Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Foreign Investors Back in Las Vegas

High prices in international housing markets, combined with the weakening US dollar and the current slump in US housing values, have foreign investors taking another look at Las Vegas real estate investments.

With the high price of foreign real estate, investors are bargain shopping in the United States to take advantage of the favorable rate of exchange while it lasts. One of the most popular housing areas being scrutinized is the Las Vegas homes market. Though previously touted as the one of the markets most likely to crash after high appreciation rates, the decline in Las Vegas prices seems to be stabilizing due to the continued steady growth of 6,000 new residents each month and an expanding labor shortage as more of the multi purpose mega projects like the MGM City Center come online. As the labor shortage problem worsens over the next twelve months and as another year of baby boomers hits retirement age, a spike in prices is expected to roll out towards the end of 2008.

But currently prices are still at a three year low with the number of foreclosures to choose from providing a bonanza for those with cash. Las Vegas new homes builders are offering incredible incentives as well in order to move standing inventory so they can go on to new projects. And they are offering foreign nationals favorable financing with 30% down at American lending institutions despite the recent credit crunch. Foreign residents can even obtain financing with 10% down, good credit and local employment.

One of the most popular investments for the international buyer seems to be the mixed use high rise projects going up along the Las Vegas Strip and in downtown Las Vegas. In addition to the luxurious high rises in the MGM City Center and the Cosmopolitan, mid rise urban lifestyle developments like Sullivan Square and Manhattan West are also gaining in popularity. Prices range from the high $200s to over $5 million for some of the penthouse properties, with a wide range in between for preconstruction. And there are some real steals to be had in the burgeoning resale market in developments like Panorama and the MGM Residences where buyers intended to flip quickly rather than hold long term.