December 21, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
If you don’t like the postage stamp-sized lots that were popular in Las Vegas during the housing boom, take heart.
The market is upgrading to postcard-sized lots.
Forget about those tiny yards with three-story homes stacked side-by-side, once a necessity driven by skyrocketing land prices. Those lots could be permanently on the way out, and that means your future castle could have a different feel.
December 20, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Nevada has gained ground in the battle for a jobs recovery, but it still has vast territory to recapture.
A Friday report showed joblessness dipping to a five-year low in November, even as economists warned it could be years before the state approaches anything close to its boom-era job levels.
“We were hit harder during the recession than essentially every other state, so it’s going to take us a while to completely crawl out of our hole,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist with the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
December 17, 2013 | 8 News Now | Scott DanielsRead More »
December 17, 2013 | Fox 5 Vegas | Azenith SmithRead More »
December 17, 2013 | 13 Action News | Spencer Lubitz
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The more cops tax has already been voted down twice this year, but Sheriff Doug Gillespie was back pleading his case in front of the county commission hoping the third time is a charm.
The county commission agreed on Tuesday to place a revamped version of the more cops sales tax on a future agenda, although the sheriff is still seeking an increase of .15-percent.
This version has the sales tax rising in increments as the the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's budget surplus depletes itself.
The sheriff has dubbed it the trigger aspect, which he said was the brainchild of Jeremy Aguero, an outside analyst hired by Metro to crunch the numbers and present them to the commission.
December 17, 2013 | News 3 LV | Fatimah RahmatullahRead More »
December 17, 2013 | Las Vegas Sun | Conor Shine
In an attempt to break the deadlock among Clark County commissioners, Sheriff Doug Gillespie is backing a new hybrid "More Cops" proposal that would increase the county sales tax as Metro Police hires more officers and spends down its reserves. But it’s still unclear whether the new compromise will garner the needed votes to pass.
With the help of economist Jeremy Aguero, Gillespie presented the plan, which he said would allow the department to hire 101 new officers, to Clark County commissioners at today’s meeting.
December 17, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Ben Botkin
Sheriff Doug Gillespie presented Clark County commissioners on Tuesday with an option to put more officers on the street with an increased sales tax.
The proposal, called a “hybrid model,” would blend phased-in sales tax increases for more police officers with tapping into an existing More Cops account to bridge a $30 million shortfall in the department’s budget.
At this point, it’s uncertain if Gillespie has the votes to seal the deal. He’ll need the support of five commissioners. Previous efforts to pass the sales tax increase have failed. But a smiling Gillespie appeared confident when talking to commissioners and reporters after the meeting.
December 1, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Editor’s Note: Nevada 150 is a yearlong series highlighting the people, places and things that make up the history of the Silver State.
Before there was Nevada, there was mining.
In the state’s earliest days, mining wasn’t just our key industry. It was “essentially our only industry,” said Jeremy Aguero, a principal in local research firm Applied Analysis, and author of a September report for the Nevada Mining Association on the role of the sector in our economy.
November 30, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
We want you to be ready.
Whether you have to sit down, stand up, pass out or go limp, we’re preparing you for the day when your home’s value doesn’t appreciate 30 percent in one year. It might seem inconceivable now, what with the double-digit annual price gains the Las Vegas market has turned in for 15 months straight, but the party’s going to end, and soon. We’ve dusted off our crystal ball to forecast exactly when, so no one can say they didn’t see it coming.
Our prediction is (drum roll): April.
November 21, 2013 | The Spectrum | David DeMille
ST. GEORGE — Assuming a growth rate of 4.2 percent, Washington County would need to start construction on the Lake Powell Pipeline by 2018, according to a scenario generated Thursday by members of the Washington County Water Conservancy District’s Community Integrated Resource Planning Advisory Committee.
Utilizing a new economic model developed by Las Vegas firm Applied Analysis, 17 members of the committee were polled electronically on a series of factors that could influence the way Washington County users pay the some $1 billion it would cost to build the pipeline.
November 18, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Benjamin Spillman
Mayors from three of Nevada’s four largest cities said Monday that they will press the Legislature to change the state’s property tax formula to increase the amount of money collected.
Mayors Carolyn Goodman of Las Vegas, Andy Hafen of Henderson and John Lee of North Las Vegas agreed that limits on how fast tax bills can increase relative to property values are hindering recovery from the recession.
The mayors, speaking at a Hashtags &Headlines public affairs forum sponsored by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, highlighted a complaint that has been bouncing around local government circles in recent years: Property tax revenue fell dramatically with values during the recession, but during the recovery, annual limits of 3 percent for residential and 8 percent for commercial properties mean it could be years, or decades, before revenue reaches previous levels.
November 14, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
You knew Nevada’s housing numbers looked bad during the downturn.
But you probably didn’t know just how ugly things got compared to pretty much everywhere else. Or that when California sneezed, Nevada got the full-blown flu.
New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the Silver State’s housing crash topped busts in every state save our neighbor to the west. What’s more, Clark County hung with the worst of them for value drops and homeownership declines.
The latest rankings are also cautionary reminders amid 2013’s 30 percent jump in local median prices, industry experts said.
November 11, 2013 | Las Vegas Business Press | Jennifer Robison
Sure, housing’s recovering, but what does that mean for spending on gaming?
So far, not much, says a recent investors’ note from local analysis firm Union Gaming Group.
When the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Index released its August numbers Oct. 29, its stats backed up local reports of strong housing gains. Local home values were up 29.2 percent year over year, the best annual improvement among the 20 big cities the index tracks. August was the 18th straight month of local pricing gains, and the 10th month of increases above 25 percent.
Overall, the numbers “continue to paint a promising picture,” Union Gaming wrote. That should be good for casinos that market to locals, because more home equity typically encourages more consumer spending.
