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Housing recovery still frail, data show

By some measures, Southern Nevada’s new-home market is almost exactly where it was a year ago.

Local home builders closed on 835 units in January and February, compared with 831 units in the same period a year ago, according to new numbers from local housing analysis firm Home Builders Research.

The median price of new-home closings in February was $297,860, up $1,493, or less than 1 percent, year over year.

In one area, at least, the market took a big leap forward. Builders pulled 1,068 construction permits in January and February, a gain of 27.7 percent over the same period a year ago. Dennis Smith, president and CEO of Home Builders Research, said the spike wasn’t unexpected, as sales activity has risen in recent weeks.

Still, the current pace suggests “only a small increase” in 2015 — “not enough to think the industry has regenerated itself to anywhere near its past levels of production.”

Builders pulled 6,632 permits in 2014, about the same as in 2013. Permit pulls sank to a a low of 3,000 a year in the recession, but were well above 30,000 annually in the boom.

No one has suggested the market will ever get back to 30,000-plus permits a year, but 10,000 to 12,000 wouldn’t be out of line with the market’s size and population growth.

It could be a while before it gets there, though.

“We suggest the local recovery is still in the early to mid stages of where it should eventually go,” Smith said.

He added that any change in interest rates could delay the recovery by another year or more.

“We think the local housing market, both new and resale, does not have a strong enough ‘base’ to hope that consumer demand can absorb any rise in monthly payments,” he said.

Silver Nugget finalists

The Southern Nevada Association of Home Builders has announced finalists for its Silver Nugget Awards on April 18: American West Development; Focus Property Group; KB Home; Lennar; Pardee Homes; Pulte Homes; Shea Homes; Summerlin; The Howard Hughes Corp.; Toll Brothers; Warmington Residential; William Lyon Homes; and Woodside Homes.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony at Red Rock Resort.

There’ll also be honors in other categories, including Sales Person of the Year, Best Online Presence, Green Community and Innovative Land Planning.

To see the list of finalists in all categories, visit bit.ly/1bNyobA.

The Las Vegas Business Press’ sister publication, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is co-hosting the event.

Office team honored

They completed 140 leases totaling more than $150 million and encompassing more than 1 million square feet in 2015.

And for that, CBRE Las Vegas brokers Brad Peterson, Randy Broadhead, Darren Lemmon and Amy Lance were named NAIOP Southern Nevada’s Office Team of the Year at the trade group’s 18th Annual Spotlight Awards.

Among the team’s deals was a lease of 90,300 square feet at Montecito Point to Asurion, a Tennessee company that provides quick replacement of lost, stolen or damaged digital devices. Asurion’s local call center is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter with 500 employees, with plans to grow to as many as 800 workers in the next five years.

The brokers represented other tenants including HMS, Regus, C3/Customer Contact Channels, Spring, Jolley Urga Law Firm, KB Homes, Hakkasan Holdings, MGM, New York Life Insurance Company, LogistiCare, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard &Smith and Allegiant Airlines.

“Brad, Randy, Darren and Amy have worked together for more than 20 years with a track record spanning two decades that has set the bar in the industry for Southern Nevada,” said Michael Newman, managing director of CBRE Las Vegas. “We are pleased to call them members of the CBRE family and are especially appreciative of their efforts that contribute so significantly to the economic vitality of our valley.”

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