Las Vegas ranks No. 4 US city for homeownership

Las Vegas might be a good place to settle down into homeownership.

According to a new report from, “Best and Worst Metro Areas for Homeowners,” Las Vegas ranked No. 4 out of a list of the 50 largest metropolitan areas, by population, across the U.S.

Claes Bell, certified financial analyst and data and automation editor at, said the report was constructed to assess metro areas based on which region had the best reward at the end of homeownership, and if potential homeowners had an easy time obtaining ownership and the level of affordability, or sustainability, of living in a particular area for the long term.

In total, eight factors were used to rate each metro: home affordability and price appreciation, property taxes, cost of homeowner’ insurance, energy and maintenance costs, foreclosures, and rent hedging — where people buy homes to protect themselves against rising rents.

Each factor was given a score of 1-10, with 10 being the highest rating in that category. The metros were then ranked based on a total score closest to 80, a perfect score.

Locally, Las Vegas scored 56.98 points, giving it its No. 4 rating. The top three metropolitan areas, in descending order, were the Portland, Phoenix and Atlanta metropolitan areas. The cities had scores of 60.85, 58.01 and 57.55, respectively.

Areas the Las Vegas Valley scored high on included home-price appreciation, the cost of homeowners’ insurance and maintenance costs. The scores on each factor rested at 9.25, 9.23 and 8.95, respectively.

Las Vegas also scored low on its energy costs under’s survey. The Las Vegas metro scored 5.86 points on the report.

Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo, said much of the price appreciation on existing single-family homes has been driven by recovering from the recession when the valley was plagued with thousands of homes that had negative equity and many others heading into foreclosure.

“That time has passed,” Vitner said. “We don’t have that dark cloud hanging over the market anymore.”

Stephen Miller, director of the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research, said more than 70 percent of the homes were underwater at the beginning of the recession, but that number has fallen somewhere around 20 percent.

Still, the regional number is higher than the national average of homes containing negative equity, which sat at 12.1 percent in the second quarter, according to data released from Zillow in August.

Foreclosure activity has slowed in the valley. At the beginning of 2009, reported one in 14 homes in Nevada received a notice of foreclosure. That number as of July 2016 rose to one in every 735 homes in Nevada.

On home price appreciation, Miller is expecting 5 percent to 6 percent increases in home prices year-over-year through the third and fourth quarters of 2016, which he said was a healthy rate. If home prices rise too rapidly, concern over a bubble starts to grow.

The median home price gains have been a little higher than that so far this year. The median home price in the valley rested at $236,000 for existing single-family homes at the end of July, a gain of 7.3 percent over the same time in 2015, according to data from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

The rise in home prices across the valley isn’t just being caused by economic recovery.

Vitner said there is a retirement class of homebuyer that is financially stable and looking to retire to lower tax areas, such as Nevada.

On top of that, Las Vegas is becoming more diverse, Vitner said. It’s no longer just chasing whales but is also going after more entertainment dollars.

Las Vegas is diversifying to bring in a new set of industries such as life science, health care and others, away from gaming, Vitner said.

“That makes the economy more well-rounded,” he added.

The study also looked at other variables including affordability.

On that topic, Miller said Las Vegas is ahead of the national average. The national average of 65.8 percent — which equates to the percentage of people who can afford the median-priced home in a specific region — was about 3 percent lower than the local average. That number rested at 68.6 percent.

Still, one class of buyer has had trouble getting their needs met for housing.

The entry-level homebuyer has had trouble in the Las Vegas market because of market factors, including investors snatching up properties during the recession, and the rising cost of land since the recession, Vitner said. This is on top of an increase in regulatory hurdles builders have to go through to start a residential project, he added.

“A lot of builders find that they can’t do entry-level building profitably, so they’re just hasn’t been a lot of entry-level housing being built,” Vitner said.

Overall, housing is still affordable and looks attractive because of low-interest rates, Vitner said.

Average home prices are also in line with Las Vegas’ income levels, but Vitner said income growth has been lagging and there’s a wide gap in the millennial age group’s earnings.

Vitner said some of the millennial group is reaching the age where homeownership rates increase by about 25 percent — the 36-44 age range. But there is one issue.

“The leading edge of millennials are getting to that age group, but they haven’t earned enough income to save for a down payment or to qualify for home mortgages.

Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
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.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like