Archive for August, 2007

U.S. Census Bureau: Las Vegans Rank Among TOP Wage Earners Nationwide

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

The Las Vegas economy continues to be a leader in overall performance and the envy of other cities nationwide. The engine of growth for Southern Nevada has always been the Las Vegas Strip and that isn’t changing one bit. The tourism and business/convention traffic flowing into Las Vegas continues to grow strongly year-on-year. By 2012, 45,000 additional hotel rooms will be added to Las Vegas Boulevard. The expansion of McCarran Airport is three years ahead of schedule. This latest surge in Strip development represents billions of dollars of investment by the savviest operators in the hotel-resort industry. It’s highly doubtful that they’re spending this money for nothing.

According to a report recently authored by Deutsche Bank Securities, the casino industry in Las Vegas will need 113,500 more workers to fill the jobs created by the new resorts that are now under construction. Unless the population growth of Greater Las Vegas begins to accelerate right away, 25,000 of these jobs will go unfilled (from local resources) according to the investment bank report. The hotel-casino-resort industry will have no choice but to attract workers from other parts of the country to fill the gap. What’s the best incentive you can offer to entice people to make a move to a new city for a new job? Money, in the form of competitive wages.

In case you’re thinking that the majority of the jobs generated by the tourism industry in Las Vegas are low-to-medium wage and mostly unskilled, you might want to consider the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the American Community Survey released on Tuesday, Las Vegas was ranked #5 in the ENTIRE COUNTRY for wage earnings with a median household income of $53,000 a year. The only four cities in America (population 500,000 or higher) that outranked Las Vegas were Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, California. Come on, admit it, you’re VERY surprised.

Median Household Income – 2006

1. San Jose, Calif. $73,804
2. San Francisco $65,497
3. San Diego $58,815
4. Seattle, Wash. $58,311
5. Las Vegas $53,000

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau

There has never been a better time to purchase a Las Vegas home. Take advantage of the fact that it’s a Buyers market while there’s still time. It’s highly probable that median incomes in Las Vegas will continue to grow as more than $30 billion of world-class Strip development fuels continuing and increasing demand for workers over the coming decade. Las Vegas real estate is a sound long-term investment. The Michelle Sterling Internet Real Estate Team couldn’t be in a better business in a better city.

A New Twist on an old Beatles Tune: We'll Get By with a Little Help from The Fed

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Let’s hear it for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke! In a letter to Senator Charles Schumer dated Monday, Mr. Bernanke said the development of “a broader range of mortgage products which are appropriate for low and moderate-income borrowers, including those seeking to refinance” might help the current situation. ”Such products could be designed to avoid or mitigate the risk of prepayment shock and to be more transparent with respect to their terms.” Bravo Ben! With an avalanche of foreclosures set to hit the US economy over the next year, we couldn’t be happier that the Fed Chief is weighing-in on the side of home owners. The key now is to get Democrats and Republicans to agree on remedies involving the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fed Chief Bernanke has publicly stated his views on this subject as well. “The Congress might wish to consider F.H.A. reforms that allow the agency more flexibility to design new products and to collaborate with the private sector in facilitating the refinancing of creditworthy subprime borrowers facing large resets.” Let’s hope key congressional leaders are listening. MS Las Vegas Real Estate will keep you posted.

Las Vegas New Homes: What a Great time to Buy!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Builders are scaling back on the production of new Las Vegas homes in response to a multiplicity of market-based realities. Reduced construction activity for new homes in Las Vegas is being caused by a combination of paltry consumer demand, an explosion in the inventory of resale homes for sale and the increased difficulty in getting reasonable financing terms for some borrowers. Consider these statistics from Home Builders Research:

“For only the second time since January 1992, homebuilders took out fewer than 1,000 permits in a month, according to Dennis Smith, president of Home Builders Research. In July, 859 permits were issued, bringing the seven-month tally to 10,140. That’s a year-to-year decrease of 36 percent, the lowest total through July since 1993, Smith said.”

What this means of course is that builders are moving aggressively to bring supply and demand back to a more appropriate balance. Another way in which this is being accomplished is for builders to aggressively trim existing inventory. Las Vegas new homes are being marketed to SELL as never before. Builders are doing WHATEVER IT TAKES to shed excess standing inventory. This includes generous contributions to closing costs, thousands of dollars in upgrades and incentives and in many cases, lowering prices outright. Contrary to the media-hype, prospective buyers with solid credit histories are still able to obtain mortgages, often from the builders’ preferred lender at attractive terms.

