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Lake Las Vegas BOOM

LAS VEGAS – Lake Las Vegas is known for its beauty, million dollar homes, and as a popular staycation spot.  But it’s also had its share of setbacks, from shuttered businesses to home foreclosures and bankruptcy.

The area is on the far east side of town in Henderson.  You can see it on the way out to Lake Mead, and recently Lake Las Vegas has seen a big boom in development.

The lake is the center of attention in the area, so many developers are using it to their advantage to lure more people.  From new homeowners to out of town visitors, and their strategy appears to be working.

“It’s a pretty special place,” said Jim Andersen, executive director of Lake Las Vegas Rowing Club.

Lake Las Vegas is home to the first collegiate rowing regatta that will take place in Nevada this weekend.

Andersen coaches the Nevada State College team.  He says the lake is the perfect spot for the competition.

“This is very unique,” Andersen said.  “Normally, with rowing courses, you can see maybe the last 500 meters, but here you can stand on a hill and see the full  2000 meter course.”

“It’s just one of many ways developers are working to bring people to the lake.  Residents say they like the new vibe.

“I’ve seen a lot more people on the weekends down in the village so yes it’s picking up,” said Tawnya Palma, resident.

Developers say the growth isn’t just about visitors looking for a day of fun outside; they said they’re seeing a big demand.

In fact, six new communities are being built at Lake Las Vegas.  Each neighborhood would house about 60 homes.

“There is a need. “We’re feeling a lot of people coming this way; coming to the east side of the valley and a lot of people looking for homes on this side,” said Cody Winterton, executive vice president of Raintree development. “As we’ve added these amenities and added community we’re getting a lot of interest.”

Amenities such as the Lake Las Vegas Sports Club which opened at the start of the new year.

“When you drive in now, this is one of the first icons of Lake Las Vegas now,” Dann Battistone, the general manager of Lake Las Vegas Sports Club said about the sports club.

With more than 700 members already signed up, the sports club is something residents have been waiting to see come to life.

“In fact, I drove by this building every day thinking something is going to be great and possible that happens here and here it is happening.  It’s fantastic,” resident Dan Smithman said.

With all the changes, Smithman who has lived in Lake Las Vegas for eight years says it’s really starting to feel like home now.

“It’s just a place where we all come together as a community,” Smithman said.

Developers say one of the reasons for the growth is the direct access now from U.S. 95 off of Galleria Drive.  There’s also a new elementary school opening up nearby.

Come April 1, Proof Tavern is expected to open and it will reportedly have gaming. Prices going up in Vegas!

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Real estate agents say median home prices in southern Nevada topped $229,000 in May.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that the median sale price of existing single-family homes was up 8.5 percent, from about $211,000 a year ago.

Condominium and townhome prices were up 5.4 percent from a year ago, at a median price of $118,000 last month.

Association president Scott Beaudry says he thinks a tight housing supply is driving prices up.

The organization says almost 3,350 existing homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in May, or about the same number as in May 2015.

Beaudry says 4.5 percent of local sales in May were short-sales, for less than the value of the mortgage.

That’s down from 7.3 percent of all sales a year ago.

Vegas Real Estate Settles After Wild Ride


Las Vegas home prices went through a wild roller-coaster ride the past decade or so: they soared, crashed, shot up again, then downshifted.

Today, the ride seems almost boring. For the first time in a long time, prices are flat.

The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes — by far the bulk of Las Vegas’ for-sale housing market — has hovered around $220,000 since June. Prices still are up 7.5 percent year-over-year but have been roughly the same for the past nine months, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

The stalled prices are good for buyers — who wants to pay more for a house? — and industry analysts say the trend reflects a more stable and more normal market after years of price swings and other volatility. It also comes as investors, who revived Las Vegas’ resale market after the economy tanked, continue pulling out.

LV housing prices

The stagnation, however, could give sellers heartburn. And considering Las Vegas is the underwater capital of America, the plateau in prices prevents homeowners from escaping upside-down status.

But Brian Gordon, a principal with Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis, said it was “probably a good thing over the long run” that prices have flattened.

