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A Real Estate Investor's Guide to Las Vegas

Some of the world’s largest real estate investors have poured billions of dollars into Las Vegas over the past several decades, developing some of the most iconic pieces of real estate in the country. While these major investments may get all of the attention, a larger number of investors are looking at Las Vegas to capitalize on its growing population and real estate market. Learn more about this expanding city and the opportunities it offers real estate investors.

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Las Vegas is famous for being the country's gambling and entertainment hotspot. But there's more to the city than just slot machines and dazzling neon signs. Las Vegas has been attracting a number of businesses relocating from other cities and is gaining popularity as a place for start-ups. The city has a very friendly business climate. Neither the state of Nevada nor the city of Las Vegas has a personal or corporate income tax.

The city also has a much more affordable cost of living than other start-up hotspots like Silicon Valley. The median home price in Las Vegas is $322,000. Rent prices have increased 6.6 percent year-over-year, pushing the average rent price to $1,589. While home prices are up in Las Vegas, it's much more important to note the area's median home price is lower than the national average. A positive sign for the local market is that the median home price started rising at a faster rate than the national average in 2018 and has continued that trend most months since.

Rent prices in Las Vegas have been steadily increasing almost every month since 2016, and that didn't stop in 2020. While Las Vegas rent prices have remained below the national average, they've been closing in that gap. The area's rent prices were 18.2 percent less than the national average going into 2020, but they finished the year much closer within a 13.3 percent difference. This average rent increase is likely due to the sharp drop in vacancies in 2020. When the pandemic hit and the area's unemployment rates spiked, the delinquency rate quickly climbed above the national average. As of January 2021, Nevada's foreclosure rates since at 0.4 percent, compared to the national average of 0.32 percent.

People travel from all over the world to visit the many casinos and resorts in Las Vegas, and this industry is the lifeblood of the local economy. Las Vegas has gained popularity in recent years in the tech space as a mix of large companies and startups are choosing to move to the area. Nellis Air Force Base is one of the largest employers in Southern Nevada with a workforce of about 9,500, including military and civilians. Las Vegas has several hospitals and medical facilities which makes healthcare a popular industry.

Las Vegas has a number of public and private colleges spread throughout the area with a growing number of students. University of Nevada, Las Vegas is located just 1.6 miles East of the Las Vegas strip on a 332-acre campus. Nevada State College is a growing school located in Henderson, Nevada. As the largest college in Nevada, the College of Southern Nevada has three campuses: Henderson, North Las Vegas, and Las Vegas.

Summerlin is a master-planned community that was developed by the Howard Hughes Corporation. Henderson is its own city located just southeast of the city of Las Vegas and is one of the area's most well-known suburbs. North Las Vegas is a city directly north of Las Vegas and is home to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The downtown area of Las Vegas is what's viewed by locals as the heart of the city. This is where you will find the popular Fremont Street and the up-and-coming art district. Charleston Heights is located on the west side of Las Vegas and is home to one of the three College of Southern Nevada campuses.

Las Vegas presents a lot of opportunities for investors. There's a growing population and uptick in new businesses and a strong demand for rentals. However, much of the prospects for growth depend on the return of tourism. Investors should also be careful in choosing which areas of Las Vegas to invest in depending on current migration patterns. A number of investors are looking at Las Vegas to capitalize on its growing population and real estate market.