State Roundup: Nevada, Missouri, and Minnesota

June 1, 2006

Nevada: Vertical living

With land scarcity driving up new-home costs even in spread-out Las Vegas, local builder Astoria Homes last year began offering three-story homes in its Tapestry development and says buyers are snapping them up. There’s nothing new about three-story houses in older parts of the country, but in the West they’re novel, especially in the single-family, detached format. The homes average 2,168 square feet on a small patch of land and are priced around $309,000. “People still need all the living space they've always needed, but affordability is a challenge,” Astoria Homes President Tom McCormick is quoted in the March 28 Las Vegas Review Journal saying. “And, now, land makes up the biggest component of home costs.”

Missouri: Accessible listings

No matter what language most home buyers in Missouri speak, they’ll be able to read the listings from local MLSs participating in a statewide program negotiated by the Missouri Association of REALTORS®. MAR is putting the final touches on a service that would automatically translate listings into 12 languages through a template provided by Immobel.com. REALTORS® will be able to display the translated listings on their Web sites with the state association covering the costs. The languages are Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, and two Chinese dialects. The launch is slated for sometime this year. “Missouri is the first statewide REALTOR® association to invest in making listings so widely accessible to all prospective buyers,” says R. Dennis McClelland, MAR's CEO.

Minnesota: Taxes, jobs linked

Two-thirds of residents say state lawmakers shouldn’t pass tax increases or implement new rules until they first weigh the impact such actions would have on jobs. The poll, conducted this spring for the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® and three other statewide groups, comes as lawmakers are weighing initiatives that include adding a surcharge to the deed transfer tax to help generate funds for affordable housing. MAR opposes the surcharge.

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