Las Vegas home sales took a dive last year, and sellers cut their prices. But this wasn’t the only side of the housing market to hit the skids.
Landlords stopped rent hikes, investors bought fewer apartment complexes, and apartment vacancies climbed.
Tenants have also started trying to negotiate rental rates, which was unheard of in the past! Renters are still leasing, landlords are still buying buildings, and developers are still building, but after a stretch of huge rent growth that raised concerns about tenants’ being able to keep up, Southern Nevada’s rental market has cooled down.
Las Vegas isn’t alone. The U.S. overall ended last year with three consecutive months of sliding rents, Zillow reported.
“We have a little bit more breathing room in the market, and rent hikes are on hold” Zillow senior economist Nicole Bachaud said
Mortgage lenders said renters were “consistently” trying to buy homes in 2021 amid record-low borrowing and huge rent increases. Tenants reported crazy monthly hikes of $200 to $1,000, in 2021!
It’s still very tough to find lower income, affordable housing in Las Vegas.
Debbie Shaw is a 60-year-old graveyard shift worker for UPS. She moved to a rental home in Henderson a little over a year ago. She lives with roommates and pays $200 a week, up from $100 a week at their last house where the rent was cheaper.
She has been looking for a place of her own but with her budget, can only afford to live in dicey areas. She told the Las Vegas Review Journal, “It’s slim pickings. I’ve seen some pretty scary parts of Las Vegas.”
In 2021, Las Vegas’ housing market hit its most hectic pace in years. Because of record-low mortgage rates, median sales prices hit new all-time highs practically every month. Houses sold fast, buyers flooded properties with offers, and builders put buyers on waiting lists.
The rental market jumped as tenants, and an influx of new residents to Las Vegas, looked for more space due to more work-from-home arrangements because of the pandemic. Overall, it became much harder, and more expensive, for buyers and renters to find a place in Southern Nevada.
A hike in mortgage rates also affected Las Vegas home sales. Sales totals dropped sharply, prices fell and available inventory soared. After a stretch of big rent hikes, and higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods squeezed people’s finances — the rental market also slowed down
The state apartment association said that “record-setting inflation will continue to cool apartment demand” and noted vacancies reached their highest level in almost a decade.
In a good sign of the easing rental squeeze, Debbie Shaw, the UPS worker, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that she has been told she is now “hundreds down” on a waiting list for affordable housing. “Initially I was in the thousands,” she said.
Thankfully prices have leveled in Las Vegas, but what happens when the next stadium is built, or the next team shows up? I guess we just wait and see.
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