Rick Andreen, president of Shea Homes, said in a preparedstatement that Las Vegas is "a natural choice for Shea Homes, inparticular the active adult segment" like the project at Ardiente.He noted that the California-based company sees significantpotential in the migration of retirees from California into LasVegas, and he cited the "very favorable demographics and with nostate income tax" as factors that make Las Vegas "a very affordablealternative for West Coastretirees."

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Shea's move into the Las Vegas market comes at a time when theregion's housing market, although not rebounding robustly, is atleast showing signs of flattening―a trend that localRealtors describe as an improvement from where the market has been.Rick Shelton, president of the the Greater Las Vegas Association ofRealtors, characterized a February's sales report as "fairlysolid," especially for what he said is traditionally a slow time ofyear for home sales.

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"Most experts are forecasting that the 2010 housing market willlook very much like it did in 2009. We tend to agree," Shelton saidabout the Realtor association's latest monthly sales tally.Ingeneral, the association's latest report showed single-family homeprices staying about the same as previous months and home salescontinuing to increase compared to the previous year.

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