But that’s not happening so far.
November 5, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
By one measure, at least, Nevada’s merely average.
And that’s not a bad thing.
The state Department of Business &Industry gave the Silver State a C on its third quarter Housing Stability Index. That grade might not overwhelm you, but it shows steady progress: The index earned a C- in the second quarter, and a D+ in the third quarter of 2012. In fact, it was the highest index performance since January 2007, before the recession began.
A C grade shows an “average-quality market,” the department said in its Tuesday analysis.
November 3, 2013 | Las Vegas Sun | Andrew Doughman
Poor Clark County residents may be having somewhat of a taxing year.
The county hiked the gasoline tax earlier this year, water rates are likely headed for an increase, and the Clark County commission may approve a sales tax increase before the year’s out.
In each case, proponents argue the actual cost of their individual hike will be minimal enough to justify the good it will do.
But one politically ambitious official has been repeating a populist refrain for the past few months, saying the county must be conscious of the effect of multiple tax increases done in rapid succession.
October 28, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Chris Sieroty
Read More »
By CHRIS SIEROTY
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
While consumers at all income levels face challenges resulting from the continued roll out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, wealthier Nevadans are expected to experience some unique effects.
The most noticeable impact of the health care law on higher-income earners may be the additional 0.9 percent in payroll taxes for those making $200,000 or more.
October 27, 2013 | Las Vegas Business Press | Jennifer Robison
If Southern Nevada’s commercial real estate market were gym class, the office submarket would be the slow kid who finished last in the 50-yard dash.
As the Las Vegas Valley’s retail and industrial sectors sprinted toward recovery in the third quarter, the office sector straggled, according to new numbers from local research firm Applied Analysis.
September 27, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Southern Nevada’s office market is still in the dumps.
More than four years after the national recession ended, 26 percent of suites across the Las Vegas Valley sit empty, according to second-quarter numbers from local research firm Applied Analysis. That’s well above the 10-year average of 16.4 percent. The market has 13.6 million square feet of empty office space, compared with a typical 7.9 million square feet. At current leasing levels of 1 million square feet a year, it’ll take the city more than five years to see balance, said Brian Gordon, a principal in Applied Analysis.
None of that stopped a major Wall Street investment firm from jumping big-time into the local office market, and that deal, combined with other recent buyouts, could mean better times ahead for commercial real estate, local observers said.
September 22, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
After peaking at $1,900 an ounce in August 2011, gold prices tumbled to $1,181 an ounce in June as the economy improved, inflation stayed low and investors worried less about finding a safe haven for their money. Prices had rebounded to $1,307 an ounce by Wednesday, but that was still 31.2 percent below 2011’s high.
To say Nevada’s miners are a little nervous would be like saying refined gold bars are kind of shiny.
September 15, 2013 | Las Vegas Business Press | Chris Sieroty
Wealthy households in Nevada were not immune to the dramatic loss of property values that ravaged the state’s housing market during the recession, nor do they appear to be missing out on the recovery, according to a new report.
The ninth edition of the High Net Worth Report by The Private Bank at Nevada State Bank found statewide higher-end homes are up more than 30 percent compared with values reported a year ago. The report used homes 4,500 square feet or larger for analysis.
This subset of home sales reported an overall median size of 5,000 square feet and an average purchase price of $1 million during the first half of 2013 in Clark and Washoe counties.
Higher-end home prices are up 30.4 percent in Southern Nevada and 42.3 percent in Northern Nevada in 2013 compared with last year.
September 11, 2013 | Albuquerque Business First | Damon Scott
Applied Analysis has acquired Albuquerque-based residential research company SalesTraq New Mexico.
Last year, the Las Vegas-based firm bought all SalesTraq operations in the U.S. with the exception of New Mexico. The New Mexico acquisition completes the purchase of all the operating units, a news release said.
The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. SalesTraq New Mexico has been providing real estate market research and new home listing information to real estate agents, homebuilders, appraisers and investors since 2000. David Murphy, the owner and publisher, began the operation and built it into a successful business. Murphy is expected to remain with the company for the next year in a transitional capacity.
September 1, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Housing permits are way up and construction is happening again on the Strip.
But you’d never know from the latest taxable sales numbers that the local building sector was bouncing back, however slightly.
Construction-related sales in Clark County totaled $44.4 million in June, according to the state Department of Taxation. That was down 9.2 percent from $48.9 million in June 2012. And it doesn’t even touch the $208.8 million in building-sector sales in June 2008, when the recession was 6 months old and the $8.4 billion CityCenter was under construction.
August 27, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
An important economic indicator took a step back in June, as consumers eased off on spending.
After more than two years of reliable gains in the 5 percent to 10 percent range, taxable sales stumbled in Clark County and the state. The value of all goods sold in the county fell 0.3 percent year over year in June to $2.85 billion, the state Department of Taxation reported Tuesday. Statewide, sales gained 1.2 percent, rising to $3.96 billion.
Though the general sales trend of the last two years suggests the local economy is headed up, the newest numbers show Southern Nevada is still in recovery mode, and economic uncertainty could keep things that way in coming months, experts said.
August 26, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Southern Nevada’s real estate market may be hot right now, but some areas are hotter than others.
Consider the southwest corner of the Las Vegas Valley, which centers on the Southern Nevada Beltway. It’s only one three-month period, but in the second quarter, the southwest was responsible for 500,000 square feet of the entire market’s 741,000-square-foot industrial absorption, according to numbers from research firm Applied Analysis.
