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Month: June 2017

North Vegas Mayor Doubles Down on City Re-Development to Woo Real Estate Investors, Businesses

LAS VEGAS, NV – North Las Vegas has been clearly embracing the recent re-surge Southern Nevada has been experiencing in both the economic and real estate sectors; since the burst of the housing bubble in the mid-2000’s laid waste to much of the property value in the region, Las Vegas as a whole has been on the comeback trail in the past year, with housing and rental demand – and prices – quickly on the rise, including jobs and construction which are flowing back in a steady stream. Clearly, the area is enjoying a resurgence, and many are looking to get in on the action.

In fact, North Vegas Mayor John Lee has been quite vocal in recent months on the benefits of living and working in his city, citing construction of new homes and apartment complexes as well as an influx of commercial entities that see the area as ripe for business opportunities. In order to jump-start further economic growth in his municipality, Lee recently invited a number of real estate agents and professionals to a meeting at the North Vegas City Hall, where he extolled the virtues of investing in the region, referring it to the primary place in Southern Nevada to see a significant return on their dollar.

“There will be more new money in North Las Vegas than anywhere else in this valley in the next 20 years,” he said. “I’m not going to make your sales for you, and I’m not going to give you leads, but I am going to tell you- you will make good money if you come to North Las Vegas.”

Lee’s attempt to woo businesses to North Vegas to take advantage of the growth overtaking Vegas as a whole has encompassed his governing strategy as a whole in recent months; in May, he and his board of trustees unanimously voted to approve a multi-million dollar revitalization project aimed at cleaning up the city’s seedy downtown district, including a plan to essentially demolish and rebuild a housing complex known as a centerpiece of violence and drug activity, in addition to constructing a new $22 million home for senior citizens, projects spurred on by a $485,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In addition, Fanatics Inc. and The Honest Co. are currently building dual warehouses in the region – at a combined total of 800,000 square feet – and nearby at the Apex Industrial Park, Hyperloop and Faraday Future are in the midst of constructing new facilities as well.

Lee, a former businessman and state senator, is credited as using the ample experience he has in both fields to essentially pull North Vegas back from the precipice of financial ruin since taking office in 2013; at that time, the city was in ruins, economically speaking, with a budget deficit of $152 million. Lee worked hard to attract new businesses and diversify to the city’s economy, in addition to job creation and taking advantage of state grants and resources to help fund infrastructure projects. Today, North Vegas is well on its way to recovery and prosperity, while Lee’s renewed push to concentrate on housing and business development as well as growth is being touted as the new means to that end.

Of course, Lee still has an uphill battle on his hands; numerous areas of downtown North Vegas are known for blight and homelessness, and to combat that a project is currently in the works to re-develop and revitalize a 160-acre area from urban decay into a hip, stylish community replete with hew homes, retail, and eateries, dubbed Lake Mead Village West.

After giving a series of investors, real estate agents and developers a tour of North Vegas to show them how far the region has come – and how far it’s going to continue to progress in the near future – Lee received plenty of feedback, and the majority of it was positive. Upon viewing a new housing development dubbed Beazer Homes Dorado Skies, investor Patti Domingo was open to admitting that her view of the once-blighted North Vegas had changed considerably, and that putting her money there was looking more and more like a very sound business decision.

“[Mayor Lee’s tour is] opening my eye up to the amenities and new communities in North Las Vegas,” she said. “When you think of North Las Vegas, you think of not such a nice community. But now, after taking this tour, you’re seeing everything that the mayor has spoken about.”

If you’re looking to invest here in the Las Vegas Valley, please feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Investment Strategies Firm Sets Sights on Southern Nevada; Invests Heavily in Las Vegas Real Estate

LAS VEGAS, NV – When the largest alternative investment firm in the world decides that your city is ripe for sinking their dollars into on a vast scale, it all but cements you as a hot property, and for all intents and purposes, that’s just what Las Vegas has become in recent months.

The Blackstone Group is an American multinational private equity, alternative asset management, and financial services firm based in New York City. It specializes in private equity, credit, and hedge fund investment strategies, and it has recently turned its sights on the Southern Nevada region and the current real estate surge that is gripping the local economy.

