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Category Archive : Market Updates

Las Vegas Real Estate: Should Sellers Sell in 2013?

Statistics provided by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported that in June of 2013 the median home price in the Las Vegas area was $183,569. That is a nearly 38% increase over the median price of a single-family home in July 2012 and up 55% since the bottom in Jan 2012. The $183,569 median is also akin to the same median of late 2003/early 2004.

On the surface it is easy to come to the conclusion that prices are simply rising to the pre-bubble prices prior to 2005. Real estate markets though offer other clues to determine the motivation of buyers and seller and indications of what may be to come.

Some of the most savvy real estate professionals and investors who have been dialed in to the post-crash market are wary of the rapid price appreciation. In my own business, I was advising buyers to quickly purchase in late 2011 and early 2012 when foreclosures halted in anticipation of an inventory shortage. I wanted to get them a home, before a price spike hit. I was worried the buyers might become afraid of the market change, or even worse, no longer qualify! Luckily, most were able to purchase during this time period and they are sitting in a great position today.

If you want my conclusions, skip to the bottom. If you want to know “the why”, keep reading!

Some of the troubling aspects of our Las Vegas real estate market are as follows:

  1. Until about 2 months ago we had been in a low inventory environment since the 2nd quarter of 2012 after the implementation of NV 284 (the anti-robo-signing legislation which virtually halted foreclosures for over a year). Over the last 6 months however inventory has increased 60%! Sales have been flat at around 3800 units per month since March of this year.
  2. There is a conversion occurring from a seller’s market into a buyer’s market. The reason any buyer wouldn’t think this to be the case is based on their experiences they have witnessed themselves or have hear stories of  multiple offers situations, buyers being forced to pay for short sale negotiation and assorted extra fees. Due to the large amount of cash buyers, getting closing costs paid has been quite rare, even on financed offers. How can this be if inventory is increasing? The reason is simple. Distressed real estate makes up only 16% if the available inventory and that is where the cheap prices have resided. With that comes the highest demand. Many buyers are now becoming more patient as their choices on the amount of homes is increasing quickly for the first time in years paired with their reluctance to pay high prices. This is less the case in the under $125,000 market but more prevalent in higher ranges.
  3. Too many investors purchasing homes in Las Vegas. This is not healthy. This is institutional money being invested in our market and it is short term. These investors will leave. They are not like traditional owner-occupants who are here for the long haul. The danger is when they do leave they could do so quickly in order to try and protect their gains. Doing so could place large numbers on the already flat sales market. Once buyers sense a potential glut, the slow-down often becomes self-fulfilling, pulling sales and prices down.
  4. Some of the large hedge funds are slowing down their purchases or stopping as their projected rents are no longer attractive when compared to purchase prices.
  5. New Homes: the average price is around $265,000, almost a whopping $100,000 above the median resale home. These homes are grossly over-priced and quickly lose value in a year or two when as resale homes they must go the market and compete as like properties with other resales.
  6. More notes about new construction homes: the parallels to 2005 are eerie. I can still remember one of the first salvos of the market correction when Pulte Homes lowered in many of communities by a straight $100,000 across the board in July of 2005. Imagine you were a home homeowner who saw that report on the news a month after you closed escrow.  New homes are over-priced! I cannot stress that enough. They have plenty of room to roll back prices and that is dangerous. They can trap their homeowners in underwater positions when they significantly reduce prices. Realtors are also once again seeing very high commissions in some new home communities. When commissions go up it another sign that things are not well. We have also seen some lotteries at new homes sites. Imagine that, a metropolitan market such as Las Vegas with 44,000 vacant homes and over 80,000 mortgages not being paid is having home lotteries!
  7. The price of money and interest rates: we have become so used to these low interest rates that the average person gives no thought anymore to their meaning. The government has been printing money to stimulate our economy for four years now. Essentially, they are giving it away for nearly free. It is not however being given to you and I. It is being given to large financial institutions and they can’t buy stuff fast enough. These guys are simply looking as Las Vegas as an investment pool. You can’t fault them for it. It is their job to make money. Do not however look at their purchases as any sign of a true recovery. Few things have more impact on a real estate market than interest rates and we all know we have benefited from artificially low rates due to Feds monetary policy of Quantitative Easing, pumping money into the economy to stimulate it. Interest rates are in the opinion of most in the Industry are set to go up over the next year. The higher they go, the more they erode the purchasing power of the buyers.
  8. Las Vegas home prices trends over the past 8 years versus the previous 20 years have been composed of wild swings, not the slow line appreciation or depreciation. 2004-2006 saw the bubble, then the cascading crashes of 2007-2008. We saw an REO (foreclosure listing) bubble in 2009 as buyers wanted to take advantage of the $8000 tax credit. 2010 saw more falling prices when the “tax credit bubble” ended. In early 2012 prices started up and are now up 48% since that time. Some of the hotter neighborhoods such as Summerlin are up even more than that. In 2010-2011 you could pick up two bedroom condos for $50,000 all over MLS and now most of those are $80,000 and above.
  9. The basic problem of the real estate/foreclosure crisis has still not been fixed. The fundamentals are still wrong, 80,000 homeowners not paying their mortgages and tens of thousands of vacant homes still loom over the market. Our inventory is very likely to continue experiencing inventory expansion when you factor that the “shadow inventory”  which will eventually be brought to market and the high number of investor-owners in Las Vegas that may choose to cull their profits and sell; especially if the public perception becomes one of a buyer’s market. An increasing Las Vegas real estate inventory will make it likely corrections will occur as sellers will have to compete to get their homes sold.
  10. Public perception lags several months behind hard data. Do not under-estimate psychology in the market place. Do you know how many buyers told me in 2012 they were waiting to buy because they thought the market was going to drop another 5 points? The market was down 55% and they wanted to squeeze another 5% off the adjusted basis price. Prices quickly went up in a month or two and many missed the opportunity to buy all together. Some bought later paying 20-30% more fearing prices would only escalate.


