Firm seeks to build 20 homes on lot at Farm Road and Garehime Street

For sale and foreclosed signs are common landscaping in Centennial Hills, but experts say it’s a prime time to buy – and build – in Las Vegas.

The news is sweet for Taney Engineering, which is in the seedling state of constructing a 10-acre development at Farm Road and Garehime Street. The firm assumed 2006 plans for a proposed housing project from developers who backed out when the economy took a downturn, said Taney Engineering lead engineer Robert Cunningham.

About 20 single-story homes are proposed on the site that is now a dirt lot surrounded by homes zoned for farm or ranch use. Developer and builder DR Horton has backed the plan.

Taney Engineering is moving forward with the project and hosted a community meeting to discuss plans May 23 at the Centennial Hills Community Center YMCA, 6601 N. Buffalo Drive.

Neighbors who attended the meeting voiced concerns over fence heights, future tenants interacting with their horses and other matters. Cunningham worked to modify plans to reduce noise and dust issues and appease neighbors.

The Clark County Board of Commissioners is set to hear the proposal June 20.

Centennial Hills was among the areas hardest hit by the housing crisis, and foreclosures were plentiful. Although many homes were put on the market, circumstances are leading buyers to want to start fresh, said Brian Gordon, spokesperson with SalesTraq, a division of Applied Analysis.

Technically, fewer homes than last year are for sale due to state Assembly Bill 284, which limited the ability of foreclosures to take place.

Gordon said the measure requires lenders to validate or jump through additional hurdles before repossessing a home.

“Some of those requirements have bogged down the pace of foreclosure volume,” he said. “There are fewer (short sales and foreclosures) coming in, and available inventory or listings has pulled back dramatically in the past several months.”

There are 4,700 available foreclosed listings today, a fraction of the more than 14,000 in 2010 and 2011, Gordon said.

The dwindling availability has made a number of buyers migrate to new construction, he said.

“They are frustrated with the process of acquiring short sales and foreclosures and are opting to build,” he said.

Closings on new homes are up 39.3 percent from the previous year, and about 351 owners of new homes made it official in March, according to SalesTraq’s April market report.

The number of active subdivisions has trended downward as a number of projects have sold out of available inventory, the data continues.

New home permits increased as demand is “creeping into positive territory,” according to the report.

Home prices in Las Vegas are still under pre-2000 levels thanks to the burst of the housing boom bubble between 2004 and 20 06, Gordon said.

In many cases, resale prices are under replacement costs, which encompass construction fees, he said.

Regardless, home builders who weathered the market shift are starting to see a slight uptick, Gordon said.

The homes in the proposed development are to be about $300,000 to $400,000. Construction could begin as early as November, Cunningham said.

For more information, call Taney Engineering at 362-8844 or DR Horton at 635-3600.

Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter Maggie Lillis at mlillis@viewnews.com or 477-3839.

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