Homeowners’ expectations run ahead of market

A new report may back up the idea that local homeowners are getting more unrealistic about their home’s value.

Local Realtors have been on an informal campaign to convince Las Vegans — who’ve become accustomed to double-digit percentage gains in their home prices in recent years — that they’ve lost touch with what might be a reasonable asking price for their home.

Their basic message: The 30 percent price spikes in the market in 2013 and 2014 have given homeowners unrealistic expectations on where prices should be today, now that appreciation has slowed to around 10 percent a year.

Now, Quicken Loans’ monthly Home Price Perception Index shows noticeable movement in what locals believe their home’s value actually is.

The index showed that value opinions from appraisers were 0.6 percent higher than owners’ estimates in August. But that was way down from August 2014, when appraisers’ opinions were 5.13 percent higher than owner estimates.

In other words, local buyers went from undervaluing their homes by 5 percent a year ago to pegging them almost evenly with appraiser opinions today.

That may not sound like a big change, but no other market even came close to that kind of swing.

Consider San Francisco, where homeowner estimates were 5 percent below appraisal opinions in August and 4.82 percent below a year earlier. It’s the same story in Denver, where a 4.31 percent difference was up only slightly from a 3.49 percent difference a year earlier.

The change indicates that Las Vegans, more than homeowners in pretty much any other major market, have developed higher hopes for what their home is worth. That could make for some unpleasant surprises when it’s time to sell.

“The perception trend of most of this year suggests that homeowners may be assuming that home values have been in a steady, linear path upward,” said Bob Walters, chief economist for Quicken Loans. “In reality, home values have remained mostly flat this year, and this false assumption may be leaving homeowners disappointed when their appraisals come in.”

Topping off

The PENTA Building Group has completed the outer structure of Lucky Dragon, a 201-room boutique hotel-casino at 300 W. Sahara Ave.

The general contractor held a “topping off” ceremony on Sept. 11 to recognize the milestone.

The developer, Andrew Fonfa, hasn’t spoken publicly about the project and hasn’t disclosed a completion date.

PENTA, which also remodeled the SLS Las Vegas, said in May that it would have 250 workers on the project at peak construction.

Trade show alert

Members of the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association can register through September for a free pass to the trade show held during January’s International Builders’ Show.

The annual Las Vegas confab of the National Home Builders Association, with the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, is scheduled for Jan. 19-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The free pass is good for admission to the show’s expo.

Association members can opt instead for early registration, which knocks $100 off the full price of $275.

Registration prices increase beginning Oct. 1.

For more information, call the national association at 800-967-8619.

The builders’ association also announced Sept. 9 that it will partner with the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors to hold a big, local industry expo April 8-9.

The event, aimed at real estate professionals and potential homebuyers, will include 80 exhibitors on 50,000 square feet of floor space at Cashman Center, at Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington Avenue. Realtors, brokerages, homebuilders, master-planned communities, banks and government agencies will be among the exhibitors.

There also will be educational sessions on the buying process, mortgage financing, financial planning, home technology and homebuyer assistance programs. Home Builders Research will also present its “Las Vegas Housing Outlook” program at the event.

The trade groups said they expect about 15,000 attendees over the two-day expo. It will be free to attend, but it costs $5 to park at Cashman Center.

For more information, visit

Guild Mortgage expands

Fast-growing Guild Mortgage Co. has opened its fourth local branch.

Dena Del Balzo, a 23-year mortgage-industry veteran, is manager of the office, which is at 8485 W. Sunset Road. The branch houses a team of six mortgage professionals with more than 110 years of collective experience.

Before joining Guild, Del Balzo was senior vice president of home loans and vice president of divisional sales performance for Bank of America Home Loans.

“My teams and I were attracted to Guild because of its small-company feel, with the resources and backing of a large company,” Del Balzo said.

During the first half of 2015, local Guild branches closed $69.4 million in loans, up 227.8 percent from $30.4 million in the first half of 2014.

The location is Guild’s 13th branch statewide.

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