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Category Archive : Investing

COVID-19 Brings House-Flipping in Vegas to Temporary Standstill

LAS VEGAS, NV – With the disturbance that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is causing in the real estate industry word-wide, house-flippers in Las Vegas – as well as across the nation – have taken a temporary pause while riding out the effects of the devastating outbreak upon the economy, according to recent reports.

Among the organizations putting the brakes on buying homes to quickly renovate and put back on the market to make a profit is the Zillow Group, which is ceasing such activities in Vegas as well as 23 other markets where it engages in flipping, through its “Zillow Offers program.”

The main driving factor behind Zillow’s decision, reports say, is compliance with ordinances passed by many local municipalities dictating that businesses deemed as “nonessential” temporarily close to reduce the spread of coronavirus. But while refraining from acquiring new properties, Zillow will still be selling homes already in their inventory.

In addition, numerous other flippers, both present in Vegas or with a web presence – including Opendoor of San Francisco – is reporting a pause from buying homes in the Southern Nevada region as well while quarantine measures are in effect.

According to experts, the Las Vegas real estate scene stands to be hurt more than average due to the effects of the pandemic for a number of reasons, not the least of which being its massive tourism industry; due to travel restriction measures and temporary business and retail closures – and no certain timetable yet for their re-opening – tourism in Vegas is completely off the table for the time being. This, unfortunately, is causing economic havoc in a city that was previously skyrocketing back to the top after recovering from the mid-2000s recession.

Real estate sales are expected to take a large dip while the coronavirus scare persists, but experts are also predicting a fast turnaround of Las Vegas’ fortunes once again when the pandemic eventually levels off. It’s simply a matter of riding out the storm until it subsides.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

“Leasebacks” Playing Increasingly Larger Role in Las Vegas Real Estate Scene

LAS VEGAS, NV – According to recent reports, the Las Vegas Raiders’ practice facility – which is still currently under construction – was sold by team officials last week for the hefty sum of $191 million. But where will the Raiders practice then, you might ask? Why at that very same facility, since right after the sale Raiders officials leased the facility right back, a growing and popular trend in Las Vegas real estate known as a “leaseback.”

A form of flipping – buying a property, building upon it or renovating existing structures, and then selling it for a profit – the leaseback takes the concept to the next level by having property owners sell a building, only to rent it right back for whatever use they may need it for. The practice has generated billions of dollars in revenue in Vegas in recent months, and apparently the Raiders are the latest entity to get in on the action… and they’re not even officially residents of the city yet.

The Raiders sold their Henderson-based headquarters and practice center – which is still being built – to Mesirow Financial of Chicago in February 21, and then immediately entered into a lease agreement with Mesirow for 29 years, with the option of extending that lease for a total of 70 years, divided up into seven separate ten-year options, according to Clark County records.

The rent the Raiders will be paying to Mesirow is not currently known.

Leasebacks are common occurrences in many industries in Las Vegas, including fitness centers, fast-foot restaurants, and casino hotels; the advantages are many, including a large influx of cash up-front to the seller and the opportunity to establish a lock in long-term lease. For the buyer, the advantage is that they have an instant renter for their property, as opposed to acquiring it and then having it sit vacant – and not generating a dime in revenue – while they search for a tenant. However, leasebacks have their potential pitfalls as well, especially if the seller has financial issues or closes their doors for business; but regardless, leasebacks are growing in popularity in Vegas, as the benefits often far outweigh any potential issues that might come down the line.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Former Lucky Dragon Hotel Re-Branded and Re-Opened as “Ahern Hotel,” Plans Extensive Renovation

LAS VEGAS, NV – According to reports, the former Lucky Dragon has been given a new lease on life, as new ownership has re-branded and re-opened the facility with plans to give the hotel and casino a huge make-over.

The newly christened Ahern Hotel – named after owner and developer Don Ahern – will eschew the Lucky Dragon’s previous Chinese-themed design aesthetic – most of the decorations, including statues and a dragon chandelier, have been removed from the premises and are currently in storage awaiting sale – in favor of a more conventional look and feel, although the building still features its previous red exterior, but with all-new signs reflecting the name change.

Originally opening in 2008 with 203 rooms and a 27,500 square-foot casino – considered small compared to their local competitors – the former Lucky Dragon was inspired by Asian concepts in an effort to appeal to Asian customers, who were expected to be the resort’s primary customer base.

