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Month: May 2017

Resorts World Hotel Casino Due To Begin Construction; $4B Resort First Built from Scratch in Southern Nevada in Ten Years

LAS VEGAS, NV – After several abortive attempts at starting construction of the new Resorts World Hotel and Casino of Las Vegas – it was originally slated to open first in 2016 and then in 2019, with delays being attributed to re-designs and other factors, ground is finally stated to be broken on the $4 billion dollar project this year. The resort, flaunted as the first of its kind constructed from scratch in Southern Nevada in nearly ten years, has a grand opening target of 2020, and its construction promises to create a huge influx of both money and jobs into the area, as well as a continued and pronounced economic benefit once it finally opens its doors for business.

Being built on the former land where the fabled Stardust Hotel and Casino once stood, Resorts World – featuring lush, modern, Asian-themed architecture and elements – is being envisioned as a behemoth of a resort, encompassing a 3,000 room hotel accompanied by restaurants, shops, theaters and 100,000 square feet of space dedicated completely to gaming, including baccarat, slot machines and more. The hotel is planned to take the form of two separate towers- one with 1,400 rooms and the other with 1,800, with the ability to expand more in the future if needed. One only has to take a look at the scope of its current East Coast-based cousin – Resorts World New York – to know that Genting Group, Resorts World’s Malaysia-based developer who purchased the 90 acre lot in 2013 where the resort will be built, likes to live large when it comes to their developments.

The anticipated benefits that the construction and opening of Resorts World will bring to Las Vegas – already experiencing a new boom of real estate activity after riding out the harsh housing bubble burst of the late 2000’s – are numerous. The third-quarter 2017 building phase will initially employ at least 1,000 construction workers, with several thousand working on the project once it’s up and running at full speed leading up to its 2020 opening date. Once open, Resort World will hire 3,000 union-based employees to run and operate its facilities, in addition to numerous other incidental jobs where needed.

For a time, the likelihood of Resorts World actually getting built seemed to be growing more and more unlikely by the day; the initial groundbreaking ceremony had taken place in May of 2015, and progress on the project had limped along slowly since then due to several factors, among them a shortage of needed construction equipment such as cranes and financial issues faced by Genting Group. However, with the announcement of Resorts World’s 2020 opening date – not to mention the acquisition of the needed construction cranes, which newly-appointed Resorts World Las Vegas president Edward Farrell noted should be in-place within the next 90 days, prior to the official kick-off of construction.

With the announcement that work will finally commence on the long-stagnating Resorts World and Hotel, Las Vegas is set to receive yet another boon to its local economy that will only serve to support and bolster the rapidly-recovering real estate scene. Coupled with the 2020 arrival of the newly-rechristened Las Vegas Raiders NFL professional football team – due to be the recipients of a new, state-of-the-art, locally-based domed stadium that’s sure to be an epicenter for tourism – as well as a housing and rental market that has shown strong, steady gains and price increases in the last year, Resorts World is yet another signal that Las Vegas is truly on the comeback trail after successfully fighting an uphill battle to fiscal recovery.

Is Zillow Getting Into the Las Vegas Home Selling Business With ‘Instant Offers’?

Is Zillow Getting Into the Las Vegas Home Selling Business With ‘Instant Offers’?

It was just announced that Zillow launched a pilot program called ‘Instant Offers’ for home sellers in Las Vegas and Orlando. This programs allows for investors to submit an all cash offer directly to the seller through Zillow’s platform without the need of a real estate agent. In an effort to save face with real estate agents, Zillow will have its participating Premier Agents submit a comparative market analysis with the investor’s offer so the seller can decide if they want to accept the offer and close quickly, accept the offer and have the transaction managed by a real estate agent or hire a local real estate agent to list and sell their property.

Zillow will not be charging for this service for obvious reasons. If they were to charge for this service, Nevada law would require Zillow to be licensed as a real estate broker due to the fact they would be receiving compensation for selling real estate.

Zillow acquired DotLoop, a real estate transaction system, back in 2015 and ‘Instant Offers’ will utilize Dotloop’s transaction system to streamline the real estate transaction. I know I, like many other real estate agents wondered why Zillow would acquire an online real estate transaction system when they claim their platform is designed to connect buyers and sellers with real estate agents.

