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Category Archive : Market Updates

Sales in Las Vegas-Based Master-Planned Communities Skyrocketing; Hottest Selling Housing Subdivisions

LAS VEGAS, NV – While much hoopla has been made over the greatly increased demand – as well as prices – of the Las Vegas housing and rental market since the region’s recovery from the mid-2000’s burst of the housing bubble, another real estate commodity that has been on the rise is that of master-planned community sales; many such developments throughout Southern Nevada have seen a vast influx of buyers in the past year, so much so that a shortage is starting to take shape to rival the demand in the private housing and rental market.

What is a master-planned community, you may ask? Simply put, it is a type of residential plan that includes an out of the ordinary number of recreational amenities such as parks, golf courses, lakes, bike paths, and jogging trails. The scope of the plan is typically large scale and the number and variety of amenities clearly separates it from a normal plan for a housing subdivision. Some of these communities cater to older homeowners, especially in the 55 year-old and higher range, yet some are inclusive of all age ranges as well.

Among the hottest selling of these communities is Summerlin, located in the Las Vegas Valley of Nevada. A development of The Howard Hughes Corp., Summerlin lies at the edge of the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon, on the western periphery of Las Vegas in unincorporated Clark County. The community occupies 22,500 acres and includes a variety of land uses, including, residential, commercial, recreational, educational, medical, open space, and cultural. According to recent reports, units in Summerlin experienced strong sales throughout the first half of 2017 – 470 new home sales, representing a 28 percent increase over the same period in 2016 – making it seventh-highest best-selling among master-planned communities nationwide.

Summerlin has been experiencing a recent glut of expansions in the form of new “neighborhoods” in face of strong sales; Affinity by William Lyon Homes, Caledonia, Trilogy by Shea Homes, Reverence and more either have or will be opening in the near future. Caledonia, Summerlin’s most recently-opened addition, features homes in the mid-$300,000 range and targets families of all ages; Trilogy by Shea Homes is due to launch in several months, and targets the 55-plus community.

Another master-planned community in the Las Vegas area that is boasting impressive growth in the midst of Southern Nevada’s ongoing real estate boom is Cadence Henderson by developer The LandWell Co. , which has ranked in the top 25 nationally for new-home sales in recent surveys. Much like Summerlin, Cadence is actually made up of numerous smaller neighborhoods, each constructed by a different contracted building company and each with their own unique allure and draw for specific segments of the population, including the 55-plus community Heritage. Each neighborhood offers numerous municipal amenities that typical private homes generally do not, including a 50-acre Central Park, six-lane lap pool, and 2,000-square-foot splash pad. And again, much like Summerlin, Cadence Henderson is planning a host of additions and expansions to handle their booming sales and growing population in the region.

While private dwellings – both stand-alone homes and rental apartments – have experienced booming sales and massive growth recently, exclusive planned communities such as Summerlin and Cadence Henderson are also feeling the benefits of the boost the local economy as well; their individual planned expansions in light of such business will only offer more housing options to both existing and new Nevada residents as jobs and money continue to filter into the area, ensuring that the boom Las Vegas is experiencing is no mere passing fad.

Whether you are real estate buyer, seller or investor – if you’re interested in Master-Planned Communities 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.

Las Vegas City Council Stiffens Penalties for Squatting or Aiding Squatters; Organizes Dedicated Squatter Task Force

LAS VEGAS, NV – The Las Vegas real estate scene is hot right now; according to reports, demand is far outstripping supply in terms of both housing and rental units, with prices soaring and continuing to increase ever since the Southern Nevada area has recovered from the housing bubble burst of the mid-2000’s. Jobs are increasing, the economy is stabilizing and beginning to flourish, and big-name businesses such as Amazon and the NFL are setting up shop in the region, galvanizing current residents and inviting a virtual flood of newcomers from out-of-state looking for a fresh start.

While these factors are no doubt a good thing for Las Vegas, the latest real estate boom has brought a negative with it that local officials are currently scrambling to combat- squatters, people who break into vacant or empty dwellings and live there illegally until they are removed by property owners or authorities. There are a number of reasons squatting is an issue in Las Vegas currently, but while homelessness is an issue that any major city has to deal with in one way or another, the main reasons have already been touched upon in this article- the general lack of housing options and the ever-rising prices of the ones that are currently available.

