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Las Vegas homebuilders thriving amid ‘buying frenzy’

Updated April 20, 2018 - 5:51 pm

Las Vegas homebuilders had their best first quarter in a decade this year amid a “buying frenzy,” a new report says.

Builders closed 1,058 new-home sales in Clark County last month, putting the first-quarter total at 2,401. That’s up 17.1 percent from the same quarter last year, Home Builders Research reported Thursday.

The median sales price of last month’s closings was $357,195, up 8 percent from a year earlier.


Builders also pulled 1,107 new-home permits in March. That brought the year’s sum to 3,013, up “an incredible … 35 percent,” the report said.

Home Builders Research President Andrew Smith and founder Dennis Smith wrote that the first quarter was the best in a decade for closings and permits, as Las Vegas’ “buying frenzy” produced more than 1,000 of each during the same month for the first time since 2007.

Moreover, prices will likely keep climbing amid “robust demand,” rising construction costs and other factors, the Smiths wrote.

They also noted that Texas builder LGI Homes — which recently entered the local market with the purchase of a vacant subdivision in the northeast valley — targets first-time buyers, especially those living in apartments and rental homes, with heavy amounts of direct mailings.

LGI’s entry marks a rare new competitor in Las Vegas, whose roster of main homebuilders hasn’t changed much in the past several years.

And its 102-house project site, on Lake Mead Boulevard near Lamb Boulevard, sits next to what was a homeless camp as of a few weeks ago.

The encampment had a motor home, shopping carts, tents, a couch and other items scattered about, as well as a makeshift kitchen of sorts outside, with a stocked pantry, cookware and a small table.

It’s “no secret” to any homebuilder in town that there is plenty of demand for affordable new homes, and there are still some available parcels “in some of the less desirable locations” that could allow for lower-priced houses, the Smiths wrote.

“Yes, it is risky,” they said. “However, there are times when another perspective from an outside source can see an opportunity in a different way.”

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

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