branch office or visit

Verrado Celebrates New Phase with a House Party on May 17

To celebrate the opening of the newest phase of the Heritage District, Verrado is throwing a giant House Party.  Welcoming seven new builders in this phase, and lots of new home models to explore, Verrado is growing again.  The free House Party will begin at 10am and is open to the public. 


Visitors will enjoy live music in the new parks, popular local food trucks, plenty of kids’ activities and giveaways.  Children can bring swimsuits and towels for the water slides and Slip-N-Slides.  Trolleys will transport families around to enjoy all of the activities and visit the new homes and parks. 


Event Title: Verrado House Party

When: Saturday, May 17, 10am – 2pm

Cost: Free

Where: Verrado – Take I-10 west, exit right (north) at Verrado Way

What:  Verrado is hosting a free House Party with family friendly activities throughout the new phase of the Heritage district.  There will be rocking bands, food trucks, cool water slides and trolleys to escort visitors around the party. 


Event Schedule:

Heritage District at Park Meadows:  Free drinks and water slides for kids to enjoy.  An Island Steel Drum player will set the mood as families explore the new model homes built by Meritage Homes, Maracay Homes, Mattamy Homes and Lennar.

Cambridge Plaza Park:  Relax to the sounds of the Silhouette Band, and Verrado’s own Anderson Institute of Music’s talented top performers under the shade. Or, grab an ice cream and meet someone new over a not-so-serious game of corn hole.  There will also be an array of popular food trucks selling local delights.  

Realty Executives Phoenix Recognizes Top Agents At 2013 Awards Banquet


Realty Executives Phoenix, a leading Arizona real estate brokerage and one of the most productive firms in the nation for per-agent productivity, recently honored their top agents at the Realty Executives Phoenix Awards Banquet on March 27.

A significant percentage of the real estate professionals at Realty Executives Phoenix were recognized with an award.  A total of 225 agents went home with honors and together represent 30 percent of the total agent population, up from 26 percent compared to last year’s award winners. 

The brokerage ended 2013 with 10,885 total closed units and over 2.2 billion dollars in closed sales volume.  The award winners were responsible for 63 percent of the company’s unit volume and 69 percent of the company’s sales volume for the year.  Realty Executives Phoenix sales associates are among the most productive in the nation, averaging 14.9 closed transaction sides per year in 2013, again surpassing the national average which is 12, according to the National Association of REALTORS® most recent member profile.

“It is an honor to celebrate each one of our 2013 award recipients.  Time and time again our associates have demonstrated their ability to thrive in today’s ever-changing market here in the greater Phoenix area,” said Rich Rector, owner and president of Realty Executives Phoenix.

The highest honor, known as the Chairman Award, celebrates the agent with the highest total gross commissions earned. Executive Terry Lents, who has been with Realty Executives Phoenix for nearly a decade enjoyed the honor for the very first time.  Lenny Behie received the “Rookie of the Year” honor while Earle Shroyer took top honors for commercial real estate in both the unit and dollar-volume categories for the second year in a row.

The annual awards event recognizes a wide range of achievements including top agent under the age of 30, commission-based, dollar volume and unit productivity, top agents in individual, two-person team and group categories as well as leading agents in the areas of commercial, land, new homes and leasing.

Normal Spring Bounce in the Phoenix-area Housing Market, But What Comes Next?

TEMPE, Ariz. (May 6, 2014) — The Phoenix-area housing market is experiencing a normal seasonal spring bounce in activity and prices, but what will happen next? A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University talks about the waves of consumers that will likely start returning to the housing market next year, for the first time since the recession.


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


  • The median single-family-home sales price recovered from two months of drops and is back to a level similar to December.
  • However, demand and sales activity are still dramatically lower than at this time last year.
  • The report’s author examines why certain waves of consumers may start returning to the housing market over the next several years.


Phoenix-area home prices quickly rose from a recession low point in September 2011 until last summer, when the jumps slowed down. Then, this January and February, we saw the first two back-to-back monthly drops in the area’s median single-family-home sales price. This March, we saw that dip erased, but probably not for long.


“The bounce is a normal effect of the busy spring sales season, combined with a lot more high-priced homes in the current sales mix,” 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 period from March to May is almost always the strongest part of the year for demand, and it is highly probable we will see pricing fade again during the summer months, when the luxury, snowbird and active-adult markets go relatively quiet. We may still be looking at little to no annual price appreciation by the end of the year.”


The median single-family-home sales price was up about 17 percent from last March to this March – from $175,000 to $204,520. The average price per square foot was up 15.5 percent. The median townhouse/condominium sales price was up 16 percent. We no longer have a tight supply of homes for sale like we did at this time last year. Supply stabilized in March, with 64 percent more listings this April 1 than last April 1.


However, low demand continues to be a problem. Single-family-home sales activity was down 20 percent this March from last March. Some of the drop comes from regular home buyers, but also institutional investors are just not as interested in Phoenix, now that better bargains can be found in other parts of the country with more foreclosures. The percentage of residential properties purchased by investors in the Phoenix area this March was down to 17.4 percent from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012.


“The institutional investors are doing very little buying or selling in the Phoenix area at the moment,” says Orr. “Their focus has turned to property management, rather than acquisition or disposal.”


The areas doing especially well right now in Phoenix?


  • Luxury homes priced at more than $500,000 represented 11 percent more of the market’s sales activity this March than last March. High-end demand above $1.5 million was greater in the first quarter of this year than in any first quarter since 2007.
  • Rental homes are experiencing very strong demand. Interest is so robust that only a one-month supply is currently available on the market.
  • Multi-family construction permits are on a strong upward trend. In fact, Orr says the first quarter of 2014 was the second-highest quarter for multi-family permits in 12 years.


Meantime, single-family construction permits were down 18 percent this March from last March. New-home sales were down 15 percent.


Orr says, “A key underlying problem for current housing demand is lack of household formation due to many factors, including unemployment, falling birth rates, lower net migration and greater home-sharing, especially among millennials. However, we could see lenders become the most influential decision-makers in this situation. Many lenders are hurting for business, with applications at their lowest level since 2000, and some may become more forgiving, accepting lower credit scores for loans.”


Orr also predicts we’ll see the first major waves of consumers who lost their homes through foreclosure during the recession coming back into the market, starting next year. He says those who lost their homes at the beginning of the downturn will have spent their required seven years in the “penalty box,” and they’ll reemerge from 2015 to 2019. He adds it’s just a question of how many of them want to try again at home ownership.


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 is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at

Capstone Mortgage Continues Hiring Spree

Vicky Elleray is the latest addition at Scottsdale-based Capstone Mortgage, where she is the new operations/servicing manager for the rapidly growing company. She will oversee the day-to-day operations for servicing mortgage loans for Capstone.

“Vicky has a huge amount of experience in the industry,” said Bobby Barnes, president of Capstone Mortgage. “We are very fortunate to have such a seasoned professional join our team.”

Previously, Elleray was the field operations manager at CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wis., and Phoenix for 32 years; she managed 70 field operations staff who provided direct service support to clients throughout the United States. She also served as operations manager and vice president/strategic account executive at Balboa Insurance in Chandler, Ariz., for two years.

Elleray received her accounting degree from Madison Business College and has her Arizona Property and Casualty license. She is a resident of Ahwatukee, Ariz., and is a member of AZRESCUE, a nonprofit dog and cat rescue organization.