LAS VEGAS REAL ESTATE APRIL 2016

Las Vegas Real Estate is back! Existing home prices are up an impressive 8.3% over this time last year, and Zillow predicts they will rise about 5% within the next year.

Foreclosures and short sales once dominated the Las Vegas housing market, but now their negative impact has lessened, and they’re only about 15% of housing sales. The number of homes with negative equity has fallen from a high of 65% to 18%. Around 100,000 Las Vegas Valley homes have been foreclosed on or short sold, and only about 300 foreclosures and 800 short sales are currently on the market. Investor and cash sales, which once dominated the marketplace, are at a five year low.

Interest rates are still amazingly low, and qualifying parameters are loosening. The low mortgage rates can allow a couple with a $60,000/yr. income to qualify for the $196,000 median single family Las Vegas home price (Zillow). A home in Las Vegas is much more affordable than most desirable markets. And the attractiveness of the cost of living in Las Vegas, as well as the lack of a state income tax, make Las Vegas one of the better values for both living and retirement. Not to mention it’s an incredibly fun place to live!

Furthermore, the population is now growing again. New construction projects are popping up all over town. Over 300 new home subdivisions are currently building, and new homes are now over 10% of the market. These signs indicate that the optimism for Las Vegas growth from a decade ago is revived in the minds of developers and business leaders. And they do their diligence before investing their money.

Additionally, the Las Vegas unemployment rate has dropped to around 6.2%. Tourism is up, casinos are hiring, and construction jobs, once a dead market in Las Vegas, are back.

The Genting Group is building the most ambitious project since MGM built the City Center project (The Aria and adjoining complexes) on the old Stardust property. To be named Resorts World, the casino will be a luxurious mega-resort and will aid the development of the North Strip. Opening around mid-2018, the construction and casino jobs, plus the 2 for 1 compounding effect for additional workers, will add significant additional jobs and growth to the Las Vegas Valley.

Also, James Parker, the Australian casino magnate, has started moving the earth around at the new Alon site, the former home of the New Frontier casino. This project is also estimated to be completed in 2018, adding further jobs and growth.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any Real Estate needs or just want to chat about Las Vegas Real Estate, give Roy Cooke, a knowledgeable and experienced Nevada licensed Broker/Salesperson a call at 702-498-9600. If I don’t pick up, leave a message and I’ll call you back.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year! It’s Going to be a Wonderful 2015!

Las Vegas is back on the road again; 2014 was a great year!

Mega projects are arising. The Genting Group, which purchased the old Stardust acreage, will be building a 175,000sf, 3,000+ room Asian-themed casino which they plan to open in 2016. Additionally, Australian billionaire James Packer has purchased controlling interest in the ex-New Frontier site and has plans for another mega-resort. SLS has opened the old Sahara with a new modern-themed casino, complete with state-of-the-art clubs.

The LINQ, the Las Vegas strip’s new 300,000sf retail, dining and 550 foot high Ferris wheel are attracting new business, and the MGM corporation is building a new 20,000 seat stadium with a retail mall and restaurants. The project will be accessed between the Monte Carlo and New York, New York hotels and will bring more entertainment and sporting events to town. “Downtown Summerlin,” a massive 1,800,000sf business, entertainment, fashion and retail mall, opened adjoining Red Rock Casino. Shelved commercial projects from the 2008 crash are being restarted all over town. And new housing developments are popping up as home builders react favorably to the recent growth of Las Vegas.

All of this is great news for Las Vegas’s jobs market which has been steadily improving. In November 2014 Nevada’s jobless rate fell below 7% for the first time since 2008. With all this new economic development, along with the population growth it will bring, that number should fall even further.

CNN’s MONEY magazine rated Las Vegas in the top 10 cities Americans are moving to. The article also forecast a 5.4 % home price growth in 2015, and with the Federal Reserve stating that they will continue with low interest rates, 2015 should be a good year for Las Vegas Real Estate as well as the city’s future economic outlook. A sign that major builders are highly aware of a positive forecast is that in December, a 15 acre residential parcel near Wigwam and Rainbow was bought at a BLM auction for $6,000,000 or $400,000/acre. Wow! America West will build over 100 homes on the site. It’s been a long, long time since Las Vegas has seen land prices that high.