The prices of single-family dwellings have gone up nearly nine percent since February 2016, with the average home currently going for approximately $240,000. 2,249 single-family homes were sold in the Southern Nevada area in February, an increase of 6.5 percent from one year ago; and with that steadily increasing demand also comes increasing prices; in February of 2012, the average price of a single-family home in the Las Vegas was about $121,000, but in 2017 that same home will net a seller $240,000. Not only has the Las Vegas real estate market stabilized since the burst of the housing bubble of the mid-2000’s, but it clearly is on the comeback trail in a very big way…and investors, such as Blackstone, are sitting up and taking notice.

The Blackstone Group recently signed on the dotted line to acquire ownership of three Las Vegas Valley apartment buildings – primarily from developer Martin Egbert of Nevada West Partners – to the tune of $170 million. The properties included in the deal are Dream apartment complex in Henderson as well as Union Apartments and SW Apartments, both situated in Vegas’ southwest valley. All told, the deal netted Blackstone ownership of 972 individual living units, and when you do the math, that comes out to approximately $174,900 apiece; in contrast, apartment units in the region were going for about $96,700 each one year ago at about this time, which is yet another example of the skyrocketing real estate market in Las Vegas these days.

This move represents a distinct change of pace from the investment giant; previously, The Blackstone Group was known for their budget-conscious nature when it came to Las Vegas properties, purchasing over 900 homes in Southern Nevada at rock bottom prices after the housing crash, promptly turning them into rentals servicing both Millennials – who typically are either unwilling or unable to spend the money needed into buying a home – and tourists to the area. This strategy, while not immediately resulting in tidy profits, has finally come to fruition in the last year, as the prices of rentals – both homes and apartments – have jumped steadily in 2017, with a typical rent for a three-bedroom home rising up three percent in the first three months of the current year to an average monthly price of $1,328, and according to reports, apartment prices went up four percent, with one-bedroom apartments now typically costing $890 on the open market.

Clearly, places to live in Las Vegas – home purchases or rental properties of different types – are in ever-growing demand and not showing any signs of slowing down; even powerful business tycoons of Wall Street are opening up their wallets to degrees unprecedented in recent years to get in on the action, and as a result, investors of all walks of life are seeing dividends on their efforts. Las Vegas is, quite literally and figuratively, a hot property right now, and anyone looking to cash-in is best advised to get moving while they can.

If you’re looking to invest here in the Las Vegas Valley, please feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Successful House Flipping in Las Vegas: “Buy Low, Renovate Fast; Relist on Market Soon as Humanly Possible”

LAS VEGAS, NV – Before the housing bubble burst (mid-2000’s), the idea of flipping a property, especially in markets such as Las Vegas,  was as appealing to real estate investors as the gold rush to old-time prospectors heading to America’s frontier in the 1800’s. Both groups saw their respective purpose as a way to potentially get rich quick, but much like the prospector who struck out to the west – and failed to strike gold, more often than not, the recession dashed the hopes of more than one prospective house flipper looking to turn a fast buck.

However, as the Vegas housing market experiences resurgence in the past year – homes and rental properties have been growing exponentially in both demand and price when compared to 2016, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down – it appears that flipping has come back into vogue, as housing options for families in the Southern Nevada region are sorely outstripped by the number available on the open market, experts say. Therefore, an industrious investor with little money and some elbow grease is in position to swoop in on property which might be considered “less desirable,” – fix it up, and find that it is suddenly a hot ticket.

Flipping in Las Vegas has jumped in terms of profitability in the first quarter of 2017; when judged against 2016’s first quarter, experts report a 29 percent increase, which equates to approximately $51,000 in additional profit from flipping; this is also the single biggest increase in profitability since 2005, the period just before the mid-2000’s housing bubble burst. With the jump in prices, competition for lower-priced homes – especially fixer-uppers – has risen to near ecstatic levels.

