I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Florence Shapiro and Ivan Sher of the Shapiro & Sher Group, one of Las Vegas’ elite luxury brokerages. They welcomed me graciously into their swank Summerlin office and led me to a beautiful glass-walled conference room. Many, many real-estate awards decorate their office and it is easy to see where there well-deserved reputation comes from.
I had a list of questions prepared, but as the conversation became more involved, Shapiro and Sher’s immense knowledge really came through. Their insights brought us to more interesting topics and important local issues which are highly relevant to Las Vegas’ current luxury real-estate market.
Q: What changes has the last year brought the luxury real-estate market in Las Vegas?
A: (Sher) We are seeing last year’s dip in high-end sales change. There have already been many multi-million dollar sales so far this year. We are significantly ahead of last year.
A: (Shapiro) That’s right, more high-end sales than before. And for the first time we are seeing buyers coming from the east coast.
Q: What is attracting these buyers?
A: (Shapiro) Actually, they like that we have an international airport, and the hotels, shopping, and weather. But they really like the tax break they get here in Nevada. This also includes Asian and other international buyers. Our usual feeder market is California, and we always have local buyers, but this shift in where our buyers are coming from is exciting.
Q: How has recent economic trends effected luxury real estate?
A: (Sher) More buyers are becoming conscious of purchasing luxury properties, and even second-home luxury properties. They feel more comfortable investing their money in real estate. We are seeing a lot of Chinese buyers diversifying in Nevada real estate. We are living in a world economy now. What happens across the globe has a direct impact on us here.
Q: Are these buyers choosing new build, or resale homes?
A: (Shapiro) Both. There’s great value to be had in both choices right now.
A: (Sher) Yes. Resale is always a good option for buyers, especially those on a set time frame. Price barriers are being broken again, and there is more activity in ultra-high-end homes. New build is also coming back strong right now. The local market is seeing more new home construction than it has in years.
Q: What real-estate trends are you most excited about in the coming future?
A: (Sher) The new look in architecture is very exciting. Ascaya is leading the way in that area.
A: (Shapiro) Definitely. The new look of luxury homes is amazing. Ascaya will make a huge impact on luxury living here in the valley. It is an incredible project.
Q: Can you tell me more about it?
A: (Sher) Luxury new-build buyers are changing. They have so many more ideas and materials to work with than ever before. This is an evolution to a more worldly form of architecture. Ascaya is bringing in a lot of high-end architects. There will be nothing like it.
A: (Shapiro) Green and sustainable homes also. Buyers are more conscious of environmental impact, and this is being reflected in the homes more and more.
Q: Tell me more about Ascaya please.
A: (Shapiro) It’s Dr. Henry Cheng’s statement piece. It’s his legacy. It has been in the works for more than 20 years, and it’s finally happening. This community will be the ‘best of the best’ in terms of architecture, design, and fine living.
A: (Sher) It definitely will have an international feel on a local scale. The look, the community, the clubhouse, it all points to something like we’ve never seen before. This community will become the standard in high-end.
Q: What do buyers like most about the community?
A: (Sher) Its all custom. Everything in there will be custom, there are no tract or semi-custom options. Also the lots. The lots are all large and capture gorgeous mountain, city, and Strip views. You can choose to overlook the city lights, or you can choose an inner lot and be surrounded by the towering hillsides. Ascaya celebrates the natural beauty of the desert by including it in the overall look and design of the community.
A: (Shapiro) The sights are incredible. The recreation is there also. You are literally up on the mountain. You can walk out your front door and enjoy a nature hike. You are right there.
Q: Is there a clubhouse and golf course?
A: (Sher) A clubhouse like you’ve never experienced breaks ground in just a few weeks. There is no golf course, for a few reasons. First of all is the privacy. Golf course communities are wonderful, but they don’t always offer the most privacy. The buyers at Ascaya want seclusion and privacy. They prefer the larger lots and the privacy not having a golf course offers. Also, there is the local environmental impact. Golf courses take a lot of water to maintain. If residents want to golf, there are plenty of courses in Henderson to choose from, and even more in Las Vegas.
A: (Shapiro) This community will be known for discretion and privacy. A golf course does not fit with that overall feeling.
Q: What will the clubhouse offer?
A: (Shapiro) Everything an upscale lifestyle demands. There will be fitness and concierge. Pools and event spaces. There are some exciting things though, that other clubhouses do not have, like creative spaces for arts and music. Plus children friendly areas.
A: (Sher) Not just a little playground by the tennis courts either. These will be dedicated spaces for Ascaya’s younger residents. Game rooms, pool area, outdoor play— the works. Today’s luxury buyer is more family oriented than before. They expect amenities for their children as well, as they rightly should. Ascaya is answering that request with these innovative family spaces.
Q: What are you most excited about at Ascaya?
A: (Shapiro) This will be the ultimate in luxury living. The finest homes, design, amenities— you name it.
A: (Sher) The architecture and design. For a while there, luxury design kind of froze. We saw the same thing over and over. Ascaya is helping change that. The look and feel of the community will be incredible.
What an insightful conversation. These two professionals have a true grasp of Las Vegas’ luxury real-estate market. They thanked me warmly for my time, and left me with their personal contact information. They are truly a charming pair, and two of the most influential people in Las Vegas real estate.