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Las Vegas developer aims for new line of rentals in hot market

After packing the Las Vegas Valley with apartment complexes, a local developer is venturing into a growing area of the rental business: newly built single-family houses.

The Calida Group has drawn up plans for two projects totaling around 450 rental homes in Henderson’s Cadence community, city records show.

Most of the homes — 405 — are freestanding, with the remainder attached townhomes, and Calida plans to break ground about a year from now, in the third quarter of 2022, the company told me.

Its projects in Cadence — a 2,200-acre community off Lake Mead Parkway east of Boulder Highway — comprise Calida’s first built-from-the-ground-up, single-family rental tracts in the Las Vegas area, co-founder Eric Cohen confirmed.

“We are planning many more,” he added.

Las Vegas’ rental market grew fast after the housing market imploded more than a decade ago, as investors bought cheap single-family houses throughout the valley to fill with tenants. Also, developers such as Calida have been flooding Southern Nevada with apartment projects over the past several years.

Calida isn’t the first group in the valley to blend these two trends by planning or building new single-family rental projects, and Southern Nevada is by no means being blanketed with them. According to Cohen, however, this type of development is “one of the biggest requests we received” from the firm’s renters.

Some got pets, some had babies and some just wanted a backyard, he wrote in an email this week, but they “wanted to stay” with Calida’s brand of rental complexes.

Calida’s rental rates typically aren’t cheap, though its apartment complexes have plenty of amenities. Its new project across from retail-and-office complex Tivoli Village and next to shopping center Boca Park, for instance, boasts poolside cabanas, car charging stations, a poker lounge and steam and tanning rooms — and, around the time the first tenants moved in this spring, rents that spanned from $1,300 to $4,000 per month.

Southern Nevada’s rental market was one of many industries to face questions and turmoil after the pandemic hit. Many tenants tapped unemployment benefits and other relief programs to pay their rent amid huge job losses in the casino-heavy region, and government-ordered eviction freezes kept people in their homes.

Still, the rental sector, like the for-sale housing market, has heated up with rising demand, escalating prices and tight availability during the pandemic, in part because people have been moving here from more expensive cities to work remotely in a market that offers larger, less expensive homes.

According to listing site Zillow, the typical rental rate of a Las Vegas-area home shot up 17 percent year over year in May, up from an 11 percent annual gain in April — a boon for landlords but anxiety for tenants who can’t keep up with the rapid price growth.

Of course, it’s anyone’s guess how long demand for houses — rentals and those for sale — will stay like this. Housing markets are always prone to ups and downs, especially in Las Vegas, and the current boom won’t last forever.

But until then, don’t be surprised to see builders putting up more homes, more people scouting for places to live — and more people writing hefty housing checks each month.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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