Archive for November, 2012

Ghost Inventory Haunts Las Vegas Home Market

Friday, November 9th, 2012

A panel of real estate experts believes that the property market in Las Vegas has gotten as low as they will get and home prices have now stabilized. What is holding a full market recovery, they say, is concern about the “ghost inventory” in the single-family home market segment. It is estimated that there are nearly 80,000 homes in this shadow inventory, mortgages that are delinquent for thirty days or more.

One analyst ventured to say that banks are mum on ghost inventory, realizing that their release into the market has to be managed in the name of short-term price stability. There are also appraisal issues that continue to hound the Las Vegas market, another analyst noted, saying that even with the increase in median home prices for eight months in a row, the market is still considered a declining market.

On a brighter note, there is an unprecedented demand for multifamily properties, according to one realtor. This demand is said to be caused by the depressed real estate values and low interest rates. Notably, investor preference lean toward distressed properties, notwithstanding the fact that there’s very little left in the listings of distressed homes for sale. Nonetheless, some buyers also go for those multifamily deals that are loan-unencumbered. To them, these deals appear much better than assuming a loan with a higher rate of interest, the realtor added.

Institutional investors, like hedge funds and pensions funds, are among the avid buyers of single family dwellings. As the market has fewer apartments, these funds are seeing an opportunity to purchase pools of residences for the purpose of renting them out. This tack appears as a sound business decision. For while the commercial real estate market is having difficulty finding tenants for industrial, retail, and office properties, there’s a 90 percent occupancy for rental apartments, as per one estimate.

Last Call for Pardee Homes in Las Vegas

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Only a few ready to move in homes remain available at Solstice in Aliante and Riverstone at Prescott Park, two popular neighborhoods of Pardee Homes in North Las Vegas. Aliante is a master-planned community, and one move-in-ready home available here has six bedrooms and four baths, all within its 3,959-square-foot floor area. Its features include a den/office, a fireplace, and a three-car garage. The home has stainless steel appliances like a refrigerator, washer, and dryer. The interior has a charming two-tone paint, and flooring design. Located in a spacious cul-de-sac lot, this home has a $347,675 price tag.

For a little below $305,350, Solstice has another ready to move in home offering a similar cul-de-sac home. This place has a floor plan of 3,643 square feet. Among its features are five bedrooms, plus a bonus room and a hobby room, three baths, and a three-car garage.

Sliding the price scale a little further down, there’s a ready to move in home option in Riverstone at Prescott Park, which is being offered at $236,550. This place has a floor area of 2,890 square feet, which encompass five bedrooms, bonus room, and three baths. It also features stainless steel kitchen appliances and a three-car garage. A slightly smaller move-in-ready dwelling with a 2,617-square-footage is also available at Riverstone with a starting price of $224,050. Among its features are four bedrooms, a bonus room, two-tone interior paint, and a three-car garage.
Outside of these two subdivisions, Pardee Homes offers alternatives in the master-planned community of Eldorado located near the Las Vegas Beltway at Aliante Parkway in North Las Vegas.

These new homes are at its gated neighborhood of LivingSmart Homes Eldorado Ridge. The residences here have floor plans of between 1,849 and 3,001 square feet. Their prices start from $209,950, and options for one- or two-story designs are available. These residences can have up to seven bedrooms.

Nevada Commercial Real Estate Market Hits Even Keel

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

A ray of hope has risen on the horizon for the commercial real estate market at both ends of Nevada. Commercial property analysts are saying that market stabilization is ongoing, or at the very least, there’s some market improvement. Notably though, there are no major gains in the number of new locator companies. However, business owners are taking advantage of the shifts in rent values to transfer to better locations and properties.

The improving commercial real estate market outlook looks promising, especially the recent deals in Las Vegas and Reno. The recent announcement of Apple Inc. that it will open a business office and a data center in Sparks and Reno has further improved the tech company portfolio of Northern Nevada. With more e-retailers such as BizChair also moving in, a robust health for the retail market could also be just around the corner, despite the struggles at big box stores like Best Buy. Meanwhile, news is abuzz in Las Vegas that construction will restart at the long-stalled development of the retail district ballyhooed as the Shops at Summerlin Centre. Then there’s some excitement generated by talks that Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is embarking on a multimillion-dollar project to revitalize downtown.

Doug Roberts, a partner at Pannattoni Development Co. Inc., observed that ownership stabilization has been achieved, saying that the property transfers in the past three to four years are pretty much done. The managing director of Voit Real Estate Services, Mike Montandon, likewise feel that the commercial real estate market may have reached bottom and is bouncing off a bit. Nonetheless, he can’t be certain how far up the market have gone or if a recovery is indeed going on a full swing. These prognostications mostly jibe with a Chase JP Morgan assessment this August that the commercial real estate market’s office vacancies, which soared with the slumping economy, may be stabilizing.