Industrial projects aren’t the only booming developments. Panattoni Development Co. announced in early August that it had closed out sales at its Buffalo/215 Business Park. Among the final buyers: Desert Kitchens LLC, which bought a 6,150-square-foot building at 7693 W. Post Road for $319,800; mortgage company Kickjab, which bought 6,150 square feet of space at 7711 W. Post Road, also for $319,800; and Buffalo Post LLC, which bought an acre of land for $168,980.
August 26, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
A partnership wants to give Las Vegas its first new large-scale master plan since the recession.
But the site being eyed has a cloudy history, and the state of the market could give it an unclear future.
The Olympia Cos., in partnership with New York investment groups Stonehill Capital Management and Spectrum Group Management, are looking to build out the 1,700-acre master plan at U.S. Highway 95 and Kyle Canyon Road that Focus Property Group was set to develop in 2007 before foreclosure scratched the idea.
August 20, 2013 | 8 News Now | Lauren Rozyla
8 News NOW
LAS VEGAS - Gas prices could be going up in Clark County. Clark County Commissioners are considering a three-cent-per-gallon, per-year increase. While no one wants to pay more for gasoline, economists say the tax could bring construction jobs and better roads.
August 19, 2013 | Time Magazine | Bill Saporito
With an estimated 40 million visitors streaming into it glitzy gambling palaces and hotels this year — a record number — Las Vegas seems like a city fully recovered from the financial meltdown. Don't bet on it. In fact, much like the city itself, the tourist count is a glittery distraction. Visitors to Las Vegas aren't betting anywhere near the amounts they did in 2006, before the economy collapsed, and that's a major headache for casino hotel operators such as MGM, Mirage Resorts, and Caesars Entertainment.
For years, Las Vegas has been offering more diverse attractions to keep the visitors coming. But the celebrity chef restaurants and star studded shows and attractions can't make up for the lower gambling revenues. Consider the hot new attraction, known as day clubs, in which half naked twenty-somethings gather at pools such as Liquid at Aria or the Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage to party with star DJs while swilling high priced drinks. It's fun in the sun, but no match for the revenue generated by a $25 minimum bet blackjack table that gives liquor away.
August 16, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Nevada’s jobs market hit a few shoals in July, but that doesn’t mean the state’s recovery has run aground.
Sure, job growth seems to have slowed in the summer. Still, long-term trends show above-average job creation, and experts said some of those summer doldrums could be revised away in the spring.
First, here’s why July’s figures underwhelmed: Employers statewide slashed 10,200 jobs, as every major sector cut positions from June to July, the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday. The unemployment rate did tick down, though, falling to 9.5 percent in July, compared with June’s 9.6 percent. Joblessness in Las Vegas fell to 9.7 percent, down from 10.1 percent in June.
August 8, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Housing’s hot streak continued in June and July.
Two new reports showed double-digit gains in local existing and new homes as supplies remained tight.
The median price for a single-family resale topped out at $180,000 in July, up 35.5 percent from $133,000 a year earlier, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported today.
The median price for condos and townhomes was $91,500, a 37.6 percent gain from $66,500 in July 2012.
July 31, 2013 | The New York Times | Adam Nagourney
LAS VEGAS — When the last recession battered the nation, the bottom fell out in Las Vegas. One out of every six jobs vanished. Home prices dropped as much as 50 percent. Construction projects stopped in place, and tourist spending on the Las Vegas Strip, the economic driver of this city, went into an alarming slide.
These days, jobs are back, the housing market is bustling and people are moving back. The number of visitors hit a record last year. For anyone seeking evidence that the nation has survived this recession, look no farther than the sidewalks of Las Vegas Boulevard, where people were shoulder to shoulder the other day even as temperatures surged past 110 degrees.
July 26, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Nevada’s economic recovery continued in May as taxable sales turned in their best performance in half a decade.
Businesses statewide sold $3.9 billion worth of tangible goods in the month, up 6.1 percent from $3.7 billion in May 2012, the state Department of Taxation reported Friday. In Clark County, merchants rang up $2.8 billion, a 4.7 percent jump over $2.7 billion a year earlier.
Both state and local numbers posted their best May showing since 2008, shortly after the recession began.
“Local consumers continue to feel more confident in their personal financial situation, while visitors are generally spending at increased levels, barring gaming activity,” said Brian Gordon, a principal in local research firm Applied Analysis.
July 22, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
You missed the boat again.
You bought into a Nasdaq index fund in early 2000, just before the exchange crashed. You snapped up your house in 2006, at peak local prices. And you’ve stood by watching as investors bid up local land prices in a feeding frenzy that’s doubled and tripled values in some submarkets.
Not so fast, though: With land, at least, you can still right the ship. You haven’t missed out on investing, although your pickings today are definitely slimmer than they were six months to a year ago. You’ll need to avoid specific markets, take some risks and maybe even find an investment partner to close a deal. But all that effort could be worthwhile.
July 19, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
If you see nothing but doom and gloom in today’s frothy housing market, some industry experts have a message for you: Buck up.
Sure, housing prices have spiked as investors snap up short supplies. And yes, real estate faces headwinds such as rising interest rates, lack of supply and possible changes in federal policies, such as mortgage-interest tax deductions.
But this isn’t 2006 — not even close, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of the National Association of Realtors. Yun was in town Friday to speak to a group of 400 local sales agents at the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors’ membership luncheon inside the Gold Coast.
July 10, 2013 | The Spectrum | David DeMille
ST. GEORGE — Pointing to population projections and the tenuous nature of water supplies in the West, a prominent Las Vegas economist told local business leaders on Wednesday that Washington County could be dangerously close to running out of water and seeing its economy dry up.
Speaking at two separate forums, Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst with Applied Analysis, told members of the St. George Chamber of Commerce and the Washington County Economic Development Council that his preliminary analysis indicates the county could grow enough to exceed existing supplies in as little as nine years if population growth outpaces state projections.
