Real Estate Information Archive


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The Shops at Summerlin

by Heidi Winston

The Howard Hughes Corporation Announces Macy's signs on as FIRST Anchor Tenant at THE SHOPS AT SUMMERLIN.

The agreement confirms the restart of the highly-anticipated development in the heart of the acclaimed Summerlin master planned community.  (The locals have seen part of the building structures for sometime located right next to Red Rock Casino).

The Shops at Summerlin, one of the premier regional mixed-used development sites in the U.S., will be part of a planned urban center which will serve the entire Las Vegas Valley.  When complete, it will include retail, entertainment, office hotel and multi-family residential, designed to create a vibrant, walkable urban core in the heart of the affluent 22,500-acre master planned community.


18th Annual Summerlin Art Festival

by Heidi Winston

Save the date for the 18th Annual Summerlin Art Festival. Enjoy an outdoor festival of art, music, food and entertainment. Free and open to the public. October 13th & October 14th, Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m. To 5 p.m. Summerlin Centre Community Park, 1800 S. Town Center Drive between W. Charleston Blvd. and W. Sahara Ave. Visit for more information.

Economic Update

by Heidi Winston





Nationally, the number of resale homes selling has increased for each of the last five months. This is yet another strong sign that America is slowly emerging from the economic shadows of the last few years. The annual rate, based on July, was more than 10% higher than a year ago. The two biggest factors holding down home sales volume are the tight standards for mortgage lending and a national shortage of homes for sale.


Median prices have been increasing in most parts of the country and the Case-Schiller Home Price Index indicates that the prices of individual homes have been increasing in many parts of the nation.
Here in southern Nevada, prices are on a definite upswing. Sales volume, however, is actually down a little. This is almost entirely due to the extreme shortage of homes for sale. When a nice home is listed for anything close to a reasonable price, the seller's agent is flooded with multiple offers.
The one remaining area of concern is employment. The jobless rate in the Las Vegas area remains well above the national average. Nationally there are far too many people unemployed or underemployed. Until we can put Las Vegas and America back to work, the economic recovery will continue to sputter forward.
Across the United States, foreclosures still accounted for 12% of all sales. Foreclosures were 18% of all sales in the Las Vegas area. Short sales were even higher but that is actually good news. We are quickly "burning off" the distressed properties so the market can return to normal. Lately, we have seen the first serious sign of "normal" as the percentage of equity sales keeps increasing.

The FSBO Failure

by Heidi Winston is perhaps the most popular and successful site of its kind. The site's founder, Colby Sambrotto, has become the spokesperson/guru for promoting do-it-yourself real estate sales. In early August, the Wall Street Journal ran an article covering Mr. Sambrotto's efforts to sell his New York City home.

 After six frustrating months trying to use a "broad and creative mix of websites" to sell his condo, Sambrotto did what he has, for more than a decade, told everyone they should NEVER DO - he hired a traditional real estate broker. That broker sold Sambrotto's home quickly for $150,000 more than the FSBO guru was asking on his own and Sambrotto happily paid the full 6% commission!
This simply proves that a good real estate professional is the best way to get the most money and the quickest sale with the fewest problems

Heidi Winston
RE/MAX Hall of Fame Realtor,

For Sale By Owner

by Heidi Winston

We are seeing more owners trying to sell their own house without the assistance of a real estate professional. At first glance this seems to make a great deal of sense. After all, a real estate commission is a lot of money and - how hard can it be to sell a house?
Most credible studies indicate that Realtor assisted sellers net MORE than owners selling their own house. There are several reasons for this. Real estate agents have the advantage of effectively exposing a house to thousands of potential buyers through the Multiple Listing Service. The law of Supply And Demand tells us when supply is limited, the more potential buyers we find, the higher the price. Competition drives up prices.


