Updated May 4, 2021 - 9:23 am
An upscale apartment complex across from Tivoli Village has opened as Southern Nevada’s rental market gains momentum.
The first batch of tenants moved into Elysian at Tivoli over the weekend, taking 30 of its 359 units, according to Eric Cohen, co-founder of project developer The Calida Group.
More renters are on the way, as the property is 30 percent leased, Cohen said Monday.
The new complex, on Alta Drive just east of Rampart Boulevard, next to the Boca Park retail center, is part of a yearslong apartment construction boom in the Las Vegas Valley. It is also opening in the wake of a historically chaotic year that left Southern Nevada’s rental market, and many other industries, facing plenty of questions.
The rental housing sector by no means collapsed after the coronavirus outbreak devastated Las Vegas’ casino-heavy economy. But many tenants in the region have tapped unemployment benefits, stimulus funds or other programs to pay their rent, and government-mandated eviction freezes have kept people in their homes.
Landlords also face increased competition from the for-sale market, as rock-bottom mortgage rates have sparked a homebuying frenzy in Southern Nevada.
Better than expected
Calida co-founder Doug Eisner said recently that Las Vegas’ rental market has “held up much better than people might have imagined,” boosted by relief funds and improved consumer confidence.
Despite the turmoil, Southern Nevada apartment rents have climbed in the past year, vacancies have shrunk, and construction has increased.
The average asking rent in the first quarter was $1,198 per month, up 9.3 percent from the same period last year, and the average vacancy rate last quarter was 5.4 percent, down from 6.9 percent a year earlier, according to figures released by the Nevada State Apartment Association.
Moreover, 3,461 new apartment units were delivered last year, up nearly 18 percent from 2019, the association reported.
Still, investor purchases plunged. Landlords acquired 5,670 units in Southern Nevada last year, down nearly 75 percent from 2019, according to John Stater, Las Vegas research manager at brokerage Colliers International.
Rents aren’t cheap at the project near Tivoli, which is walking distance from retailers and restaurants and features a hefty list of on-site amenities, including poolside cabanas, car charging stations, a poker lounge and steam and tanning rooms.
Units range from 650 to 1,750 square feet, and prices span from $1,300 to $4,000 per month, Cohen said.
As the economy picks up from last year’s state-ordered shutdowns, Calida, one of Las Vegas’ biggest apartment developers, has been cutting back on an incentive to lure new tenants: some free rent.
At one point it was giving two months of free rent on a lease at its project, which opened last year after the pandemic hit, inside the Hughes Center office park a mile east of the Strip, Cohen said.
But given the volume of tenants coming in, Cohen said, his group realized it didn’t need the heavy perk and cut it to one month of free rent. Calida is largely shedding that freebie and starting to push rents higher at new projects, he added.
Its new complexes near Tivoli, in the Hughes Center and next to the Palms are leasing 40 to 60 units per month, he said.
Its renters include newcomers from a neighboring state.
People from California, a source of transplants to Southern Nevada, seem to be buying more houses than usual in the valley amid cheap borrowing costs and as many people work from home without the need for a commute.
According to Eisner, Californians have been renting more apartments than usual at his firm’s three new projects as well.