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Las Vegas Rents, Occupancy Up; Apartment Construction Strong

AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File

This April 6, 2011 file photo shows a "For Rent" sign in front of a home in Los Angeles.

Southern Nevada has one of the highest percentages of people who rent instead of paying a mortgage.

Nearly six in 10 Southern Nevadans are renters, putting the region among the top 15 percent of communities larger than than 50,000 residents.

The area's emergence from the shadow of the recession has spurred new apartment construction, with the addition of about 8,000 units in 2015 and 2016.

Still, demand remains high and rents are on the rise, according to a study from Las Vegas economic research firm Applied Analysis.

Across the Southern Nevada market, the firm pegs apartment occupancy at 94.3 percent and rents average about a $1 per square foot per month, which is up 8 percent from a year ago.

Rents have increased in the valley for 16 straight quarters, according to the report, which was prepared by Applied Analysis principal Brian Gordon.

“We’re seeing an increased demand in the apartment market a lot of that though is sourced to what is happening to the overall economy here in Southern Nevada,” Gordon said.

He said there a number of positive signs in the Southern Nevada economy, which is translating to an improved housing market in many sectors, especially rentals.

Jason Schuck with Pacific Capital said when he takes clients to visit rental properties he has to call to make sure the property is still available because very often as soon as something is listed it is rented almost immediately.

One of the reasons is the number of homes for sale at a lower price point, according Schuck he said the inventory for homes under $200,000 is small in Southern Nevada.

"There is a lot more demand coming on," he said, "You would think that eventually the price would come down but the demand is intense. A lot of people just simply can't afford to buy right now and that's driving a lot of people to renting."

Andrew Woo is the director of growth and data science at Apartment List. He said one of the reasons people in Las Vegas can't afford to buy a house is income.

"The big challenge we see in Vegas for renters is not on affordability from a cost of renting perspective but really from an income growth perspective," he said. 

Apartment List did an extensive survey of why millennials aren't buying houses and affordability was listed as the biggest issue.


Brian Gordon, principal, Applied Analysis;  Andrew Woo, director of growth and data science, Apartment List; Jason Schuck, managing partner, Pacific Capital

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With deep experience in journalism, politics, and the nonprofit sector, news producer Doug Puppel has built strong connections statewide that benefit the Nevada Public Radio audience.