I want to be clear; I am not calling for a price crash. I am however projecting that it is very likely we will see corrections in the market based on the previous reasons listed. The old adage still applies, buy when most want to sell, and sell when most want to buy. The trough of low inventory has already passed and the amount of sellers is on the rise. Once public perceptions take hold and the media also begins to report the change, the momentum will likely increase.

When the affordability index starts to favor renting as opposed to buying, it’s time to sell. Let’s be honest, most of you never expected to see gains like you have in the past 12 months. This time around, don’t get caught, turn your paper equity in to what really matters, cash.

Paul Rowe is a short sale specialist and listing agent with Shelter Realty. He is also a real estate investor.

Call Shelter Realty at 702-376-7379 and ask to speak to Paul. He will provide free analysis of your home value and how it relates to your needs as seller. You may also fill out a contact form on this website or email     info

UNLV: Parents Also Investing in Las Vegas Real Estate Along with their Children’s Education

With housing so affordable in the Las Vegas area due to the real estate meltdown, some parents of UNLV students are also choosing to invest in the local Las Vegas real estate market at the same time. Many students at UNLV live off campus. Due to its central location in the Las Vegas Valley, most residential areas are located no more than a 20 minutes’ drive from campus.

The median price of a single family home in Las Vegas currently stands at around $105,000 and condos are at around $50,000. Prices have not been at these levels since 1990 which is about 13 years before the first signs of a housing bubble in Las Vegas. This means there is essentially a market over correction in prices of about 13 years if you buy at today’s prices.

Investors are now here in droves, many of them cash buyers. Rental prices for homes and condos have certainly not declined at all so investors are able to purchase homes that create positive cash flow immediately on their investment.

For parents looking to also make a real estate investment, it makes good sense to consider purchasing. Not only are the current market conditions extremely favorable, but you have a ready tenant in the student whose not a risk like your average tenant would be.

For a traditional investor, there is a large pool of renters, not only students, but also many of the displaced homeowners who have lost their homes but not left the area. Many people are also needing to rent while their financial and credit profile recovers.

