condominium: Freddie Mac loan program for today's housing market - 08/16/12 07:53 AM
The residential real estate sector is painstakingly working its way out of the darkness where it was unceremoniously  shoved by the recent marketplace excesses. There is little doubt that things right now are looking up but the road to a solid, sustainable housing recovery is still in the early stages of gathering steam, traveling a bumpy road. Many who have dreamed of owning a home, and qualifying for a mortgage, have been slowed down for various reasons on that quest by the economic downturn.
Freddie Mac, the government sponsored enterprise or GSE, may just have the right mortgage loan … (2 comments)

condominium: Las Vegas CityCenter condominiums tough sell - 05/30/10 02:22 PM
Southern Nevada condo market still wallows in the Lehman moment, especially the high-rise luxury segment that occupies choice space for the most part on and around the Strip. Units are hard to sell because mortgage financing has dried up, sharp value declines have scared would-be buyers to sit and wait and the glut of vacant inventory gives no one enough confidence to commit to anything. Las Vegas luxury condominium developers had a totally different vision in mind when they started their projects a few years ago, when the thinking was that if you build it they'll come. Well, they did build … (6 comments)

condominium: CityCenter puts off Veer Towers completion - Las Vegas high-rise condominium market still struggling - 04/22/10 08:07 AM
MGM Mirage is now planning to open the two-tower luxury complex - sitting in the middle of CityCenter and drawing admiring and sometimes quizzical looks with its two leaning towers - in May. It was scheduled to do so in mid-December when most of the mammoth multi-billion-dollar resort on the Strip began welcoming its first guests. The reason to the delay is quite clear. The current economic slump has deeply trimmed down the potential buyer pool for condos at Veer Towers. The same actually goes for all high-rise projects in Las Vegas.
Mortgage finance has been a problem all along. Lenders … (6 comments)

condominium: Trump International Las Vegas condo-hotel charms financing help - Say What? - 04/06/10 09:04 AM
Mortgage financing in Las Vegas has been hard to come by in recent months. Single-family home underwriting criteria is tough enough as it is and condominiums are treated with even harder scrutiny. And then there are luxury condo-hotels that standard mortgage lenders don't want to touch today with any length pole. The latter were the darlings of the Southern Nevada condominium developers in the middle of the last decade when they couldn't build them fast enough to meet seemingly insatiable demand. That was then. How quickly real estate markets can reverse themselves is purely extraterrestrial.
Despite the obvious mortgage freeze on … (9 comments)

condominium: Fannie Mae eases up on condo guidelines - Las Vegas mortgages for condominiums - 01/08/10 03:11 PM
The GSE - or Government-sponsored Enterprise - is one of the key participants in the secondary mortgage market, helping finance single-family houses and condominiums under the banner of conforming conventional home loans. During this housing downturn it has suffered some scary losses - who hasn't - and as a result has tightened its underwriting guidelines. The condo segment has been under a really tight watch during the last few years.
Now, however, Fannie Mae is initiating a fresh approach to make more condominiums eligible for its mortgage programs. It starts doing that only in Florida at this point, a state where … (10 comments)

condominium: Las Vegas luxury condo market warming up for new day - mortgage money still scarce - 11/22/09 09:38 AM
Southern Nevada - with communities of Mountains Edge, Summerlin, Henderson, Southern Highlands, North Las Vegas, Anthem and Green Valley - condominium segment bubbled up a little later than the single-family side, but its slide became equally devastating once it hit the slope down. Mortgage financing dried suddenly up, oversupply was horrendous and the mauled global economy forced many would-be buyers to the sidelines. The usual menu that real estate disasters are made of.
Now, though, things are cautiously looking up for the Las Vegas high-rise condo market. Sales in the third quarter climbed a decent 7%, as was reported by SalesTraq, … (6 comments)

