The Las Vegas housing market slowed down for the first time in years. Home prices are going up, but sales went down in the month of February despite high demand. This comes just months after Las Vegas was named the "hottest real estate market of 2018."
Christopher Bishop, the president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, said Las Vegas can attribute the lack of sales to not enough people listing their homes.
"I've heard reports saying that they can't employ enough people to build enough homes to keep up with the supply and demand," Bishop said. "I wouldn't say the market has slowed down. I would say the effects of the shortage have now caught up with us."
"Homes are really coming on the market at the same overall rate, they're just being snapped up really really fast," Skylar Olsen, a senior economist with Zillow said. "People are coming. You can't stop them. It's going to put pressure on housing, and really more supply would help ease that pressure."
Overall, just 2,704 homes were sold in Feb. There were 3,653 homes left on the market.
As Las Vegas continues to navigate the bounce back from a terrible recession, some people said they have been trying to find creative ways to build new homes. Bishop pointed to the recently purchased Legacy Golf Club in Henderson.
"Do they want a neighbor right up against them in that backyard that used to be a beautiful view? Probably not," he said. "But it would change the values of the marketplace. It would change that community."
Besides the main issue of supply and demand, Bishop said there are other stories in the news that don't help the situation. For example, he pointed to last month's $20 million verdict against the Lamplight Village in Centennial Hills homeowners' association. A teenager is suffering permanent brain damage from a collapsed swing set, and the HOA could theoretically go bankrupt.
"They had no idea in most cases that there was a litigation going on," Bishop said. "You have a right as a homeowner before you purchase a home to know what issues are going on in your community or around you that would affect your mortgage. Your property. Your deed."
"(Those cases) resonate with the rest of the valley," he continued. "If there's an issue that happens in an HOA where someone is sued for 20 million and there's a chance that it could cause your home not to be able to be sold and things like that, how likely would you be to buy into an HOA? Some things affect everybody, even though you don't live in that community."
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