High-End Home Market Improving

LAS VEGAS -- A national report paints a positive picture for the housing market. January marked the 19th consecutive month with home sales higher than the same month in the previous year, according to the Re-Max National Housing Report.

Real estate agents and custom home builders say there is one sector of the new home construction market doing well and that is multi-million dollar homes.

"Through these double doors this extends into the master bath and in here we have an exercise room," said Jamie Lium, the managing broker for Shapiro & Sher Group, as she shows the selling points of one high-end home.

A fireplace in the bathroom and an in-home movie theater are out of most people's price range.

"We've had a lot of increase in interest and activity," Lium said. "It's just amazing what we're seeing out there in terms of people ...  serious about buying."

She says business is up 30 percent. Shapiro & Sher Group, a real estate company teams up with new home builders like Merlin Contracting to create estates worth between $1 million and $20 million.

"We're actually talking to a client later today who owns a property in Lone Mountain," said Chief Financial Officer Bart Jones of Merlin Contracting.

Each of the construction projects employs dozens of contractors which is positive news for an industry hit hard by the recession. 

 "The little work there is, is all I can count on to keep going," said David Peterson, owner of David Peterson Framing, Inc.

He was almost put out of business during the recession and saw his 50-man crew dropped to seven. The increase in construction of the multi-million dollar homes is giving him hope.

"We've recently done a 48,000 square foot home and it had about 125 workers on it," he said.

The extra work has allowed him to hire eight more workers. 

According to the Re-Max National Housing Report, Las Vegas' median price for a home went up about 28 percent from last year.


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