However, the establishment experienced low customer turnout over the years that it was open and as a result, the Lucky Dragon permanently closed for business on October 2, 2018. It was eventually sold for $36 million in April 2019 to Don Ahern, and reopened as the Ahern Hotel and Convention Center in late 2019.

Currently, the casino is not being re-opened; instead, Ahern noted that he intends to transform the casino into conference and convention space, with work expected to begin in March 2020; currently, the new facility is slated to have a separate name, although that moniker has not yet been publicly revealed.

Ahern estimated that he will be spending less than $10 million on the changes to the former casino space – including new eateries such as an Italian and a sushi restaurant – and hopes the entire resort would be ready in time for a grand opening on July 4, 2020.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Lotus

New Luxury Apartment Complex Approved for Las Vegas’ Chinatown Region

LAS VEGAS, NV – According to reports, developer Jonathan Fore is set to build a new luxury apartment complex in Las Vegas after having the project recently received the approval it needs to go forward from Clark County commissioners.

Fore is also responsible for the construction of Lotus, an apartment complex located on Spring Mountain Road, adjacent to Valley View Boulevard several years ago. The developer noted that the proposed new complex – dubbed The Pearl – will be a 170-unit building spread out over seven floods, and will be situated nearby the Lotus on the opposite side of Valley View Boulevard.

The first three floors of the building would be comprised of a private parking garage and over 11,000 square feet of retail space at the ground floor, according to documents filed with Clark County. The complex would be on a 2-acre plot of land, and apartments would range from 690 to 1,382 square feet, with rents in the neighborhood of $1,550 to $2,500 per month.

Las Vegas has seen a large number of apartment complexes built there in recent years as the economy has bred rapid job growth and a subsequent influx of new residents from other states looking to take advantage of that fact, as well as Vegas’ overall lower cost of living when compared to many other regions of the United States. Apartment construction in Vegas has been mostly in the suburbs, due to the relative ease and affordability of doing so when compared to other areas of Southern Nevada.

Fore announced that he hopes to hold the groundbreaking for The Pearl in August of this year, and is eyeing a construction completion date of summer 2022. Fore also noted that adding a new apartment complex in Chinatown would be a boon to both prospective future tenants and local businesses, as there are many retail, dining, and entertainment options nearby.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

2019 Saw Several Las Vegas-Based Apartment Complexes Sell for $100 Million+, Reports Say

LAS VEGAS, NV – 2019 was a big-money year in terms of apartment complex sales, according to recent reports. As an affordable alternative to the rising costs of home ownership in the Southern Nevada region, apartment rentals have surged in popularity in Vegas as more and more people move to the area in search of employment due to the vastly improved economy in recent years.

Several apartment complexes have changed hands in Vegas throughout 2019 for some impressive dollar amounts; one example is Evo, a complex situated in the suburbs that went for $104.5 million shortly before the beginning of the 2020. The complex is indeed impressive, as it offers high-class amenities for residents such as an indoor basketball court, steam and sauna rooms, and a rooftop lounge.

Other apartment complexes that have sold for big money in Las Vegas in 2019 include Allanza at the Lakes for $152 million; Elysian at Flamingo for $104.6 million; Vegas Towers for $104 million; and Pointe at Centennial for $100 million.

However, despite these impressive total dollar amounts, there’s another aspect of these sales that need to be taken into account in order to estimate the true value of these properties- price per unit. Price per unit is relatively simple to figure out- it is the price paid for the complex divided by the number of rental units.

For example, the Evo is a 367-unit complex; since it sold for $104.5 million, the price per unit comes to approximately $284,741. Allanza at the Lakes, which sold for $152 million, has 896-units; that brings its price per unit to approximately $169,643. These contrasting prices per unit totals underscore the fact that there is far more to any rental property purchase than the initial buying price.

