Thursday, February 14, 2013

2013 - Are You a Good Year, or a Bad Year?

As we bid a fond farewell (or good riddance) to 2012 and usher in brand spankin' new 2013, it is natural to wonder just what we're getting ourselves into.

After all, 2011 was a pretty decent year for Las Vegas CRE, so it was a bit of a shock when 2012 hit us like a ton of bricks. Fortunately, 2012 got a bit sunnier at the end of the year, but will the trend continue? Will 2013 be a good year for Las Vegas CRE, or another washout year like 2012? Well, let's look at the index ...

The CRE Recovery Index was on its way up through most of 2012, predicting that positive movement towards the end of the year. But in September, the index began to go flat, and in November and December it began to fall. In and of itself, this is not odd – it usually does begin to fall towards the end of the year, and on the positive side, the decline in 2012 was not as severe as in the past two years. In general, the rise of the index in 2012 was more stable than in 2011, and there is every reason to believe that this slow and steady rise will be seen again when January and February numbers become available to us.

On a year-over-year basis, the December 2012 New Home Sales index and Taxable Sales were up sharply, and increases were also seen in the Commercial Occupancy index (finally), Visitor Volume and Employment. Port traffic in Los Angeles was down considerably on a year-over-year basis – a minor factor in the overall CRE Recovery Index – and Gaming Revenue was down as well.

In general, the cycle appears to be operating as usual. Growth was slower and steadier in 2012 than in 2011, and at the moment we can probably expect 2013 to look similar. Higher taxes and increased costs for healthcare and health insurance, along with the currency wars that are being fought between the industrialized debtor nations of the world, might hamper that growth, though, so keep your head on a swivel.

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