Of additional note, the process to link Phoenix and Las Vegas with an Interstate highway, the I-11 project, by upgrading U.S. Highway 93 is moving along. Both states are endorsing the project which, once completed, will produce great economic benefits for Las Vegas by increased generation of tourism and commerce.

The national economy is also moving upward. Low gas prices and Fed policies are fueling economic growth. Plus America is slated to become the world’s largest energy producer within 10 years. The economic growth will be powerful for Las Vegas, as gaming, the driving force of the Las Vegas economy, is a discretionary income pastime.

Las Vegas was devastated by the 2008 crash and has been through some extremely tough times. But we’ve weathered that storm and are emerging again as an extremely desirable retirement destination as well the leader in American gaming. The once bleak days are fading into a thing of the past.

Las Vegas’s future hasn’t looked this bright in almost a decade.

If you’re looking to buy or sell any Real Estate or just want to chat about any Las Vegas Real Estate issues with someone who studies the business, please call the Real Estate offices of Roy and Misty Cooke at 702-376-1515 or you can reach us via e-mail at Realtyace@aol.com.

The Las Vegas Housing Report By Roy Cooke

The housing market is an extension of the economy on both the national and local level. When times are good, people can afford and do purchase housing. Both the national and Nevada State economy are improving, albeit slowly. It will take more time to heal all the wounds of the 2008 crash. The good news is that we’re moving in a recuperative direction.

Statewide consumer spending is up 4.9% year over year! Nevada’s population is increasing, up 1.8% in 2013 to 2.8 million. And new businesses and construction projects are appearing all over the state. Tesla is building a plant in Northern Nevada; several casino companies have recently acquired Las Vegas strip land and will be building mega-casinos over the next few years. Additionally, many large commercial and housing “shelved” projects have reacquired construction financing and have resumed building. Las Vegas’s future is starting to look bright again.

Additionally, total jobs are up 3.4% year over year, making for 43 months of consecutive Y-O-Y growth. Nationally, people are now retiring at the rate of 8,000 per day. With Nevada being a popular retirement state due to the good weather, low cost of living and great entertainment facilities, and with that number growing as America ages, it will undoubtedly further feed Nevada growth.

Of interesting note, cash home closings are down to about 30% of sales, from a high of about 60%. That translates into fewer corporate and investor purchases and more owner-occupant buyers, great news for the average working class family. Distressed home sales (REO’s, short sales and auctioned) are down to under 30% of closings, from a high of over 73% in 2009.

Months of effective housing inventory, those available and not under contract, is just over 3 months’ worth. A “normal” market is 5-6 months’ worth of supply. So, housing supply is still below normal. Some statisticians are including homes under contract into their housing inventory, but those homes are mostly short sales, unavailable to buyers. The number of underwater homes has dropped from over 60% of all Nevada homes to under 30%. The banks have loosened their requirements to short sale and modify their loans. The “shadow inventory” predicted calamity has not materialized, and that threat has faded.

Average rents in Las Vegas have been increasing and are currently averaging 111% of the mortgage cost of the same home. Home ownership, even without any tax or appreciation benefits added in, is still a better bet than renting.

Much has been written and stated about the water levels in Lake Mead and the potential water shortage risk in Southern Nevada. And while these risks are real, several solutions are in the proposal stage, and should water restrictions force a building moratorium in Southern Nevada that would only appreciate existing homes. On a positive note, water conservation endeavors have reduced the average water usage per household by 30%.

Nevada is slowly healing from the disastrous collapse of 2008-09. With cheap interest rates, low housing prices, and a resurging economy, housing looks like a positive investment. Even if prices stabilize rather than appreciate, locking in a long-term mortgage at today’s low rates will pay economic benefits to the buyer for years to come.