If the pilot program, ‘Instant Offers’ is successful, what’s stopping Zillow from becoming a real estate brokerage and taking a percentage of each sale? This is why I believe it’s just a matter of time before Zillow attempts to replace the real estate agent based on the following facts:

  • Zillow dominates the online market share with Zillow.com, Trulia.com and RealEstate.com
  • Zillow is now testing ‘Instant Offers’ with 15 Investors
  • ‘Instant Offers’ will be streamlined with the use of DotLoop’s real estate transaction system
  • Zillow can provide the home seller with a Zestimate instead of a comparative market analysis from a real estate agent.

I’m not the only one that believes Zillow is trying to replace real estate agents, Ben Kinney stated the following:

Zillow launches instant offers to potential sellers eliminating the agent for a 9% fee. Selling the home off the market with out the full exposure and opportunity to get the highest and best offer for your home. If this isn’t one step closer to all my agent friends and their families losing their careers and jobs and my clients not getting fair market value I don’t know what is.

I’m hoping with Zillow’s ‘Instant Offers’ announcement, real estate agents will now see that paying Zillow for leads is allowing Zillow to grow their market share, finance acquisitions and the development of new technology that will ultimately lead to the real estate agent being replaced.

North Las Vegas Spearheads Redevelopment in Effort to Revitalize Business, Housing

LAS VEGAS, NV – Hitching themselves to a trend in Southern Nevada as a whole in recent months, North Las Vegas has begun an effort to revitalize large swaths of its real estate, especially in a northern area that had previously been plagued with drug dealing and violent crimes. The efforts will concentrate on development with a focus on senior and public housing options; in addition, major out-of-state businesses are setting up shop in the area, providing an influx of jobs and economic growth.

The North Las Vegas City Council recently approved a sweeping two-year development plan that would drastically alter the landscape of the region, with the goal being to attract retail and other businesses in order to spur the creation of jobs, kick off the local economy, and take advantage of the shortage of housing options in Las Vegas. A public 120-unit apartment building aimed at senior citizens – a project projected to cost a staggering $22 million –  is already underway on a 2.7 acre patch of land; this development will take the place of the Rose Garden, a complex slated for demolition that is situated west of North Las Vegas’ downtown area.

In addition, the Buena Vista – an apartment complex that was infamous for being the epicenter of drug dealing and violent crimes in the area – was purchased by the City of North Las Vegas approximately three years ago and subsequently razed to the ground, and plans are in the works that could see a variety of projects making use of the land, from safe, affordable housing options to retail. Assistance in North Las Vegas’ redevelopment efforts is being provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which had previously bestowed a grant upon the city to aid in their outreach to the community as to how to proceed with their efforts.

Clearly, the shifting tide in North Las Vegas has companies sitting up and taking notice; chief among them being Amazon, the online retail giant, which is slated to open a fulfillment center in the area. The center – Amazon’s second in North Vegas – is already under construction; estimated to come in at 800,000 square feet and to ultimately employ over 1,000 workers and office personnel, hiring has already commenced on the initial 500 that will staff the complex while it gets ready for operation.

Other retailers are also clamoring to get a foothold in North Las Vegas due to the earnest efforts to develop it into a destination friendly to business and housing options; famed La Bonita supermarket will be opening a 55,000 square-foot establishment in Fiesta Plaza in downtown North Las Vegas. The lease, described as “long-term,” obviously signifies the confidence of La Bonita in the local economy to support a serious commitment in the community on behalf of businesses.

Offering a helping hand in an effort to expedite further business growth in the region, the City Council of North Las Vegas is taking steps to speed up the process of applying for – and receiving – building and construction permits. The plan consists of a self-certification program that architects and engineers can participate in; once certified via eight hours of classes provided at the City Hall, certified architects and engineers who submit their plans for audit will find the process greatly speeded up, reducing construction timelines and saving developers money.

These are but a few of the many initiatives in effect that are seeking to turn around the fortunes of North Las Vegas in an effort to turn it into a destination for businesses and families to live, work, and prosper, taking advantage of the real estate and economic boom that is currently taking root in Southern Nevada as whole.

Oakland Raiders Release Details on Construction of New Las Vegas Stadium; Anticipated Opening Date of 2020

LAS VEGAS, NV – With the announcement of the move of the Oakland Raiders from their current eponymous home to Las Vegas come the NFL season of 2020, a firestorm of curiosity has centered on not only where their home stadium would be built, but who would be building it and when. And, in a rash of recent announcements by the Raiders management team, those questions have finally been answered.

