The Las Vegas Strip is still reeling them in, despite a real estate slump elsewhere in the city. MGM reports that its massive $7 billion CityCenter mixed use project has taken deposits on half of the 2,500 units offered for sale on Jan 1. The deposits are only $10-25,000 depending on the unit. Prices start at $500,000 for the smallest condos. The most popular building so far has been The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where condo/hotel units start at $1.5 million. The 4,100 square foot penthouses are selling for $12 million. MGM hopes to average $1,100 per square for the 2,700 total units in the project.
Times are less flush in other parts of Sin City. Devin Reiss, president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, told the Review-Journal there were only 372 condo sales in December. That was a 36% decrease from the same month a year ago. The median price of a condo or townhouse is down 4.4% to $195,000. The inventory of units for sale has nearly doubled 4,800. Sounds like the real bargains to be had are off the Strip.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.