If you’re looking to buy or sell any Real Estate or just want to chat about any Las Vegas Real Estate issues you might have with someone who studies the business, please call the Real Estate offices of Roy and Misty Cooke at 702-376-1515 or you can reach us via e-mail at Realtyace@aol.com.

The Las Vegas Housing Report By Roy Cooke

The construction cranes in Las Vegas are moving again as Las Vegas slowly rebuilds and recovers from the massive economic hit it took in 2007-11. We’ve had 38 months of private sector job growth, visitor volume (over 40,000,000) and gaming win are both at peak levels in 2013. Additionally, Case-Shiller reports a 24% housing price increase in 2013, the highest in the nation. 

Unemployment is below 9%; Nevada is second in job growth behind North Dakota. And that’s only projected to get better. Over $7,000,000 in major commercial and construction projects are designated for the Las Vegas Strip. These projects should add 10-15 thousand additional construction jobs to Las Vegas.

But of course, these things are relative. Intuitively, percentage growth numbers often sound much better than they really are. It depends what you’re comparing them to, what parameters you use to quantify and if you include all pertinent data (i.e. inflation, population growth, etc.)Las Vegas was one of the hardest economically hit cities in the “Great Recession.”We’ve gone from the fastest depreciating housing market to the fastest appreciating one.So, while these numbers look good in percentage terms, and no doubt it’s wonderful that economic data is showing upwards trends, economically we’re nowhere close to where we were years ago. Southern Nevada’s economy is still badly damaged.

But the past is the rear view mirror, and what’s important is where Las Vegas is headed and which life decisions you should make to adjust to our newfound realities. Specifically, how will that future affect the Las Vegas Valley housing market? 

The commercial and casino projects will create additional leisure and hospitality jobs in addition to the construction jobs, bringing more permanent jobs and more people to the Las Vegas Valley. The population is growing again, increasing 2.7% in 2013 and the population of the Las Vegas Valley is projected to hit 4.2 million in 2040. This growth will bring back the housing construction jobs, as well as supportive jobs in health care, retail, services, etc.

With a rising population, more housing is needed. Las Vegas’s housing inventory has stayed stable for about 5 months and is currently at about a 3.5 months’ supply, down from 20 months in 08. It’s low, but not dramatically low enough to create the multiple offer bidding wars we once had.

Las Vegas’s foreclosure concerns are lessening, though they’re still a formidable obstacle. In spite of the recent home price increases, over 30% of Southern Nevadan’s homeowners are still underwater, about 4% are 90 days late or more, and an additional 4% are in the foreclosure process. All told, over 11% of Nevadans are behind their mortgages, over 50,000 homes, though that’s down from over 140,000 in 2009.

These homes must be processed. Some homeowners will modify their mortgages, some will make up their back payments, but most underwater homes will be processed through the retail market in the form of a short sale or foreclosure. There’s no question foreclosures will continue to be a drag on housing prices, but since these homes will be processed over a period of several years, it won’t be a dramatic drag. 

So, while the Las Vegas economy is moving in the right direction, it still does have issues. Which brings us back to how will all this play out and effect your Real estate decisions?

The housing price increase of last year is not predicted to continue in the next two years. Flat to up to 5% appreciation is what is forecast. While interest rates have risen over the last year, they’re still historically low. That fact, along with the housing still only around 50% of the cost of 2007’s pricing, makes buying a home both an affordable and economically advantageous opportunity. 

Since interest rates are predicted to rise as the FED continues to tighten, if you’re buying on a loan, I think it’s a good time to buy and lock in today’s low interest rates. You might never see rates this low again in your lifetime. The interest savings on your loan as well as the fact that part of your payment will be paying down your mortgage make buying now a better decision.