In a normal year, analysts say, home values grow 2 to 5 percent. After last decade’s boom and bust, resale prices for single-family homes grew 24 percent in both 2012 and 2013, 10 percent in 2014 and 6 percent last year, GLVAR data show.

Gordon said he expected price-growth to keep slowing, but he’d be “hesitant to suggest we’ll see any material downturn in prices.”

He said prices grew much faster than wages in recent years, but now they’d become “better aligned.” He also noted the economy was on “more-solid footing,” indicating a continued demand for homes.

Gordon also pointed out that housing sales no longer were dominated by distressed properties, which blanketed the valley after the bubble burst.

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In 2012, bank-owned homes comprised 26 percent of single-family resales; short sales accounted for 37 percent; and “traditional” deals, or those not controlled by lenders, comprised 36 percent.

In 2015, foreclosed homes comprised 7.7 percent of single-family resales; short sales, 7.5 percent; and traditional deals, 84.7 percent, according to the GLVAR.

“Stability really has emerged,” Gordon said.

Amid flat prices, house shoppers might have more time to save money for a down payment “without the worry of prices continuing to go up and possibly out of reach,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist for San Francisco-based Trulia, a home-listing service.

This, however, can create competition for sellers. For instance, they might have to spend more money to spruce up their house to lure a buyer, McLaughlin said.

Overall, home-value growth around the country is “coming back down to Earth” and becoming “more sustainable,” said Aaron Terrazas, senior economist with Seattle-based listing service Zillow. But in cities like Las Vegas, he noted, the trend makes it harder for borrowers to get above water.

Some 21 percent of Las Vegas-area homeowners with mortgages are underwater, meaning their debt outweighs their home’s value, according to Zillow.

That’s down from a peak of 71 percent in early 2012 but still highest among large metro areas — reflecting how high prices soared during the bubble, how badly they crashed, and how much room they have before reaching peak levels again.

Underwater borrowers typically can only sell their homes through short sales, in which lenders approve selling the property for less than what’s owed on the mortgage. It’s a potentially time-consuming, paperwork-heavy process that can badly bruise a seller’s credit score, and there’s no guarantee a bank will approve the deal.

According to Terrazas, many underwater borrowers are unable to sell their homes. The result is a reduction in listings, especially among lower-priced houses that draw first-time buyers, he says.

Zillow called negative equity “one of the most persistent reminders” of America’s real estate bust and “a major barrier to a full recovery in certain markets.”

As Terrazas sees it, underwater borrowers will linger “for a long time,” especially in places like Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, house prices have leveled off as investors, who gobbled up cheap homes in bulk after the economy crashed, have continued backing out amid the shrunken inventory of bargains and a crowded home-rental market.

So-called institutional investors — or non-lenders who buy at least 10 homes per year — accounted for 2.2 percent of home purchases in the Las Vegas area last year. That’s down from 7.6 percent in 2014 and 14.1 percent in 2013, according to RealtyTrac.

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The result is the market must rely more on mom-and-pop buyers. If Las Vegas relied heavily on them a few years ago and didn’t have investors propping things up, the market would have stayed dormant much longer.

Foreclosures, bankruptcies and short sales swept through the valley during the recession, wrecking people’s credit and making it all but impossible for many of them to buy a house for years.

Today, Las Vegas’ economy remains at the bottom of the pack nationally in many ways. The valley’s unemployment rate, 6.5 percent, is second-highest among large metro areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and its foreclosure rate is fifth-highest among metro areas, says RealtyTrac.

But it’s on the mend — jobs are growing, mortgage lending is slowly climbing after falling for years, visitor levels hit a record-high last year — and mom-and-pop buyers appear to be picking up at least some of the slack from investors.

Moreover, people sometimes forget that home prices typically grow just a few percentage points a year, said John Restrepo, founder of Las Vegas-based RCG Economics.

The housing market is becoming “more normal,” and that’s not a bad thing, he said.

“I don’t see any major catastrophes out there at this point,” he said. “It’s just slower.”

By Eli Segall (contact) Eli Segall
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 | 2 a.m.

Down Payment Help is Here!

