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Mary Kennedy's Blog from Las Vegas

"Helping YOU Find Your Way Home in the Las Vegas Valley"

By Mary Kennedy | Agent in 89135
  • Las Vegas Homes Prices, Inventory, and Sales On The Rise!

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Las Vegas, Home Buying in Las Vegas, Home Ownership in Las Vegas  |  May 1, 2014 11:25 AM  |  381 views  |  No comments

    The new home sales count for March was 453. It brought the 2014 1st quarter total to 1,287 new home sales. There is confidence that the new home closing numbers will rise somewhat in the coming months.

    The median price of the new home closings in March was $285,475 down from a high of $300,000 in the last six months. The median price has been pretty flat,and actually softened during the last 3 months as shown on the graph.

    The steady, improved job growth and a growing population are certainly good things to see, but there is still a way to go before consumers and businesses feel “warm and fuzzy” about the future. Check out the current statistics in the previous blog and you will see the numbers going in the right direction.

    Las Vegas continues to capture many sales from people relocating to Las Vegas and the trend continues as shown in the population growth.

    With the recovering economy we should expect improving demand for housing.There are still many consumers who have been “stuck” in their homes due to the lack of equity. They report that they will sell their home and move into a new home when they have the funds to do so. So, the pent up supply of buyers continues to increase.

    The new home permits took a very nice jump in March, with 549 pulled by builders. The first Quarter ended with 1,385 permits being purchased by home builders in the metro area.

    That puts the first Quarter figure at 23 percent less than the 1st quarter of 2013. 

    Dennis Smith of The Las Vegas Market Housing Letter reports that the monthly permit totals will increase through the summer because the contract orders for new homes are still looking pretty good.

    The pie chart above displays the market share of the net sales during the 1st quarter, 2014.

    It might seem remarkable that 68 % of all the net sales during the first quarter came from only two sub-market areas, the northwest and the southwest.

    In the past, the area market share of new home sales was more disseminated around the valley, but has become more concentrated in locations near the active master plans, because that is where the best available supply of lots have been located.

    As the supply of replacement lots in the Mountain’s Edge master plan in the southwest part of the metro area continues to recede, the southwest area market share will also decline. There is nothing “on the horizon” in the southwest area to replace it.

    The northwest and North Las Vegas (NLV) share will increase, with probably the biggest improvement taking place in North Las Vegas. Relative to the rest of the Las Vegas valley, there is a lot of land in NLV, and the next major master plan opening will be Park Highlands.

    There were about 15,000 homes planned at Park Highlands (PH), which straddles the 215 Beltway in NLV near the Aliante Hotel. But, PH was a casualty of the great recession/depression in Las Vegas.

    Originally, investors paid about $639 million for the land from the BLM. After a bankruptcy and the great depression/recession, Crescent Bay Holdings bought it for just over $21 million. (This is a good example of what happened to land values in some parts of southern Nevada.)

    Crescent Bay and Sun Cal Development, who owns about 114 acres in PH West, are expecting a final vote from the NLV city council on May 21st on a revised Development Agreement that basically splits the PH master plan into PH East and PH West, with the Aliante golf course acting as the dividing “line”.

    PH West will consist of about 4,000 lots on 600 acres.

    The larger PH East will hold about 11,000 homes, which the developers hope will begin pulling new home permits by the end of 2015.

    The Resale Market First Quarter


    We counted 2,854 recorded resales in March, bringing the 1st quarter total to 8,052.  This is a decline of 2,613 transactions, or 24.5%.

    The median price of the March resale closings was $171,000. This is a one month increase of $6,000, or 3.7 percent. The increase breaks the recent 7 month flat median price trend, and although we don’t like to place a lot of “hoorah” on a one month change, this is something we have been expecting for some time. The decline in the number of REO sales should by itself cause the traditional resale prices to rise.

    We know there should always be a pricing gap in the REO and short sale listed prices and the traditional listings.

    So, even though the number of resale transactions (bye, bye to the investor sales) has declined, the prices should slowly move upward. SLOWLY is the key word here.

