For sale: Going once, going twice …

Two-bedroom condominiums near Summerlin starting at $79,000. Arizona resort homes for $1 minimum bids.

Sound too good to be true? It probably is.

That’s the typical hype behind home auctions that have become increasingly prevalent in Las Vegas, where home sales are slow and foreclosures top the nation.

“I think it’s just a sign of the troubled times we’re in,” housing analyst Larry Murphy of SalesTraq said.

Home builders and banks stuck with a growing inventory of unsold and real estate-owned homes are turning to public auctions to stimulate sales.

Signs along Buffalo Drive advertise Adagio condominiums scheduled to be auctioned Sunday at Palace Station. Real Estate Disposition Corp. is auctioning 83 units, 31 of which are occupied, at starting bids as low as $79,000 for units previously listed up to $233,000.

“I have to question the health of the condo market,” Bob Reeve of Realty One Group said. “My guess is it’s in worse shape than single-family homes. It’s a tough sell right now, you better believe it.”

Standing inventory of condos and townhomes for sale stood at 5,508 at the end of 2007, a 14 percent increase from the previous year, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported. That doesn’t include some 15,000 mid- and high-rise condos that are planned.

The $1 bid for the Arizona resort home is for one fully furnished home in Laughlin Ranch, a master-planned golf community in Bullhead City, and it’s already been bid up to $100,000 in an online auction launched by Freedom Realty Exchange.

Expect that price to be closer to $400,000 or $500,000 as the Feb. 21 bid deadline approaches. That’s about what builder Nationwide Homes wanted for the home.

“Auctions are becoming more common now,” Freedom spokeswoman Kelly Lovegrove said. “Auctions will bring out buyers that might not be there with just a for-sale sign.”

Earl Mastin, a retired “snowbird” from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was looking for a winter home in Phoenix and Tucson when he discovered Laughlin Ranch about 21/2 years ago. He was interested in a $400,000 lot near the block being developed by Nationwide Homes.

“That’s two-thirds of what we ended up paying for this,” Mastin said of the Laughlin Ranch home he bought for $585,000 last year in Freedom’s online auction. “If we would have had the same house built on that lot, it would have cost around $600,000 with the pool and landscape.”

Reeve, who attended foreclosure auctions held in Las Vegas last year by Dallas-based Hudson & Marshall, said it’s interesting to see how many homes actually close escrow.

“Auctions might work if the buying public is convinced it’s a true auction,” he said. “They’re being used all over the country. I think they’re a great tool, but you have to prove to the public, yes, we sold 200 properties and 50 actually closed escrow.”

Robin Camacho of American Realty & Investments said the auctions she has attended appear to be no more than a great marketing gimmick.

“Throwing a low price or opening bid on a property doesn’t really mean anything,” she said.

“Even when the buyer wins the bid, that doesn’t guarantee the right to buy the house at that price. These auctions are a great opportunity for mortgage lenders to fish for clients, but I don’t think many homes are actually being sold,” she also said.

Camacho said she was told by a bank representative that 48 homes were put up for auction in December and the bank representative thought that only four or five might sell.

Lovegrove of Freedom Realty Exchange said she’s not dealing with a bank and foreclosed homes. She’s dealing with a builder who is motivated to sell.

Nationwide had 50 or 60 homes in its inventory at Laughlin Ranch and started auctioning off 15 at a time last year.

“They were proactive. The market was starting to change and they saw sales slow down, so they approached us a year ago,” Lovegrove said. “Do they want to carry an empty home for another year? Because it’ll take nine months to a year to sell 15 homes.”

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at hsmith@reviewjournal.com or (702) 383-0491.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like