The Michelle Sterling Las Vegas Real Estate Team keeps a finger on the pulse of the new homes market on a daily basis. We are in constant communication with new home sales offices all across the Las Vegas Valley. As Buyers Agents, we provide comprehensive representation and in-depth knowledge of market conditions at NO COST to you whatsoever. The BUILDER at every new home community in Las Vegas pays our fees, not you. Can a builder cut you a sweeter deal if you forgo our representation and work directly with their sales agents? Nope, it’s against the law, as well it should be. The job of a new home sales agent is to get the best deal for the builder. Our job is to get the best deal for YOU. It’s not the kind of advocacy that you would want to go without. Our services are at your disposal.

Summerlin Real Estate at Reverence: Ecologically Sensitive Residential Development

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Summerlin real estate welcomes a new “green living” community to the master-planned family in 2008 called Reverence. Reverence will encompass 300 acres and be located at Cheyenne Avenue and the Las Vegas Beltway. The most exciting aspect of this new Pulte development will be the environmentally conscious techniques that will be employed to construct both the Summerlin homes and the Reverence common areas. For example, Reverence will meet the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s criteria to qualify as a water-smart community, with features such as drought-tolerant landscaping and water-sipping plumbing fixtures. Pulte will also design Reverence’s 13,500 square-foot recreation center to qualify for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. In fact, the Summerlin master-plan was the first in Las Vegas to institute large-scale desert landscaping in common areas and the banning of grass in front yards. Water conservation is one of the most pressing challenges facing Southern Nevada as it looks to the future and Summerlin has been a consistent leader on this issue. Green living at Reverence in Summerlin, perfect for an environmentally respectful lifestyle that strikes the proper ecological balance.

Inspirada Real Estate: Time for a Road Trip!

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Toll Brothers at Inspirada has invited the Michelle Sterling Las Vegas Real Estate Team out to their exciting new master-planned community for lunch and a tour this Wednesday. We were more than happy to accept. The Inspirada real estate community features a total of seven residential villages, each with a distinct lifestyle theme. Every Inspirada village will have a central park of it’s own and the entire community will be tied together by 20 miles of trail systems. A 300-acre Town Center will serve as the central hub for owners of Inspirada homes. Aptly named Civita, the Inspirada Town Center will be filled with restaurants, shops, nightlife venues and outdoor cafes in a design that is thoroughly urban in character. Toll Brothers at Inspirada boasts 20 different luxurious Henderson home designs. These elegant single-family homes, townhomes, and condominium homes are represented in 5 very unique and magnificent home collections. Many of these home designs are new and were created just for Inspirada. We can’t wait to spend the afternoon touring each Toll Brothers community and increasing our knowledge base. Our job is to be fully versed in the Las Vegas real estate market and we take that responsibility very seriously. Our clients demand it, as well they should.

The Federal Housing Administration: Possible Assistance for those facing Foreclosure?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

The Federal Housing Administration (a little known federal mortgage insurer) is suddenly finding itself in the limelight as the pressure of foreclosure, especially for moderate income homeowners, continues to build across the country. President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are getting behind proposals to enhance the ability of the Federal Housing Administration to more actively assist those facing foreclosure. The administration is looking to FHA to offer refinancing options to homeowners, including those who aren’t yet in default or foreclosure, but who are at risk of falling behind in their payments. As you can imagine, there is plenty of enthusiasm in Congress for this approach as well. It’s highly probable that FHA reform measures will take center-stage when Congress returns from the August recess. What kind of reform is needed? Current FHA guidelines restrict the agency from being more pro-active due to limits on the size of the loans it can insure as well as specific requirements that borrowers must meet to be eligible for assistance. The idea is to loosen current FHA restrictions and provide additional tools so the agency can be more responsive to current residential market conditions. The Las Vegas real estate market is certainly no stranger to the current spike in foreclosures nationwide. This blog will be monitoring future FHA developments closely and we’ll let you know how it goes.

