Las Vegas land market mostly stabilizing after downturn

Southern Nevada’s land market is bouncing back from the downturn, with sales and prices on the rise.

What that means for you depends on whether you own or need to buy property.

A new report from local research firm Applied Analysis reported 809 sales of land parcels across the Las Vegas Valley, up from 159 purchases in the first quarter of 2012. The number of acres sold jumped from 323 to 578.4, and the price per acre went from $158,927 to $183,813. Some submarkets boomed more than others: The west led the way, at nearly $600,000 per acre.

Still, marketwide prices were only about 20 percent of what they were in 2007, when cost per acre averaged almost $940,000. Plus, sales moderated from the end of 2012 to early 2013. Total parcels sold came in at 2,101 in the fourth quarter, with an average price per acre of $179,950 — not much lower than the first quarter’s going rate.

In short, the local land market has mostly stabilized.

“The vacant land market appears to have moved beyond the trough in the latest cycle, when prices were plummeting and there was relatively little demand for raw land,” said Brian Gordon, a principal of Applied Analysis. “But not unlike housing, we’ve seen increased interest as of late for raw land. Prospective buyers have been willing to edge up pricing in an effort to acquire assets in the Las Vegas Valley.”

So who’s buying? Mostly investors and homebuilders, Gordon said. Investors flooded the market when land prices plummeted, looking for bargains. And builders are running out of new-home supply and need additional land. And they’re willing to pay well above market averages in some neighborhoods: Pardee Homes recently bought two parcels totaling nine acres near Sunset and Fort Apache roads from a Los Angeles investor for $404,814 an acre.

Those prices reflect just how low on inventory builders are, and how much they’re looking to add to their pipeline of land for development one to two years from now, Gordon said.

How this all affects you depends on whether you’re in the market for real estate yourself.

If you’re a business owner looking for commercial property for new space, the latest numbers shouldn’t mean much. That’s because vacancies on existing buildings are still high, so there’s no need to buy land for new projects. Industrial vacancies stood at 17.2 percent in the first quarter, while office vacancies hit a record 26.2 percent, according to Applied Analysis.

For homebuilders, prices haven’t yet proved a deterrent: Without land, they won’t be able to build and sell new homes, so at this point, builders are “willing to ratchet up price points to fill the demand they expect,” Gordon said.

So if you’re in the market for a new home, brace yourself for rising prices in a year or two, because costs for dirt have to filter through to cover the expense of buying parcels.

“Those land prices are going to become concerning when we think about where the housing market is today and where it will be tomorrow,” Gordon said.

And if you hold land you’re thinking about selling, you have to weigh a few factors to know whether it’s the right time. Consider when you bought the land, how much you purchased it for and whether you have the financial wherewithal to continue sitting tight, Gordon said. Think about those factors, but also remember that values “have come off the floor and are going north because of renewed demand,” Gordon added.

Also, everyone should consider that at some point — few experts like to go on the record predicting when — land prices will reach a point where projects won’t make financial sense. Then, prices will stop going up as fewer people buy.

The Applied Analysis numbers didn’t include one big outlier — the $4-million-per-acre sale of Boyd Gaming’s 87.2-acre Echelon site to Genting Group of Malaysia.

Colliers International completed several recent transactions.

• Greg Tassi represented Shelby American in its lease of a 135,000-square-foot industrial space at 6405 Ensworth St. Colliers’ Dan Doherty, SIOR, Chris Lane and Jerry Doty represented the lessor, GKT II and GKT II Acquisitions, in the $4.2 million deal.

• Dan Gluhaich represented Daniel and Cathy Pereya in their $3.1 million purchase of a 26,133-square-foot property at 50 N. Gibson Road in the Gibson-Wigwam Business Center. Mike DeLew, SIOR, and Greg Pancirov, SIOR represented the seller, Gibson Road Trust.

• Crestron Electronics signed a 60-month lease at 3763 Howard Hughes Parkway, in the Hughes Center. Soozi Jones Walker of Commercial Executives represented Crestron. Colliers International’s Tom Stilley, Lizz Stilley, Patti Dillon and Ryan Martin, CCIM, represented property owner Crescent Real Estate Equities. The four brokers also represented Crescent in its Hughes Center lease of 4,708 square feet of space at 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway to AEG LIVE-LV LLC.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at or 702-380-4512. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.

The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
Star Wars VR Comes to Las Vegas
Sneak peak at the new "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" VR experience at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zillow is getting into house flipping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall says flipping houses has waned in popularity after the housing bubble burst.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
Casinos to be penalized for allowing drug-impaired customers to gamble
Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo talks about an amendment making casinos subject to the same disciplinary standards of preventing people to gamble if impaired by drugs as they are for letting them play while intoxicated by alcohol.
Terrible Herbst to open large travel center in Southern Nevada
The 50,000-square-foot commercial travel center will include 96 fuel pumps and the third White Castle restaurant in Southern Nevada. Wade Tyler Millward reports.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Hooters owner talks about room upgrades at his hotel-casino
George Ruff, founder and senior principal of Trinity Hotel Investors L.L.C., owner of Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, talks about recent room upgrades at the hotel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Passengers Discuss Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air passengers voice their views on the airline at McCarran International Airport on April 16, 2018. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
Trump Slams Amazon for Not Paying Enough in Taxes
Trump Slams Amazon for Not Paying Enough in Taxes Trump tweeted his concerns about the company on Thursday. This isn't the first time Trump commented on the issues via Twitter. August 2017 December 2017 Amazon did hold back on paying state taxes in 1995, but the company has been routinely collecting state sales taxes since then. In 2016, the company's report from the Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed it paid $412 million in taxes.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like