June 30, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Southern Nevada’s land market is bouncing back from the downturn, with sales and prices on the rise.
What that means for you depends on whether you own or need to buy property.
A new report from local research firm Applied Analysis reported 809 sales of land parcels across the Las Vegas Valley, up from 159 purchases in the first quarter of 2012. The number of acres sold jumped from 323 to 578.4, and the price per acre went from $158,927 to $183,813. Some submarkets boomed more than others: The west led the way, at nearly $600,000 per acre.
June 26, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Spending patterns have changed, but the end result is nearly the same.
Nevada closed in on boom-era taxable sales levels in April thanks in part to spending improvements in cars, electronics, home improvements and meals out. And where megaresorts on the Strip once powered the state’s construction economy, building has shifted to rural areas, where massive green-energy and utility projects are under way.
June 23, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Jeff Hein looks beyond the block wall around the backyard of his southwest Las Vegas home and sees mountains.
That’s how it’s been since he and his wife, Anne, bought the home and its half-acre lot 13 years ago. The place is one of just eight homes on four acres near Dean Martin Drive and Silverado Ranch Boulevard.
Vast tracts of empty land surround the enclave, and with neighboring dirt also zoned for two homes per acre, the Heins thought their peace and quiet would last. But it may slip away: Lewis Homes wants to rezone parcels next door and across the street to build 80 one- and two-story homes at densities of five to eight homes per acre. If the change is approved, the development would block the Heins’ mountain views and blight their rural lifestyle, Jeff Hein said.
June 21, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Yeah, you. The one who gave up looking for work months or years ago.
It’s getting safer for you to jump off of the sideline and into Nevada’s jobs game.
More than a thousand of your discouraged compadres — perhaps with some new residents — entered the state’s labor force from April to May, and the unemployment rate still dropped from 9.6 percent to 9.5 percent, reaching its lowest level since 2008, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said Friday. That means businesses created more jobs than there were people who started looking for work.
June 20, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
There’s a new housing indicator in town.
Before your eyes glaze over with housing-analysis fatigue, listen up: This report is different.
The Nevada Department of Business & Industry on Thursday unveiled its first Nevada Housing Stability Index, a report designed to look in-depth at multiple measures of residential vitality. And unlike looking merely at prices and sales — two measures that signal the market is going up, up, up — the stability index gives the state’s housing performance much lower marks.
June 12, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
If you’re waiting for the local housing market to return to normal, you’re going to have to wait a little longer.
A new study shows Las Vegas has once again defied real estate conventions, and the fallout could affect the city’s economy in a big way.
Spring and summer are peak seasons for home sales across the country, and that tradition shows in the latest housing-supply numbers from Zillow, an online real estate database. Sure, there is a shortage of homes for sale, with nationwide listings down 12.2 percent in early June compared with June 2012. Still, that was a gain of 5.3 percentage points over January’s year-to-year supply drop of 17.5 percent.
May 28, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Nevada consumers continued their post-recession spending spree in March, snapping up cars, clothes and meals out.
And with forecasts calling for more spending in the next few months, the state’s taxable sales could keep closing in on pre-recession records, experts said.
Businesses statewide sold $4.11 billion in goods in March, up 5 percent from $3.91 billion in March 2012. Clark County’s improvement was even bigger, with sales of $2.98 billion coming in 6.8 percent above $2.79 billion a year earlier.
May 23, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
As the recession recedes, Southern Nevada has fewer under-water homes.
But hundreds of thousands of local households are still drowning in a sea of negative equity, and numbers from online real estate database Zillow show which neighborhoods are most submerged.
Before drilling down into stats from specific communities, consider marketwide numbers. Zillow’s Negative Equity Report compared outstanding loan balances reported by credit bureau TransUnion to the homes’ current estimated value. The study found that 54.3 percent of valley homeowners owed more in the first quarter than their home was worth. That amounted to 181,237 homes with a total negative equity of $17.6 billion.
May 20, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
The buying fever that is heating up residential resales is spreading to the local apartment market.
Private investment firm Griffis Residential of Denver bought Quest Apartments in Henderson this month for more than $41 million, or $132,500 per unit. It is the highest per-unit purchase price since 2008 for a traditional apartment complex, and observers say it certifies that Las Vegas is back on the map for multifamily investors.
“We have seen a number of transactions that suggest buyers are willing to pay more for quality assets here, and this latest transaction is a sign of that continued interest,” said Brian Gordon, a principal in Applied Analysis, a local research firm that publishes a quarterly apartment-market update.
May 16, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Nevada and Las Vegas went from labor pains to labor gains in April, as the work force grew and unemployment fell.
Those twin trends may not stay in lockstep, though. As job markets improve, the trickle of people back into the labor pool could turn into a flood, and that could keep state jobless rates above national averages at least into 2015, economists said Thursday.
“When the labor market really starts improving, people return to the labor force,” said Steve Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “So even as we add jobs, the unemployment number could be a little sticky coming down.”
May 6, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Chris Sieroty
When it comes to equitable income distribution, Nevada and its metropolitan areas are slightly better off than the national average. However, the U.S. as a whole still lags behind much of the world when it comes to income equality, the latest High Net Worth Report released by The Private Bank at Nevada State Bank shows.
The survey also found that despite large tax increases for wealthy taxpayers, the recent expiration of the Federal Insurance Contribution Act, or FICA, has hit Nevada’s lower income brackets with a greater share of the tax hike.
“The FICA increase applies only to the first $112,700 in wages earned,” said Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst with Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis. “This means that lower-income working households end up paying a higher relative tax rate.”
April 30, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Howard Stutz
Regional casino operators Boyd Gaming Corp. and Pinnacle Entertainment experienced double-digit increases in their average daily share price during April.
