With specialized knowledge of the best time to buy a house in Las Vegas, those in the market for luxury properties can most effectively adapt to market trends and achieve the greatest purchasing power, selectivity, or a balance of the two. If you’re looking for the most incredible Las Vegas houses for sale or simply looking to build your portfolio in one of the nation’s hottest markets, you’re best off recruiting the services of the most experienced Las Vegas real estate experts to help you keep your eyes firmly on the prize.
A QUESTION OF INVENTORY AND SELECTION
Before delving into Las Vegas’ historical and most recent industry data, you should ask yourself an important question: What’s more important to you between (1) reduced list prices and (2) greater selection?
Though it’s tempting, and for good reason, to simply zero in on the time when prices are traditionally at their lowest, doing so usually comes at the cost of your range of options. The two factors of property cost and availability are not perfectly dependent on each other. Still, they are strongly correlated — and you’re not going to get both unless you have the inside track on the latest unlisted opportunities as they arise. While this basic formula is not without exception (as we’ll see in 2021’s unique market data), the general rule is that when property values are high, more owners have an incentive to sell, and when values are low, owners will hold onto their properties if they can.
The best time to buy Las Vegas real estate will vary, depending on whether your definition of “best” relates to obtaining the best value or having the best selection at your disposal. With certain exceptions, such as during mortgage rate adjustments and radical shifts in historic market trends, this general direct relationship between the home value and selection can vary. Nothing will replace the need to maintain a vigilant watch on current market dynamics, especially in a popular, high-end market like Las Vegas.
DIFFERENT NEEDS COMPETE AMIDST THE SAME MARKET DYNAMICS
If you are open to a wider variety of properties, the trade-off between lower costs and less choice may be perfectly okay for you. It’s actually those who have the sharpest internal vision, determined to find a property most closely matching their ideals, who sometimes have the hardest time, even when they have more options at their disposal.
At the same time, remaining excessively open to whatever the market has to offer can lead some less scrupulous buyers to jump at the chance to purchase simply because it seems like a good deal.
The solution is to spend some quality time with others involved in the purchasing decision and your realtor to zero in on the aspects that are and aren’t most important to you. This will help you filter out elements of listed properties that, even if they seem like a great value, are not intrinsically valuable to you, serving only to cloud your vision for the elements that do matter. If you find that your needs are highly specific, you might actually enjoy seeing the prices rise because it’s a signal that more options are on the horizon.
Even a Las Vegas property that seems to jump straight out of your fantasies may be out of step with your lifestyle in terms of year-round considerations, such as upkeep or travel needs — and the most tempting list price may belie issues you would have otherwise noticed if there were more attractive options to compare it to. As hard as it may be, don’t skip this crucial first step. Work closely with your realtor and your loved ones to become as focused as possible on what “best” means for you in this chapter of your life.
If your vision is unclear, lower price points could make you happy, considering the many fantastic luxury real estate options in Las Vegas almost any time of the year. You may not wind up with the exact home of your dreams, but you will be far from disappointed (especially if you save tens of thousands of dollars). On the other hand, those with a strong vision may consider the best time to buy to be when the inventory is at its highest rather than focusing on savings.
Whichever factor is most important to you, we’ll walk you through the market data that will help you time your Las Vegas luxury property purchase according to either the greatest cost savings or the greatest amount of inventory.
HISTORIC MEDIAN PRICE AND SELECTIVITY OF LAS VEGAS HOMES
Once you’ve clarified whether you’re looking for the best price or the best selection (or somewhere in between), the numbers become easier to use as guidance in your Las Vegas home-buying journey. The cut-and-dry answer is that the most affordable time to buy in Las Vegas has traditionally been January, when median sale prices have normally been lowest — and the highest selection (but also highest prices) have traditionally been in May through August, when the real estate scene is the busiest.
