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‘This is bizarre’: LV Luxury home market on fire this summer

Updated June 11, 2024 - 10:20 pm

The Las Vegas luxury home market is on fire as the summer heat arrives.

Luxury resales of $1 million and higher are up 37 percent through the first five months of 2024 while luxury production home sales were solid during the first quarter, the most recent numbers available.

Through the end of May Las Vegas had 751 luxury resales for the year — up from the 549 through the end of May 2023 and the second best start to the year in history.

There were 837 during the first five months of 2022 and 687 through the first five months of 2021 as the luxury market took off in the aftermath of the pandemic. There were 203 sales pending at the start of June.

“The luxury market is on a tear this year,” said Forrest Barbee, corporate broker with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. “It’s been amazing. We have become such a destination city for the high end because of everything that’s coming here and anticipated to come here.”

The average price in May was $2.05 million and for the year is averaging just over $2 million, Barbee said. Luxury homes are getting gobbled up quicker. Those sold in May were on the market for 51 days compared to 65 in April and inventory has started to pick up with six months supply instead of five.

Rob Jensen with the Rob Jensen Co. reported there were 14 home sales of $4 million and higher in May compared to 11, 7 and 8 in the previous three years before that.

“It’s amazing how the high end is just on its own,” Barbee said. “Three of the five months this year were above $2 million in average price. That is bizarre. They are moving quickly, too. It’s a good market.”

Luxury Realtor Ivan Sher, owner of IS Luxury, said he’s seen a strong first half of 2024 as people continue to flee high-tax states and find Las Vegas to be a destination with its sports teams, entertainment and proximity to California.

“It’s more of the same with more people coming from California,” Sher said. “We’re having to sell properties off market because they can’t find what they are looking for on the market. We’re creating our own inventory.”

Sher said it will be interesting to see what happens going forward since this is a presidential election year and how that shapes people’s buying decisions.

“I think there’s a lot of pre-election thoughts going on for people wanting to see what’s going to happen from capital gains and economic forecasts,” Sher said.

Kristen Routh-Silberman, a luxury Realtor with Douglas Elliman Las Vegas, said Las Vegas continues to grow and attract people on a global scale.

“That stigma that Las Vegas used to have — that we can visit there but not live there — has gone away,” Routh-Silberman said. “They would bypass Las Vegas and go to Arizona because it was more acceptable to live there, but Vegas continues to show what a beautiful city it is and cool people that live here. They tell their friends.”

Sales are higher this year because there has been more inventory as owners are willing to put their higher-end properties on the market, Routh-Silberman said. She said she will put about 10 homes on the market in May, one of her strongest months for listings.

“We depleted everything we had last year and sold out,” Routh-Silberman said. “If you are listing your house, it’s selling.”

Routh-Silberman said she’s selling luxury homes that aren’t listed and is closing an off-market sale for $8 million in MacDonald Highlands after doing two earlier this year in The Summit Club in Summerlin for a combined $32 million.

“Crafty Realtors are finding a way to find the houses,” Routh-Silberman said.

New-home luxury

On the new-home side, there were 109 luxury sales in the first quarter, just below the 113 in the first quarter of 2023. There were 101 in the first quarter of 2022 and 91 in the first quarter of 2021.

The sales don’t include custom-built homes in which buyers purchase a lot and hire a builder to construct it.

Toll Brothers led the way with 26 sales followed by Lennar with 25. Tri Pointe was next with 15 sales, Richmond American with 12 and Christopher Homes with 10.

Others include Pinnacle with seven, Blue Heron with four, Pulte with three and Shea and Taylor Morrison with two each. Those with one sale included Liberty Homes, Discovery Builders and Landon Miller.

The most expensive production home sold in the first quarter was for $4.85 million for a villa in the Summit Club in Summerlin. Blue Heron had a $3.79 million sale in Lake Las Vegas. Christopher Homes had a $3.48 million sale in MacDonald Highlands in Henderson at its Skyvu single-family development.

Erika Geiser, vice president of marketing for Christopher Homes, said the luxury market remains good, and they’re seeing “great success” with their new community of more than 100 home sites. Models were recently completed for the community that features one-story and two-story homes starting at 3,500 square feet and goes up to 6,200 square feet. They start in the upper $2 millions.

“We still have a huge influx from the California market because of the lower cost of living and no state income tax and for what they can purchase here in Las Vegas compared to what they can purchase in California,” Geiser said.

Dan Coletti, owner of Sun West Custom Homes, said the demand for new homes remains high with the influx of people, especially for those new custom homes in the $5 million to $8 million range.

“High interest rates by and large don’t affect luxury buyers as much as they do in the below luxury market,” Coletti said.

Custom lot sales remain strong, but Coletti said inventory is dwindling, which is pushing up the value of those lots.

“I’m seeing that in Ascaya and MacDonald Highlands where prices are moving upward because of the supply and demand concept,” Coletti said.

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