But much of the attention by the investment community focused on Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s plan to spin off several casinos and its interactive gaming subsidiary into a separate growth-oriented business.
Caesars, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, was the only casino operator out of eight companies charted by Las Vegas financial adviser Applied Analysis to see a decline in its average daily share price during the month.
April 25, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
February wasn’t a banner month for taxable sales, but it wasn’t a total dud, either.
Even as local sales flattened, most consumer-oriented spending categories showed improvement, and observers blamed the middling numbers on a couple of statistical abnormalities.
April 25, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Southern Nevada home builders say they need land.
And while more dirt may be on its way to market, the parcels they’ll get may not be in sizes or prices that make economic sense for housing development, according to a panel of industry experts at Thursday’s monthly luncheon of the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association.
April 23, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
They’re two different buildings in two different real estate sectors.
But together, the northeast Las Vegas warehouse and the Summerlin-area corporate headquarters show how far the commercial market has come since the recession, and how far it must go for full recovery.
“We’re seeing some sideways movement as the numbers continue to bounce around,” said Brian Gordon, a principal in the Las Vegas research firm Applied Analysis, which on Tuesday published a report showing mixed trends in commercial real estate.
April 23, 2013 | Vegas Inc. | Eli Segall
Las Vegas' empty office space hit an all-time high last quarter as rental rates continued to slide.
The valley’s office market had a record 26.2 percent vacancy rate in the three months ending March 31, up from 25.1 percent a year earlier, according to a new report from Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas research firm.
The average asking rent for office buildings was $1.87 per square foot last quarter, down from $1.94 a year ago. Rental rates have dropped for 15 consecutive months and are down 21.4 percent from their peak, in the second quarter of 2008.
April 21, 2013 | Los Angeles Times | John M. Glionna
LAS VEGAS — For nearly five years, the steel-and-concrete skeleton of the abandoned resort project has taunted this city, a glaring reminder that casino operators here can't win every economic wager they place.
The stalled Echelon project sits on hallowed gambling ground: It's where the old Stardust casino was imploded. Construction on the new $4-billion resort began in 2007 and froze a year later — a failure so embarrassing that city officials later ordered owner Boyd Gaming Corp. to build barriers to hide the remains.
April 19, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
It’s a speed bump on the road to recovery.
Sure, the latest state and local jobs numbers skidded sideways in March, but economists said Friday that those numbers don’t necessarily mean labor markets are veering back into a ditch. In fact, observers predict relatively steady job growth for the next two years, though they also said we should expect a few ups and downs along the way.
Start with March’s down. Unemployment increased statewide to 9.7 percent, up from 9.6 percent in February, stopping a 20-month streak of jobless declines or steady rates. Local unemployment held steady at 9.8 percent, the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported.
April 18, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Sandra Chereb
CARSON CITY — Nevada’s largest revenue source is losing ground because of a changing economy that has shifted from consumption of goods to consumption of services, an economist told a legislative panel on Thursday.
Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst with Applied Analysis, said about $87 billion in economic activity is untapped because of the shifting dynamic of what people spend money on and how they acquire things.
His testimony came during a hearing on Senate Concurrent Resolution 1, which would authorize an interim study on taxing services in Nevada and set up a technical committee to explore how it would work. Findings and recommendations would be made to the 2015 Legislature.
April 17, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Martin Crutsinger
WASHINGTON — U.S. housing starts topped the 1 million mark in March for the first time since June 2008. The gain signals continued strength for the housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season.
The overall pace of homes started rose 7 percent from February to March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.04 million, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Apartment construction, which tends to fluctuate sharply from month to month, led the surge: It jumped nearly 31 percent to an annual rate of 417,000, the fastest pace since January 2006.
April 11, 2013 | News 3 LV | Amber DixonRead More »
April 10, 2013 | News 3 LV | Amber DixonRead More »
April 4, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Laura Carroll
Las Vegas statistics guru Jeremy Aguero stood in front of a packed room at the Four Seasons, giving the local business community their medicine.
With the good came the bad at the Las Vegas Perspective event held Thursday morning to celebrate the 33rd annual publication of the community profile. Of note this year is that Clark County’s population grew 1.7 percent in 2012 to more than 2 million people living in the area, making it the seventh-fastest in the nation in terms of growth. The most newcomers — 31.9 percent — hail from California.
But while population is increasing, the graduation rate still is faltering.
April 4, 2013 | Las Vegas Weekly | Brock Radke
1. The theme for this year’s Perspective, the 33rd annual event and release of its accompanying stat-filled publication at the Four Seasons on April 4, is Wired for the Future. It’s kinda refreshing, considering local business forecasting events in recent years have been dominated by exploring how much longer our recession recovery will last.Read More »
April 4, 2013 | 8 News Now | Patranya BhoolsuwanRead More »
April 1, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Howard Stutz
Shares of Caesars Entertainment Corp. posted strong gains in March, adding to increases in the previous month.
The casino giant saw its average daily stock price increase more than 39 percent during the month, after February’s 46 percent jump.
Brian Gordon — a principal with Las Vegas-based financial adviser Applied Analysis, which charts the monthly stock performance of eight publicly traded casino operators and four gaming equipment manufacturers for a gaming index — said Monday that Caesars continues to benefit from a hope that legalized Internet gaming could be on the horizon.
March 31, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Hubble Smith
After spending years deep in the red, Las Vegas home price appreciation rates returned to the black in 2012 in all but three of the valley’s 58 ZIP codes, SalesTraq housing research firm reported.
The largest gain was in ZIP code 89030, an area of North Las Vegas around Interstate 15 and Cheyenne Avenue, where median home prices increased 21.1 percent last year, to $45,000.