If you’re buying cash, the decision is closer. If you’re getting a good investment percentage return on your cash, waiting may be the best economic decision. But if you’re not getting much of a return on your cash investment, getting into a home rent/mortgage free is the equivalent of receiving 5-8% on your money. By saving those rent/mortgage payments when your money isn’t receiving any return on investment, you’ll be adding income to your lifestyle. Money not paid is equivalent to money earned over time!

If you’re selling, I think the time is now. Recent legal foreclosure hurdles have slowed the bank’s processing and selling foreclosures. Selling prior to the foreclosure inventory hitting the market and before the Fed tightens further will reduce those assumptions of risks. Additionally, if you’re buying another home after selling, locking in today’s mortgage rates might be a huge bonus. 

All that said, the long-term housing outlook looks good. The nation’s economy is on the rebound and Las Vegas will heal along with it! Once housings short-term ills are processed, many good housing dynamics should strengthen the market. The mortgage market is and should continue to liberalizing their lending requirements. Buyers with bad credit from short sales or foreclosures or non-payment of mortgages, will, over time, reestablish their credit and come back in the purchasing marketplace. Credit amnesty is being discussed politically, as well as many banks are developing mortgage programs for those customers, further allowing more buyers to access the housing market. 

As the population grows, land issues will come into play. Unbeknownst to most tourists who see nothing but land as they fly in, Las Vegas is surrounded by federally owned land that takes an act of congress to disburse it. There are only about 70,000 acres of land available for development. Additional small parcels of land can become available through swaps with the BLM, but in order to accommodate a massive population increase as predicted, additional land must be released. Environmental and political issues are assured to slow this process, likely significantly. 

While I understand that Real Estate decisions present many other issues, economically Las Vegas is looking up. The continued growth in construction and the casino industry as well as Las Vegas’s development of additional industries bodes well for our long-term health. 

Viva Las Vegas!


I hope you have found this article helpful. If you have any questions or any Real Estate needs, please feel free to contact me, Roy Cooke at 702-498-9600. I’ll be happy to discuss any Real Estate issues you may have. If I don’t pick up leave a message and I’ll get back to you

Sincerely

“Your Las Vegas Real Estate Resource”

Roy and Misty Cooke

Broker/Salesperson

RealtyOne Realty

702-498-9600

The State of Las Vegas Housing and Economy By Roy Cooke

Las Vegas has survived all the worst the “great recession” has heaved at it and is continuing its slow healing process. 

Now southern Nevada is adding jobs, businesses and people. Unemployment numbers are below 9% and predicted to fall lower, the population rose 2.7% in 2013, housing prices have appreciated around 25% from the market bottom, and both tourist quantity and gaming revenues were at their highest in 2013. 

It was such a jarring economic downslide between 2007 and 2012. Especially considering all the predications had forecast a promising path. Instead, Las Vegas was among the nation’s top three economically hardest hit cities. But those days are now in the past, and Las Vegas’s future is looking bright once again. 

The new casino’s, SLS, set to open in the fall of 2014, and the Genting Groups $4,000,000,000 resort on the 87 acre Stardust site, are bringing construction and casino jobs as well as creating new vibrant synergy. Housing permits dramatically rose last year, and after standing still for five years, the construction cranes are moving again. In spite of the fact that Las Vegas had slightly weak economic numbers the first two months of the year these projects are going restore the vibrancy of the Vegas economy. 

The downturn in housing that caused so much grief to Las Vegas residents is moving in the right direction. The price appreciation and the softer stance by the banks on delinquent homeowners are rectifying Las Vegas’s housing issues. Currently only 30% of Nevada homeowners are underwater, down from a peak of 71%. And the bank foreclosure inventory, once over 20,000 is now currently around 2,300. Time will continue to heal Las Vegas’s housings wounds. 

Las Vegas is still an awesome place to live and will only continue to get better. In a recent survey over 90% of southern Nevadan’s rated their quality of life as good or very good. The golf courses, entertainment and restaurants are indisputably world class. The cost of living index rating is 100.4, with 100 being average. The housing cost index is 99.7. Nowhere else on this planet can you get such a world class standard of living at such an affordable price. 

