Thursday, January 26, 2006

Time: 'Vegas Condos Go Cold'

Time Magazine reports that 'Vegas Condos Go Cold.' "Now that several high rollers in the Las Vegas condo-hotel game, including luxury properties linked to Michael Jordan and Ivana Trump, are either folding or selling their holdings, a growing number of players are losing their taste for big bets on high-rise, residential real estate development."

"Over the past two years, as high-rise fever spread across town, prices for the luxury apartments ballooned, fetching as much as $500 - $1,000 a square foot or up to $1.5 million for a one-bedroom— at the peak. Buyers, mostly interested in flipping them for quick profits, eagerly anted up five-figure down payments, while developers planned more than 70 luxury towers holding a total of about 43,000 units on or near the Strip and downtown. But the intense competition for the city's limited supply of contractors sent construction costs skyrocketing 30% last year, just as lending policies tightened, interest rates climbed and sales started to slow."


"“It'’s another case of irrational exuberance," says John Restrepo, head of a Las Vegas real estate and economic consulting firm. "“There is a market for high-rise condo hotels here; but it'’s not as deep as people thought it was. The days of the two guys from the East Coast or Canada coming into town and promoting a condo development with a website and a dream are over."

Las Vegas is a gambling mecca. The housing bubble is just another form of gambling. Las Vegas is especially vulnerable to a popping, due to its strong reliance on the housing market and tourism industry as economic engines.


  1. Another example of why the media can be useless. A nice post-bubble analysis, but 6-12 months ago, where were the warnings that this could happen?

    Those of us who are internet savvy and willing to think things out on our own knew there was a bubble. But people who blindly trust these news sources never get their info on time.

  2. "A nice post-bubble analysis, but 6-12 months ago, where were the warnings that this could happen?"

    Very few media sources were not discussing this 6-12 months ago. However, the Economist and WSJ were.