Ironically, 89030 was also one of the hardest-hit ZIP codes for foreclosures, not just in the Las Vegas Valley, but in the nation. That same turnabout is reflected in many of the ZIP codes that posted double-digit appreciation in 2012.
“In terms of rate of price appreciation, select areas that were hardest-hit have seen some pickup in the last year as prices over-corrected in those areas,” SalesTraq housing analyst Brian Gordon said. “They experienced greater-than-average depreciation and they now have some of the greatest demand and lowest availability, which have helped to drive prices north.”
March 29, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
February wasn’t a banner month for job creation, but it helped economists take a second look at growth forecasts.
Nevada’s labor markets showed modest improvement in February, a month after joblessness in the state slipped to four-year lows. What’s more, labor experts said Friday that they expect continued improvement in coming months.
“Sometimes stability is good,” Bill Anderson, chief economist of the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said of February’s statewide jobless dip to 9.6 percent, down from 9.7 percent in January and 11.8 percent a year earlier. “Obviously, there’s a long way to go, but what these numbers tell me, in conjunction with previous reports, is that we continue to move in the right direction.”
March 28, 2013 | Las Vegas Weekly | Ric Anderson
From the patio dining area of Tacos El Gordo on Las Vegas Boulevard, there’s a view of the city’s past five agonizing years, its uncertain present and its possibly exhilarating future.
Look, past the roadside signs for the tattoo parlor, smoke shop and foot reflexology joint in the strip mall between Encore and the Riviera. There, stark against the desert sky and the western mountains, are the skeletons of two unfinished buildings on the former Echelon property, one made of concrete, one of steel and both abandoned when the recession took down Las Vegas’ economy.
March 26, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Payroll tax increase? Meh.
Nevada consumers mostly ignored the Jan. 1 expiration of a two-year Social Security tax holiday and pushed up spending significantly in several key categories in January.
Statewide taxable sales, which measure the amount of tangible goods sold through Nevada merchants, increased 9.3 percent year over year in January, to $3.45 billion, the state Department of Taxation reported Tuesday. Sales in Clark County were up 8.2 percent, to $2.52 billion.
Credit an improving jobs market and stabilizing housing prices for the boost in spending, said Brian Gordon, principal of local research firm Applied Analysis.
March 26, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Paul Wiseman
WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices, including those in Las Vegas, rose in January at the fastest pace since the summer of 2006, just before the housing bubble burst. The gain shows the housing recovery is strengthening ahead of the spring buying season.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 8.1 percent in the 12 months ending in January. That’s up from a 6.8 annual gain in December.
Las Vegas was up 15.3 percent from a year ago and up 1.6 percent from December.
March 20, 2013 | 13 Action News | Jessica Janner
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A new report by CoreLogic released Tuesday says Nevada leads the nation in number of underwater homes.
"Underwater" is a term used when the borrower (or homeowner) owes more than the home is worth.
CoreLogic says more than 52% of properties in Nevada have negative Equity.
"When you look at how we compare to even the other top four, or the second state in terms of underwater homes, we're significantly higher," says Brian Gordon with Applied Analysis, a local economic analysis firm.
March 15, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Go ahead. Celebrate.
Just not too much.
Nevada’s jobs economy crossed important psychological barriers in December and January, shedding stigma the way locals shrugged off sweaters amid the week’s heat wave.
Yet, just as it’s important to remember it’s still winter, it’s important to note that the recession hasn’t completely relinquished its grip on state labor markets.
March 14, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Brian Haynes
It might have taken five extra years, but it’s finally official: Clark County is home to more than 2 million people.
After several years of stagnant population growth, the nation’s 14th-largest county eclipsed the milestone in July, thanks to an influx of new residents not seen in years, according to new census figures released today .
The county seemed well on its way to the 2 million mark in 2007 amid a population boom that was adding 65,000 people a year. But that was before the housing bubble burst and the local economy crashed.
March 13, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Buck Wargo
When Mundo opened at the World Market Center three years ago, its owners predicted a bright future with of the opening of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in 2012.
That forecast was accurate with the restaurant's dinner business up 60 percent in the past year. Now Mundo's ownership group plans to open a bar and bistro in the Arts District in early April.
"It has exceeded what we expected," said Mingo Collaso, general manager and partner of Mundo. "One of the reasons we chose that location was because of The Smith Center, but I don't think we realized how many people would be going there."
March 11, 2013 | CBS This Morning | John Blackstone
Read More »
The recession hit Las Vegas especially hard, however there's a clear sign that "Sin City" is turning an economic corner. John Blackstone reports.
March 11, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Hubble Smith
Competition among Las Vegas homebuilders to acquire residential land is stronger than it's been for a long time, driving bid prices into risky territory, a land expert said Monday.
A surge in demand for new homes has created "extraordinary market conditions" in which bid prices are higher than the logical value, said Bill Lenhart, managing partner of Sunbelt Development and Realty Partners.
March 11, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Hubble Smith
With real estate prices down and sales of ski and snowboard equipment rising, Randy McGhie figured the timing was right to expand his business to a second location in the Las Vegas Valley.
McGhie recently signed a lease for 12,000 square feet of retail space at Stephanie Beltway Plaza in Henderson and plans to open his ski, snowboard and bicycle shop in April or May. He’s investing about $500,000 in the store, which already has signs in place.
“We are definitely seeing positive absorption in the local retail market and strong rents for good real estate,” said Todd Manning, a Commerce Real Estate Solutions retail adviser who represented McGhie in the lease transaction.
March 5, 2013 | CNBC | Diana Olick
Chris and Candace Rodgers wanted to move to a bigger house in a better neighborhood. With the Las Vegas housing market recovering—prices still down over 50 percent from the recent peak—they figured it was the perfect time. Unfortunately, there was nothing to buy.