Purchasing a home here in Las Vegas, especially if you live out of town can be a challenge, but still be accomplished after having done your research and getting the best assistance possible when you’re ready to buy. Your REALTOR® should have a lot of experience with foreclosures and short sales. The real estate practices related to these two categories are constantly changing.

Once you have made your purchase you may also need good property management, especially if your tenant is not your own son or daughter! Effectively managing properties by staying on top of tenants, dealing with homeowners’ associations, managing repair issues, collecting repair bids and effective accounting are issues many companies lack. You don’t want a “rent collector” you want a MANAGER who will fight to preserve your property’s value.

For any questions related to purchasing real estate or property management in the Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas markets contact Shelter Realty at 702-376-7379.

Las Vegas Neighborhood Spotlight: Everything Is Close By When You Live In Green Valley

There are currently 200 homes for sale in the Las Vegas 89014 zip code, which includes the master planned community of Green Valley. Green Valley is located primarily in Henderson (the southeastern part of Las Vegas). Development first began in 1978, so that means within its 8,000 acres, you can find every home style, from distinctive ‘70’s era homes all the way to new-build homes.

Green Valley is full of neighborhood parks and walking trails and has an outstanding array of shops, gourmet restaurants and retail services. Also, the community has some great resources like outdoor amphitheatres, public swim clubs, theaters, hospitals and baseball fields. In Green Valley, there is truly something for everyone.

Homes for sale in Las Vegas zip code 89014

According to public data records complied by Trulia, between April and June 2011, 944 homes sold at a median sales price of $124,000. That price is 13.6 percent lower than the second quarter (April-June) of 2010.  In other words, if you’re looking to buy a home in Green Valley, now is a good time to get a great deal.

In the second quarter of 2011, the median sales price of homes in the 89014 zip code (including Green Valley) was 16.22% lower than the median sales price for Henderson Nevada (again, according to public data records complied by Trulia).  With Green Valley homes costing less than other Henderson homes, now could be a great time to get a great deal.

Remember, though, that if you’re considering buying a new home in Green Valley – or anywhere in the Henderson/Las Vegas area, you can still benefit from the services of a professional real estate agent (who will, for one, help you negotiate the sales price with the home seller).


Neighborhood schools in Green Valley

There are a number of schools within the Green Valley master planned community itself.  Green Valley High School received a distinguished GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 and Green Valley has 6 private preschool options. That’s a big plus for owning a home in this desert community (even if you don’t have school-aged children, the quality of neighborhood schools do affect a home’s resale value).

Here is a list of the schools that serve Green Valley:

School name School type Grades GreatSchools rating (out of 10)
Harriet Treem Elementary School Public 2-5 6
Jim Thorpe Elementary School Public PK-12 na
Nate Mack Elementary School Public PK-5 6
Thurman White Middle School Public 6-8 7
Estes M McDoniel Elementary School  Public PK-5 7
Green Valley High School  Public 9-12 8
Green Valley Christian School  Private PK-10 na
A Montessori Childrens Academy Private K-3 na



Things to do in and around Green Valley

Easily-accessible attractions: Green Valley’s proximity to the Las Vegas valley makes it a convenient community to live in. It is home to The Green Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection; one of the valley’s best-known public art displays that features works by local and nationally renowned artists. Green Valley also has the Black Mountain Recreation Center, the Whitney Ranch Aquatic Complex, the Lorin L. Williams Indoor Pool, Green Valley Library, and the Henderson Campus of the Community College of Southern Nevada.

If you want golf, a banquet room, or some history, then perhaps a visit to:

The Legacy Golf Club: This premier golf club was designed by the acclaimed golf course architect Arthur Hills. The Legacy Golf Club is an 18-hole, desert jewel highlighted by manicured playing conditions, multi-tiered fairways and large undulating greens. The Legacy Golf Club was selected by Golf Digest as one of the “Top 10 Courses You Can Play” in Nevada. 

