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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.”

Single-Family Home Availability In Las Vegas Reaches Lowest Point Since Summer 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV – Spring is here, and if March figures are any indication, the upcoming months leading into the summer season are sure to continue the upward trend of availability – or lack thereof – of homes in the Las Vegas real estate market.

Southern Nevada’s supply of available homes has been shrinking for months now, going hand-in-hand with a steady increase in prices as options continue to dry up for prospective homeowners in the region. According to recently-released statistics, approximately 11,000 single-family homes were available on the market at the tail-end of March 2017, which represents a decrease of 17 percent over the same point in 2016. Meanwhile, sales of available homes on the market have increased nine percent this past March compared to 12 months ago, resulting in a highly-competitive marketplace for both buyers and sellers, with homes on the average selling at the fastest rate since official tracking begun in 2010.

A community experiencing growth always represents an attractive prospect for people looking for a fresh start, hence the recent influx of transplants from other areas of the country and the subsequent reduction in the amount of housing options for them as dwellings are gobbled up. As an example of how fast homes are selling in the region, your average single-family dwelling would typically go under contract in 60 days one year ago; today, that number has gone down to 49 days and continues to shrink.

As with a growth in demand comes growth in prices; the median price of a single-family home sold in the Las Vegas area has jumped up 7.5 percent in March 2017 from one year ago, with the average price clocking in at approximately $273,000.

According to real estate professionals, there’s plenty of buyers out there, but fewer and fewer homes to accommodate them; this, reports indicate, are a result of economic improvements in Nevada as a whole and Las Vegas in particular, with new businesses, attractions and even sporting teams (in the form of the Oakland Raiders NFL team) setting up shop in the area, and with them are coming jobs for local area residents.

However, with Vegas’ growing reputation as a real estate market on the rise come complications as well, with homeowners looking to sell believing they are sitting on a gold mine and demanding top dollar for their property; experts report that if prices were lowered closer to an accurate fair-market value – as opposed to prices inflated by speculative market growth and a recent spike in demand – that sales would be even more brisk. But as a territory hit especially hard by the real estate bubble burst several years ago, sellers looking to cash in on a market that is finally booming is just a reality that cannot be denied.

Another factor that is eating into the total number of homes available to buyers in the Las Vegas area are due to investors that purchased a large number of homes, only to turn around and offer them as rental-only properties to tourists and vacationers; as of March 2017, few of those investors are looking to sell those homes, which again drives up demand for the remaining properties on the market.

Overall, however, March 2017 has continued the trend of a shrinking real estate market and demand (and, as a result, prices) for property in Southern Nevada with no signs of things slowly down.

If you are considering relocating in or around the Las Vegas area, which clearly is experiencing huge growth and a booming job market,  give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any real estate and home relocation questions you may have.

HGTV’s Reality Hit ‘Flip of Flop’ Gets Las Vegas Spinoff; Highlights Demanding, Fast-Paced Vegas Market

LAS VEGAS, NV – If the numbers aren’t enough to convince you that Las Vegas, Nevada is a fast rising hotbed of real estate activity – last month’s median home price moved up 10 percent to $242,000 from the same period in March of 2016, and five years ago that number was a mere $123,000 – Hollywood has also taken note.

HGTV’s Flip of Flop, one of reality television’s hottest programs, is offering its very first spin-off with a Las Vegas-centric theme; entitled Flip or Flop Vegas and starring local residents Bristol and Aubrey Marunde, its very existence displays a firm belief in the high activity of the Southern Nevada real estate market by HGTV studio executives, as typically they are loathe to sign off on a show that concentrates on a single region unless they feel they have a certified hit on their hands.

Flip or Flop is a television series airing on HGTV hosted by real estate agents and real-life husband and wife Tarek and Christina El Moussa. First airing in 2013, the show, which chronicles the activities of the two as they “flip” homes; in other words, they buy distressed properties and renovate them while a camera crew captures the process from beginning to end. The popularity of the show is readily apparent by the fact that, to date, it has filmed 86 episodes through 8 seasons. As is the case with successful television, eventually talk of a spin-off came to bear, and on April 6, 2017, Flip or Flop Vegas premiered on HGTV starring Bristol Marunde, a Vegas-based real estate expert and designer, and her husband Bristol, a designer, contractor, and former Mixed Martial Artist who has competed in the UFC and Strikeforce.