"We looked at a lot of the existing homes, and some of them were bank owned and were in pretty bad shape," said Chris. "By the time you replaced old stuff, put in new carpet and paint, you're up to this price, so they might have been bargains for the base price but not after."
March 4, 2013 | The Wall Street Journal | Alexandra Berzon
With the Las Vegas Strip littered with unfinished steel and concrete structures, symbols of the city's prematurely halted building boom, many insiders and investors have long assumed another flashy new casino project wouldn't be built there for at least a decade. But those assumptions may now be upended.
The Malaysian gambling company Genting Group 3182.KU +0.61% announced Monday that it has agreed to purchase Exhibit A of Las Vegas's bust, a project known as Echelon, from Boyd Gaming Corp. BYD -4.79% for $350 million.
Eyeing the growing influx of Chinese and other Asian tourists to Las Vegas, Genting plans to start construction on a new multibillion-dollar casino complex called Resorts World there next year. If Genting goes through with the project, it will be the first major casino initiated in the wake of the economic downturn of 2008, a potentially major milestone for Las Vegas that could usher in a new era of opulent buildings—or hasten the decline of others.
The move by the Malaysian company also represents something of a trend reversal: Las Vegas casino companies have lately sought to expand in Asia, where casino markets are generally seen as a much greater growth opportunity than in the U.S.
"This is a game changer," said Jeremy Aguero, a Las Vegas economist and consultant. "I certainly didn't expect something like this would happen quite this early. People were expecting a big new casino in Las Vegas was still three to five years away."
Local leaders in Nevada have greeted the announcement as a signal that Las Vegas is coming back. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval on Monday joined Genting Chairman KT Lim in announcing the new project.
The land, 87 acres on the northern part of the Strip, features partially built structures sitting untouched since 2008, when construction was abruptly halted.
According to renderings, Genting is planning to transform the unfinished structures into a series of bronze- and gold-hued glass towers flanking an intricate system of Asian-style red pagodas, lagoons and fountains.
The company is spending $350 million on the purchase, or $4 million an acre. The price is among the lowest in a decade for Strip property. That means the resort corridor is still far from the days in July 2007 when a developer spent nearly $34.7 million an acre for empty land.
Following a huge building boom on the Strip that featured projects like the $8.5 billion City Center, construction fell off sharply. It has now picked up slightly, with modest retail, hotel-tower and casino renovations. MGM Resorts International MGM +1.07% said last week it would build an arena.
Gov. Sandoval, in a statement, said the Genting project "will help us in keeping our economic resurgence on the right path towards success."
Local economists say the picture is complicated. Las Vegas has been recovering slowly from a deep downturn that hit spending on gambling and hotel rooms hard. But those sectors haven't returned to their peak levels. Room rates in 2012 were off 10% from 2007, while overall revenue was down 3.5%, according to Applied Analysis, Mr. Aguero's firm. Las Vegas casinos lost $1.7 billion collectively last year and carry $21 billion in debt, according to Applied Analysis.
Constat Tra, a business professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who tracks the local economy, said that with growth still tepid, a new casino has the potential to sap business from existing properties.
The family behind Genting has a long history in U.S. gambling. It provided the original money behind the enormous Foxwoods Indian casino in Connecticut, and it is now backing an Indian tribe that hopes to build a casino in Massachusetts.
With casinos in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, Genting found itself flush with cash and has been unusually aggressive in seeking expansion in the U.S. During the downturn, executives looked at many Las Vegas properties and at one point the company became a significant investor in MGM. It didn't purchase in Las Vegas, but it built a lucrative slots-only casino, Resorts World, in Queens, N.Y. It also bought land in Miami for around $450 million and staged an enormous and unsuccessful public campaign to change local laws to let it build a $3.8 billion resort there.
A person familiar with Genting's thinking said the company is finally striking in Las Vegas in part because it sees a rise in visitors and spending involving Chinese travelers. Genting may have an advantage in attracting them because it operates casinos in Singapore and elsewhere that attract Chinese gamblers. Yet unlike three of the four major Las Vegas casino companies, it doesn't have a presence in the most important gambling market in the world—China's gambling enclave of Macau.
March 4, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Chris Sieroty
Nevada's wealthiest households stand to lose as much as $1.8 billion annually because of recent changes in federal tax policy, according to the latest High Net Worth Report released by The Private Bank by Nevada State Bank.
Changes in the tax code analyzed in the survey include those sourced to higher marginal and capital gains tax rates, modifications to the alternative minimum tax, new Medicare taxes and a permanent modification to the estate and gift tax.
February 28, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Howard Stutz
Approval of Internet gaming bills in Nevada and New Jersey less than a week apart helped fuel investors' interest in the gaming industry during the last half of February.
The largest beneficiary was Caesars Entertainment Corp.
Nevada and New Jersey began implementing online gaming websites directed at customers gambling on computers or mobile devices within state borders.
February 27, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Fiscal cliff? What fiscal cliff?
As a showdown over federal spending and taxing gripped the nation in December, consumers in Nevada and Clark County shrugged their shoulders and went on shopping.
February 24, 2013 | Las Vegas Sun | Andrew Doughman
CARSON CITY -- It’s a wonder in Nevada state politics: At the start of a legislative session, Republicans and Democrats are open to pursuing tax reform that would include a new tax on services.
But the specifics of how to approach that new tax could quickly shatter any growing sense that the Legislature is a happy, bipartisan family.
When it comes to creating a services tax, the Legislature could cast a wide net, taxing nearly every service at a lower rate and reducing the sales tax on goods in the process -- a Republican idea.
February 11, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jane Ann Morrison
Why would the city of Las Vegas, or any government, make the top 10 list of the largest recipients of charitable donations in Nevada over a decade?
