Las Vegas Single Family Housing May Fade Away

Factors and trends in Las Vegas suggest a future shift away from single family housing. Land prices and land shortage in the valley are two key factors that have builders considering other Las Vegas housing options. Buyer preference is also altering the focus on development build out.

Some Las Vegas market analysts say there are 8 to 10 years of land left in the valley. Such a limit in supply has driven up land prices and will continue to into the foreseeable future. At more than $1 million an acre builders struggle to justify future projects of standard single family residences at 6 per acre. It seems more reasonable to build attached housing or multi-story housing. Recent numbers show that around 70% of homes sold in the Las Vegas Valley are single family residences on an average 6,500 square foot lot. As the valley continues to build out builders will begin to alter the norm and build up.

Buyer preference is also changing. Married couples buy more homes than any other demographic. However, unmarried women now account for a substantial number of sales.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, "Unmarried women in particular are buying homes in big numbers: The National Association of Realtors' Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows single women compose the second-biggest group of buyers, after married couples. Single women bought 21 percent of homes in 2005, up from 18 percent in 2004. Single men bought 9 percent of homes sold in 2005, the association reported. And a study by Fannie Mae found that single women will helm 28 percent of all U.S. households by 2010."

Baby boomers are also contributing to change. "The oldest baby boomers are turning 60 at the rate of 8,000 a day, and every seven seconds, an American turns 50. As consumers gray, Bottfeld said, they're demanding a streamlined lifestyle. The expansive suburban home, the quarter-acre lot, the pool -- all the features that made sense for young, growing families -- have become maintenance burdens to empty nesters." Their desires to decrease their maintenance and have a social scene promotes a shift in housing.

"Evolving consumer preferences and demographic trends will drive home buyers into compact, urban communities, he said."

Tight land supply, rising prices, and changing buyer preferences will shift the way builders develop. It will create an urban feel for parts of the Las Vegas Valley.