Las Vegas home sellers are wary and inventory slips

Las Vegas home prices are climbing at one of the fastest clips in the country, and sales totals last year reached one of the highest levels ever, despite plunging availability.

But if your house hunt is taking longer than expected, you’re not alone, as sellers are increasingly gun-shy.

The monthly tally of new listings for single-family homes — the bulk of the market — posted year-over-year declines nine times in 2017, according to Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors data. Overall, 3,800 single-family homes were on the market without offers by year’s end, down 36 percent from the end of 2016.

Amid the pullback, monthly sales totals rose nine times year-over-year, and the median sales price climbed every month over the same periods in 2016.

RIGHT-CLICK TO ENLARGE

The tumbling inventory is good for sellers, who can fetch higher prices amid strong demand and shrunken

competition. But for buyers, it means more expensive homes and fewer choices, and for listing agents, it’s crimping sales opportunities.

A number of factors are reducing or restricting availability in Las Vegas. Amid the improved economy and increased appetite for houses, a still-large tally of underwater borrowers can’t sell easily, and a sizable number of rental homes — purchased by bargain-hunting investors after the market crashed — aren’t listed for sale yet.

Housing tracker Brian Gordon, co-owner of Las Vegas’ Applied Analysis, agreed that some owners probably aren’t listing because they can’t afford what’s on the market.

He figures people who survived the housing roller coaster of the past dozen or so years “have learned some lessons.” They’re staying put, he said, not buying a new house and taking on a larger, potentially unaffordable mortgage.

“Homeowners’ ability to sell … and move into something that’s more attractive, potentially with a higher price, is just something that many aren’t willing to do these days,” Gordon said.

The GLVAR’s 2018 president, Chris Bishop, a branch manager with Coldwell Banker Premier Realty, said a lot of people aren’t moving because, following years of low prices, they can’t find a better deal than they currently have.

Agents have to work harder to find sellers, he said, and prices have jumped so far that would-be house hunters “might not be able to buy what (they’re) looking for at a reasonable price.”

Still, Las Vegas home prices are nothing compared to, say, San Francisco’s or New York’s. In those and other cities, it’s all too common to live an hour or more from work because you can’t afford anything closer, or to move away entirely because of high housing costs.

In San Francisco, the median household income is $87,700, and the median sales price of previously owned single-family homes is $1.5 million. In Clark County, the median household income is around $52,600, and the median sales price of a single-family house is about $268,000, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the California Association of Realtors and the GLVAR.

Does this mean everyone should ditch San Francisco for Las Vegas? Of course not. San Francisco is far from perfect — it’s crowded and expensive and has abysmal traffic — but it has high-paying tech jobs, tons of culture and architecture that can make you cry when driving around Las Vegas, the global capital of bland strip malls and cookie-cutter stucco houses.

But as people talk about housing costs reaching crisis levels in the Bay Area, I haven’t heard of anyone, even amid our rising prices and shrinking inventory, who left Las Vegas because it’s too expensive here.

And neither has Bishop.

“We don’t have those problems,” he said.

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

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like