Las Vegas condo market is heating up

The condo near Sunset Park looks like a regular unit in Las Vegas, offering two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fireplace, and a balcony.

But when it went on sale last month, listing broker Ron Stanfield recalled, “the offers started pouring in early.”

The single-story unit contracted with a buyer less than a week after it was put on the market – and sold for $ 20,000 above the asking price, according to its listing history.

“It’s a crazy market,” said Stanfield, owner of SPI Real Estate.

The southern Nevada real estate market is dominated by single-family homes, by far the most popular choice for buyers. But there are also plenty of condos and townhouses out there, which tend to be cheaper and also sold out quickly and demanded higher prices amid the Las Vegas home buying frenzy for decades. month.

“This market is just as hot,” said Tony Vane, agent at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties.

Record deal

Real estate professionals say first-time buyers and others are drawn to townhouses in large part because of the lower prices, especially if those buyers are out of the single-family home market, which has been inundated with home hunters and is experiencing records. high prices almost every month.

On the resale side, the median selling price of single-family homes was $ 385,000 last month, up 22.2% from the previous year, compared to $ 205,000 for condos and townhouses. , up 10.8%, according to the Las Vegas Realtors trade association, or LVR.

“This is the price range that is more accessible,” said broker Tamra Trainer of Platinum Real Estate Professionals.

Condos also attract investors and second home buyers, including luxury towers on or near the Strip, where units can sell for a fortune.

Brokerage firm Elite Realty announced this month the sale of a nearly 13,000 square foot penthouse, occupying the entire top floor of The Martin condo tower, for $ 16.25 million.

It was one of the most expensive home sales in Las Vegas history and, according to Elite, the highest selling price ever in Nevada for a condo.

“Buy anything and everything”

Condos and townhouses represent a minority of home sales in southern Nevada. With an independent house, people have a backyard, possibly with room for a swimming pool; do not share walls with their neighbors; and would likely have more potential buyers if they decided to sell.

Yet as cheap borrowing costs allow buyers to lock in lower monthly payments and stretch their budgets, fueling a buying frenzy in Las Vegas and across the country, demand for single-family homes has risen. accelerated in southern Nevada.

But the prices are high, the Platinum Real Estate trainer said, and townhouses are getting a lot of attention.

Buyers took back 911 previously owned condos and townhouses last month, down 11% from April but up nearly 145% from May of last year, after the coronavirus pandemic took hold. triggered massive business closings and a sharp drop in home sales amid the unrest, according to LVR data.

The trainer said that it is now common for townhouses to sell for above the asking price and for sellers to make several offers soon after their property goes up for sale, just like in the single-family home market.

Plus, with rental prices rising in Southern Nevada to one of the fastest rates in the country and mortgage rates at historically low levels, tenants can purchase a condo or townhouse at a low cost. monthly payment lower than their rental rate, said Vane, of Berkshire Hathaway.

As sales increased, inventory on hand also fell sharply. Only 529 condos and townhouses were listed with no offers at the end of last month, up 1.9% from April but down 70.1% from last May, LVR reported.

“People are buying anything and everything right now,” Vane said.

“Don’t have trouble with anything”

RE / MAX Advantage agent Stephen West, who recently sold a condo near Lake Mead Boulevard near Buffalo Drive, said he received three offers for the unit within days of listing.

“I really thought I was going to get more,” he said, noting that he had received five to six offers on another condo in three days this year.

Realty One Group agent Fred Trujillo said he was recently shown a townhouse and, as he was exiting, another agent walked through the door. She told him that his offer for the place had been accepted – at $ 37,000 more than asking price.

Scott Beaudry, owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Universal, said he’s always felt homes are better investments than townhouses, unless a buyer can get a good deal on a condo.

“But no one is getting a very good price right now,” he added.

In the residential construction market, buyers made 686 purchases of condos and townhouses this year through April, up 31% from the same period last year, according to figures from the tracker. Las Vegas Housing Andrew Smith, President of Home Builders Research.

The median selling price of newly built townhouses, over $ 309,800 in April, was up 11.5% from the previous year and marked “the first time in recent memory” that it exceeded 300,000 $, Smith reported.

Smith noted that the valley’s residential construction market is dominated by single-family homes, but amid the surge in demand for residential real estate in southern Nevada, there is no indication that builders are selling condos. and row houses at a slow pace.

“They don’t have a problem with anything,” Smith said.

“An incredible project for us”

Taylor Morrison Home Corp., developer of the Affinity condo and townhouse complex in Summerlin, sold units there within days of vacating them, keeping pace with his single-family housing lots, according to Rob Evon, sales manager for the Las Vegas area. for the builder.

He noted that Affinity is a high end project with prices starting in the high end of $ 400,000 and said it attracts second home buyers, newcomers to Las Vegas and high profile buyers.

Taylor Morrison inherited the project from original developer William Lyon Homes as part of his acquisition of the company. According to Evon, Taylor Morrison has sold around 100 units at Affinity since the company buyout closed in early 2020.

“It was an incredible project for us,” he said. “We would definitely do it again. “

Still, the typical condo around Las Vegas sells for a lot less than Affinity homes.

One unit on Decatur Boulevard near Lake Mead Boulevard recently sold for $ 135,000. It spans 945 square feet, offers two bedrooms and two bathrooms and came with fresh paint.

Signature Real Estate Group agent Lisia Owens, who represented the buyer, said they had been working since February to buy a place. His client made offers on about 20 different houses, and this one was the first to be accepted.

When asked if his client was happy, Owens replied, “She literally cried.”

Contact Eli Segall at [email protected] or 702-383-0342. To pursue @eli_segall on Twitter.

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