Prudential’s Mark Stark reports 2008 sales, predicts more of the same for next year

The final 2008 numbers are in and Prudential Americana Group posted 6,457 home closings, more than a 41 percent increase over the 4,578 closings it completed in 2007.

“This has been a challenging year for our people and our company in many ways,” said Prudential Chief Executive Officer Mark Stark. “I am so proud of all our sales executives and staff. They stepped up to the plate in a very tough environment and truly knocked the ball out of the park. Our organization has embraced the changing environment and our overwhelming success proves it.”

Stark said his company has maintained its position as the No. 1 real estate company in Southern Nevada, with 11 percent of all home sales among Realtors in 2008, according to the Nevada Multiple Listing Service.

According to Stark, the statistics on home sales throughout the year, and particularly in December, signify a healthy unit growth and “we look forward to the stabilization of sales prices.”

“In December, approximately 77 percent of all homes sold were bank-owned properties, or foreclosures,” he said. “And another 3 percent were short sales, where banks negotiate with homeowners to reduce the price of the home based on its current value. I see no material change in the first two quarters of 2009 as foreclosed homes will continue to hit the marketplace.”

Among the bright spots in the Las Vegas real estate market last year was the shift in the types of loans that were processed as well as the reduction in overall interest rates.

“In December, approximately 27 percent of Prudential’s home closings were cash buyers,” said Forrest Barbee, corporate broker. “That indicates that the market is undervalued, because cash buyers are typically investors. Investors have begun to snap up the foreclosure homes and will wait for them to regain some value before selling them again.”

In December 2008, 27 percent of home closings in Las Vegas were cash buyers, 34 percent were Federal Housing Administration loans, 32 percent were conventional loans and 7 percent were Veterans Affairs loans.

One other bright spot Stark saw was the overall affordability of homes.

“People who thought in the past that home ownership was out of reach have now come to understand that they have a golden opportunity to not only purchase a home, but look forward to long-term appreciation,” he said.

“We are looking forward to the year ahead,” he said. “We will continue to focus on our opportunities and develop new programs that make buying and selling as home as easy as possible.”

Among the company’s new programs is a paperless system scheduled to roll out in the spring that allows for a completely paperless transaction with all documents stored in an online data storage center. The system is also expected to reduce Prudential’s paper consumption by about 60 percent.

Prudential Americana Group is one of Nevada’s largest real estate company with more than 1,100 agents and about 2,200 current home listings. It is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate affiliates and is the 11th largest in the company’s national network of 677 franchises. For more information, call 796-7777, or visit americanagroup.com.

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