condominium: Expanded tax credit enticing - Henderson mortgage applicants be advised - 11/19/09 04:05 PM
The drama is over for Las Vegas valley's - including Summerlin, Southern Highlands, Green Valley, North Las Vegas, Anthem and Mountain's Edge - residents. The first-time home buyer tax credit has been extended because many considered it a strong demand booster for the ailing housing market and more of the same is needed at least for the time being. In fact, it was expanded to include the move-up buyer as well, a factor that should further power the demand side. Let's look at a few of the more appealing aspects a move-up buyer can enjoy with the up to $6,500 tax … (2 comments)

condominium: Las Vegas mortgage lenders to dissect MGM Mirage's CityCenter price rollbacks - 10/06/09 10:33 AM
The real estate market blowup hasn't spared any segments from its fury here in Southern Nevada - including Henderson, Anthem, Mountains Edge, Southern Highlands, Summerlin and North Las Vegas. Condominiums have been spanked as harshly as the single-family houses. Luxury high-rise condos on the Strip and elsewhere in the vast valley, thought by some to be above the tussle, have absorbed the same unhealthy punishment. No project could hide from it.
CityCenter by MGM Mirage, the $8.5 billion upscale mission, also has a large condominium component in it, beside the usual chic casino, convention, hotel and retail offerings. It'll have about 2,400 … (6 comments)

condominium: International real estate buyers shying away from U.S. - 09/17/09 03:09 PM
When mortgage financing was still widely available here a few years ago and housing prices kept on racking up steady gains year after year, the foreign purchaser often thought he'd found the ultimate in property ownership. Heck, many Americans thought so, too. Then things on Wall Street and in Washington got out of control and the word meltdown was fast becoming a popular way to describe what happened. Not only to the real estate market but the entire economy. It got ugly.
International real estate buyers learned their lesson pretty quick and have scaled back their enthusiasm toward our product - … (10 comments)

condominium: CityCenter Las Vegas earns LEED certifications - 09/15/09 06:17 AM
MGM Mirage's CityCenter project going up right on the Las Vegas Strip received some very good news from the U.S. Green Building Council. The mammoth upscale undertaking won't open until December, but an otherwise tough year for the gaming firm is finally showing a peek of the sunny side of things as finishing touches are being applied there.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, gold certification for the development it has sought from the onset has been granted for some of the components, including the non-gaming condominium and hotel tower Vdara. Receiving the same is the 4,000-room hotel Aria … (8 comments)

condominium: MGM Mirage's CityCenter sold condos to be repriced - 08/03/09 03:48 PM
Las Vegas condominium market has fared as poorly in recent years as the battered single-family sector. The malaise is afflicting everything with the condo banner hanging over it; the luxury high-rises, the contemporary mid-rises and the homey low-rises. A host of units on Strip glass towers have gone unsold for a long while, dating back to when the bubble started noisily leaking air. The ones, easily hundreds, that have deposits on them haven't closed either because mortgage financing has pretty much dried up. Moreover, the drastic value erosion has caused many would-be buyers to balk at finalizing their purchases.
CityCenter condos, … (4 comments)

condominium: CityCenter Las Vegas weak condo values trouble some buyers - 07/07/09 09:44 AM
It was expected. Southern Nevada housing market has been buffeted by gale-force winds, brought to its knees by rampant overbuilding, unchecked speculation, foreclosed mortgages and weakened economy. That includes the luxury high-rise condominium segment that was once flying as high as the International Space Station. As predicted, prices in condos have retreated by long strides as well, not just in small steps.
The elegant and massive CityCenter project on the Strip, an $8.4 billion gig, has been sucked into the same spine-tingling spiral. It has three residence destinations to offer; Veer Towers, The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, and Vdara … (2 comments)

condominium: Creative mortgage lending to help Palms Place - 06/13/09 12:09 PM
Luxury high-rise condos and condo-hotels were all the rage in Las Vegas only a few short years ago. Developers couldn't put them up fast enough on the Strip and elsewhere in town to satisfy all the demand. And of course there was all sorts of mortgage money available to grab a unit or two for one's portfolio. Life was good then.
Today that rosy picture has seen a tragic makeover. Demand for the product has waned, mortgage funding has practically dried up and hundreds of units sit out there vacant.
Palms Place, a 599-unit luxury tower, obviously lost its patience in … (6 comments)