Flip or Flop Vegas takes the same premise as its progenitor; the Marundes are featured in each weekly episode dealing with the trials and tribulations of flipping homes in Las Vegas; the real estate market in the Vegas area is ripe for such a show, with the current demand for housing options far outstripping supply, a state of affairs that is causing prices to continuously make gains. Indeed, Las Vegas is fast becoming a seller’s market, and each week viewers can tune in to HGTV and see it all for themselves.

Producers from HGTV first became aware of the exploits of Bristol and Aubrey Marunde when they discovered videos clips on the couple’s Instagram account of their Vegas home flipping achievements; it wasn’t long before the Marundes were contacted and eventually signed to a contract for a 13-episode season Flip or Flop spin-off focusing exclusively on the Las Vegas market, and if ratings are any indication, HGTV has yet another certified hit on their hands.

As for the advantages of flipping homes in the Las Vegas area, Aubrey Marunde recently said in an interview that the high, high demand for homes in Southern Nevada in general lends itself to a much more intensive flipping experience than in the rest of the United States, both in terms of the need for speed when it comes to identifying and buying prospective properties as well as the amount of time it takes to actually sell a home once you’ve finished renovating it (hint: in Las Vegas, they go fast).

“Vegas is a very, very fast-paced market. There are so many opportunities and they present themselves daily. You have to be ready to jump on them, because if you don’t, somebody else is going to,” she said. “So our fast-paced market here is much different than other places around the country and I think that people watching are going to see that. Our properties sell in hours, rather than days or months here. That’s very unique to the show.”

Flip or Flop Vegas currently airs on HGTV on Thursdays at 9 p.m.

Considering relocating in or around the Las Vegas area? Give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any real estate and home relocation questions you may have.

Amazon.com Expanding Warehouse Operations to North Las Vegas; Boost Expected for Local Economy

LAS VEGAS, NV – As if Las Vegas’ economy – and as a by-product, it’s real estate market – wasn’t beefing up its already impressive profile, Amazon.com, the nation’s largest online retailer, is currently in the process of constructing a massive warehouse in North Las Vegas to be used as a regional fulfillment center for the countless orders placed via their website on a daily basis.

Amazon’s warehouse, one of over 75 Amazon currently has across the country, will ring in at an impressive 800,000 square feet, and is being erected near Lamb Boulevard and Tropical Parkway. The facility is expected to open its doors for business in summer 2017, and with the opening of said doors will come a immediate boon to the local economy in the form of 1,000 new jobs, many of which will man the warehouse stocking items and packing orders that are destined for numerous locations throughout the Southwest.

As an enticement for Amazon to set up shop in North Las Vegas, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has offered up $1.8 million in tax savings in the form of tax abatement’s for the online retailer. According to Amazon’s latest annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company saw net income of $2.37 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2016.

Governor Sandoval noted in a statement that Nevada has been attracting numerous big-name companies to its corporate landscape; in addition to Amazon, The Honest Company, CML Media Corp Sutherland Global Services, TH Foods and Zazzle are expected to set up shop in the area, not to mention the impending re-location of the Oakland Raiders NFL team to Las Vegas within the next 1-2 years. With this injection of fresh blood into the region, Sandoval said, is serving to turn Nevada in general and Las Vegas in particular into a destination not only for tourism, but business as well.

“That’s what provides the jobs…a variety of companies will spur growth in Nevada, including Amazon.com, the largest internet-based retailer in the world,” he said. “North Las Vegas is transforming…Nevada’s business-friendly atmosphere is not only helping existing Nevada companies expand, but also bringing industry-leading companies to our state.”

Following the national recession, the North Las Vegas area has seen an increase in warehouse construction, which in turn has been providing a great many new jobs for local residents; with the steadily improving employment situation in the area – not to mention an influx of out-of-state transplants looking for a better job market – the Las Vegas real estate outlook has improved at an equally steady rate. After all, when jobs are available, money is flowing, and new people are settling in an area, adequate places to live are a necessity; with the housing options in Las Vegas already raising regularly in value due to growing demand outstripping supply, new economic factors resulting in an even greater need for enough houses and apartments is going to cause already swelling prices in the real estate market to spike even further.

