Cash is king in Las Vegas, and it’s not just in the casinos.
According to The Nevada Independent, the rise of cash buyers across Nevada’s housing market is leaving some homebuyers locked out of the market.
Las Vegas is located in Southern Nevada and is the most populous city in the state. Home to over 2.2 million people in the metropolitan area, Vegas is the financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada and the greater Mojave Desert region.
Metropolitan Las Vegas encompasses nearly 8,000 square miles, five cities including Henderson and Summerlin South, and is proud of its pro-business government and lack of a state sales tax.
Billed as “The Entertainment Capital of the World,” the economy of Las Vegas is about much more than just gambling and tourism. Key industries in the Las Vegas metropolitan area include aerospace and defense, healthcare, information technology, mining, and natural resource technologies.
Here’s more of what investors need to know about investing in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2021.
Population growth in Clark County (where Las Vegas is located) has outpaced U.S. population growth for more than 90 consecutive years.2
The increase in people and businesses moving to Las Vegas has local policymakers and governmental agencies preparing for another population boom. In fact, over the next 40 years, the population of Clark County is predicted to swell by another 1 million residents.3
Key population stats:
- Las Vegas is home to nearly 671,000 residents and more than 2.2 million people in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metropolitan area.
- Population growth in Las Vegas is 1.57% year-over-year.4
- Over the past 20 years the population of Clark County has increased by about 20%.5
- In the next 10 years, the population is projected to grow by another 8.3%.
- Las Vegas is within an easy one-day drive of Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City with newcomers attracted by the region’s relatively affordable housing, climate, and lack of state income tax.
- Per capita income in the Las Vegas metro area is $32,511, while median household income is $62,107.
- The median age in Las Vegas is 37.7 years, with millennials between the ages of 20 – 39 accounting for 28% of the population.
Although housing costs are rapidly rising in Las Vegas, Nevada is where many employers and people want to call home. More than 100,000 manufacturing jobs were created over three years in just five states in the Southwest, with Nevada accounting for 30% of the national total, according to the Las Vegas Sun.6
Key employment stats:
- GDP for the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV MSA is nearly $129 billion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and has grown by nearly 33% over the past decade.7
- Unemployment in Las Vegas is 9.6% (as of June 2021).8
- Job sectors in Las Vegas showing the fastest signs of recent growth are manufacturing, trade and transportation, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality.
- Industries targeted to ensure the continued growth and success of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada include general and advanced manufacturing, creative industries, clean technologies, transportation and logistics technologies, healthcare services, and information and communication technologies.9
- Tech companies to know in Las Vegas include Scientific Games, Zappos, GoWireless, and WaveAccess.
- Clark County School District, Clark County, casinos such as Wynn Las Vegas and Bellagio, University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas are among the largest employers in Nevada.10
- Over 86% of the residents of Las Vegas have a high school degree or higher, while nearly 26% hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree.
- Higher education facilities in Las Vegas include the College of Southern Nevada, University of Nevada School of Medicine, and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
- Interstate 15 connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, while US 93 connects the city to Phoenix.
- McCarran International Airport handles domestic, international, and freight and cargo service with direct flights to most of the U.S. and many international destinations.
Real estate market
The housing market in Southern Nevada is seeing record-high prices and fast sales as buyers flood the real estate market in Las Vegas.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas has seen more out-of-state buyers than usual during the pandemic, helping to drive home prices to all-time highs.
Home prices in Las Vegas are up nearly 23% year-over-year (July 2021 vs. July 2020), causing many households to choose to rent rather than purchase. 11
Key market stats:
- The Zillow Home Value Index for Las Vegas is $354,111 as of July 31, 2021.12
- Home values in Las Vegas increased by more than 21% over the past year and have grown by 60% since 2016.
- The median list price of a home for sale in Las Vegas is $365,000 based on the most recent report from Realtor.com (July 2021).13
- The median listing price per square foot of a home in Las Vegas is $208.
- According to Realtor.com, some of the best neighborhoods in and around Las Vegas are Lone Mountain, Sun City Summerlin, and North Cheyenne.
- Of the 51 neighborhoods in Las Vegas, The Paseos is the most expensive with a median listing price of $765,000.
- Most affordable neighborhood in Las Vegas is Pioneer Park, where the median listing price of a home is $225,000.
Strong renters’ market
Home prices in Las Vegas are expected to continue to rise, suggesting that residents in the area will continue to rely upon SFRs to satisfy their housing needs.
Key market stats:
- The median rent for a 3-bedroom home in Las Vegas is $1,995 per month, according to Zumper (as of August 2021).15
- Rent prices in Las Vegas have increased by 25% year-over-year.
- Single-family homes in Las Vegas make up 63% of the housing units, helping to make a house an attractive rental option.16
- Renter-occupied households account for 46% of the occupied housing units in Las Vegas.
- The median age in Las Vegas is 37.7 years, while 28% of the population is millennials between the ages of 20 – 39 years old.
Historic price changes & housing affordability
Changes in housing prices and housing affordability are two of the many metrics real estate investors use to analyze a real estate market before buying a rental property.
The Home Price Index (HPI) reports the increase or decrease of housing prices over time, while the Housing Affordability Index (HAI) measures the median cost of housing in a market relative to the median household income.
The Freddie Mac House Price Index (FMHPI) provides a measure of typical price inflation for houses within the United States. According to the most recent report (June 2021) from Freddie released for the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metropolitan area:17
- June 2016 HPI: 143.9
- June 2021 HPI: 239.9
- 5-year change in home prices: 66.7%
- One-year change in home prices: 18.9%
- Comparison to pre-2008 peak: 11.51%
The Housing Affordability Index (HAI) compares median family incomes to prices of median resale single-family homes. HAIs use 100 as a baseline index number. Real estate markets with an HAI above 100 tend to be more affordable to buy, while cities with an HAI below 100 tend to be more favorable for renting.
According to the most recent data, the HAI for Las Vegas is 97. This means that buying a median priced home is less affordable for residents with a median household income, which could be a sign of a strong demand for rental housing in Las Vegas and the surrounding area.18
Quality of life
Las Vegas is ranked as one of the best places to live and retire by U.S. News & World Report. Although Vegas has a reputation as the place where adults go to play, there are plenty of suburban communities and beautiful parks just off of the Strip.19
Key quality of life stats:
- Las Vegas receives high marks for desirability, quality of life, and net migration from U.S. News.
- Niche.com gives Las Vegas an overall B grade with high marks for diversity, nightlife, family living, and public schools.20
- Overall cost of living in Las Vegas is about 12% higher than the national average.21
- Great weather, no state income tax, and plenty of outdoor adventures are three of the many reasons people are moving to Las Vegas.
- Scenic areas near Las Vegas include the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Lake Mead, and Death Valley National Park.
- According to US News, the best hospitals in Las Vegas include the Children’s Hospital of Nevada at University Medical Center and the Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center.22
- Major professional sports teams in Las Vegas are the Las Vegas Raiders (formerly the Oakland Raiders), the NHL Vegas Golden Knights, and the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.
Get out the map
Where to begin your search? Roofstock created a heat map of Las Vegas based on our Neighborhood Rating, a dynamic algorithm that enables you to make informed investment decisions by measuring school district quality, home values, employment rates, income levels and other vital investment criteria.
DARK GREEN: 4-5 star neighborhood
LIGHT GREEN: 3.5-4 star neighborhood
YELLOW: 2.5-3 star neighborhood
ORANGE: 2 star neighborhood
RED: 1 star neighborhood
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