But it’s not just the resurrection of the housing market that has real estate entrepreneurs racing to renovate; entertainment media has drawn attention to the benefits of investing in Las Vegas homes as well, and when Hollywood takes notice, so does the public. For example, HGTV recently announced the renewal of its breakout hit television show “Flip or Flop Las Vegas” for a second season after its first season displayed very strong ratings. The show, which debuted in April and chronicles the exploits of real estate agents/designers Bristol and Aubrey Marunde as they buy, rehab, and sell off local area properties, has attracted a whopping 12.5 million viewers, according to HGTV.

These factors have contributed in no small part to Las Vegas being currently ranked as the number two place in America to flip properties, according to yet another real estate reality star- Scott Yancey of the reality show “Flipping Vegas,” who says that the goal of any successful flip is to buy low, renovate fast, and get the property back on the market as soon as humanly possible. He cites RealtyTrac, a real estate information company and online marketplace, as evidence of how Vegas is currently a hotbed of flipping activity in terms of gross profits, noting that average home in the region typically sells for $134,000, and upon being successfully flipped that same home brings in an average of approximately $204,000, a gain of 53 percent; that certainly represents a significant return for an investor.

Flipping has been around for decades, and after a period of dormancy in the Southern Nevada area, it’s set to rear its head once again for ambitious real estate investors willing to sink in some dough and some hard work; the payoff promises to be more than worth the effort.

With Las Vegas Rental Boom Ongoing, Local Officials Seek Tighter Regulations; New Ordinance Targets Short-Term Rentals

LAS VEGAS, NV – With the recent real estate explosion taking place in Southern Nevada in the past year, it’s not only homes that are selling at a record pace as needs begin to outpace supply; rental properties are also showing a dramatic surge in recent months, as visitors and tourists are indeed scrambling to take whatever they can get their hands on. It’s a phenomena that’s becoming to acute that it’s actually gotten the attention of local government, which has recently started looking into tightening the regulations that oversee the rental industry in Las Vegas.

A great many homes in Las Vegas are actually owned by investors as rentals – which is contributing in part to the recent ongoing property shortage for prospective homeowners in the area – and apparently the allure of staying in a home away from home is turning out to be quite appealing to tourists; in 2016, over 340,000 visitors to the Southern Nevada region rented houses and apartments as opposed to staying at a hotel, and while providing a healthy return on the investments of property owners, some neighbors aren’t too keen about sharing their space with random out-of-towners. While many members of the tourist trade are positive additions to the Las Vegas scene, a few random party-goers have raised the ire of residents, enough so that Vegas officials have considered a new bill that would address rental properties in an attempt to assuage the concerns of area locals.

The Las Vegas city council has recently proposed new legislation that would directly target short-term rentals; among the rules that would go into effect if the bill passes would be the requirement of a special-use permit for an individual or company to operate a home or apartment rental, which would give both the city and residents living locally to any potential rental more say-so into who could and should be allowed to operate within the area. Landlords would have 365 days to procure a permit – properties with two bedrooms or less would be exempt – and at least $500,000 in liability insurance coverage would be needed. A legitimate business license number would need to be prominently displayed on all forms of advertising, from billboards to Internet ads.

The stated goal of this legislature, were it to pass, is to ensure that landlords with a history of being hands-off when it comes to their tenants would have to adhere more closely to city ordinances, ensuring a better life for neighboring families of rentals and rental guests alike. City officials have had to field a number of complaints from residents in recent years about so-called “party houses” with loud music, litter, and other disruptions, which simply makes things harder to legitimate renters who are just trying to run an honest business while respecting their neighbors.

The new ordinance, sponsored by city Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, is currently being worked on with public input from both rental owners and residents alike. A vote date is not currently yet set.

A small percentage of Vegas homes that are used as rentals are done so illegally, with those caught facing fines up to $1,000. Many people who operate rental homes in the area do so not just for profit, but to help them make ends meet in an economy that, while improving by leaps and bounds, is still tough on some residents on occasion. Other rental homes are owned by large Wall Street firms, which were bought up in droves specifically as rental properties, aimed both at tourists and millennials saddled with student debt who are unable to afford to buy a home of their own; already, these firms are seeing a healthy return and are even actively building more houses where they can in the region to serve as additional rental properties.