In Las Vegas, however, the issue of squatting is increased by the fact that the mid-2000’s housing crisis has left numerous homes simply abandoned or foreclosed upon; more so than the national norm at the moment, and thus ripe for the picking by anyone looking for a place to crash illegally. But while squatting to some may merely appear to be a harmless pursuit of somewhere to live, to others – legitimate property owners – it’s proven to be a hardship, and one that local government is looking to address in a hurry.

One area couple, according to reports, has been involved in a nearly year-long dispute with a number of squatters that have been regularly breaking into a former office that they had previously used for a family business; despite sinking money into boarding up the property and constantly calling the police, the couple nonetheless noted that in the last several years, there have been at least 30 break-ins, and that their patience is wearing thin to the point that they are considering selling rather than deal with the headache.

Recently, people squatting in a downtown Las Vegas house caused a fire in the dwelling, causing approximately $75,000 in damage before local fire department crews were able to get the blaze under control. Thankfully, the damage was contained to the individual property in question; no injuries were reported, and the fire prevented from spreading to other adjacent units. Some area realtors have actually started carrying weapons when visiting properties listed for sale, just in case they have an untimely – yet rare – encounter with a squatter; more often than not, they simply walk into the aftermath of their unwanted presence, consisting of discarded food and clothing items, and occasionally, minor damage to walls, doors, or cabinets.

Although squatting is mostly contained to small, specific areas at the moment, local officials are looking to head off the problem before it becomes more widespread and problematic; especially as it related to maintaining local property values. The Las Vegas city council is currently putting together a registry that identifies and classifies currently vacant homes that run the risk of being taken over by squatters, and then taking steps to secure those properties, which typically consist of ones that have been abandoned or foreclosed upon and are currently in-between owners and, thus, are not currently subject to regular use by legitimate parties.

In addition, the City Council has passed laws stiffening penalties for squatting and/or aiding squatters, and has organized a dedicated squatter task force that allows officials to not only keep up with the activities of potential squatters, but actually keep ahead of them. In addition, more work is being done, including setting up coordination across municipalities in order to form an organized front against such activities. In the meantime, real estate experts suggest not advertising a property as being vacant with a for sale sign on the front lawn or window, and to refrain from posting the street address of any available property on a publicly-accessible real estate website.

Need real estate information on the fast-evolving Las Vegas market? Free residential market appraisal? Property management assistance for investment homes in the area? Please feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Developing: Las Vegas Valley Retail Development Receives “Big Boost” As Residential Housing Market Continues Climb

LAS VEGAS, NV – With the Las Vegas real estate market continuing its meteoric rise – both in home and rental demand and their subsequent prices (after recovering from the burst of the housing bubble of the mid-2000’s), it’s only natural that families and businesses – as well as tourists – begin to flow back into the region; developers who have been snapping up residential properties have begin to turn their attention to retail, as well.

There’s one constant in any populated area: people need to buy things. And as a result of the influx of workers and their families into the Southern Nevada region looking to take advantage of the booming economy and the fact that corporations (such as Amazon), sports teams (such as the Raiders), and other business entities are taking up shop in Las Vegas and are in dire need of employees, real estate developers and investors have begun building new retail establishments and rehabbing old ones that have fallen into disrepair after being closed up and abandoned during the recession several years ago. After all, no one wants to live in an area where they can’t run to the corner market for a container of milk if they need it, do they? So, with an increase in population and residents, also is a coming equal increase in clothing stores, restaurants, bars and other necessities of modern living.

The newest updates of retail development in Southern Nevada is the recent ground breaking on the Ellis Island Hotel, Casino & Brewery on Koval Lane east of the Las Vegas Strip, which is expanding on an existing property with the goal being to attract and accommodate increased foot traffic in the area – especially tourists – with amenities such as a restaurant, bar and beer garden. The rise in pedestrians in the area that is prompting expansion is due in-part to local residents and visitors who are looking for other areas to socialize then just the famous strip; as consumers spread outward towards the eastern resort corridor, more resources are being allocated to courting their patronage.

