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Rents drop: ‘Not a bad time to find a new apartment in Las Vegas’

Updated February 14, 2024 - 4:18 pm

Rents dropped in the Las Vegas Valley to start 2024, according to a new report from Zillow.

Las Vegas was one of 16 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. that saw a rent decline to start the year, according to Zillow’s January rental market report. The average rent in the valley sits at $1,745, a 0.3 percent decrease from December.

Las Vegas’ cooling labor market could be contributing to a drop in rents, with other factors, said Orphe Divounguy, a senior economist for Zillow.

“It’s not a bad time to find a new apartment in Las Vegas. Rents are relatively soft right now, annual growth is just $33, and a slight monthly decline is the sixth largest among major metros,” he said. “Concessions offered by landlords, such as free rent or parking, are on the upswing too, and are now offered for nearly 40 percent of Zillow’s local rental listings. But the surge in rents in 2021 and 2022 means they’re now $400 more expensive than before the pandemic.”

Zillow’s report shows the average rent across the nation is still up 29 percent from before the COVID-19 pandemic, an average increase of 7 percent each year for the last four years. Before the pandemic, the average annual growth rate was 5.5 percent.

Rental rates dropped the most in Austin, Texas (0.5 percent), San Diego (0.4 percent), Buffalo, New York, (0.4 percent) and Riverside, California (0.3 percent).

One factor in the market climate right now is home prices are rising much faster than rental rates, Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said.

“There’s not a huge incentive for renters to buy right now,” she said. “Asking rents are stable, and while mortgage rates have dipped in recent months, they haven’t fallen enough to make the financial equation of homebuying feasible for many people.”

The overall picture concerning inflation in the U.S. remains a sticking point when it comes to the housing market, National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

“One big source of stubbornness to further calmness is that housing shelter inflation is rising at 6 percent,” he said in a statement. “That’s a bit of a mystery since apartment rents are no longer rising and single-family rent growth is at low single-digits. Home price is considered as an asset (like a stock price) and is not part of the inflation measurement.”

Contact Patrick Blennerhassett at pblennerhassett@reviewjournal.com.

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