    Check out all the available homes on my website ……


  • Why was the Housing Bubble so Much Worse in Las Vegas?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Las Vegas, Home Buying in Las Vegas, Investment Properties in Las Vegas  |  March 5, 2014 3:15 PM  |  523 views  |  No comments

    I ran across a summarizes post on MarginalRevolution.com a few days back by Economist Tyler Cowen entitled Why was the housing bubble so much worse in Las Vegas?

    I'm posting is a few days later, because quite frankly, I'm still reading it in it's entirety. It's deeper than I usually read so I'm re-reading some areas to gain better understanding.

    Within Mr. Cowens post there are a couple of links that lead you to other links that provoke thought.

    I thought I would take a break in my continued reading to share some of them with you. If you get into it and have any have any thoughts that you would "LIKE" to share, feel free to in the comments area. This is educational! I hope you enjoy!

    The first link is Housing Boom and Bust with Elastic Supplies written by Zhenyu Gao Princeton University in January 2014

    Mr Gao's paper summarizes what occurred during the U.S. housing cycle. Especially during the boom years from 2004-2006 in Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix AZ. Two Cities with relatively elastic supplies of land and homes. Mr. Gaos paper also provides analysis on the effect that investment home purchases had during that housing boom.

    The next link within Mr Cowens Post led me to a wsj.com post by Justin Lahart entitled Why Las Vegas Got Bubbly

    Mr. Laharts post looks into one of the mysteries of the housing boom and bust is how speculation in Las Vegas and Phoenix, with their wide open spaces, got so heated. With so much land on supply, you’d think it would be hard for a bubble to get started.

    The last link is a paper that was written by Charles Nathanson an Eric Zwick entitled Arrested Development: Theory and Evidence of Supply Side Speculation in the Housing Market.

    The main goal in this paper is to show the strong link between speculation in housing and speculation in land, and what such speculation implies for house prices in cities with with relatively elastic supplies of land and homes.

    Although I'm not as educated as the contributors (Justin, Charles, Eric and Zhenyu) to this blog post, my street gut tells me that there was not enough emphasis put on very loose lending practices for both owner/non-owner occupied land and properties by our banks and politicians.

    Approving high risk (even toxic with no funding source) loans for consumers and speculators with very little skin in the game is a receipe for disaster.

    Lord ! Let's Us not go down that road again!

  • What are Reasonable Expectations?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Las Vegas, Home Selling in Las Vegas, Home Ownership in Las Vegas  |  March 2, 2014 12:07 PM  |  528 views  |  3 comments

    Coffee should be hot. Beer should be cold. Mexican food should be spicy. However, if these things are less than the standard that you expect, there are not any lasting consequences.

    As the value of the object in question rises, either in price or gravity, the expectations usually increase and decisions become progressively more important.  Marriage, children, health and careers are certainly a few of the more important items that bear careful consideration.

    The sale of the largest asset that most people own, their home, also merits having reasonable expectations.  A homeowner should expect to get the market value for their home in a reasonable period of time with as few inconveniences as possible.

    According to the latest Core Logic Study , more homeowners are entrusting the sale of their home to real estate professionals.  Owners can increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome by sharing their expectations with agents prior to listing their home for sale.

    Challenge your agent to explain what they intend to do to:
    • Price the home correctly!
    • Prepare the home to make a good impression.
    • Position the home in the marketplace.
    It is reasonable for a seller to expect the agent will work hard to sell the home; will tell the truth and represent the client’s interests to the best of their ability.  Agents exemplify remarkable service when they when they exceed the seller’s expectations.

    For more infomation about selling your home, feel free to call me at 702-324-5390 or send me an email for a FREE Market Analysis for your home.
  • Enter my Dream Home Sweepstakes on my Facebook Real Estate Page and you could win $1000 for the Month of February

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Las Vegas, Market Conditions in Las Vegas, Tech Tips in Las Vegas  |  February 14, 2014 2:01 PM  |  628 views  |  No comments
    Enter my Dream Home sweepstakes on my Facebook Real Estate Page and you could win $1000 to put towards your home this February! 