The Raiders organization has announced that it will be employing the services of Mortenson Construction and McCarthy Building Companies will handle the construction duties involved in bringing the Raiders’ proposed Las Vegas Stadium – currently its working name – to life. The structure, designed by Manica Architecture – the Kansas firm that supplied initial concept renderings of the stadium and property when this project was still in its proposal stage – is slated to contain 65,000 seats and boasts a price tag of $1.9 billion with an anticipated opening date of 2020, according to reports.

Mortenson Construction, based out of Henderson, NV, had a long list of sporting venue construction to its name; most recently, they completed work on U.S. Bank Stadium for the Minnesota Vikings in their hometown of Kansas City, and did so a full month-and-a-half ahead of their originally scheduled completion date. Other construction credits to Mortenson’s name include Major League Baseball team Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park in Georgia, and the currently in-progress work on National Basketball Association team the Milwaukee Bucks’ Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center.

Mortenson will serve as the on-site construction team on the Raiders project, whereas it is currently unknown as of press time what role McCarthy Building Companies – headquartered in Henderson, NV – will be serving.

Las Vegas Stadium is the working name for the domed stadium, which will not only serve as the home base for the re-christened Las Vegas Raiders, but of the UNLV Rebels football team from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as well. It will be located about 62 acres west of Mandalay Bay at Russell Road and Hacienda Avenue, just west of Interstate 15.

While the main goal stated by the Raiders Organization is to complete their move from Oakland to Las Vegas in time for the 2020 NFL season – and with a company with the reputation that Mortenson Construction has at the helm, this seems quite the realistic goal – the Raiders must still finalize a lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority by the end of May, 2017; if the two parties are unable to come to terms on the arrangement, the next chance to do so will not come until October of this year. If that were to occur, it would most likely push back the start of the Raiders in Las Vegas to the 2021 NFL season, something that neither party most likely wants to happen. In addition, environmental and traffic impact studies must be preformed and pass muster before local government.

The Las Vegas Stadium is anticipated to provide a boost to the local economy, including jobs (and corresponding wages), tourism, and especially the real estate market, which has already been seeing a steady and constant increase in prosperity recently since the housing bubble pop of the mid – 2000’s. Home and rental prices have been climbing on a regular basis, and with the much-anticipated arrival of the Raiders on the horizon, real estate is looking to enter a legitimate boom period for the foreseeable future.

On March 27, 2017, NFL team owners voted nearly unanimously to approve the Raiders’ application to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas, Nevada; the Raiders will remain in Oakland through 2019; previously, the team had moved from Oakland to Los Angeles and back again.

Las Vegas Rental Prices and Home Sale Prices Keeping In Step, Experts Say

LAS VEGAS, NV – After Las Vegas has endured the effects of a burst housing bubble in the mid-2000’s – a phenomena that occurred nationwide but was felt acutely in the Southern Nevada region more than most – the real estate market in the midst of a rebound that is equally as impressive as the previous decline was bad. The economy is rebounding and jobs are coming back; as a result, housing options are in big demand, supply is tight, and prices are steadily climbing, and, due to this, the rental market is displaying a similar surge as well, as prospective homeowners are being forced to settle, albeit temporarily, for renting one.

A three bedroom home in Las Vegas, in terms of rent, has jumped up in the first three months of 2017 three percent to an average monthly price of $1,328, according to reports. With the summer season fast approaching, prices are expected to climb further as per the norm during that time of the year. The rate of vacancy in the Vegas region – both in terms of homes for sale and rental properties – dropped  to 4.16 percent in the closing months of 2016.

But in addition to an economy on the mend and the subsequent influx of businesses and jobs that are fueling this home-selling trend – couple with a smaller-than-average supply of homes for sale to being within Southern Nevada, which is further driving up demand and subsequently prices –  another reason why the rental market is booming in Las Vegas is that, during a small swell of the real estate market that occurred a few years ago – one that unlike currently, ultimately went nowhere – investors purchased a large number of properties with the intention of renting them out to vacationers, business travelers, and so on.