WildHorse Golf Club: Wildhorse Golf Club (owned by the City of Henderson) is home to one of the toughest holes in Vegas as well as a great venue for golfers of all abilities. Originally built in 1959 and redesigned in 2004 by architects Brian Curley & Lee Schmidt, the course features several holes guarded by shimmering lakes. This public golf course also features a magnificent Grand Ballroom overlooking the golf course and is available for tournaments, banquets or weddings. Golf Digest rated the club as one of the “Best Places to Play.”

Clark County Heritage Museum: This Henderson museum is a 30-acre site that features a modern exhibit hall with a timeline exhibit about southern Nevada from pre-historic to modern times and a collection of restored historic buildings that depict daily life from different decades in Las Vegas, Boulder City, Henderson, and Goldfield. Also preserved are newspaper print shops, railroad depots and a real 1918 Union Pacific steam engine. Visitors can also gaze at mineral specimens found at a mining exhibit as well as walk through a resurrected ghost town and a half-mile nature trail.

If you’re interested in buying or renting a Green Valley home, or if you’re looking to sell your Green Valley home, give Shelter Realty a call today at 702-376-7379 or contact us here.  We have real estate agents ready to assist first time home buyers, investors, sellers, and renters.  (Also, click here to see a full listing of Green Valley homes for sale and rent.)

Las Vegas Named In Top 10 Cities To Purchase Real Estate

Las Vegas has made several top 10 real estate and economy lists in the past few years, yet this is the first positive mention of our local market that I’ve seen in a while. named Las Vegas as one of the 10 best cities for homebuyers due to the high occupancy rates of rentals, low cost of housing and popularity by cash investors.

Don’t worry, this is not just another post from a REALTOR on a real estate site about why it’s a good time to buy a home.

Actually, our Las Vegas investors and property management clients have known about the cash flow rental income opportunities in Las Vegas for a while.

And, most of our VA Loan Eligible buyers are already out looking at homes that are 60% – 80% less than the properties they lost to foreclosure as little as two years ago.

Home builders have also started scooping up vacant land at around a 50% discount from what they were paying per acre during the boom years.

However, the flip side to the “Buy Now” debate has some great points as well, especially since the Dodd-Frank mortgage reform bill may potentially hurt real estate values due to the tough qualifying requirements being imposed on lenders and first-time home buyers.

Either way, it’s nice to be mentioned on a positive real estate list for a change.

Should Judges Be Allowed to Dictate Mortgage Terms?

There is a bankruptcy bill that is being pushed by Democrats that would give Judges the power to dictate mortgage terms.

If this bill were to pass, a homeowner could file bankruptcy and the Judge could change the terms of his primary residence mortgage to make it more affordable for the homeowner so one they can afford their monthly mortgage payment and two to bring the mortgage down to market value.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, American Bankers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce oppose this bill and have spent millions to try and prevent it from being passed.  According to the chief lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, Steve O’Connor, said “new homebuyers would end up paying higher interest and bigger down payments if lenders are saddled with the risk that a judge could change mortgage terms.”  Why would homebuyers end up paying a higher down payment and interest rate?  The lending guidelines are very stringent now and you can’t buy a home anymore without at least 3.5% down so I would imagine that the default rate on these new home loans would be very small?  So the risk for Lenders and Banks have dropped considerably compared to loans they gave out back in 2003-2006.

I can see why the Mortgage Bankers Association and American Bankers Association would want to prevent this bill from passing because it certainly would harm the bottom line for lenders and investors holding mortgages or would it?  How much harm would it really cause Lenders and Banks with the Government bailout?  Bank of America just received a 2nd bailout of $20 billion dollars!  Banks appear to be using their bailout money to acquire other banks so I am not too concerned with them complaining that they would lose money if this bill passes.  What I am concerned with is Lenders and Banks requiring homebuyers to come in with a higher down payment and increases in interest rates.

We need a solution to the foreclosure mess since Banks and Lenders can’t get short sales or loan modifications approved in a timely manner.  The passing of this bill would help streamline the process and allow homeowners to keep their homes by bring their mortgage down to market value and giving them a payment they can afford.  This will prevent more homes from going into foreclosure which helps keep inventory levels from increasing and should help prices begin to level out.  When there is confidence again in the real estate market, it will begin to spill over to other industries which will help lead us out of the recession our Country is facing.

