Sales of new single-family houses in March 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, according to estimatesreleased jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This is 14.5 percent below the revised February rate of 449,000 and is 13.3 percent below the March 2013 estimate of 443,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2014 was $290,000; the average sales price was $334,200.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 193,000. This represents a supply of 6.0 months at the current sales rate.

Monthly
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that preliminary March steel imports were $2.8 billion (2.9 million metric tons) compared to the preliminary February totals of $2.6 billion (2.9 million metric tons).
The March change in steel imports based on metric tonnage reflected decreases primarily in blooms, billets, and slabs. Increases occured primarily in reinforcing bars, cold rolled sheets, and line pipes. Decreases occurred primarily with Brazil. Increases occurred primarily with Germany, Turkey, and Canada.
Annual
The year to date final statistics through February 2014 showed steel imports of 5.9 million metric tons compared with 4.6 million metric tons through February 2013. The largest commodity increase occurred primarily in blooms, billets and slabs. Decreases occurred primarily in line pipe, hot rolled bars, and standard pipe. The largest country increase occurred primarily with Russia. Decreases occurred primarily with Germany, Australia, and Argentina.

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In October 2013, 65.9 percent of 2013 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 

Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in October 2013 were over twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work--74.2 percent compared with 34.1 percent.

Of the nearly 3.0 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between January and October 2013, about 2.0 million (65.9 percent) were enrolled in collegein October. 

The college enrollment rate of recent high school graduates in October 2013 was little different from the rate in October 2012 (66.2 percent). 

For 2013graduates, the college enrollment rate was 68.4 percent for young women and 63.5 percent for young men. The college enrollment rate of Asians (79.1 percent) was higher than the rates for recent white (67.1 percent), black (59.3 percent), and Hispanic (59.9 percent)graduates.

Las Vegas, NV – Michael Newman, managing director, CBRE Las Vegas, announces the return to the firm of three veterans of gaming real estate, who together, form its Global Gaming Group (GGG):  John Knott, executive vice president and global head of gaming; Michael Parks, first vice president; and Brent Pirosch, director of gaming consulting.  Additionally, Matt Bear, vice president, has recently joined CBRE as a member of the Global Gaming Group to focus on the unique retail needs of CBRE’s gaming and resort clients.

CBRE’s Global Gaming Group works with gaming entities in emerging markets as well as major gaming concerns around the world.  Of particular note is GGG’s work with the city of Singapore on land rights for gaming properties.  The Group’s services include the acquisition and disposition of gaming properties, project consulting, feasibility studies, market assessments, debt and equity financing and retail development within resort environments.

Knott brings 29 years of real estate experience to CBRE, including 14 years with CBRE Las Vegas, 10 years with Cushman & Wakefield in West Los Angeles and five years with Sullivan & Knott, a Las Vegas-based company he founded in 1994.

Parks has been involved with numerous gaming asset sales in Las Vegas and across the US, including the Sahara Hotel Casino, Las Vegas Hilton, Flamingo Laughlin and Trump Marina. Parks has represented both gaming and non-gaming companies in the acquisition and disposition of land parcels throughout the country.

Bear joins CBRE with 22 years of commercial real estate experience, specializing in retail acquisitions and dispositions, sale leaseback structures, retail roll-out assignments, hotel acquisitions and capital structure advisory.  Prior to CBRE, Bear worked for a number of companies, including Avison Young, Colliers International, New Market Advisors and ROI Commercial Real Estate.  He is a founding partner of Venture Development Group, a company specializing in the development of single-tenant buildings and neighborhood and power center projects.

Pirosch, who has served as director of gaming consulting services for CBRE’s Global Gaming Group in Las Vegas since 2004, has long led the team’s efforts to provide analytical and due diligence support for numerous casino transactions in Las Vegas and throughout the world. He is lauded by many in the industry for his ability to make sense of large volumes of complex information and is the author of a Las Vegas Strip forecast praised for its depth and prescience.

CBRE is the world’s largest full service commercial real estate services and investment firm with 90 employees in Las Vegas.

 

 

Western Alliance Bancorporation  today announced today its financial results for the first quarter 2014.

Its Nevada operations reported a gross loan balance of $1.72 billion at March 31, 2014, a decrease of $31 million during the quarter. Deposits were $3.02 billion at March 31, 2014, an increase of $127 million during the quarter. Net operating revenues were $30.9 million and pre-tax, pre-provision operating earnings were $14.8 million during the first quarter 2014.

