The Time to Buy a Las Vegas Condo is Now. Here’s Why
If you’re wondering when you should buy a condo in Las Vegas, we’ve got a clear answer for you: the time is now.
The market is booming, and available condo and townhomes are running low as people snatch up the remaining real estate. Fortunately, you’re not too late to get into the game. There’s still variety out there, prices are still reasonable, and insurance rates aren’t skyrocketing — yet.
While a detached, single-family home may be a traditional choice, it’s quickly falling out of fashion. In big cities like Las Vegas, condos and townhomes are becoming the new tradition. The number of available condos and townhomes on the Las Vegas market is falling faster than detached, single-family homes. Prices, on the other hand, are rising.
If you’re keen to invest in your future in Las Vegas and buy before prices become out of reach, the time to buy a Las Vegas condo is now. Here are a few, evidence-based reasons why.
The Market is Booming
The Las Vegas real estate market is hotter than ever, and it’s showing no signs of cooling down, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR). They say 2017 is on its way to being the best year for local home sales in five years!
There are a few reasons for this.
Researchers say the demand for housing has increased with a rising population, more jobs, and higher wages. More people with more money need more houses, and they’re willing to pay more.
Home prices have been rising for a few years now, and while the market was hit hard nearly a decade ago by the crash, it’s done a good job of recovering. In fact, it’s thriving in many aspects.
For example, in the first half of 2017, there were 4,300 new home sales, the highest mid-year total since 2008. While the pace may not be matching that of the 1990s and early 2000s, it’s still a huge improvement.
The prices of homes, though, are exceeding pre-crash levels. In the summer of 2007, the median sales price for single-family homes peaked at $338,600; in 2017, that number has been eclipsed, twice.
Those are the highs, however, and they don’t reflect the price you can necessarily expect to see. As a more moderate example, in July 2017, the median price for a pre-existing single-family home was around $260,000. The median sales price for condos and townhomes in that same month was $138,000, making them a much more affordable choice than a detached, single-family home.
The $260,000 median price for pre-existing single-family homes marked a 10.2 percent increase over the year before, while the $138,000 price tag on condos and townhomes was a 20 percent increase. And while interest rates remain low, they won’t stay that way forever.
The time to buy a Las Vegas condo is now if you want to avoid the next jump in 2018, which is where the market seems to be headed.
Stock is Running Out
While prices are steadily rising for Las Vegas real estate, the number of available properties is falling. There haven’t been so few houses on the Las Vegas market since the summer of 2013.
This is especially true for condos. As more young, employed buyers enter the market, they’re opting for less-traditional housing arrangements and choosing condos to accommodate their urban lifestyles.
To illustrate: in July 2017, there were 625 condos without offers on the market — 48 percent fewer than a year before. Around 75 of these types of properties that did sell were on the market for 30 days or less. Single-family homes, on the other hand, stayed on the market longer, and there were more available in total.
Buying a condo in Las Vegas is an increasingly smart investment as demand and prices steadily increase while the number available dwindles.
Setting Aside Fears
In the crash of 2008, Las Vegas was one of the hardest hit U.S. cities. For many people, that experience left a lasting impression, and there’s a high degree of caution and suspicion when it comes to buying property.
Fortunately, analysts say those fears are valid, but unfounded. They point to things like greater efforts to combat unemployment, slower annual appreciation — 8 percent in 2017 vs. 37 percent in 2004 — and less overdevelopment of the Strip than there was in 2008.
While caution is warranted, opting for a lower-investment condo over a detached home is a great way to exercise that caution while still reaping the rewards of the hot housing market in Las Vegas.
Lastly, a Little Advice
Buying in a market with increasing prices, low interest, and low availability requires a different approach than buying in a cooler market.
Real estate experts say that the current market requires aggressive buyers. With shrinking prospects, you’ve got to do whatever you can — within reason — to get the home you want or risk losing it to even more aggressive buyers.
There are numerous personal benefits to buying a condo; it’s a low-maintenance but highly customizable lifestyle, with exciting amenities, that requires a smaller upfront investment than a traditional detached home. If you foresee staying in Las Vegas for more than a few years, investing in property is a smart financial decision, too.
The evidence is clear: the time to buy a Las Vegas condo is now.