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High-rise condo sales slow in 2023; prices climb

Sales of high-rise condos in Las Vegas slowed in 2023 compared to the previous two years but sellers willing to put them on the market were rewarded by the highest price per square foot paid in the valley’s history.

The $501 average price per square foot paid for the 736 sales in 2023 surpassed the $493 per square foot paid in 2022 when there there 944 sales, according to research firm Applied Analysis. The average price paid for units was $587,823, which is below the $598,383 in 2022, the firm noted in tracking 21 high-rises in Las Vegas.

It took only two days into the new year, but there’s already been a high-end closing on the Strip for $9.5 million for a 43rd-floor penthouse at the Waldorf Astoria, a record at the property. The three-bedroom, four-bath unit that measures 3,922 square feet has an office, dining area and lounge, great room and kitchen. The primary bedroom has Scavolini cabinets, mosaic tiles and heated limestone flooring. Two other bedrooms have their own en suite baths.

It sold for $2,422 a square foot — also the highest in the history of the building, according to Frank Napoli, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services who lives in the building and was the buyer’s agent. The previous records were $8 million and $2,039 per square foot, he said.

Stefanie Barela with Barela Investments was the listing agent.

Napoli said he’s not surprised Las Vegas set a record in 2023 of $501 per square foot and expects it to be surpassed in 2024.

“We’re already off to a good start, and I have a number of buyers that are anxious to purchase high-rises here in Las Vegas once we find the right inventory,” Napoli said. “As long as we find that, there’s enough pent-up demand to where we will see an even stronger 2024 in the high-rise market.”

The demand shows people are interested in Las Vegas high-rise living as an alternative to single-family homes and that a lack of inventory along with the strong demand has driven up prices, he added.

“It’s especially attractive to our out-of-state buyers that are buying second homes in Las Vegas and keeping their homes in other cities,” Napoli said. “It provides a great alternative for them for something that can be left alone for long periods of time without worrying about maintenance. It also gives them a unique living experience and a place where they can have fun on Las Vegas Boulevard, enjoying sports, dining and entertainment while they’re in town.”

Napoli said the strong sales in 2021 when a record 1,158 sales were made and 944 in 2022 has taken away from the inventory in 2023. Those buyers enjoyed their condos and didn’t want to sell their units.

“The amount of inventory that was there has been purchased and not a lot of people, now, especially these new buyers, are interested in selling,” Napoli said. “My clientele and their reasons for buying and selling have changed significantly over the past 3½ years. Most of these people who own them, own them for a reason.

They’re investments, second properties or permanent homes, whereas before we found that owners didn’t have as much reason to keep them. They were willing to sell them if they weren’t using them as much anymore or if they wanted to cash out from their investment. Just like we’re seeing with single-family homes, property owners have more reason to keep what they have, and we’re seeing less turnover.”

That includes people who are claiming Las Vegas as their home for tax purposes and investors who are capitalizing on higher rental rates in the high-rise market, Napoli said.

Although higher mortgage rates don’t impact luxury buyers to the same degree as others, it does have an impact on those who bought a unit with a lower rate and don’t want to give it up in a higher interest-rate environment, Napoli said.

The Waldorf Astoria, which has a luxury hotel on the bottom half of the building, has been in high demand because it’s the only building of its kind with the services provided, Napoli said.

There’s already been another high-end closing in January at the Waldorf Astoria with a $5 million sale for a unit on the 42nd floor. The 2,756-square-foot unit has two bedrooms, 2½ baths.

Listed by Diane Varney of Coldwell Banker Premier, Ahmed Khan of Realty ONE Group was the buyer’s agent.

The buyers are Formula One fans who said the view played a role for their purchase since it overlooks the corner at Harmon Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. The couple are business owners in the health care and automotive industries who have a home in Houston and Orange County, California, according to Ahmed Khan.

“They’re Formula One enthusiasts who travel the world to see these races and come in and out of Vegas as well,” Khan said. “F1 has helped, especially for the units on the Vegas Boulevard area and with the announcement of the baseball stadium being built (at the Tropicana Las Vegas) has helped a lot. I am working with a couple of buyers on different units.”

Khan said overall concerns about the economy helped lower sales in 2022. Those luxury buyers who weren’t concerned and faced limited inventory were the ones who purchased and helped up the price per square foot.

“There’s not that many units,” Khan said. “This was the only unit available for purchase at the penthouse level at the Waldorf and if you look at the other high-rises like The Martin and Veer, there’s not that many units available to purchase. It’s slim choosings when it comes to good inventory.”

■ The Waldorf Astoria had 23 sales in 2023 with an average price of $2.17 million and price per square foot of $1,238, the highest in the market for the year. There were 34 sales in 2022 with an average price of $2.39 million and price per square foot of $1,278, according to Applied Analysis.

■ MGM Signature, the condo-hotel, had the most sales in 2023 at 170 and average price of $385,975 and average per square foot of $531. It had 151 sales in 2022 with an average price of $387,145 and price per square foot of $497.

■ Trump Las Vegas, also a condo-hotel, was second in sales with 63, an average price of $299,783 and price per square foot of $500. In 2022, it had 80 sales with an average price of $330,302 and $514.

■ Panorama Towers and Palms Place, a condo-hotel, had 59 sales followed by 57 at Turnberry Place.

■ Juhl had 43 followed by Turnberry Towers, 42, and Veer Towers, 41. Platinum had 30 followed by 25 at One Las Vegas and Allure and 20 at Sky Las Vegas.

■ One Queensridge Place had 19 followed by 16 at Vdara condo-hotel and 15 at Boca Raton and The Ogden.

■ Soho Lofts had six followed by four at Park Towers and two each at Metropolis and Newport Lofts.

One Queensridge Place had the second-highest average price at $1.67 million followed by $1.64 million at Park Towers. Turnberry Place was at $1.18 million. No other condos approached the average price of $1 million.

Vdara had the second-highest price per square foot at $980 followed by $703 at Veer Towers, $592 at Park Towers and $572 at One Queensridge Place, according to Applied Analysis.

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