    Spend it as you wish on a Home Improvement Project, Decoration Idea or on a Special Purchase just like these past winners. http://goo.gl/QIato3

    Don't Forget!.. You can enter up to 5 times this month and Share My Dream Sweeps with your friends to increase your chances of winning!

    While your there, you can Learn About My Services, take a look at my Featured Listingsor even Search for a Las Vegas Valley Home

    Don't Forget to put this link in your calendar so you can come back and enter up to 5 times this month to increase your chances of winning $1,000.00.
  • Senator Harry Reid Answered Me Back About Extending the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act thru 2014

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Las Vegas, Financing in Las Vegas, Foreclosure in Las Vegas  |  February 6, 2014 5:16 PM  |  783 views  |  No comments

    A couple of weeks back, I wrote and email to Senator Harry Reid, encouraging him and his fellow lawmakers to extend the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act through 2014. I have inserted the copy from his response below with some additional comments:

    Mrs. Mary Kennedy

    10257 Independent Laterina Ct
    Las Vegas, NV 89135-2527

    Dear Mrs. Kennedy:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding extending the tax relief for the discharge of debt associated with a person’s principal residence. I appreciate hearing from you on this matter.

    I have always been a supporter of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act and worked hard to get it extended through last year. During the final weeks of the 112th Congress, leaders in both parties worked together to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” of drastic spending cuts and tax hikes.

    The negotiations were long and difficult, but in the end, the compromise provided certainty to taxpayers and businesses. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which President Obama signed into law on January 2, 2013, prevented tax increases on 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses by permanently extending the middle-class tax cuts. Additionally, this bipartisan legislation extended the mortgage debt forgiveness relief through December 31, 2013.

    This tax relief was initially enacted for two years as part of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, and offers relief to homeowners who would otherwise have owed taxes on forgiven debt. This change generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principle residence.

    Without this change, debt reduced through mortgage restructuring and debt forgiven after a foreclosure or short sale would have been treated as income and been subject to income tax. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which was extended by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, also created a temporary exception for debt forgiveness discharged between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012. I am proud to have supported these efforts to provide meaningful relief in the housing market.

    As you know, this important mortgage debt forgiveness relief expired at the end of 2013. Congress is currently considering several bills that could extend this provision.  The Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction on taxes and is exploring various tax proposals, including debt relief for distressed homeowners who cannot afford more in taxes.  Should mortgage debt relief be included in any bills before the full Senate, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.I  look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

    My best wishes to you.


    United States Senator


    To learn more about my work in the Senate on behalf of Nevadans, or to contact me, please visit reid.senate.gov, sign up for my e-newsletter, The Reid Report, or connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.
     Additional Comments:

    1. You may ask: Why am I for extending the law? At the beginning of 2013, 65% of Las Vegas Valley homes with mortgages were underwater. That means that if a seller wanted to put their home on the market, the value was less than what was owed on it. At the end of 2013, only 35% of the homes were still underwater.

    2. By extending the law through 2013, it helped the values of the homes come back as underwater homeowners could short-sell their homes and not have to pay income tax on difference between what was owed and what the home sold for. Extending the law did 4 things:
    1. It helped stabilize a Housing Market where home values dropped 45% back 2007 and 2008.
    2. Because the market dropped into such a deep depression, we were able to increase values by bounce back by 29% in 2013. Now that may sound like alot, but there are very few Real Estate Markets that took a hit like the Las Vegas Valley did.
    3. Extending the law also helped the home values for the homeowners that have no mortgage. As the market made it's way back, the values improved for all of the homes.
    4. Speeding up the Loan Modification and Short Sale process helped to flush the bad mortgages at an accelerated pace. In the long run that with stabilize the National Housing market sooner.
    As an Independent Voter I have been frustrated with both sides of the isle in Washington. Irresponsible decisions were made by consumers as well as some of the politicians. The National Housing Market is an important part of our economy that very few in Washington want to talk about. I encourage you to write your representatives, especially those on the Senate Finance Committee, to strongly encourage the extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act through 2014.
  • Las Vegas Is Headed In the Right Direction!

    Posted Under: General Area in Las Vegas, Quality of Life in Las Vegas, Market Conditions in Las Vegas  |  January 30, 2014 11:29 AM  |  638 views  |  No comments

    $7,136,600,000 in Projects Underway!