Oakland Raiders Will Move to New Stadium in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – For the third time in 35 years, the Oakland Raiders have decided to pack their bags and move to greener pastures; this time, calling Las Vegas, Nevada home, possibly within the next two years or less, and the arrival of the popular National Football League team – an addition to a brand-new 65,000 seat state-of-the-art stadium for them to call home – is bound to have a distinct impact upon the Southern Nevada area.

In late January 2016, billionaire Sheldon Adelson, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, proposed a new domed stadium in Las Vegas to potentially house the University of Nevada, Las Vegas football team and a possible NFL team. Adelson contacted Raiders management for a potential partnership with the team in regards to the new stadium, and in April 2016, Raiders owner Mark Davis met with the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee.

Adelson – along with Goldman Sachs, the project’s backup investor – later pulled out of the deal, but the gap was filled by Bank of America; Nevada’s legislature also approved a $750 million public subsidy (via a 0.88 percent increase in hotel occupancy taxes) for the stadium in October 2016, and the Raiders themselves will invest $500 million of their own money in the project. Overall, the stadium has a $1.9 billion price tag, which includes a $100-million practice facility.

The Oakland Raiders were founded on January 30, 1960, as a member of the American Football League; they are currently members of the National Football League, which merged with the AFL in 1970. Over the years, the Raiders’ fortunes on the gridiron have flip-flopped regularly, going through losing streaks but becoming dominant within the league as well, culminating in an easy 1980 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV. At the end of the NFL’s 2015 season, the Raiders boasted a lifetime regular-season record of 444 wins, 397 losses, and 11 ties; their lifetime playoff record currently stands at 25 wins and 18 losses.

The Raiders have courted much controversy over their seemingly nomadic tendencies; in 1982 the team relocated to Los Angeles (while still retaining the ‘Oakland’ moniker), and would remain there until 1995, at which time they returned to Oakland. On March 27, 2017, NFL team owners voted nearly unanimously to approve the Raiders’ application to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas, Nevada, in a 31-to-1 vote. The Raiders will remain in Oakland through 2018 – and possibly 2019 – and relocate to Las Vegas in either 2019 or 2020.

The stadium and the prestige of having their very own NFL team on-hand is part of state government’s goal of solidifying the very backbone of Las Vegas’ lucrative tourism industry, according to a statement released by Governor Brian Sandoval.

We have before us the opportunity to invest in Nevada’s most foundational industry, tourism, by providing for the infrastructure and public safety needs of the 21st century,” he said. “We can and must usher in a new era for tourism in the Las Vegas market, while keeping our citizens and visitors safe, and ensuring our position as the global leader in entertainment and hospitality.

The stadium is anticipated to provide a boost to the local economy, which is expected to create a ripple effect that will be felt throughout many of Las Vegas’ many industries- including real estate. Jobs and local wages are both expected to receive a boost; in addition, the amount of tourism to the area is sure to increase as not only will the stadium be host to the Raiders, but also the University of Nevada – Las Vegas football team as well, attracting professional and collegiate football fans of all ages.

All of this will translate into a significant amount of fresh revenue being pumped into the Vegas economy, and in any market experiencing employment and wage prosperity, it’s attractiveness as a place to live is sure to increase as well. This is anticipated to result in an increase in home and apartment prices in the area, where quality housing options are already shrinking and are priced at a premium. More than ever – fueled by the arrival of the Oakland Raiders and a brand-new football stadium – Las Vegas will become a seller’s market within the next few years.

However, all the details have not been set in stone yet; terms for a 30-year lease with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority still to have terms ironed out, and property upon which to actually build the stadium still needs to be secured; one proposed 63-acre site is located near McCarran International Airport. However, these are considered to be minor issues with all parties committed to making Las Vegas the new home of the Oakland Raiders a reality.

If you are considering relocating in or around the Las Vegas area, which clearly is experiencing huge growth and a booming job market,  give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any real estate and home relocation questions you may have.