Authentic Urban Chic: The District at Green Valley Ranch

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

The District at Green Valley Ranch arrived on the Las Vegas real estate scene in April of 2004 and changed everyone’s conception of residential living in Southern Nevada almost immediately. We don’t think twice about it now, but at the time, The District was the very first development to incorporate residential/retail/office into a coherent, authentically urban whole. The centerpiece of The District is the pedestrian-inspired “Main Street” that connects you to fifty nine shops and restaurants that cater to every aspect of daily living. Located above these shops are eighty eight “urban style” flats and lofts that redefine the Green Valley Ranch real estate market with their unique design and character. Adding to the downtown environment are offices located above the shops as well as in a separate three-story office building. The District at Green Valley Ranch is also a natural venue for special events of all kinds. The outdoor concert series provides live music every Friday and Saturday evening and The District Festival of the Arts is not to be missed. Does all this activity sound exhausting? No worries….The District Trolley Company makes a round-trip through the community every fifteen minutes. How can you beat it!

Nevada's Construction Industry: Busier than Ever!

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

With residential real estate in Las Vegas finally taking a breather after years of hyper-growth, attention is now turning to the ongoing boom in commercial construction. How significant is the continued growth? In 2007, construction activity statewide will add up to roughly $9 billion in spending (according to McGraw-Hill). Construction is the state’s second largest employer and constitutes about 11% of the total workforce. The construction industry contributes $5.1 billion annually in salary and hourly wages and generates a whopping $14.7 billion in overall economic activity. Current and scheduled projects run the gamut from hotel/casino construction to public infrastructure improvements to office park development. On the Las Vegas Strip alone, the backlog is an amazing 35.5 billion dollars in construction projects slated for completion between now and 2011. This includes over 42,000 additional hotel rooms and 3.5 million square feet of additional convention space. Make no mistake about it, the business of Las Vegas is business, and no city in the world can compete with our ability to accommodate guests and stage world-class business/conference functions of every size. From Project CityCenter to World Market Center and everything in between, Las Vegas continues to amaze and inspire as the leading metropolis of the 21st century.

Spanish Trail Golf and Country Club: 27 Holes of Private Luxury and a $15 Million Facelift

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Las Vegas luxury golf homes at Spanish Trail provide a unique opportunity to become part of a private enclave of golf-inspired grandeur. Here you’ll find the only “members-only” 27 hole layout (in southern Nevada) designed by prestigious architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Originally founded in 1984, the Spanish Trail Golf and Country Club is in the midst of a $15 million renovation that includes a major upgrade to the clubhouse, new staff enhancements and significant course improvements. The clubhouse will be completed in November under the guidance of interior designer Herb Press. Spanish Trail real estate, already the luxury golf community of choice in Las Vegas for the wealthy and powerful, will be a direct beneficiary of these extensive renovations. Spanish Trail Country Club offers golf memberships, social memberships and junior memberships and we encourage you to consider your purchase before prices increase at the end of the year. MS Las Vegas Real Estate has been presenting Spanish Trail homes for sale for over a decade. Our in-depth knowledge of this spectacular Las Vegas luxury golf community is at your disposal.

Boost the Appeal of your Las Vegas Home with Simple Landscaping Tips

Friday, August 17th, 2007

You know what they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true as a potential buyer pulls up to the curb to take a first look at a Las Vegas home for sale. As much as they may be focusing on the interior amenities, outward appearance can and does have a powerful effect on the overall impression. It’s a proven fact that attractive and well-kept landscaping creates a positive image and sets your Las Vegas property apart from others in your neighborhood. Consider these easy-to-implement ideas:

* If you have a partial or full grass lawn, you’ll want to use an environmentally friendly fertilizer to enhance the color, texture and appearance.

* Unnecessary clutter of any kind is a big no-no. Weeds are most certainly included, as are toys, tools and anything else that doesn’t look neat.

* If you have attractive shrubs, make the most of them by trimming and shaping on a regular basis.

* Go shopping! Las Vegas has a number of high-quality nurseries that can assist in the selection of bright and colorful additions to your landscaping presentation. You’ll be surprised at how many desert-hearty choices you’ll have.

The Michelle Sterling Team at Prudential Americana is available for free consultations on staging your Las Vegas home in the most attractive way possible. Las Vegas real estate is our passion as well as our profession and we would thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to meet with you at your convenience.