Wednesday, July 15, 2020 / by Ken Couture
Despite the pandemic’s devastating effect on Las Vegas’ economy, several local communities are in the top 30 nationally for builders’ sales this year.
Builders sold 642 homes in Summerlin during the first half of 2020, fourth highest among U.S. master-planned communities, real estate consulting firm RCLCO recently reported.
In North Las Vegas, builders sold 475 homes in Valley Vista, sixth highest in the nation.
Developers also sold 356 homes in Henderson’s Cadence community, 14th in the U.S.; 280 in Henderson’s Inspirada, tied for 25th; and 275 in Skye Canyon in the upper northwest valley, 27th in the nation, according to RCLCO.
Inspirada’s midyear sales total was tied with Latitude Margaritaville, a 55-and-over community in Florida inspired by “the legendary music and lifestyle” of Jimmy Buffett, its website says.
The sales totals in the report comprise newly signed sales contracts minus cancellations.
Las Vegas’ housing market was hit with an extreme burst of turbulence after the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the economy, including Nevada’s casinos, virtually overnight in March. The pipeline of home sales shrank rapidly as job losses skyrocketed and the Strip became a virtual ghost town.
But the market volatility has shown signs of easing as the economy started reopening. In some parts of the valley, as RCLCO’s figures show, builders have booked more sales this year than they did at the same point in 2019.
Builders’ midyear sales tallies in Summerlin and Inspirada were down 5 percent and 19 percent, respectively, from the same stretch in 2019. But sales in Skye Canyon and Cadence were up 6 percent and 11 percent, respectively, RCLCO reported.
It did not provide year-ago figures for Valley Vista.
Las Vegas housing tracker Andrew Smith, president of Home Builders Research, said master-planned communities make up around 50 percent of new-home sales in Southern Nevada, noting they tend to have the biggest chunks of developable land.
Builders’ sales have been recovering from the initial shock of the pandemic. According to Smith, builders are pulling in about 250 net sales — new contracts minus cancellations — per week in Southern Nevada, up from around 200 or 210 during the same time last year.
The market has been helped by tumbling mortgage rates that have lowered buyers’ borrowing costs.
All told, Smith said developers should be “pleased” with the midyear sales totals.
“I think anywhere around even, you have to say is pretty good,” he said.
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