Report: Job loss, supply glut push Las Vegas apartment vacancies to historic highs

Las Vegas apartment fundamentals will continue to weaken this year as persistent job losses and a supply glut push vacancy levels to historic highs, a third-quarter report from Marcus & Millichap brokerage firm said.

A stalled economy has forced builders to put some large-scale commercial developments on hold, eliminating about 19,000 construction jobs in the past 12 months and cutting into renter demand.

John Vorsheck, regional manager of Marcus & Millichap in Las Vegas, said sales activity has come to a near standstill as investors wait on the sidelines in light of projections for further fundamentals deterioration.

Significant findings in the Las Vegas apartment report from Marcus & Millichap include:

— Job losses will deepen in 2009 as local employers eliminate 63,000 positions, a 7 percent decline in jobs. Last year, about 36,800 jobs were cut.

— Builders are on pace to deliver 2,500 new apartment units this year, expanding the inventory by 2 percent. In 2008, 2,600 units came online.

— Supply-demand imbalance will drive vacancy to a projected 10.7 percent this year, a jump of 280 basis points. Last year, vacancy increased 180 basis points.

— Asking rents are forecast to retreat 2.8 percent to $841 a month. Owners will widen concessions in response to weakened occupancy levels, driving down effective rents by 5.6 percent to $779 a month.

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at or 702-383-0491.

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