All information obtained via Las Vegas Perspective and UNLV’s The Lied Institute. 

I hope you have found this article helpful. If you have any questions or any Real Estate needs, please feel free to contact me, Roy Cooke at 702-498-9600. I’ll be happy to discuss any Real Estate issues you may have. If I don’t pick up leave a message and I’ll get back to you

Sincerely

“Your Las Vegas Real Estate Resource” 
Roy and Misty Cooke 
Broker/Salesperson 
RealtyOne Realty 
702-498-9600

The State of Las Vegas Economy and Housing

Las Vegas’s housing market fundamentals are still showing signs of continuing improvement. That’s in spite of the fact that Zillow has reported that prices have slightly slipped in the first quarter of 2014, but it’s a minor pull back after 2013’s enormous increase of 26.9%.

Many major casinos and home construction projects that were delayed due to the 2008 economic crash are now restarting. The resurgence of Las Vegas construction jobs has benefited the local job market, housing market and economy. State unemployment has dropped to 9.4% in 2013 from 11.1% in 2012 and both tourist volume and gaming income, the major generators of the Vegas economy, are both up. 

The Genting Group’s 3,500 room Resorts World being constructed on the 87-acre Boyd Group’s Echelon site is the most significant project. The SLS 1,600 room casino, located on the old Sahara parcel is scheduled to open in late 2014. 

Additionally, many smaller projects have restarted: the shops at Summerlin, Bally’s, Caesars and MGM are all upgrading their strip resorts. And many off strip projects are getting the green light again. Las Vegas is reemerging as a mega-destination vacation resort as well as a retirement hotbed. 

The housing ills that permeated Las Vegas are also waning. Underwater homeowners are now at 35%, down from a peak of 71% in the first quarter of 2012 and down from 59% a year ago. Many homeowners have appreciated through their deficiencies; others have been foreclosed on or short sold their underwater homes. 

The number of Las Vegas mortgages 90 days late or more has shrank from over 90,000 in 2010 to around 37,000 (Lied Institute). Since the dawn of SB321, the “Nevada Home Owners Bill of Rights” on Oct 1, 2013, homeowners, all lawyered up, are taking advantage of their newfound rights. Notices of Default have dropped by 80%. If you are in danger of default and don’t understand your options, do see a qualified Real Estate attorney to clarify your options immediately.

The predicted “flood” of “shadow inventory homes” that some people feared would “demolish” the Las Vegas housing market has enormously shrank. Additionally, the bank's processing of these homes has become more “homeowner friendly” with more modifications resulting in additional homes being reprocessed without selling the home. Furthermore, homeowners that are utilizing the SB321 law are unlikely to get foreclosed on soon. The prophesized “flood” from the banking industry is not coming. 

Las Vegas’s housing inventory is at a stable level. Available MLS inventory is at around 8,300 homes and condos, a little over a three month supply. Of this number, only 7.8% are foreclosed properties and 15.8% are short sales. Over 75% of the available inventory are traditional sales, homeowners selling their homes through a Realtor. 

Of further note, the recovering national economy is stimulating the Las Vegas tourist industry and creating opportunities for retirees to sell their homes elsewhere and retire here in Nevada’s affordable housing environment. Additionally, California’s new tax laws are creating a movement of industries and individuals from California to Nevada. 

All of this good news bodes well for the Las Vegas community and its housing industry. We’re not back to where we were, but we’re no longer in a fundamentally deteriorating marketplace. New growth brings in new residents, new businesses and increased incomes, all beneficial to our community. 

The future of Las Vegas is on the move!

I hope you have found this article helpful. If you have any questions or any Real Estate needs, please feel free to contact me, Roy Cooke at 702-498-9600. I’ll be happy to discuss any Real Estate issues you may have. If I don’t pick up leave a message and I’ll get back to you

Sincerely

“Your Las Vegas Real Estate Resource”
Roy and Misty Cooke
Broker/Salesperson
RealtyOne Realty
702-498-9600