Ronald L. Westad
Third Quarter 2021 – Helping members with expanded home loan solutions
To state the obvious, home prices are rising dramatically both nationally and in the Phoenix area. It’s a case of supply and demand. With inventory of homes for sale at near-record lows, prices will rise. According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report, Phoenix continues to top the nation in price growth with a 25.9% year-over-year gain as of May. If you’re a homeowner, this can be good news.
Arizona Federal has felt the effects of the increased demand for housing, too, as members have turned to us for new home loans, to refinance existing loans, and to obtain home equity loans. The timing of our acquisition of Pinnacle Bank has turned into a big win for all of us as our members have access to expanded home loan options and expertise, and the increased demand for home loans has offset the reduced demand for consumer loans such as auto loans and credit cards.
Changes to member behavior & branch hours
Housing prices and loan demand aren’t the only things that have changed since the start of the pandemic. The way members interact with us and complete their transactions has changed, with more of us moving to digital channels like online and mobile banking, ATMs and digital payment options (e.g., Venmo, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Popmoney, etc.).
As a result of these shifts, we’re adjusting branch hours in response to the decline in branch traffic. Beginning October 4, branch hours will change to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and will remain 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. There’s also no change to Saturday hours, and our two Business & Home Loan Centers will continue to operate 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
COVID-19 & masking updates
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Arizona Federal has followed guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With the rise of the Delta variant, the CDC now recommends the use of masks in public settings, even for those who have been vaccinated. Accordingly, Arizona Federal now requires employees to wear masks at all our facilities. For everyone’s safety, we encourage members to follow these same guidelines when visiting our branches. We appreciate your cooperation, and we will continue to adjust our safety practices as CDC guidelines change.
Arizona Federal Theatre reopening
We’re excited to announce that Arizona Federal Theatre, located in downtown Phoenix and operated by LiveNation, will officially reopen its doors in August with a variety of performances slated for the coming months. Of course, schedules may change due to the pandemic, but we’re excited about the possibilities! As a sidenote, Arizona Federal doesn’t have control over what individuals or acts are scheduled to appear. We support the theatre and the various forms of entertainment for the benefit of our entire community. As always, thank you for your membership and the opportunity to serve you.
As always, thank you for your membership and the opportunity to serve you.
Ronald L. Westad
President and Chief Executive Officer