Las Vegas Real Estate: Foreclosures Only 7% of Available Residential Listings

Las Vegas Real Estate: Foreclosures Only 7% of Available Residential Listings

As of this writing, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (MLS) showed a total of 8,793 active Single Family Homes, Town Homes and Condominiums available with no offers. Here is the breakdown:

  1. 649 foreclosure listings which comprise 7.3% of all listings
  2. 1,338 short sales which comprises 15.2% of the market
  3. 1,987 distressed sales (short sale + foreclosures) which equates to 22.5% of the market
  4. 6,806 listings are traditional sales which make the up 77.5% of the market

 Housing Units and Vacancies

The University of Nevada-Las Vegas’ Lied Institute for Real Estate (pronounced “LEED”) reported in its Housing Market 2013, 2nd Quarter (displayed above) there were an estimated 72,737 vacant properties in the Las Vegas area. This is a vacancy rate of 9.4%. It is clear from the numbers of listed homes as compared to the overall vacancy rate in the Las Vegas real estate market that there is still a sizable shadow inventory that exists.

Another interesting component of the overall health of the market is new home sales. According to Lied’s Oct 2013 Market Conditions Report, new homes sales were down 77% from last year at this time. You may be wondering what new home sales would have to do with the amount of foreclosures. The relevancy is that still 41% of homes with mortgages are under water (UNLV LIED INSTITUTE FOR REAL ESTATE STUDIES, REPORT ON NEVADA HOUSING, OCT 2013, PAGE 16). The prospect that prices have peaked means that those yet hoping to get bailed out by rising prices are unlikely to see that scenario pan out, leading to more distressed sales.

If this data correctly suggests that prices will stall or decline once again; then the action buyers and sellers should take is pretty clear. If you were thinking of selling now is a great time to lock up your equity. If you’re looking to buy, you’ll need to look at this market very honestly when deciding whether or not to enter.

Las Vegas Real Estate: Residential Market at a Crossroads

The Las Vegas real estate market has seen a run up of about 32% across the board over the past year according to several sources such as Zillow.com and Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors released for the month of August 2013.

During the past three months there have been some fundamentals in the market that causing concern to a growing number of persons attuned to the Las Vegas Real Estate Market.

  • Las Vegas’ unemployment rate remains high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate in Las Vegas declined from 9.7% to 9.6%. That figure of one tenth of one percent equates to about 1000 persons. Unfortunately 5,000 workers left the job market and are no longer considered part of the equation so although the rate dipped the actual number of persons without work actually increased. Las Vegas trails only Detroit in the highest unemployment rate of major metropolitan areas.
  • Interest rates currently held down by Quantitative Easing (the Federal Reserve pumping money into the economy by purchasing bonds and other assets). Currently, the Fed buys 85 Billion dollars a month or over a trillion per year. Printing that much money will eventually stop and interest rates are then expected to rise. Remember, to the average home buyer getting a loan, a rise in interest rates erodes their purchasing power. This point goes to affordability. Since payments go up when rates go up, the amount a borrower can then qualify for goes down. In essence, the Affordability Rate goes down.
  • The Wild Card, Investors – During 2010 through early 2013 as much as 50% of the purchases were made in cash, which most likely indicates investors and not long term homeowners. Las Vegas Realtors during 2012 were bombarded by institutional buyers such as hedge funds seeking to purchase homes directly off the Las Vegas MLS. The pitch was that these buyers were looking for a 5-10 year hold period for the assets they purchased and were mostly interested in attractive rents. Even Wall Street didn’t expect to see 30-60% gains in values in less than a year as some neighborhoods subsequently appreciated. It cannot be understated that as quickly as these investors came in, they could pull up stakes and leave by selling their assets. These owners are not here for the long term, they came simply to make money. If values were to go down, these investors would have to head for the door to protect their gains. Once that happened the market could become flooded with inventory.
  • Inventory is up and closings are down. One thing appears fairly certain from my view, there is no upward pressure on Las Vegas real estate prices any further. The only question seems to be whether they will stabilize at current levels or begin to decline again. Sellers if considering selling their home may well be choosing a great time to sell.

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.

Conclusions

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 @shelterrealty.com

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

 

Source: GreatSchools.org

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.)