Other examples of the development of the eastern resort corridor to lure in tourists and residents is the recent opening of Topgolf at MGM Grand, a entertainment venue with a high-tech driving range and swanky lounge with drinks and games; MGM also announced their intention to expand the square footage of its convention center as well. In addition, the Las Vegas Convention Center is slated for expansion after the recent purchase of the Riviera, which is slated for demolition.

In other Southern Nevada retail developments, the Rainbow Dunes Centre – a popular shopping center located in at the northwest corner of Spring Mountain Road and Rainbow Boulevard, now abandoned and dilapidated, is facing the prospect of having new life breathed into it. Currently an eyesore stripped of every ounce of copper from the boarded-up stores which used to welcome numerous customers to establishments such as K-Mart, the current ownership – Golden Legacy Las Vegas in Milpitas, California (who until recently seemed quite uninterested in selling) have announced they’ve hired a listing broker with the intention of selling the property or entering into a business venture with a new partner at the helm.

The 7.6-acre property was originally constructed in 1983, and the loss of a major “anchor tenant” – K-Mart, closed its doors in 2003 – and lead to the eventual closure of the entire shopping center, as additional tenants left; up till 2009, none remained, leaving Rainbow Dunes to do nothing but gather dust. But the recent announcement that Golden Legacy Las Vegas is now interested in restoring the shopping center to life – its currently the source of complaints to the city council on a regular basis due to its state of decay and speaks volumes about the increased emphasis on retail development in Las Vegas.

Need real estate information on the fast-evolving Las Vegas market? Thinking of relocating here? Maybe investing? Please feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Highly Competitive Housing Market Spells Difficulties for Would-Be Homeowners; Rise in Prices, Heavy Activity in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV – After the so-called pop of the housing bubble in the mid-2000’s and subsequent crash of the real estate market, the last year or so has seen a resurgence the likes of which have not been witnessed in quite some time, with a spike in the local Southern Nevada economy fueled by new businesses and jobs taking up residence in the region, in addition to rapidly-rising demand for housing and rental units. As always, demand sets ever-increasing value and prices; according to recently-published reports, property prices continued to climb as Las Vegas moves into a very real house shortage.

The report reveals that 4,297 properties – consisting of condominiums, townhomes, and single family homes – sold for premium prices on the open Las Vegas market during May of 2017. The median price range of houses that sold in the region during that month was $250,000; this represents a 3.3 percent increase from April ($249,000) and an increase of 13.3 percent from the same period of time one year ago.

The rise in prices and the heavy activity on the sales front, of course, only spells good tidings for the recovery of the Las Vegas economy and real estate market, especially if you’re an investor; however, it can also represent a significant hurdle for those on a budget looking to purchase a home for the first time in order to start a family. As an example, a recent article chronicled the efforts of Kierra Jemison, a single mother of four children, as she attempted to navigate the Las Vegas housing landscape for an affordable home for her family after being forced out of a previous rental. With a very strict budget – Jemison is looking for something with four bedrooms to the tune of $200,000 – she set out with a sense of hopeful anticipation, but soon found herself frustrated and demoralized after 30 house tours and five offers saw her no closer to her goal, as she found herself outbid at every turn in an incredibly competitive marketplace.

Very quickly, prospective first-time homeowners in Southern Nevada are finding it harder and harder to find a property under the $300,000 mark. New construction, however, looks to address the lack of housing and rental options; Lake Las Vegas, up until recently, was considered a lackluster investment in terms of real estate, yet it has recently seen a number of housing projects in the works, with as many as six developments stated to be completed and entered into the marketplace within the next year. However, while this will certainly help to address the scarcity of real estate options – Las Vegas currently has a two-month supply of homes on the market, whereas a balanced market typically has a six-month supply – the subsequent prices of these new developments stand to mirror the current marketplace. For example, one of the Lake Las Vegas developments in the works – CalAtlantic Homes Regatta Pointe – will feature homes in the mid-$300,000 range.

In the meantime, prospective homeowners on a budget, such as Kierra Jemison, will have to continue to fight it out with other like-minded individuals in a marketplace that is currently seeing explosive growth and expansion; however, with big-money investors in droves setting up shop in the region and real estate prices continuing to climb ever-higher, competition for affordable housing options will remain fierce.

If you’re looking to purchase a home 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.

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.