Las Vegas Sun

May 25, 2019

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Las Vegas lags in number of new rich ZIP codes, but sales of pricey homes are rising

Chum Lee's House for Sale

Courtesy Photo

Chumlee of “Pawn Stars” fame put his five-bedroom, 6,206-square-foot Las Vegas house on the market earlier this year with an asking price of $1,849,900. Zillow reported this week that Las Vegas has created only one neighborhood where at least 10 percent of the homes are worth seven figures since 2014.

Las Vegas is near the bottom of another list; this time, it’s the number of super-rich neighborhoods created in the last three years.

According the real estate website, the Las Vegas metropolitan area has had only one ZIP code which reached the threshold of at least 10 percent of the homes worth seven figures since 2014.

According to Zillow, the latest new $1 million area is in the tiny 89158 ZIP code, which is just CityCenter. If that seems odd, remember there are some very pricey condos located at the Vdara and Mandarin Oriental Hotels in addition to the two condo-only Veer Towers.

Cities outpacing Las Vegas, Zillow said, include Austin, Texas, which created two such neighborhoods, and the New York/Northern New Jersey area, which topped the list with 53 new $1 million areas since 2014.

But don’t break out the violins for Las Vegas just yet. First, there are likely more new $1 million-plus areas in Southern Nevada than Zillow’s statistics suggest.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) says, defining wealthy neighborhoods by ZIP code doesn’t reflect the true number of pricey housing developments in the greater Las Vegas area.

And in fact, GLVAR’s statistics show that local sales of properties selling for $1 million or more increased from 189 to 259 this year compared to this time last year.

Specifically, 220 $1 million-plus homes, condos and townhomes sold from Jan. 1 to July 31. That’s not counting 39 $1 million-plus high-rise condos. During the same time in 2016, GLVAR says 164 $1 million-plus homes, condos and townhomes and 25 high-rise condos sold.

GLVAR President David Tina pointed to developments like Red Rock Country Club and the Ridges as current examples. Newer developments have just opened or are about to open, he said.

“We do have a lot of communities coming online that will be in that $1 million median price range,” Tina said. “I do believe we’re well on our way.”

Not only are new higher-priced housing developments being constructed, but the value of homes in Las Vegas is also rising, Tina said

“We’re 10 percent year over year in appreciation,” Tina said. “And that appreciation probably pushed a decent amount of houses over the million-dollar mark.”

There are a number reasons for this, Tina said.

“People are already starting to buy homes related to the Golden Knights and Raiders coming to town,” Tina said. “Business owners from Southern California are coming here in droves.”

The California exodus to Nevada, a trend that’s been occurring for some time, has accelerated lately, Tina said, because Southern Nevada has more of the amenities Southern Californians want than it did in decades past.

With the addition of pro sports teams in Las Vegas, the city has almost everything that Southern California has. “Now we are more on an even playing field,” he said. “So what are you giving up other than the 70-degree weather?”

And in addition to pointing to their own statistics, GLVAR also questioned if Zillow’s list accurately reflects the Las Vegas market.

A GLVAR spokesperson said that Zillow shows the overall median home price (it calls the measure the Zillow Home Value Index) in Las Vegas as being $225,500. GLVAR statistics, however, show the median single-family home price through 2017 as $260,000.

And of course, even according to Zillow’s numbers, there are urban areas that have seen far less growth in high-end residential real estate than Las Vegas.

In the same release, Zillow said 10 metropolitan areas have added no new $1 million neighborhoods since 2014 and two areas, St. Louis and Cincinnati, added no new $1 million neighborhoods in the past 10 years.

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