The Las Vegas valley is currently the epicenter of investor activity in terms of interest in apartment properties; one property owner recently noted that when he put up three Vegas-based properties in a $241 million bulk deal, he quickly received 40 offers; 30 of those were for individual buildings in the offer, whereas 10 of those offers were for the entire three properties. Clearly, Las Vegas is in the midst of an apartment boom; however, it’s up to landlords to make sure it stays that way with stable rents that take long-term affordability concerns into consideration.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

“Las Vegas Housing Market Will Continue to Grow in 2020 Due to Low Inventory”

LAS VEGAS, NV – According to a recent interview with a noted real estate professional, the Las Vegas housing market – booming in recent years after laying in dormancy for over a decade – will continue to be fueled going into 2020 and beyond by a number of factors, not the least of which is how the region’s low home inventory will only help to increase overall demand.

The population of Las Vegas is increasing by as much as 50,000-60,000 people annually; that factor, combined with new home construction not keeping pace with demand, has resulted in shortages, especially in price ranges considered affordable to the average working Joe. In contrast, unlike the housing market, rental construction has been keeping pace with demand, resulting in more stabilized pricing.

Homes in Las Vegas at the $350,000 price range are attracting buyers in particular, given the fact that – due to steadily rising prices overall – homes at this price are becoming more and more rare. In recent years, skyrocketing prices of homes in Vegas have begun to raise affordability concerns, as previously Southern Nevada had been lauded for its low cost of living.

While still far more affordable when compared to the national average and especially neighboring states such as California, the cost of a median single-family home in Vegas has been getting to the point where it could potentially become an issue if prices maintain on this path. The $350,000 price range has become the magic bullet, so to speak, offering a balance between profit for sellers and affordability for buyers, especially for new transplants to the regions who have been lured there by job prospects born out of the newly-blossoming economy. In addition, loans for buyers – complete with low interest rates – are widely obtainable in Vegas, although the qualification process is said to be stringent due to the high rate of applicants. Thus, ultimately, getting a house at an affordable price in Las Vegas is a combination of patience and vigilance, in addition to being ready.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Dallas Real Estate Firm Purchases $345 Million in Las Vegas Apartment Properties

LAS VEGAS, NV – NexPoint Residential Trust, a real estate firm based in Dallas, Texas, recently made a huge purchase of Las Vegas rental properties to the tune of $345 Million, signifying the group’s desire to get in on the Southern Nevada apartment scene in a big way.

NexPoint acquired four apartment complexes recently- the 528-unit Bloom, the 320-unit Bella Solara, the 315-unit Torreyana, and – through a related party – the 360-unit Elysian at Flamingo, all of which are located in the western Las Vegas Valley. The first three properties were purchased from the Bascom Group and Oaktree Capital Management, whereas the fourth was purchased from the Calida Group, reports say.

This buying spree comes amid a record period of growth for the Las Vegas rental market; following a housing shortage in recent years due to a rapidly-expanding economy and recovery of the local real estate market after a decade of stagnation, developers have surged in the last year, building numerous apartment complexes as a solution to the shortage. 

But regardless of the increase of availability in the rental market, tenants have been forced to contend with a general lack of vacancies and increasing rent prices, creating real concerns regarding affordability. 
According to reports from Moody’s, the average rent for an apartment in Las Vegas in the third quarter of 2019 was $1,138, which represents an increase of 5.2 percent from the same period of time in 2018; the average growth rate for the United States overall in that same time period was 4.1 percent. However, recent reports have indicated that some degree of stability has been occurring in the Las Vegas market due to the increase in rental units, due to the diligence of construction developers.

According to their website, NexPoint Residential Trust is an externally advised, publicly traded, Real Estate Investment Trust, focused on the acquisition, asset management, and disposition of multifamily assets, located primarily in the Southeast United States and Texas. The company pursues investments in class A and B multifamily real estate property, typically with a value-add component, where they can invest capital to provide “life style” amenities to “work force” housing.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Retail Demand for Las Vegas Strip Space Reaches Fever Pitch

LAS VEGAS, NV – On the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, nowadays you will find the usual stalwarts – mainly casinos and hotel resorts – nestled in tightly with another money-making business currently expanding their presence: retail. Looking to take advantage of the massive amount of foot traffic that roams about the Strip on a daily basis, retail is becoming more and more prevalent in that unique section of Vegas, with their ownership paying astounding amounts of money for as many precious square-feet of real estate as they can get their hands on.

The businesses that are dotting the Strip these days are nothing out of the ordinary; mainly convenience stores, pharmacies, souvenir shops, T-shirt vendors, tour booths, and more. But in a city with a thriving and huge tourism industry like Las Vegas, these stores are typically packed on a near 24-hour basis generating huge dollar totals from the 42 million visitors to Vegas on an annual basis.