Yet, there it was in black and white. Las Vegas was the sixth largest receiver of private charitable donations in Nevada from 2000 to 2010.
Didn't make sense, so I began poking around.
February 10, 2013 | Las Vegas Sun |
Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick said she would start an “open and frank discussion” about taxes on Day 2 of the 2013 Legislature, and she fulfilled that promise. Lawmakers took their first stab at the issue Tuesday.
But that’s only the start of the discussion. Kirkpatrick expects to take on the state’s antiquated tax structure. Given the typical political antipathy toward taxes, this is a gutsy move, but the state tax code desperately needs an overhaul.
February 8, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Michael Lyle
Community leaders think Las Vegas can do better.
Southern Nevada Strong, a collaboration of community leaders, elected officials and businesses, launched Friday and aims to define and solve major community issues.
February 3, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Ed Vogel
CARSON CITY - Each legislative session there is a small number of lawmakers, lobbyists and elected officials who drive the legislative agenda, who make the decisions, often behind the scenes, that lead to approval of the state budget and passage of about 700 new laws by June.
We call them movers and shakers. Actually they are the insiders and politically influential who, because of their wealth or business and personal connections, make the most important decisions that affect state government. Right or wrong, that's how its been in Nevada since statehood, when the mining industry's power was unlimited.
February 1, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Howard Stutz
Mergers and acquisitions are good for the gaming industry.
Two planned buyouts helped fuel average daily stock price increases for publicly traded casino operators and gaming equipment manufacturers during January.
January 29, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Solid taxable sales gains in November brought Nevada and Clark County closer to pre-recession spending levels and highlighted the shifting nature of local consumption.
The state Department of Taxation reported Tuesday that sales of tangible goods among Nevada's merchants increased to $3.64 billion, up 7.1 percent from $3.39 billion in November 2011. Sales in Clark County rose to $2.6 billion, a 5.2 percent jump over $2.47 billion a year earlier, driven mostly by consumer spending on big-ticket items such as cars.
January 28, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Chris Sieroty
A study released Monday by The Private Bank of Nevada State Bank finds that the average income of high-net-worth households - those making $200,000 or more a year - in Nevada declined to $707,837 in 2010 compared with $840,235 in 2006.
The portion of their income coming from capital gains averaged $275,902 in 2010, down from $425,475 in 2006. Wages accounted for about 56 percent of high-net-worth households' income.
January 27, 2013 | Las Vegas Sun |
Southern Nevada business leaders gathered Thursday at Preview Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce’s annual kickoff event, which asked the question “What’s next?”
Analyst Jeremy Aguero opened the session with a swift overview of the business climate and economic indicators in the Las Vegas Valley. His assessment: The numbers aren’t where anyone wants them to be, but they’re headed in the right direction. Aguero singled out several innovative businesses and education programs and highlighted a slew of numbers to support his conclusion: The unemployment rate is high but declining, housing prices are up, banks are lending and there is a significant amount of investment on the Strip and downtown.
January 24, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Hubble Smith
Population in Las Vegas will grow by 1.2 percent, employment will grow by less than 1 percent and visitor count will top 40 million in 2013, business executives said Thursday at Preview Las Vegas 2013.Read More »
January 24, 2013 | Vegas Inc. | Eli Segall, Richard Velotta
Las Vegas' business power brokers are gathered this morning for Preview Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce’s premier networking event, at UNLV.
An estimated 2,000 people are in attendance — the largest number since 2008.
January 24, 2013 | 8 News Now | Lauren Rozyla
LAS VEGAS -- The record number of tourists visiting the Las Vegas Strip is seen as a positive sign by economists. In the past year, 39.7 million people visited the city to gamble, drink, and shop.
"They have really good deals," tourist Margarita Calvada said.
The message delivered at Thursday's Preview Las Vegas Conference was positive. Local economist Jeremy Aguero told local business owners the economy is better than it was one year ago, and much of that has to do with the Las Vegas Strip.
January 24, 2013 | The Associated Press | Michelle Rindels
LAS VEGAS (AP) — In a state long defined by its stormy housing market, the sun is apparently peeking out from the clouds.
Nevada just ended its five-year reign as foreclosure king of the nation, relinquishing the title to Florida in 2012. Home prices shot up 24 percent in Las Vegas in one year, and buyers are in outright wars to get a piece of tight inventory that's shriveled to a five-week supply.
January 20, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Hubble Smith
The new phenomenon in Las Vegas is the vanishing "shadow inventory" of foreclosed homes being held by the banks, a private-home investor believes.Read More »
January 18, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Jennifer Robison
Local and state labor markets ended 2012 with a bang, as jobless figures took an unexpected plunge toward single digits in December.Read More »
January 11, 2013 | Las Vegas Sun | David McGrath Schwartz
CARSON CITY — Nevada’s hard fall from its peak seems to be over. The ugly years of shuttered businesses, massive layoffs and relentless cuts in education and government services are, for the most part, past.
But if this is the tenor of the state’s recovery, it will be a long and slow slog toward economic health, an improved education system and a government that doesn’t struggle to take care of the state’s neediest.
January 4, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Hubble Smith
Retail developer Territory Inc. sold all six of its shopping centers in Las Vegas to an Illinois real estate investment trust for nearly $300 million, the company's chief executive confirmed Friday.
Territory has developed more than 3 million square feet of retail space in Nevada, including Centennial Center in northwest Las Vegas and Eastern Beltway Center at the Beltway and Eastern Avenue.
January 2, 2013 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Hubble Smith
The jump in Las Vegas home prices last year tilted the housing market back toward renting, online real estate service Trulia.com reported Wednesday.
Rental rates declined 0.9 percent in Las Vegas, while median home prices increased by 16.3 percent, making homeownership somewhat less affordable relative to renting, Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko said.