GLVAR president prepares for housing market in 2010

As 2010 president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, I’m finding plenty of challenges facing me, the real estate industry and the housing market this coming year.

Whether you’re a homeowner or someone who works in the real estate industry here in Southern Nevada, I’m sure you’ve felt the impact of the downturn in the local and national economies.

At the same time, like most Las Vegans, I consider myself an optimist. I see historic opportunities awaiting us all this year, especially in our local housing market.

Before I get into that, I’d like to start by expressing my appreciation to the GLVAR and to the Las Vegas Review-Journal for granting me this opportunity to answer questions from the public about real estate issues.

We’ll get to your questions in the next column. For now, I thought you might appreciate some brief background, with a look back at 2009 and a look forward at what to expect from the local housing market in 2010.

I look at 2007 and 2008 as market correction years. When all is said and done, I think we’ll look back at 2009 and 2010 and say that this is when our local housing market stabilized. Considering what we’ve been through these past few years, I think 2010 will be a better year for homeowners and for people in this industry.

Again, as an optimist, I’m preparing in my own business for the housing market to continue recovering in 2011 and 2012. By 2013, I’m siding with local and national experts who predict our market will return to normalcy, with modest appreciation in local home prices and a sales pace more like what we experienced historically here in Southern Nevada.

Keep in mind that today’s housing market presents opportunities for many people, especially first-time homebuyers and investors. Affordable housing — a huge issue during our housing boom earlier this decade — has been a beneficial byproduct of the downturn during these past few years.

My first bit of advice to readers of this space is to stay informed and be flexible. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 20 years as a local Realtor, it’s that we must all adjust with the times. The economy, the housing market and the real estate industry will continue to change, and we have to change with it. Otherwise, we’ll be left behind.

Whether we’re talking about making this column more useful, or capitalizing on opportunities to buy a home, or loftier goals like doing our part to improve the economy and our quality of life here in Southern Nevada, I think the answer is to work together and become more involved.

I learned this lesson at one point in my career, and it has served me well.

Peter Ducker, an inspirational author, put it this way, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

To create the best possible column in this space, I need your help. The answers and information I’ll be sharing this year are only as good as the questions you send me. So, ask away.

I’ll answer everything I can, as honestly as I can. And if you ask something I can’t answer, I’ll do my best to find another expert who can.

For more information about the GLVAR, consult a Realtor or visit lasvegasrealtor.com.

Rick Shelton is the president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors and has worked in the real estate industry for 20 years. GLVAR has 13,500 members. To ask him a question, e-mail him at ask@glvar.org. For more information, visit lasvegasrealtor.com. Questions may be edited for space and clarity.

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