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Desert Boom 沙漠之光 Las Vegas’ road to recovery may have a few potholes but it’s not totally hazardous Las Vegas has been in and out of the news countless times since the GFC (yes, the global financial crisis has its own initialism now) in 2008. At its worst, the Las Vegas property market fell off in prices and values as much as 70 percent according to some estimates and it has yet to fully recover. But it’s not all bleak and dreary. Recent low prices have made room for first-time buyers to enter the market and have made luxury property a steal for savvy buyers. Regardless of how miserable things may seem from some points of view, Las Vegas is expected to bounce back all the way eventually. It can’t not: Sin City remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and despite Macau’s newfound gaming supremacy, Vegas is still the adult entertainment capital of the world. Its fundamentals and Nevada’s low tax policies are favourable to investors — and it has bounced back from near disaster before. Remember the “family destination” experiment? Neither do we. Slow and Steady According to research by American mortgage lender Freddie Mac, Las Vegas ranked dead last in a study of major US markets early this year. As reported by the Las Vegas Review- Journal in March, Las Vegas is the slowest recovering market in the country and it leads 拉斯維加斯的投資亮點 自2008年全球金融危機爆發,美國經 濟陷入衰退,貴為娛樂消費集中地的 拉斯維加斯生意一落千丈。最差的時候,當 地物業價格跌近七成,至今仍未返回08年前 的水平。不過有危也有機,由於樓價偏低, 近期吸引不少首次置業人士注視,部分投資 買家甚至尋獲得價格相宜的豪宅物業。 雖然拉斯維加斯市場面對不少挑戰,但大家 都相信它最終會走出經濟陰霾,回復昔日的 繁盛。樂觀的情緒並非無因,至今賭城依然 是美國最受歡迎的旅遊地點之一。儘管澳門 已奪得博彩寶座,賭城仍是全球成人娛樂之 都。再者,內華達州的低稅政策有利投資 者,加上當地積極搶攻「家庭旅遊」,市場 氣氛持續改善,難怪市場人士對前景充滿 信心。 穩步上揚 根據美國按揭信貸公司Freddie Mac今年初調 查顯示,拉斯維加斯在全美主要市場中排名 最後。另Las Vegas Review-Journal於今年三 月也曾指出當地經濟復甦步伐為全美最慢, 致使不少物業被強制收回。然而,當地樓價 於2012及2013連續兩年錄得高達25%升幅。 物業顧問高力國際於2013年第四季出版的市 場報告中顯示,拉斯維加斯的家庭住戶單位 空置率已跌至5.3%新低,而且除了東北地區 之外,所有次級市場都錄得淨吸納量,其中 大學及Henderson/Green Valley鄰近地區更錄 得最高的淨吸納量。部分原因是大學師生的 住宅需求持續,單是內華達大學的師生人數 已多達33,000人。 the way in foreclosures. Nonetheless, prices jumped nearly 25 percent in both 2012 and 2013, and Colliers International indicated that the last quarter of 2013 saw multi-family vacancy rates fall to 5.3 percent. “All submarkets except the Northeast showed positive net absorption in the fourth quarter of 2013, with the highest net absorption found in University and Henderson/Green Valley,” said Colliers’ fourth quarter report. Part of that had to do with the school year beginning (the University of Nevada at Las Vegas has nearly 33,000 students and faculty), but the city still stood in a better position than it did the year before. The US property market is mired in a glacially slow recovery, which skews the numbers in Las Vegas, and Freddie Mac’s research is indeed backward looking. The problem with the slow growth in Vegas is how it influences new construction. With an oversupply of stock overall, new home starts slow and existing property values drop. However, there is a silver lining. Lower values and prices have made room for first-time buyers and residents previously priced out of the market to get into it. That’s little consolation to those who’ve lost homes because of shoddy or outright fraudulent mortgage practices (and there have been accusations of predatory lenders perpetuating the problem with those new buyers), but for cautious buyers with | Text : Elizabeth Kerr | Photo : Trump International | 24 International 國際快訊


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