New York businessman Eli Gindi, while on a trip to Vegas five years ago, learned that part of the Strip’s Showcase Mall was for sale; after talking to a vendor who told him that they were paying a whopping $50,000 a month in rent on a simple table in that mall – and obviously doing while turning in a healthy profit – Gindi refused to leave to go back to New York until he had purchased part of the property for $145 million. His company – Gindi Capital – later purchased the rest of the mall, and then began snapping up other shopping and dining properties on the Strip with profits beginning to rolling.

Previously, the Strip’s retail presence was primarily countless casinos and resorts lining its streets; stores and eateries were contained within, requiring foot traffic to actually enter and seek them out. However, over the years, street-front retail has come to the forefront, so to speak, and as a result business owners have been fighting each other over the demand for precious and ever-elusive space.

The demand for retail in Las Vegas stands in stark contrast to similar tourist spots in much of the rest of the country, where retail is slowly but surely drying up in many markets as internet-based alternatives take over. Part of the reason is price; in New York City’s Times Square, retail property often goes for as much as $1,800 per square foot, whereas on the Strip that rate averages around $300. Also, the tourist-to-resident ratio when it comes to foot traffic in Las Vegas is far, far higher than it is in Manhattan, leading to more potential consumer opportunities.

These factors all combine to create a unique circumstance in Las Vegas where retail is a force to be reckoned with, and one that continues to grow and become more profitable by the day.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Prices of Homes in Las Vegas Expected to Rise to “Much Higher Levels” Till 2021, Experts Say

LAS VEGAS, NV – October 2019 home sales in Las Vegas ended up being one of the most successful months since the mid-2000’s, thanks in-part to a series of closings on very pricey homes in the region. That trend, according to recent reports, is expected to carry over into the rapidly-approaching new year, maybe even further.

While this is a good sign for those investing in Vegas real estate, it is also causing people to revisit the issues surrounding cost-of-living in Las Vegas and concerns of maintaining Southern Nevada’s well-known “affordability,” a condition that many feel was recently threatened by the ever-climbing home and rental prices that have been showing signs of stabilizing in the marketplace. 

Further, reports have indicated that prices of existing Las Vegas homes that have sold in 2019 have increased by only 2.6 percent; however, prices are expected to increase to much higher levels come 2020 and 2021, according to a University of Nevada, Las Vegas economist – a prediction which runs in direct opposition to speculation that prices in Las Vegas were on the verge of lowering as developers construct more housing options due to the high demand.

When it comes to sales of newly-constructed homes in Vegas, 932 of them were purchased in October 2019, which represents an increase of 34 percent over the same period in 2018, when 695 new homes were sold. Final numbers aren’t in for November 2019 yet, but sales that month appear to potentially be just as brisk.

Currently, the median price of new single-family homes that sold in October 2019 was $410,414; however, 30 homes among those sold were priced at $1 million or higher, which likely drove the median price upwards. In addition, approximately 28 percent of homes sold in October ranged between $500,000 and $1 million. Meanwhile, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,190.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Las Vegas Home Construction Posts Strongest Quarter Since 2007

LAS VEGAS, NV – According to reports, Las Vegas new home construction and sales have displayed its strongest quarter of activity since 2007, with developers currently on-track this year to equal their 2018 performance.

According to reports, 2,500 net sales of newly-built homes in the Las Vegas region were reported from the start of July throughout the end of September, which represents an increase of 8.5 percent over the same period one year ago. File photo: Pixabay.

2,500 net sales of newly-built homes in the Las Vegas region were reported from the start of July throughout the end of September, which represents an increase of 8.5 percent over the same period one year ago. The previous high-water mark for sales was 2,760 in 2007, which was just prior to the burst of the housing bubble.

Factors that have been figuring into this continuing upward trend have been an influx of affordable homes into the marketplace – something which had been addressing home shortages and/or had been driving prices up until recently – not to mention assistance from lenders, who have lowered interest rates on loans to below four percent, down from five percent or more just one year ago. 