Las Vegas Named One of Five “Mega-Politan” Areas

Las Vegas has been named one of five “mega-politan” areas. These places are considered newly recognized super regions that combine two or more metropolitan areas into a single economic, social, and urban system.

Many experts predict that Las Vegas will continue to grow but will have to come up with solutions for water resources, education and infrastructure.

Las Vegas is already experiencing a construction boom on the Las Vegas Strip.  There are numerous projects under construction but none come close to the massive project on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip called City Center.  Project City Center is a project that consists of condos, hotels, casinos and retail district sitting within a 76 acre area.  You can easily say that Project City Center is a city within a city!

Even though home prices are still dropping in the Las Vegas Valley, you can rest assured that home prices will begin to stabilize very soon.  The reason I say that is because many foreclosures that are placed on the market for sale are receiving multiple offers.  When homes receive multiple offers, it usually means the property is priced below market value.  You can see why Las Vegas real estate is a great investment!

Las Vegas is poised for a strong come back in the years to come!  If you are looking to buy your first home or an investment property, you can’t go wrong with choosing a home in Las Vegas!

Plaza Brand Building Las Vegas Plaza Hotel?

The Plaza Brand might be coming to Las Vegas very soon. Elad Properties which purchased the New York Plaze Hotel in 2004 is planning on building Plaza Hotels around the world, including in London, Shanghai and Las Vegas. It appears that the first Plaza Hotel that will be built outside of New York will be in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Plaza Hotel will be built on the site of where the Frontier Hotel and Casino used to sit before it was imploded on November 13th, 2007. The Frontier Hotel and Casino used to sit across the street from the Wynn Hotel and Casino.

The Las Vegas Plaza Hotel is expected to have over 3,000 hotel rooms and is projected to have a price tag of over $4 Billion.

Currently a trial is under way between Tamares Group, the owners of the Plaza Hotel and Casino, a 37-year-old hotel in downtown Las Vegas, sued Elad, alleging trademark infringement.

Elad Properties has a few hurdles to overcome in order to build the first Plaza Hotel brand in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Real Estate

Las Vegas living is just as exciting as visiting. If you enjoy living in the fast lane, Las Vegas is the place for you. With any kind of entertainment that you could ask for, this is a great place to call home.  The Las Vegas Strip is not only a place to play but a great place to work.

With many job opportunities in the near future with the opening of Encore, Project City Center and the M Resort to name a few, it’s time to make a move.

Las Vegas Home prices are at lows we haven’t seen since 2003 and 2004, interest rates are still at all time lows and the abundant amount of foreclosures makes this a dream market for any buyer looking to relocate to Las Vegas.

There are homes available of all sizes and in all price ranges, with many luxeries included. These luxeries may include swimming pools, hot tubs, jetted bathtubs, and so much more. If you are looking for a nice place to live, and the perfect climate, Vegas is the hot spot. The community has grown in recent years, and the real estate market will also continue to grow throughout the years.

Will The New Federal Housing Bill Help Las Vegas?

Will the new federal housing bill help the Las Vegas Real Estate Market?  Without a doubt!  The federal housing bill should stop future foreclosures, stabilize home prices, encourage a wave of more home buyers and reduce the housing inventory.

The federal housing bill will allow distressed homeowners who might be facing an eminent foreclosure to refinance out of their existing mortgage and into more attractive terms.  According to the bill, financially distressed homeowners have the opportunity to reduce their mortgages to 90 percent of their home’s current appraised value. The newly created mortgage will be a 30-year fixed FHA loan at the prevailing interest rate.  In exchange for refinancing, the homeowner agrees to share a substantial portion of any future appreciation with the original lender and the FHA.

So this gives a homeowner two choices.  They could either go through with foreclosure and destroy their credit or refinance their home at 90% of the appraised value and share any future appreciation with the original lender and the FHA.  I think this is an easy choice, don’t you?

