Real Estate’s Voice of Reason

Nasser Daneshvary wasn’t one to raise his voice. But he’d happily stick out his neck from time to time, smiling as he did it. Maybe there was hyperbole that needed to be pushed aside in order to get to the facts. Or perhaps the facts needed a more patient, reasoned explanation. He was great at that, too. If there was passion and anger in the worlds of economics and real estate, Daneshvary was there, smiling, calmly presenting his findings, then getting back to work.

The head of UNLV’s Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies died suddenly at his home on Aug. 18 at age 62. He leaves behind a wife and son and many accomplishments at UNLV.

Daneshvary came here in 1990 as an assistant professor of economics, quickly rose up the ranks and held other titles such as economics department chair, associate vice provost for academic resources and chair of the UNLV Faculty Senate. He won praise for his academic work and his devotion to the university. “If you weren’t interested in improving the university, he really didn’t have much time for you,” UNLV economics professor Stephen Miller says.

In recent years, Daneshvary gave up the big titles to focus primarily on teaching and research. He became a go-to source for local and national journalists looking at the impacts of real estate on our local economy. He’s perhaps most known for his work on assessing how foreclosed homes impact the values of nearby homes, a subject he broke down clearly, mathematically and concisely on a level never seen before.

In my last conversation with Daneshvary, only two days before his death, he was researching how AB 284 (the robo-signing law) may not be the ultimate reason for today’s home sale supply shortage. He sent me a five-page outline of his findings and we talked about how real estate agents would skewer him for his position on the subject.

As usual, after a good laugh, he was back to work again.