An Introduction to Las Vegas Print Media

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Newspapers are part of everyday life, and indeed for many people they are a necessity that will always grace their breakfast table or desk during the first hours of the day.

There’s good reason for wanting to keep up with the news in Las Vegas, where everything that happens seems to have headline potential. So what to read to keep up with the news? There’s four newspapers in Las Vegas that are generally considered to be the best bet – Las Vegas Review Journal and Las Vegas Sun are the two most popular daily newspapers, while weekly newspapers like Las Vegas Weekly and Las Vegas City Life are also available.

The Rival Dailies

The Las Vegas Review Journal

The Las Vegas Review Journal is the longest running and the largest daily newspaper in Nevada. One of its more popular sections is the gossip and celebrity column written by well known gossip guru Norm Clarke. The Las Vegas Review Journal boasts of almost 200,000 in daily circulation. It has made its mark for its Libertarian leanings and its strong political views and opinions. The Journal’s followers consist of those who are quite conservative and with Libertarian leanings as well, and those who love to keep themselves with the who’s who and what’s new in Vegas.

The Las Vegas Sun

The Las Vegas Sun has long been seen as the antithesis of the Las Vegas Review Journal. You can be sure that whatever comes out of the Journal, the Sun will always have the other side of the story. It’s almost like everyone who ones to get a clearer story of every controversy must buy both to have a balanced view. While the Journal is more conservative, the Sun is much more liberal in their ideas. That is why, much to the surprise of its readers, the Sun forged a partnership with the Journal for the distribution of their newspaper. This hasn’t affected the independence of its writers and editors however, who until today, continue to write with much passion and liberalism. The Sun’s followings are mostly the politically inclined liberals.

Moving to Las Vegas Tips: Getting the Electricity and Water Running!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Moving to a new place, whether intentional or work-related, requires a lot of planning and organization. One of your most important priorities will be setting up the utilities for your new home. Here’s a few tips on what you need to do to ensure that you have power and running water in your new home asap:

First Stop: Power or Electricity

Las Vegas electricity is run and powered by a natural gas power plant owned by Nevada Power. Most people think that all the glowing lights and billboards are powered by the Hoover Dam, but Nevada is proud to say, they provide their own means of electricity.

To acquire new service, Nevada Power has conveniently made it possible for residents to apply online. For those who prefer to apply in person, they may do so by calling the office. As a standard procedure, Nevada power will require a deposit amount equivalent to one and a half month, based on the highest bill paid by the applicant during the previous year. The deposit can however be waived upon presentation of a certification of good credit standing from another electric power company. For those who are not able to acquire one, the deposit paid is refundable upon request after one year of good credit standing. The average deposit paid for most homes in Nevada is about $90.

Nevada Power also offers rebates and incentives for energy conservation and energy savings practices.

Second Stop: Water

After electricity, the next thing you want to see running before moving in to your new Las Vegas abode is clean water. Las Vegas, which is mostly a desert area, puts a premium on clean water, so be prepared for slightly more expensive bills than you may be used to.

Water being a precious commodity in Vegas, the Las Vegas Valley Water District has implemented strict guidelines and expansive rebates and incentives for a more aggressive water conservation campaign. They require a deposit of at least $150, or twice the amount of the highest monthly bill you had last year, whichever is higher. This is to be paid immediately upon request for service. To ensure that you have water on the same day of the request, an additional $15 will guarantee same day connection. Transferring service may also be done online through the transfer exiting service department.

Getting Around Vegas: Transport Options

Monday, November 5th, 2012

One of the more important things to learn when moving into a new place, apart from finding out where the nearest grocery store or bakery is located, is finding out how to get from A to B.

What follows is a quick run-down on the kinds of transport available in Las Vegas, so whether you’ve just moved in, or you’re just passing by, you’ll know how to get where you need to be.

Getting a Cab in Vegas

Due to the nature of its entertainment industry, the Las Vegas taxi industry is a tight and highly regulated business. It is under the control and monitoring of the Nevada Taxicab Authority.

Thus, it is illegal to hail a cab on the streets. You will also find out you will not readily find one loosely cruising the Strip, because they are usually lined up along the entrances of casino hotels. Surprisingly, getting a cab in Vegas is much easier than getting one in other mega metropolis. The line moves fast and the average waiting time is as little as 5-10 minutes.

For peak hours though, which are between 3 p.m. to 6 pm., the waiting may be longer. Apart from the hotel and casino entrances, cabs are also plentiful at the McCarran International Airport, or else you can simply call one of the many taxi services and have them come to you.