Helping Nevadans Feel at HomePrint

Welcome to the State of Nevada’s Home Is Possible Down Payment Assistance Program page. The Home Is Possible grant program helps make the dream of home ownership a reality for qualified Nevadans.  Introduced in 2014, this program helps those who can afford the monthly mortgage payments, but whose savings may fall short of the necessary down payment.

The down payment assistance grant amount can be as much as 5% of the loan amount, to be used for covering down payment and closing costs. For example, on a $ 200,000 loan amount, your down payment assistance grant, pending the qualifications specified below, may be as high as $10,000. This grant never needs to be repaid.

Key Benefits

  • Fixed interest rate 30-year loan – current rate click here
  • No first-time homebuyer requirement
  • Grant is non-repayable
  • Available state-wide
  • No asset limits for homebuyers
  • Now offering up to a 4% grant with government loan types and up to a 5% grant with conventional loan financing
  • Grants are based upon the loan amount and can be used for down payment assistance and/or closing costs.
  • Can be combined with The Mortgage Tax Credit (MTC) Program. For more information, click here

Program Requirements

  • Minimum credit score generally 640 for government insured loans and 680 for most conventional loans
  • Qualifying income on mortgage application must be below $95,500
  • Home price below $400,000
  • Must be homebuyer’s primary residence
  • Homebuyer education course is required
  • Must meet normal government or conventional loan underwriting requirements
  • Effective February 1, 2016, manufactured housing loans will be available for government loans


How to Get Started

  • Find an approved lender (link below)
  • Complete homebuyer paperwork with the lender


Vegas Homeowners & Appraisers Close on Values

What’s your home worth on the market? A Quicken Loans index suggests valley homeowners and appraisers are close to agreeing.

The Detroit-based mortgage lender ranked Las Vegas 11th of 27 U.S. metropolitan markets on its Home Price Perception Index for December. In the valley, appraisers’ home-value assessments exceeded homeowners’ expectations by 0.35 percent in December the index showed, up from 0.23 percent in November.

For all of 2015, appraisers’ values exceeded homeowners’ expectations by 2.25 percent in Las Vegas, the company said.

Las Vegas and the West seemed to buck the national trend reflected in the index, which derives from mortgage activity across more than 3,000 American counties. Quicken Loans said that overall, average appraised values for U.S. homes in December were 1.8 percent lower than homeowners’ expectations.

Although December was the 11th straight month in which appraised home values fell short of homeowners’ expectations nationally, it was the fourth straight month in which the appraiser-homeowner expectation gap narrowed, Quicken Loans said.

Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters said his company’s data reflect patterns seen before and after the housing bubble, he said. Before the crash, homeowners’ assessments were much higher than appraisers’; the appraisers, on the leading edge, saw the fall first, he said. As the market began rebounding, Walters said, appraisers were again ahead of the curve, seeing the rise before homeowners did.

Homeowners might be expected to subjectively skew expected values — a granite countertop’s beauty is in the eye of its beholder.

“(But) there’s a point at which homeowners and appraisers end up on the same page, and in many places we seem to be reaching a sort of equilibrium,” Walters said, reflecting on Las Vegas’ score. “It doesn’t tell you that home values will rise or fall dramatically, it just tells you the market is what the appraisers and homeowners say it is.

“We’re starting to conform to the things we saw seven or eight years ago, outside the crisis,” Walters added. “The shocks that put valuations out of whack have started to cure and we’re back to a more ‘normal’ situation.”

Walters said Las Vegas seems to have reached value perception stasis, which helps buoy both home sales and mortgage refinancing, a little ahead of other markets that were especially hard-hit by the crash. He attributed this partly to churn. Las Vegas homeowners are less likely than peers in other markets to stay in homes for 20 or 30 years, he said; more frequent address changes may offer a more current, and accurate, sense of the market.

Also, he said, websites including Zillow, Trulia and Redfin, which let homeowners price their own homes and those in their neighborhoods, are helping boost market knowledge and bridge appraiser-homeowner price gaps everywhere. Sizing up markets used to be a lot harder, Walters said, requiring spotting “for sale” signs and knocking on doors.

