Bulking Up

It seems real estate investment is going the way of Costco these days. One unit isn’t enough; investors want the Big Pak. Late last year, Trump International Las Vegas sold 300 condo-hotel units to Hilton Grand Vacations. Then CityCenter’s Veer Tower unloaded 427 units to New York investors LVT Owner LLC. On the commercial side, Cole Real Estate Investments recently picked up 10 Wendy’s restaurants in the Valley.

It’s no secret that out-of-state and international money is literally betting on chunks of Vegas. But this year there will probably be plenty of sizable residential real estate deals that will go quietly, and it could involve a vacant home on your street.

The Valley is seeing an uptick in “bundles” offered by bank asset managers to investors, says Anthony Martin, head of Auction Control Systems Ltd. Packages of 200 to 300 homes spanning several states can sell for $15 million-30 million, he says. Some of the homes are completely foreclosed upon; others still have owner-occupants. Just a year ago, Martin says, major bulk deals outside the Multiple Listing Service were rare. Now he sees 10 a week or more.

Some real estate agents say banks aren’t holding inventory anymore, but Martin estimates that banks still have tens of thousands of homes, many taken back after failed trustee sales. Some of these homes will end up being sold off in bundles. That could conceivably speed the flow of bank-owned homes back onto the market. Or it could just mean more empty homes, with speculators waiting for just the right price.

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