    2013 $ 675,000,000
    2014 $ 1,131,600,000
    2015 $ 480,000,000
    2016 $ 2,350,000,000

    Development is synonymous with construction and permanent jobs that will revitalize the
    state of our economy.

    Here is a gallery of the $7,136,600,000 project plans with completion dates.

    DownTown Grand Hotel and Casino $100,000,000 2013

     LINQ $550,000,000 (High Roller Ferris Wheel) 2014

     Robert T. Eglet Advocacy Center $18,000,000 2013/2014

     GALLERIA Renovation $7,000,000 2013/2014

    SLS Boutique Hotel $750,000,000 2014


     MGM Entertainment District $100,000,000 2014

     Federal Justice Tower $35,000,000 2014

     Vada Tech $11,600,000 2014

    SHOPS AT SUMMERLIN $450,000,000 2015

    South Point Bowling Center $30,000,000 2015

     GENTING Resorts World $2,000,000,000 – 2016 Phase

    Convention Center Redesign $2,500,000,000 – No Date Yet

    MGM Resorts / AEG ARENA $350,000,000 2016

    Several years ago, the development projects in the casino, retail, and housing
    industries caused the landscape to change overnight. Jobs were created and
    real estate was booming. There were so many cranes in the sky that the crane
    was jokingly referred to as the Nevada state bird. Today the landscape is
    significantly different without the cranes. But projects are being added to the
    drawing board. Many projects are in the development stage and they are creating

    The creation of jobs will not only help to mend our economy, it will bring qualified
    buyers to the real estate market again.

    Unemployment to Employment

    Governor Sandoval stated, "As 2014 begins, all indications suggest additional
    improvements with trends pointing to further job growth and a continued decrease
    in the unemployment rate."

    In just two years Nevada's unemployment has dropped from 11.2% to 8.9%, proving
    that progress is being made today. Nevada has stimulated the economy by adding
    14,100 jobs in three months from September to December.

    Las Vegas Has A Bright Future

    As we stated in a previous blog, the hedge fund investors have drifted out of our
    market. What has that done to the market? That has created a stable market for the
    typical buyer who is buying their first home, retiring to Las Vegas, moving up, or

    Las Vegas has so many factors that make it stand out as the place to live. Las Vegas
    has great weather as other parts of the country are reporting sub-zero temperatures and
    todays forecast for Las Vegas is in the 70s.

    Las Vegas is in close proximity to many recreation sites like Lake Mead for boating
    and fishing, California beaches, and the Red Rock Canyon and Charleston mountain
    areas for climbing, skiing and hiking.

    Las Vegas has many ongoing community events from farmer markets to the performing
    arts. And of course the dynamic entertainment and retail community continues to bring
    over 100,000 visitors to our city every day. Las Vegas has tax advantages, affordable
    housing, over 46 golf courses, over 77 parks, and the list goes on.

    Developers recently invested 24 million dollars in land. They believe. They believe that
    Las Vegas has a viable growth potential so they are investing in our future. Its just a
    matter of time. The cranes may be back.

    As the old cliche goes--- Follow the money!

  • Weak Demand + Higher Inventories = Increased Time to Sell in November

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Las Vegas, Home Buying in Las Vegas, Home Selling in Las Vegas  |  December 6, 2013 12:32 PM  |  579 views  |  No comments

    I have inserted a 1 Page PDF link (to Print Out) of the aggregated results, including analysis of the latest trends in the Las Vegas Valley Real Estate Market from Credit Suisse on where they see markets heading in the near term.

    Credit Suisse November Snapshot of the Las Vegas Valley

    Credit Suisse Group is a leading financial services company, advising clients in all aspects of finance, across the globe and around the clock.

    I think the Credit Suisse Summary aligns itself well to my thoughts of my previous post from earlier in the week.

    How is the Las Vegas Valley Real Estate Market???.... Really!

    I hope that you find this information useful. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me at anytime at 702-324-5390 or toll free at 877-300-5390


    Mary Kennedy
    RE/MAX Central
    Las Vegas, NV.

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