Cover of the Oct. 31, 2011, NNBW.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature snippets of stories that published a decade ago to provide readers a 10-year perspective of business news in the region. This week’s stories first published in the Oct. 31, 2011, edition of the NNBW.
More work, less revenue plague realty firms
Everyone in the residential real estate business in Northern Nevada continues to run harder just to stay even. As the number of sales of existing homes continues to rise, some of the companies that support the real estate business — lenders, title companies and the like — are beginning to slowly add staff.They’re cautious about hiring, however, because falling home prices grind away at the profit margins of companies that rely on commissions established as a percentage of the selling price.
A few days ago, the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors reported 1,611 single-family home sales closed in the third quarter. That flow of transactions is 22% higher than a year ago, and 10% higher than the mid-summer figure.Great news for realty-related companies, right? Not once a 14% decline in median prices, to $151,000, from a year earlier is figured in.
— Page 1, by John Seelmeyer
Exploration successes, better efficiencies further boost mining
Continued high prices for gold and silver are only part of the good news for the mining industry in Nevada these days, finds a study of the industry’s economics. A sharp increase in exploration means gold reserves grew nearly twice as fast as miners removed gold from the earth of Nevada, and improved efficiencies have lowered the operating costs of the state’s biggest mining companies.
“The outlook for the industry in the balance of 2011 and going forward (has) to be viewed favorably in light of gold prices, lower costs and promising developments across the state,” said John Dobra, a UNR economist and author of the annual Nevada Mining Association study.
High prices for gold — they averaged $1,225 an ounce for Nevada miners during 2010 — masked a slight decline in production in the state. Nevada’s mines produced 5.34 million ounces of gold in 2010, compared with 5.64 million ounces a year earlier. That’s the ninth consecutive year gold production has declined.
— Page 1, by John Seelmeyer
Genoa hopes improvements will boost its tourism sector
Nevada’s oldest settlement is set to get a facelift next summer. Douglas County community leaders are working through a plan to make Genoa’s downtown more pedestrian friendly with improvements designed to increase parking and help shoppers move about more freely.
Other proposed enhancements are planned to upgrade aging infrastructure and beautify the historic settlement — and leaders hope the work will lure more travelers to the town.The Genoa Destination project, working with an already-established $1.5 million budget, seeks to beautify the historic downtown by adding landscaping, burying overhead utilities, repaving disintegrated asphalt and improving walkways, street crossings, lighting and signage.
— Page 1, by Rob Sabo