Property Grunt

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Vegas is a wrong bet.

Well it looks like not even the power of the Rat Pack can save Las Vegas from the downturn. According to Time Magazine things are starting to get really chilly.

According to the article it seems even Danny Ocean couldn't scam his way out of this.

Currently, just 18 projects are under way, and nervous developers have called off three high-profile projects over the past seven months. A number of others, including one backed by a group including George Clooney, are being either revised or postponed. Experts now forecast that only a quarter to half of the seven dozen originally proposed projects will ever be built. Brian Gordon, a principal at Applied Analysis, a real estate research firm, says the developers with experience building luxury high-rises, whose properties are located on or near the Strip and carry a strong and recognizable brand name— such as Donald Trump, Hard Rock and MGM Grand— are the ones playing winning hands in Vegas now.

What does this mean for New York? Will we come up snake eyes?

Back east, the luxury condo markets that have had similarly explosive growth in Miami and New York, where high-end apartments can command from $2,000 to $4,000 a square foot, haven’t slumped yet. Still, experts say the abrupt reversal of fortune in the desert, where the mainstream residential real estate and hotel markets are still quite healthy, shows just how quickly the odds can change in even the most affluent markets if runaway speculation and overzealous development take hold. “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.”

Cash your chips in now folks.