The Federal Housing Bill will reduce the amount of future foreclosures on the market, which is significant.  This means the current housing inventory will decrease at a quicker rate and home prices should stabilize because of the decline in inventory.  We have had 6 straight months of increased home sales and it has been making a small dent in the standing inventory because of the increase in foreclosures.  So with foreclosures decreasing because of the new bill, we should see a decrease in the inventory over the next 8 to 10 months.  With the decrease in inventory comes with the stabilization of home prices.  Home prices should start to level out over the same period.

I think this bill was exactly what we needed to help the Las Vegas Real Estate Market which will ultimately have a positive effect on the Las Vegas Economy.

Home Prices Decline 29.5% in Las Vegas

Home prices in Las Vegas dropped 29.5 percent in May compared to a year ago.  This decline can be attributed to the abundant amount of foreclosures that are flooding the Las Vegas Real Estate Market.  Banks and Lenders are lowering prices to move these homes which is affecting home values all across the Las Vegas Valley.

First time home buyers, investors and those looking to buy 2nd homes are finding incredible opportunities.   A friend of mine is looking to rent a home and they forwarded me a property that was for rent and asked me to find out when it was purchased.  After doing a little research, this 3000 square foot house sold in December 2006 for $610K and just recently sold in May 2008 for $300K.  Talk about a great deal!  This one story, 3 car garage, 3000 square foot house sold for almost 50 percent less in less than 2 years.

What this means for buyers:

  1. Excellent opportunity to find an affordable home.
  2. More home for their money.
  3. Banks/Lenders are paying your closing costs.
  4. Interest Rates are still at all time lows.

Sellers are not in a very good situation right now and should avoid selling if they can and attempt to wait until home prices in the Las Vegas Valley begin to rise.  The rental market is doing very well right now and sellers should look at renting their home as a viable option before selling.  If you cannot wait and have some type of hardship, (divorce, loss of job, pay cut, etc…) you could always look into selling your Las Vegas home as a short sale.

What this means for sellers:

  1. Banks/Lenders are driving down the values in neighborhoods.
  2. Probably will owe more than the home is worth.
  3. Hold off on selling if you can afford to wait for home prices to rebound.

If you are looking to buy or sell in Las Vegas, don’t hesitate to contact Sena & Associates for all your Las Vegas Real Estate needs at 702.376.0088.

Is The Media Wrong About Las Vegas?

I have been saying it all along that the media reports about the Las Vegas Real Estate Market are just not completely accurate. Today on CNBC they stated that Las Vegas Home Prices will continue to drop into 2010 but that is just crazy with over 100K jobs being created in the next 5 years with the opening of Encore, Project City Center and Echelon to name just a few.

The Las Vegas Housing Inventory has dropped from over 29K homes on the market in September 2007 to 21K homes on the market as of April 2008. That is a 25% drop in homes for sale! That is a positive sign for the Las Vegas Real Estate Market, which the media is not talking about?

Alex Edelstein, the developer of Manhattan West also agrees that the Las Vegas Real Estate Market is not as bad as the media is depicting. Watch the video below of his interview on Fox News.

High Speed Train from Disneyland to Las Vegas?

High Speed TrainIt appears a transportation bill has just been signed for $45 million that will be used to study the idea of a high speed maglev (magnetic levitation) train travel from Disneyland to Las Vegas!  This money will go towards studying the impact on the environment and the overall cost of such a project.  If the plan goes forward, a trip to Disneyland from Las Vegas will only take 2 hours!  I know when my family loads up the car to take our traditional trip to Disneyland, it takes a little over 4 hours and that’s if we bypass the rush hour traffic in and around Anaheim, California.

With the spike in gas prices, this would be a welcoming option to driving from Southern California to Las Vegas.  This would also ease the traffic on Interstate 15 between Southern California and Las Vegas.  If this project goes forward, I believe it would increase the amount of visitors to the Las Vegas Valley which would mean more money being spent in Las Vegas which is always good for our economy!

Let’s just hope they really give this project a chance.