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2012 Commercial Real Property Markets Las Vegas

by Guest on Feb 4, 2012 General Appraisal 1367 Views

As an appraiser I take the time to review economic reports, i try to review all of the brokerage reports, I talk to market participants (buyers, sellers and their agents) and I talk to individuals who are ordering appraisal services.  As of February of 2012, regardless of what is being talked about in the press, it is clear to me that our markets are still in a deep hole.  All the warm and fuzzy feelings that you may have about "positive" employment statistics, upward trends in obscure indices or the power of positive talk doesn't change the fact that our real property markets today are still bouncing along near their 4 to 5 year activity and price lows.

Las Vegas isn't a place where unemployment has fallen to 8.3%, here it's still up near 12% and I guess we don't have enough people leaving the workforce to bring that number artificially down below double digits.  Regardless of news reporting its obvious that prices are up and its obvious how few people are employed in Las Vegas businesses, it's a skeleton crew everywhere I go.

The fact of the matter is that we are breaking vacancy records (above 25%) in the office market.  We are breaking records with regard to the average sales price of residential land (it's down below $ 40k  per acre).  Rental rates and real property sales prices in early 2012 are still moving in the wrong direction and a huge glut of commercial properties of all types remain vacant. 

I'm sure there are many waiting to see what happens to the market when the next shoe drops (when Internet gaming is approved by the Feds).  The legislation may pass in 2012 with some Las Vegas casinos supporting the measure.  Will it be a new blood bath for the real estate markets?  Or will it have little or no effect?

If you are an appraiser, don't fall prey to those who may use statistics to mislead you.  If for example the average price of residential acreage in an area fell from $ 100k per acre to $ 30k per acre a 10% increase in prices would bring sales prices up to $ 33k per acre.  Not that prices are increasing, because they are not, but the smallest move  can be made to look its Large when in fact it is not.  Small upward moves are also not long term trends.  The manipulation of economic statistics has risen to a new level and you have to verify what you are hearing with what you are seeing happen in the market. 

In my opinion we are likely stuck in this "valley" or "depression," or whatever you want to call it, for the next several months, so tighten your belt another notch.

For more appraisal information contact Glenn Rigdon, MA,MRICS, ASA a Las Vegas / Henderson Nevada appraiser via email or via his business website Horizon Village Appraisal (, or you can also click on “Contact Us” on the home page of this website. 

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