Friday, November 24, 2006

Arizona Defaults Havn't Slowed Lending

The Arizona Republic. "The rate of residential mortgage foreclosures in Maricopa County rose 35 percent in August. The rise in foreclosure filings has not translated into more stringent requirements for business borrowers, commercial lenders say. 'We're talking to business owners every day,' said Bonnie Jessen, First National Bank of Arizona vice president. 'There is so much availability of money right now that it's not an issue. If anything, it's more of a buyer's market for a mortgage than it's ever been.'"

"Scott Coles, president of the state's largest and oldest private mortgage lender, said that when the market tightens, his firm scrutinizes the borrower and the project more closely. 'We're feeling the pinch in a small portion of loans,' Coles added. 'In a few cases, there have been some concessions.'"

"The commercial real estate market in the Valley 'will hold itself,' Coles predicted. "Properties can be converted for multiple uses. Condominiums can become office space or retail complexes.'"

"Randy Persson, president of Kenwood Mortgage and Investment in Scottsdale, said his firm's portfolio is holding steady, but Kenwood is engaged in land loans in locations such as Eloy and La Paz. 'In a downturn, the outlying areas get into trouble first,' he said. 'We're adapting a wait-and-see attitude.'"


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