Phil Dwyer, owner of Las Vegas-based Dwyer Home Appraisals, said he’s seeing fewer disagreements about home values, perhaps because distressed homes, which once dominated the market and skewed prices, are far less common. Banks are no longer dominant sellers, he said; homeowners are dealing directly with buyers.

“The values (between the parties) seem to be a lot more closely aligned than they were five years ago,” Dwyer said. “There are real buyers and real sellers and they’re coming to similar expectations.”

R. Scott Dugan & Associates Appraisal Co. owner Scott Dugan pointed to Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors data from 2015 showing that the average difference between a home’s list price and sale price was 2 percent and the median was 1 percent.

“Apparently, sellers will list homes for what they think they are worth, but the market will only pay 1 to 2 percent less,” Dugan said by email. “It’s the appraiser’s job to appraise the property based upon the definition of ‘market value’ not the definition of “owner value.’ In most cases, the value will be within range, however, in many cases, especially the higher-end product, sellers/appraisers may have a much larger gap.”

Silver State Appraisers owner Bruce Feldman wasn’t sure what to make of Quicken Loans’ data. Home values, he said, can vary widely based on homes’ age, amenities, condition and surrounding neighborhoods.

However, he said, informed real estate agents, armed with appraisers’ reports, can inform clients about reasonable price expectations and limit disagreement.

“People only go by what they know and what they see,” Feldman said. “A Realtor can come to me and say, ‘This is what the client thinks (the home is) worth and this is what I think it’s worth. It’s worth doing an appraisal on it to find out what’s right.'”

Find Matthew Crowey on Twitter @copyjockey

Median Home Prices Up to $218K

Southern Nevada real estate agents say the area’s median home price has climbed to $218,000 in July.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported Monday that the median home price is up less than 1 percent from June but up 9 percent from the same time a year ago.

Association president Keith Lynam said home prices aren’t growing as quickly as they have in the past few years, but are still rising. He said it was a good sign that more homes are selling this year than last year.

The total number of homes sold in July was more than 3,800, up from about 3,300 a year ago.

Median home prices remain between their June 2006 peak of $315,000 and their January 2012 trough of $118,000.

3% Loans Make Strong Debut

Freddie: 3%-Down Loans Make Strong Debut

Freddie Mac’s new mortgage product that allows borrowers to put down just 3 percent is off to a strong start, says Freddie Mac’s Chief Executive Donald Layton.

Read more: 3% Down Payments May Be Game Changer

Layton wouldn’t provide specific numbers on the 3 percent loan performance, but he reported that the mortgage giant netted a $4.2 billion total profit during the second quarter.

Lawmakers had expressed concern about Freddie Mac’s 3 percent down payment option loans, which debuted in March, arguing that it could lead to losses at the government-backed company. The Federal Housing Administration also supports low down payment loans but requires more insurance from home owners than Freddie Mac’s.

Freddie Mac is charging more to guarantee mortgages as they gradually shrink the size of their loan portfolios.

Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, remain under government conservatorship and send their profits to the U.S. Treasury.

Freddie Mac reported that more than 40 percent of its net interest income in the second quarter was from management and guarantee fees.

By the end of June, Freddie Mac’s post-2008 business has increased to 63 percent of its single-family credit guarantee portfolio. Also, its single-family serious delinquency rate – loans that have payments late by 90 days or more — stood at 1.53 percent in the second quarter, the lowest since November 2008 and below the national rate of 4.24 percent.

Source: “New 3%-Down Mortgage Off to ‘Good Start,’ Freddie Mac Chief Says,” MarketWatch (Aug. 4, 2015)

©2015 HighValueRealty LLC, All Rights Reserved.

Las Vegas Home Prices Increase

Abq Dream
According to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, local home sales and prices posted double-digit increases in June compared to one year ago.

GLVAR reported the median price of homes sold during June 2015 was $220,000, up 10.1 percent from $199,900 one year ago. Meanwhile, the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in June was $115,000. That was up 5.5 percent from $109,000 one year ago.

“It’s good for our local homeowners when prices are appreciating at a healthy pace like this and more homes are selling,” said 2015 GLVAR President Keith Lynam. “Of course, we still have some challenges. We’ve been dealing with less than a three-month supply of homes available for sale. That’s less than half of what we’d like to have for a balanced market. We also realize there are too many abandoned homes throughout Southern Nevada, though we see signs that banks may finally be doing more to address this issue.”

