Mesquite Market 2010 Annual Report

I will give you all the market numbers here, but the real Million Dollar question is who will be Mesquite’s future housing target market and how much are they going to be willing and able to spend on their housing needs? If the numbers from 2010 are any indication, then $200,000 is the magic number for single-family home sales. Sound low? Consider this, Mesquite Nevada, may be at a crossroad.

Mesquite can continue down the path set some years back as a high end, wealthy, golf, and gaming lifestyle community with great weather. Mesquite did a good job developing this image, but times are changing and the market has changed. The higher end home market in Mesquite has not yet seen the worst of this market.

For those claiming the credit for Mesquite’s booming past, the truth is, Mesquite’s growth had a great deal to do with market timing, funny money, and the Palm Springs hype. At the same time, many builders took advantage and cut corners, in many cases, they were just too busy to pay attention to the details, in other cases just greedy or both, but the consumers and the market allowed this.

The high-end housing market is a very competitive and shrinking market. New homes being built today continue to get smaller nationally. While Mesquite has focused on expensive HOA’s, gated neighborhoods, streetscapes, and image, our competition is focusing on future cost saving efficiency and sustainable living. The City of Mesquite talks about economic development, but talk is cheap, and in my opinion, their efforts at economic development are stagnant at best and maybe taking the city backwards. More baseball fields will not restart the real estate engine that has driven Mesquite’s economy for many years.

“Will I Have Enough Money in Retirement?”  Very few baby boomers have not given this question considerable thought.

Even a free and clear home is not free to live in, homeowner association costs, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and utility costs all go on forever and will keep going up.

The boomers are just starting to retire this year and will be retiring at a pace of 8000 to 10,000 per day for the next nineteen years. These cost conscious retirees are Mesquite’s future target market.

Besides recent asset value losses and reduced personal net worth, they are concerned, if not living in fear about future health care costs, pension stability, social security, debt, inflation, and their future cost of living. If they are smart, they are deleveraging for retirement, not taking on more debt.

For most, they grew up thinking real estate had little or no risk. The reality that there is downside risk in real estate has hit them, as a generation, hard.

We all know a huge percentage of the baby boomer generation has not saved enough money.

Looking forward, some of the most relevant results of the recent past will be the way they view their money. Their attitude about debt. Their attitude about investing in residential real estate is fundamentally changing. It is no longer viewed as a quick way to wealth; rather it is where they live. They have also realized that leverage or debt has plenty in common with a margin account used for trading stocks. Basically, gambling with borrowed money. The days of flipping homes are gone, and affordability is now and will be in the future their focus. They have become far more cautious and conservative.

Finances in most cases will dictate their lifestyle choices, including where they will live.

Mesquite MLS showed 285 single family homes sold and closed with a median price of $184,900 for 1732 square feet or about $106 per square foot of heated space in 2010. Mesquite MLS as of mid January 2011 shows 355 active listed residential properties plus the unlisted new home supply, and Las Vegas MLS listed foreclosures, short sales, etc. There are likely well over 500 properties for sale today in Mesquite. 

Clark County records show 73 total sales at Sun City for 2010; this includes resales and new home Pulte Sun City sales. The most recent 2011-email marketing from Sun City shows 24 Spec homes in their current standing inventory, these have come down in price to an average of around $150 per square foot asking price. There are also currently per Mesquite MLS 29 listed resale homes at Sun City, with a median asking price of $254,900 or $147 per square foot. Pulte Del Webb expected to sell 50 homes per month when they opened the project 43 months ago; it looks like that projection is off by about 70%.

On the residential vacant land side, five distressed subdivisions sold, all up in the newer Mesquite Heights/ Canyon Crest area. They consisted of a total of 223 acres and sold combined for $2,650,000 or $12,000 per acre. If the builder puts six homes per acre, that is an average cost basis of $2,000 per lot. Infrastructure and grading costs could bring this cost basis up to $30,000 per lot. The lower cost basis in the land should allow for very affordable homes to be built, that is a Heads Up! This could also be why only three single-family resale lots sold with a median price of $71,000, in 2010 per Mesquite MLS. As if 10,000 to 12,000 vacant lots are not enough, the vacant land market just got much larger as the Mesquite City Council approved annexing around 5000 acres in Lincoln County into Mesquite’s City limits for future development.

The condominium market closed 142 units at a median price of $79,900 for 1130 square feet or $73 per square foot, per Mesquite MLS.

The town home market closed 126 units at a median price of $115,000 for 1360 square feet or $92 per square foot, per Mesquite MLS.

The City of Mesquite issued 201 new home building permits in 2010, which is nearly double the 105 issued in 2009.

The Clark County records full transfer and bank sold residential properties for 89027 and 89034, Mesquite and Sun City respectively showed combined 514 transactions in 2009 and 721 transactions in 2010. November 2010 there were 13 pages of Notice of Defaults filed in Mesquite or 37 housing units in one month. Also in November 2010, there were 39 residential units on the Notice of Sale report. The NOD and NOS numbers are tomorrow’s foreclosures and then future inventory. Based on this one month, there are well over twelve months supply in distress and likely headed to the market. This is shadow inventory!

Only 8 residential units were foreclosed on in November, these show up as sales in these full transfer and bank numbers and everyone was purchased by Fannie, Freddie, a holding company, or a bank. On these sales, they generally pay the amount of the outstanding loan, which is not current market value, and these sales can be used to manipulate the price numbers. Buyer beware of numbers, you had better understand what you are looking at.

These numbers also prove the continued reluctance on the part of the Banks, Holding companies, Fannie, Freddie, and FDIC to actually confront and deal with reality and this can only prolong the mess. I believe in fact, it is prolonging it and making it worse. Expect more short sales, strategic defaults, and foreclosures. This continued high level of market distress and the upcoming inventory/supply combined with the new home building supply will continue to put downward pressure on residential prices in 2011. I would guess for some years to come.

The current Obama administrations efforts at saving homeowners and preserving values, is a total failure and huge waste of tax dollars. They do appear to be making the Big Banks wealthy again.

No commercial buildings or land closed through Mesquite MLS in 2010. Yet 13 commercial building permits were issued in 2009 and another 9 in 2010. There is a huge amount of empty commercial space, office, retail, light industrial, and a huge amount of vacant commercial land in nearly all zoning categories. This market segment is still in for a serious reality check.

The Mesquite Market appears to be getting worse from a supply and demand point of view.

If you are considering shopping the Mesquite real estate market without the benefit of a buyer’s agent representing you and your best interests, you could be placing yourself at risk of making a serious financial mistake.

For more on agency and representation read     www.MesquiteMarket.com 

Chris W. Miller ABR CRS GRI 
Independence Realty 
702-525-0585 office
435-862-5951 cell
702-361-2547 fax
 
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