 Another factor is that a real estate agent can show a buyer over 90% of the available homes and the buyer doesn't have to do all the research. An owner can show them only one house. Because of all the extra work on the part of the buyer, they expect a steep discount, reducing the price by 10% or more.
There are many other concerns such as qualifying potential buyers, personal safety, cost effective targeted advertising, tying up a house with "tire-kickers," and many more.
Although fewer than 10% of homes sell without a Realtor (many of those are friend or relative sales), a large percentage of real estate litigation involves owners selling directly to buyers.
If you know anyone thinking of selling their house, please have them talk to me first.

Last month we said the market was "insane."

by Heidi Winston

 Last month we said the market was "insane." Not much has changed. There are still too many buyers chasing too few houses.

This strong demand is keeping the upward pressure on real estate prices and that is making sellers happy. A significant percentage of buyers, frustrated with the bidding wars, are buying new homes. This is welcome news for the new home builders who have been scraping by with record low sales for the last few years.

Even the buyers are happy. With interest rates still at or near record lows, payments are far more affordable than most of us can remember.

The above chart shows what the payments would be on several different mortgage amounts at 4% (today's mortgage rate was well under that). By contrast, a few years ago, rates were at 6% and prices were twice as high as they are today.

Home Prices Rise Again, and so do Short Sales

by Heidi Winston

The Las Vegas housing market continues to shift from foreclosures to short sales, and the median home price rose for the seventh straight month, local Realtors said Monday.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported 3,076 single-family home sales in August, a 17 percent decrease from the same month a year ago.

The median price was $138,000, up 3.8 percent from July and up 15 percent from a year ago. It's the first double-digit increase for year-over-year prices since December 2005.

Inventory of single-family homes available for sale without a pending or contingent office dwindled to 3,981 units, compared with more than 11,000 a year ago.

"We're really struggling with inventory," said Robyn Yates of Windermere Prestige Properties in Henderson. "That's the challenge. Even though it's great that prices are going up, it's not great from the perspective of real estate firms and buyers. It's very frustrating."

David Brownell of Keller Williams Realty reported 586 real estate-owned, or bank-owned, home sales in August, down 75 percent from a year ago. Short sales, or homes sold for less than the mortgage owed, jumped 56 percent to 1,579 in August.

Short sales now account for 44 percent of the market, compared with 22 percent a year ago. Foreclosures have dropped from 51 percent of the market to 16.3 percent, Brownell noted.

Some real estate agents blame Nevada's robo-signing law for constricting REO inventory, but the national banking settlement accomplished the same thing, GLVAR president Kolleen Kelley said.

"We're holding our own. We're getting listings," she said. "We thought we'd completely run out of inventory at this point. That hasn't happened and doesn't look like it will."

The market is being held up by more short-sale listings and equity sellers, Kelley said.

"You have investors who came in when the market went crazy in California. Some of them used their homes as ATMs, but not all of them did," she said.

Even as inventory shrinks, the months' supply has started to increase after bottoming in June, said Frank Nason, president of Residential Resources in Las Vegas.

About 85 percent of homes under contract are short sales waiting for lender approval.

It's evident that the decline in REO sales and increase in short sales is affecting the market in terms of successful closings, Brownell said. Average time from listing to closing has increased to 110 days.

That's in contrast to National Association of Realtors' statistics that show median days on market down 29.6 percent from 98 days a year ago to 69 days in July.

While days on market are pulled from statistics maintained by local multiple listing services, the task is complicated because sellers sometimes take their homes off the market and relist them.

Las Vegas Realtors reported that 53.4 percent of homes sold within 30 days of being on the market, and 13.1 percent sold within 31-60 days.

Yates said buyers from outside Las Vegas don't always believe what local agents are telling them.

"You have to let the market teach the buyers a lesson," she said.

"The perception is Las Vegas is on sale, prices are really good and it's easy to get a house. They're shocked that prices are going up and you have to compete to get a house."

Realtors sold 612 condo and townhomes in August at a median price of $65,000, down 2.3 percent from July, but up 16.1 percent from a year ago.

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

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Contact Information

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RE/MAX Central Realty
Heidi and Michael Winston
8921 W Sahara Ave, Suite A
Las Vegas NV 89117
Heidi: 702-277-6599
Michael: 702-219-8692
Fax: 702-974-2288