According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in June was 3,693, up from 3,274 one year ago. Compared to June 2014, 14.2 percent more homes and 6.3 percent more condos and townhomes sold this June.

Since 2013, GLVAR has been reporting fewer distressed sales and more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In June, 6.7 percent of all local sales were short sales – which occur when lenders allow borrowers to sell a home for less than what they owe on the mortgage. That’s down from 10.8 percent one year ago. Another 7.6 percent of June sales were bank-owned, down from 10.1 percent one year ago.

The median price of single-family homes sold as part of a short sale in June was $165,000, down from $170,000 one year ago. The median price of bank-owned homes sold in June was $170,000, up from $150,000 one year ago.

Lynam said short sales could still increase if Congress votes to again extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. In December, Congress voted to retroactively extend the tax break it had allowed to expire at the end of 2013 to help distressed homeowners who sold properties in 2014. Unless Congress extends this act through 2015, any amount of money a bank writes off in agreeing to sell a home as part of a short sale this year may become taxable when sellers file their income taxes.

The total number of single-family homes listed for sale on GLVAR’s Multiple Listing Service in June was 13,740, down 0.7 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,474 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in June, down 6.5 percent from one year ago.

By the end of June, GLVAR reported 7,432 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s up 4.3 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,329 properties listed without offers in June represented a 0.2 percent decrease from one year ago.

GLVAR said 28.4 percent of all local properties sold in June were purchased with cash. That’s down from 29.1 in May and from 34.7 percent one year ago. It’s well short of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, indicating that cash buyers and investors are still a factor in the local housing market but that their influence is waning with each passing month.

These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of June 2015. GLVAR distributes such statistics each month based on data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for newly constructed homes sold by local builders or for sale by owners. Other highlights include:

  • The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during June was nearly $794 million for homes and more than $100 million for condos, high-rise condos and townhomes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in June were up 23.5 percent for homes and up 13.2 percent for condos.
  • In June, 68.6 percent of all existing local homes and 66.6 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 69.4 percent of all existing local homes and 67.3 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.

– See more at:

Las Vegas on Top

Monopoly homes

Timing matters in life, especially when it involves one of the largest financial decisions you’ll ever make. Buying a home is no longer viewed with rose-colored glasses. The housing crisis of yesteryear shattered long-held beliefs that home values only move in one direction. If you bought right before the bubble burst, you might consider yourself an unlucky victim. However, some homeowners who bought after the meltdown timed their purchases just right.

Home prices have been surging more than three years now, creating pockets of jaw-dropping strength across the nation. In fact, national home prices are still increasing more than 6% on a year-over-year basis. In order to find which areas of the country are seeing the biggest rebound from the housing collapse, Zillow recently analyzed cities with populations over 50,000 to find the luckiest homebuyers in America. These are people who happened to buy in the right place at the right time, and are now enjoying the highest appreciation growth.

Once again, the real estate market proves it’s all about location and timing. For example, Las Vegas homebuyers who bought in 2009 are $66,043 worse off on average today than if they rented and invested in the stock market over the same time period. But those who bought a Las Vegas home three years later made $52,000 more between 2012 and 2015 than they would have if they had rented and invested in the stock market, even without the $8,000 tax credit that enticed many previous buyers.

The Golden State is home to the luckiest homebuyers in America. As the list from Zillow below shows, California is responsible for eight of the 10 cities with the highest appreciation growth. Nevada and Florida also make an appearance on the list. Interestingly, Palo Alto is the top city and the only one to make the list with a pre-crisis purchase date. The gateway to Silicon Valley has benefitted significantly from an influx of wealthy techies.

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“It’s very clear that when it comes to maximizing gains from an investment in real estate, timing really does matter a great deal,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “However, timing isn’t everything, and trying to time the market perfectly is incredibly difficult, even for professionals. There are any number of factors to consider when purchasing a home, only one of which is the potential for financial gain. Potential buyers should always place their personal needs and their family’s needs first, and make the decision to buy only when they are ready to make a significant investment of both their time and money.”