With more people still moving to the Southern Nevada region due to the skyrocketing economy and the influx of new businesses – and with them, jobs – it’s not at all surprising that new homes have been selling like they have. Moreover, reports say, the lowered interest rates, combined with increasing inventory, are helping to create a more stable, sustainable marketplace; until recently, dwindling supply had been driving home prices continuously upward, raising concerns about affordability. 

Sales of existing homes have also been healthy recently, with their prices approaching – but remaining well under – the prices of new homes; currently, the median sales price of an existing home has been about $299,000, as opposed to newly-built homes, which are fetching closer to $390,000 on the open market. Both of those numbers, respectively, are still well under the national average when compared to many other major marketplaces, such as New York or California.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Las Vegas Short-Term Vacation Rental Market Doing Record Business

LAS VEGAS, NV – According to reports, the short-term vacation rental market is booming in Las Vegas, with Nevada becoming the fourth-highest such market in the country. Vegas has always been a destination city for a variety of reasons, but after the recovery of the city’s economy, the recent influx of money, jobs, businesses and the arrival of the recently-transplanted Raiders NFL team – tourism has reached a fever pitch in Southern Nevada. Enter the rental market. Tourists have been turning increasingly to short-term home rentals when visiting Las Vegas, and investors have sat up and taken notice. Within the span of the last ten years, the vacation home rental industry in Vegas has gone up a whopping 50 percent, reports say.

Some of the most popular areas to rent vacation homes locally include Henderson, due in part to it’s proximity to the famed Las Vegas Strip; after such rentals were made legal there, reports indicate that anywhere from a 200-300 percent increase in the number of investors who have purchased homes in order to rent them out to tourists. Home rentals for tourists are often more popular then hotels and other accommodations; this holds especially true for families with children, according to reports.

Home prices in Vegas, while still climbing at record rates due to the law of supply and demand, are still nonetheless much cheaper than the national average, especially when compared to neighboring states such as California. Some investors report seeing quick returns on their investment dollars, with some Airbnb users noting that it’s possible to make as much as $8,000 a week if your play your cards right.

However, the short-term vacation rental market comes with its caveats, among them the fact that it may see an increase in rent and traditional home-buyers being pushed out. Due to this, the rental business could end up making things more difficult for both type renters and buyers alike.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Las Vegas Receiving Large Influx of New York Real Estate Investment Dollars

LAS VEGAS, NV – Recently, with real estate booming in Southern Nevada, investment firms in New York have been delivering an influx of capital into multiple upcoming development projects in Las Vegas, signaling a strong belief in the current and future potential of the region, reports say.

The Rio Resort and Casino was sold last month by Caesars Entertainment Corp for $516.3 million to Imperial Companies, making the latest high-profile – and high-dollar – sale of a Vegas property to a New York-based investor or group. File photo: Pixabay.

The Rio Resort and Casino was sold last month by Caesars Entertainment Corp for $516.3 million to Imperial Companies, making the latest high-profile – and high-dollar – sale of a Vegas property to a New York-based investor or group. As per the deal, Caesars will continue to function as management for the Rio for the next two years – or possibly longer – while paying $45 million in rent annually.

Prior to the mid-2000’s national recession – before housing values in Las Vegas had collapsed and multiple development projects were abandoned – many New York-based investment firms swept in and financially backed numerous construction and real estate projects, a trend that has continued to this very day with the recovery of the economy.

One of the very biggest New York investors in Las Vegas is The Blackstone Group, owned by Stephen Schwarzman. Among the Vegas-based purchases that Blackstone has made in recent years – in addition to multiple local-area apartment buildings – include the Hughes Center office park for $347 million in 2013, the Cosmopolitan for over $1.7 billion in 2014, and the World Market Center furniture showroom hall in 2017; the amount of that last acquisition has not been publicly disclosed.

Steve Witkoff, a prominent New York-based developer, purchased the Las Vegas Strip-based Fontainebleau – in an unfinished state at the time, and now called Drew Las Vegas – for $600 million in 2017, along with partners based in Florida. In addition, the Nakash family of New York, in partnership with Gindi Capital, purchased the Showcase Mall – located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise – for over $367 million, the deal done in two phases in 2014 and 2015. Gindi, on their own, also bought 9.5 acres of property on Las Vegas Boulevard for $172 million in 2019.

Many other deals and investments have been made by New York-based entities as well.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.