Las Vegas is thriving under a population boom, expert says
Las Vegas is thriving under a population boom.
Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst at Applied Analysis, said Tuesday 4.9 people on average have moved to Las Vegas every hour over the last year.
Speaking to a crowd of more than 600 at the 38th annual Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance’s Perspective event, Aguero said the population expansion in Nevada over the last year was nearly three times the national average and placed the city at second for fastest-growing population rate in any state.
“It’s been fantastic for us,” he said during the event at Park MGM. It “means new business opportunities. Every one of them is a new consumer, every one of them is a new employee.”
Of those new residents, 34 percent came from California. Aguero said many were attracted to the neighboring state’s affordable homes, growing tech sector and reputation as a business-friendly state. Today, San Jose natives can expect to pay around $2,000 to rent a U-Haul to Las Vegas. Returning would cost only $100, he said.
“They’ll essentially pay you to bring it back,” Aguero said.
In part due to this rapid growth, more investors are finding economic opportunities in Las Vegas. There are currently $18 billion in planned, proposed and current construction projects in Las Vegas today, ranging from the new Raiders stadium to road work.
I know Project Neon is a giant pain … (but) when it is done, that 30 percent increase in capacity in that area is going to change the potential for our community as a whole … it’s putting people back to work and reinvesting in our community.
In order to continue this growth, Aguero said the state needs to invest in transportation and education. With more businesses coming to Nevada — there have been 9,900 new businesses in the state since 2011, he said — there’s a lack of employees for businesses that want to grow.
A fundamental step to drawing in more businesses and people is “building that market and making the best Southern Nevada that we can to get the most growth and the most out of our market,” Aguero said. “And we are doing that.”
Only 23.5 percent of Nevadans have a bachelor’s degree or higher, making it the 45th lowest state for this level of educational attainment. Aguero pointed to a lack of bilingual teachers and large class sizes within Clark County School District, among other factors.
“We are going to have to attack it where it is broken,” he said. “If we are going to be honest with ourselves in terms of funding education, we have to figure out how to do it and how to do it right.
US home prices up 6.3 percent in February, higher in Las Vegas
U.S. home prices jumped in February as buyers competed fiercely over a dwindling number of properties for sale.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index released Tuesday jumped 6.3 percent in February from a year earlier, matching December’s increase. That jump was the largest in nearly three years.
Seattle, Las Vegas and San Francisco remain the nation’s top real estate hot spots, with home prices jumping 12.7 percent in Seattle, 11.6 percent in Las Vegas and 10.1 percent in San Francisco.
Steady job gains and rising numbers of millennials moving out on their own has intensified the competition for homes. February’s price gain far outpaces average increases in wages or inflation.
Americans are becoming reluctant to sell their homes as mortgage rates rise, preferring to renovate instead. Others are holding onto their homes because they see few other options available. That’s kept supply tight: The number of homes for sale fell 7.2 percent in March from a year earlier to just 1.67 million.
Sales of existing homes ticked up in March but actually declined slightly from a year earlier as the housing shortage constrained sales.
Homebuyers are getting increasingly aggressive, snapping up homes an average of 30 days after they are listed in March, down from 34 days a year earlier.
“Competition is fierce, offer windows are short and tensions will inevitably run high for many buyers as the spring shopping season unfolds,” Svenja Gudell, chief economist at real estate data website Zillow, said.
In Las Vegas, prices are rising amid a tight supply of resales, a growing job market and an expanding population. Last year also was among the best ever for home sales, despite the plunging availability.
Around 46,600 homes traded hands in 2017, the third-highest tally on record, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, which pulls data from its resale-heavy listing service.
Nationally, there are signs that the supply crunch could ease later this year, as listings have picked up in recent months, only to be quickly sold. And developers are breaking ground on more homes, lifting single-family home construction 5.2 percent in March compared with a year earlier.
Southern Nevada home-builders had their best first quarter in a decade this year amid a “buying frenzy,” Home Builders Research recently reported. Builders closed 2,400 new-home sales in Clark County in the three months ending March 31, up 17 percent from the same period last year.
Strong job gains in some cities, which hint at an influx of new residents, are pushing up home prices, Standard & Poor’s said. Seattle reported the biggest increase in employment, and had the largest home price gain. Chicago ranked 19th out of the 20 cities tracked in both home price increases and employment. Cleveland came in at 18th place in home prices and 20th in employment.
But in San Francisco and Los Angeles, home prices are rising much faster than their job gains would suggest, a sign that regulatory limits on home-building and limited land availability are pushing prices eve higher.