Arizona reported a gross loan balance of $2.03 billion at March 31, 2014, an increase of $8 million during the quarter. Deposits were $2.17 billion at March 31, 2014, an increase of $78 million during the quarter. Net operating revenues were $27.4 million and pre-tax, pre-provision operating earnings were $14.1 million for the first quarter 2014.

California reported a gross loan balance of $1.66 billion at March 31, 2014, an increase of $48 million during the quarter. Deposits were $1.87 billion at March 31, 2014, a decrease of $30 million during the quarter. Net operating revenues were $24.0 million and pre-tax, pre-provision operating earnings were $11.0 million during the first quarter 2014.

Specialty Finance reported a gross loan balance of $1.62 billion at March 31, 2014, an increase of $271 million during the quarter. Deposits were $845 million at March 31, 2014, an increase of $93 million during the quarter. Net operating revenues were $14.4 million and pre-tax, pre-provision operating earnings were $7.9 million during the first quarter 2014.

First Quarter 2014 Highlights:

  • Net income of $31.1 million, compared to $31.4 million for the fourth quarter 2013 and $20.9 million for the first quarter 2013
  • Net income of $30.1 million for the first quarter 2014, excluding the following, net of tax effect: $1.6 million net gain on repossessed and other assets and $0.6 million net loss from debt valuation adjustments and securities gains
  • Earnings per share of $0.35, compared to $0.36 per share in the fourth quarter 2013 and $0.24 per share in the first quarter 2013
  • Earnings per share of $0.34 for the first quarter 2014, excluding the following, net of tax effect: $0.02 net gain on repossessed and other assets and $0.01 net loss from debt valuation adjustments and securities gains
  • Total loans of $7.11 billion, up $307 million from December 31, 2013 and up $1.25 billion from March 31, 2013
  • Total deposits of $8.15 billion, up $311 million from December 31, 2013 and up $1.41 billion from March 31, 2013
  • Nonperforming assets (nonaccrual loans and repossessed assets) decreased to 1.30% of total assets from 1.53% in the fourth quarter 2013 and from 2.10% in the first quarter 2013
  • Net loan recoveries (annualized) to average loans outstanding of 0.02%, compared to net loan charge-offs to average loans of 0.13% in the fourth quarter 2013 and 0.38% in the first quarter 2013
  • Tier I Leverage Capital of 9.9% and Total Risk-Based Capital ratio of 12.4%, compared to 10.1% and 12.6%, respectively, at March 31, 2013
  • Total equity of $895 million, up $39 million from December 31, 2013

Financial Performance

“Our company is off to a strong start for 2014,” said Robert Sarver, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Western Alliance Bancorporation. “Loans and deposits each grew over $300 million during the first quarter, driving record net interest income. Asset quality continued to improve with net loan recoveries and a reduction in non-performing assets during the period. For the past four quarters, net loan losses have averaged less than five basis points of total loans.”

Sarver continued, “With WAL’s revenue growth rate again exceeding our operating expense growth rate, our efficiency ratio improved by 90 basis points to 51%. The legal merger of our subsidiary banks at the end of last year should enable us make business practice improvements to drive this key metric to under 50% in the near future.”

Income Statement

Net interest income was $90.8 million in the first quarter 2014, an increase of $0.8 million, or 0.9%, from $90.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and an increase of $14.6 million, or 19.1%, compared to the first quarter 2013. The Company’s net interest margin decreased in the first quarter 2014 to 4.41%, compared to 4.44% in the fourth quarter 2013, and increased compared to 4.36% in the first quarter 2013.

Operating non-interest income was $5.7 million for the first quarter 2014, compared to $5.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $5.1 million for the first quarter of 2013.1

Net operating revenue was $96.5 million for the first quarter 2014, an increase of 1.4% compared to $95.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 and an increase of 18.7% compared to $81.3 million for the first quarter 2013.1

On December 31, 2013, the Company consolidated its three bank subsidiaries under one charter, Western Alliance Bank.

As a result, the Company has redefined its operating segments to reflect the new organizational and internal reporting structure. Prior year segment information has not been recast to conform to the new segmentation methodology due to the impracticability of restating segments because of the change in legal structure at December 31, 2013. The new operating segments are as follows: Arizona, Nevada, California, Specialty Finance, and Corporate & Other.

The Company’s reportable segments are aggregated primarily based on geographic location, services offered and markets served. The Arizona, Nevada and California segments provide full service banking and related services to their respective regions. The Company’s Specialty Finance segment provides banking services to niche markets. These Specialty Finance businesses are broader in geographic scope and are managed centrally. Corporate & Other consists of corporate-related items, income and expense items not allocated to our other reportable segments and inter-segment eliminations.

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