condominium: MGM Mirage's CityCenter project gets new life - 04/30/09 11:41 AM
It has been a tough few months for the Las Vegas casino operator. It has been using all its creative means to stay out of the clutches of bankruptcy. The economy has been very unkind to it, and the rest of the Southern Nevada's gaming firms. Not only that, but the slumping real estate market here has weakened the city's overall viability. To top it all off, it was recently sued by Dubai World, the 50-50 joint venture partner on CityCenter, for alleged project mismanagement.
A new page was just turned on the development, however. MGM Mirage and Dubai World have … (4 comments)

condominium: Summerlin luxury condominium development back on track - 04/18/09 10:55 AM
These types of news items are rare today. Las Vegas real estate has been wallowing in a slump for a while, longer than many would like to admit. Lately, though, it has shown some encouraging signs that it still does have a pulse. Record-low mortgage rates have kept it in the game, as have steadily declining home values. The best action right now is in the lower end of the market segment where many first-time buyers and smart investors are having a field day.
And then there is a surprise announcement that a mid-rise luxury condo project in Summerlin is back … (2 comments)

condominium: Canadians drawn to Las Vegas real estate - 03/30/09 01:07 AM
Southern Nevada housing market has recently been through plenty of agony. Despite low mortgage interest rates sales of single-family houses, condominiums and townhomes have been slow, especially in the middle and upper ends of the price scale. Sinking values have attracted first-time buyers and real estate investors to rummage through the bulging inventory in the lower end of the marketplace and grab property, often foreclosures, at huge discounts. Sin City's housing supply is still way too high and needs to come down further to give the market a chance for recovery.
One group that has been moderately active in the past … (6 comments)

condominium: Cosmopolitan Las Vegas back in the spotlight - 03/12/09 02:40 PM
Just a week or so ago Cosmopolitan was the focus of discussions between Deutsche Bank, the current owner of the troubled resort, and MGM Mirage over the Las Vegas casino developer's potential involvement in managing it, possibly even becoming a part owner. These talks collapsed, though. But it didn't take long for a new party to emerge with a genuine interest in the project.  
Hilton Hotels Corp. is currently busy at work on plans to launch a new hotel brand called Denizen Hotels. The product is going to be conveniently modern with global appeal that is complimented with a local … (3 comments)

condominium: MGM Mirage's CityCenter loan talks dissolve - 03/05/09 09:32 AM
The credit markets everywhere are in a pretty bad shape and the CityCenter project going up on the Strip is acutely feeling the pain. Apparently the negotiations between MGM Mirage and its partner Dubai World on one side of the table and Deutsche Bank on the other over a loan arrangement have collapsed.
The German bank was willing to lend around $1.2 billion to enable the project to complete against equity and debt shares in it, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement. The Cosmopolitan resort being constructed next door to the CityCenter and now owned by Deutsche Bank … (6 comments)

condominium: Las Vegas keeps on attracting new nicknames - 01/06/09 02:27 PM
Oh no, not another one. Through decades the city has been called a decent selection of names, all as a rule relating to the main industry here, entertainment. That's easy because the town grew around it, from a dusty desert enclave to a glittering world-class resort heaven. The Entertainment Capital of the World has a grand flavor to it. Sin City has been around a while, often evoking feelings of what goes on here at night, on or off the Strip. The Gambling Mecca is pretty much what it says it is, although nowadays it does have increased competition from a … (12 comments)

condominium: Fontainebleau Las Vegas on schedule for late 2009 opening - 01/04/09 10:47 AM
To see the mega resort going up next to Turnberry Place on north Strip is proof that the city is still breathing despite the severe economic and financial challenges the country is currently experiencing and now also affects Southern Nevada. Another bright spot here was the recent opening of Encore, a sister luxury property to Wynn Las Vegas.   
Fontainebleau is a huge $2.9 billion project that will add around 3,800 chic guest flats and suites, among other city-specific trend-setting amenities, to the Strip's already hefty inventory, the signature tower soaring 63 stories above this Southern Nevada desert oasis. Over 1,000 … (2 comments)

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