This has contributed, in part, to the current housing shortage, as many homes that would normally be on the market for prospective buyers are sitting in a rental limbo of sorts. However, with dwellings in short supply, the gamble many of these investors made several years ago is starting to pay off, as residents who are unable to secure a house to buy are settling for the next best thing- renting one instead.

The so-called “Raiders Effect” is also being cited as a reason for the shortage of housing options in Las Vegas; with the area now boasting not only a professional hockey team, but the arrival within the next two years of one of the National Football League’s most well-known teams in the Oakland Raiders – who will be taking up residence in a brand-new 65,000 seat state-of-the-art stadium – industry is being attracted to the area, and with them, people relocating in hopes of a fresh start and gainful employment. And a few die-hard Raiders fans are even moving to Las Vegas to be near the home base of their favorite team, believe it or not.

It isn’t just home rentals that are steadily climbing due to the cutthroat housing market in Las Vegas; apartment rentals are in high demand as well, and like anything else that people are clamoring for, when demand goes up, prices are sure to follow. According to reports, apartment prices went up four percent in the last year, with the average one-bedroom apartment fetching $890 on the open market; if you’re looking for more space, a two bedroom abode will set you back $1050 on average.

Again, lack of supply is cited as a factor in these prices as well, with almost anything considered to be a living space going for a premium in the current Las Vegas marketplace; a trend that shows no sign whatsoever of slowing down or abating from its upwards climb anytime soon.

With Continuing Growth in Las Vegas Real Estate, Expert Allays Fear Bubble Burst

LAS VEGAS, NV – There’s no doubt about it- real estate in Las Vegas, Nevada, is on a slow but powerfully non-stop climb after sinking into the financial mire in the mid-2000’s. Records are being broken in terms of both prices and sales totals, and everywhere you drive, new developments are gracing the once-barren landscape. In addition, projects that had stalled or been outright abandoned are once again pushing forward in this new, more positive economic climate. While things aren’t quite at the booming levels they are right before markets crash, they are nonetheless very positive and getting better every day.

But for those who are looking to jump aboard this freight train to the top and are feeling some trepidation in regards to it all tumbling down again in the near future, experts are predicting – using the strongest of verbiage – that this isn’t a likely outcome.

Within the last year, the real estate market in Las Vegas has surged in leaps and bounds; 2,249 single-family homes were sold in the Las Vegas area in February, an increase of 6.5 percent from February 2016, and the average single-family home has gone up nearly nine percent, with the average price currently coming in at approximately $240,000.

And of course, these properties aren’t being simply given away, so there’s been a corresponding increase in the demand for mortgages Southern Nevada as well; continuing a three-year trend of growth, home purchase loans jumped up an additional 8.5 percent in 2016 over the previous year, equating to a total of 36,130 mortgages . And all that increasing demand has, of course, in turn driven up prices; in 2017, the average price of a single-family dwelling is coming in at $240,000, which represents an increase of $119,000 for the same home during the very same period in 2012.

In a recent interview, Home Builders Research founder Dennis Smith notes that the demand in Vegas for new homes is very strong, with one of the main reasons for that being fear of rising interested rates; as of now, many people are recognizing a housing boom and have decided to finally get off the pot, so to speak. After all, when interest rates go up, prices quickly follow. In addition, he said, is the limited supply of new homes in the area, which is also serving to inflate demand. However, unlike with a limited trend in the area a few years ago, Smith notes that this current drive is not investor-driven, but homeowner-driven, which suggests far more stability and optimism in the surrounding economy and job market.

It’s this stability, combined with moderate yet steady growth based on legitimate consumer need, that Smith says offsets any possibility of the Las  Vegas real estate market growing too much, too soon and creating another bubble that is sure to burst; instead, he notes, it’s ensuring a strong, profitable tomorrow for anyone getting into Southern Nevada real estate, as well as a good place for families to take a shot at the American Dream, with industry – and, along with it, jobs – quickly filtering into the region.

“Is Vegas going to grow? Yes. Do they want it to grow? I would certainly hope so. If not, then go live out in the desert. But is there a bubble or too much construction? I don’t understand why people would suggest there’s too much construction when the demand shows there isn’t,” he said. “How can anyone convince me that 8,000 sales a year is a bubble? We’ve had 30,000 – 40,000 permits a year; that was a bubble. But before that, in the 1990s and early 2000s, we were doing 20,000 permits and closings a year, and everyone was marveling how wonderful everything was in Las Vegas.”