Taking the Bus in Vegas

The CAT system

Las Vegas has a vast and extensive public bus system. The most important routes that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with are # 301 and #302, both of which regularly ply the Strip area. The former stops at every bus stop along the strip, while the latter is an express ride and makes very few stops. The buses are definitely cheaper than taking a cab or renting a car, but they are only for those who have the luxury of time and for those who do not mind the inconvenience of a crowded ride.

The Deuce Double Decker Bus

The double deck buses, known as the Deuce, are the best alternative for tourists who wish to move around Vegas in a cheap yet exciting way. These also ply the Strip route, to and from Mandala Bay, and provide tourists with a great opportunity to take photos of the Strip due to the elevated view. The Deuce is a tourist attraction in itself, and is the most photographed vehicle in Vegas.

Trams and Monorails

The Las Vegas Monorail is probably the fastest and most comfortable way to get to the Strip without shelling out for a pricey cab ride. What’s good is that most of the casinos provide free trams from the Las Vegas Monorail stops, to enhance their businesses.

Telecom Real Estate Services Announces Plan for a New Data Center in North Las Vegas

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

North Las Vegas is set to become home for a new data center that will have a proposed 13.8 megawatt capacity.

Kevin Keating, CEO and Founder of Telecom Real Estate, said on Thursday that the company plans on starting its construction this spring. The project is expected to reach $40-$50 million. Its location will be inside an industrial building at 4527 Losee Road. Presently, the said building still houses JCH Enterprises, a manufacturer of fuel maintenance systems for diesel fuel storage tanks and a distributor of industrial electronic equipment.

The 50,000 square-foot building was purchased by H&R Real Estate Investment Trust from Canada. The purchase was made through a company known as the Block Data Center Las Vegas I LP for $2 million. The arrangement between H&R and Telecom is that H&R will hold ownership of the equipment inside the data center while Telecom Real Estate Services will conduct the operation. This agreement is not like Keating’s usual projects. It’s unique in the sense that Keating’s company usually constructs facilities with the future intention of selling them off.

Although Telecom has a total of eight data centers in Canada and the United States, this is the first project of Telecom in the Las Vegas area, since its founding in the late 1990s. The company is just one of the many companies bringing in new data centers to the valley.

Another data center, the Cobalt Data Center, also announced its improvement and renovation work on its Cobalt Cheyenne Data Center located at 7710 W. Cheyenne Ave. The property was once home to PurchasePro, a company that filed bankruptcy protection back in 2002. Cobalt Data is a Las Vegas grown company which plans to add three more data centers in the area. It already intends to open its first on the West Cheyenne by December.

A second facility is targeted to open on East Sahara Ave. on 2014. It’s a 64,000 square-foot facility. The third center of Cobalt Data, a 388,000-square-foot building located on St. Rose Parkway on Henderson, still has no timeline to report.

Las Vegas Railway Express Plans to Extend Rail Service Connecting Southern California to Las Vegas

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Catching the public’s attention this week is this bold move by the Las Vegas Railway Express to make things happen in 2013.

Las Vegas Railway Express has expressed its plans to construct a 150-mph railway extending from Las Vegas to Southern California. It plans to utilize the existing tracks and announced that the service will start by the end of 2013.

The scheduled run of the train, called the X Train, will be 5 days a week. It will run through the new Downtown Las Vegas terminal to Fullerton California. The journey will cover 300 miles and will take roughly about 5 hours. It would cost $99 for the one-way trip which already includes food and beverage.

This announcement has bumped up on its stocks sales, enough to raise $2.3 million since May. Michael Barron, CEO of Las Vegas Railway Express is optimistic about the inaugural of the project next year. However there are still some concerns and unresolved details to be taken care of.

It’s reported that the company earlier announced that the Nevada Department of Transportation supports the X Train project as a viable short-term rail project in the State. However, when Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Magruder gave a statement it sounded less affirmative. It was more along the line where NDOT will support the X Train along with the rest of the viable alternatives. But even with the contrasting announcements, Barron still stands by what he said earlier.

The most recent report about Las Vegas Railway Express presents that the company is still in negotiation with the BNSF Railway and the UP Railroad. Talks on secure rail trackage rights and the finalization regarding capital issues are still on the table. But following this report submitted on July 10 tells a different tale. From that annual report it states that the trackage rights agreement has already been negotiated with the Union Pacific Railroad.

Above these unresolved details also are conflicting reports coming from Burlighton Northern Santa Fe’s position. Suann Lundsberg who is the spokeswoman for BNSF stated that they are only awaiting proposal from Amtrak and that they are not having any discussions with the Las Vegas Railway Express. To which Barron only said that she is not well informed.
But despite these problems, Barron claims that the operating issues of the LV have been resolved and only the scheduling remains to be fixed.