CONTRASTING HISTORIC DATA WITH 2021 AND 2022 MARKET DATA
According to the most recent data from Las Vegas REALTORS’ Multiple Listing Service (MLS) analysis, the median price for single-family homes was lowest in August 2021. The price then steadily rose to its traditional peak in May of 2022. Most often, home values only decrease by a small amount after this peak, steadily dropping until the traditionally lowest point in January.
By July 2022, however, the median value lowered a little more quickly but then leveled out from August to September 2022. The selection of single-family homes is also steadily declining from a high point in March of 2022, although the decrease is somewhat faster than home values. It would seem Las Vegas homeowners are quicker to hold onto their properties, and for good reason, considering the massive increase in property values between 2021 and 2022.
As mentioned, list price and selection are usually directly related. Still, it is not a perfect rule that can be depended on without maintaining awareness of the Las Vegas market. That’s especially true for luxury markets, which are less beholden to factors such as cost of living or federal interest rates, meaning the very best opportunities for large estates or penthouse suites could come at any time of the year.
PREDICTING FUTURE TRENDS
Nevertheless, it’s normally a good Las Vegas bet that if the market prices are low, selection will also be low, and vice versa. Therefore, keep these two months in mind as guideposts for the most significant times in Las Vegas real estate, both historically and most likely going forward:
- January usually has the lowest median home prices, though the selection is also low
- May usually has the highest selection of higher-value properties
As the MLS data shows, August through October of 2021 was an unusual and highly opportunistic time, when prices were low (compared to mid-2022) while selectivity was high — and though the popularity of the Las Vegas market is anything but over, only time will tell if median lows remain in the winter season, as they most reliably have been over the previous decades.
HOW MORTGAGE RATES AFFECT TIMING
For all but 100% cash sales and those securing hard money loans, there is one caveat to the otherwise simple strategy of delaying home-buying plans until January: mortgage rates in Las Vegas are historically lowest in December. Even though it may seem at first glance to line up well with January’s historically low prices, that is not actually the case. There is a timing barrier between lower rates in December and the significant reduction in median prices in January.
While 2021 was unique, median prices generally do not smoothly lower from December and into a peak low in January. Instead, they remain high until demand reaches a sea change in January when Las Vegas homeowners respond by removing properties from the market or lowering their prices. If you’re waiting for the lowest prices, it doesn’t make sense to wait only until December — unless it’s to obtain lower interest rates.
Whatever the best time to buy a house in Las Vegas will be in 2023, there’s no replacement for sitting down with your agent and crunching the numbers to determine if the lifetime savings of a lower mortgage rate are a greater benefit than more immediately saving several $10s of thousands upfront.
If your mortgage is long enough, purchasing in December may be your best bet. Of course, for high-net-worth clients who can fund all or the majority of the final price themselves (or acquire private funding independent of fed rates), there is a marked difference between December and January prices. This means losing out on selection, however, and if it’s a balance between the lower price and market selection you’re looking for, look instead to the more regular rise in selection and price in the months after January rather than gamble on the time before January, when shifts have traditionally been more sudden.
Of course, all of this is your call — but making these determinations becomes much easier and more stress-free with an agent well-versed in Las Vegas’ historic and most recent market fluctuations.
APPLYING THIS INFORMATION TO THE PRESENT
Whatever the future holds for the Las Vegas market, one thing is certain: Nevada property values have risen well above the national average. Though the gains are likely at their peak for most properties, it’s likely that a reduction in value will only occur slowly — while higher-end Las Vegas properties are set to remain even more secure.
For ongoing guidance navigating the uniquely rewarding Las Vegas luxury real estate market, don’t hesitate to simplify your search by contacting the experts at LVREAL. With the utmost confidentiality and white-glove service, we put our clientele’s needs at the forefront. To ensure the most stress-free and opportunistic timing when seeking the house of your dreams in Las Vegas, act now.
As the lead broker and owner of LVREAL, Maureen Robison knows what it takes to lead clients to prime opportunities in the Las Vegas market under any market conditions. Having landed innumerable high-value deals during the record-breaking early 2020s market, she and her team have led some of the Southwest’s wealthiest property hunters to the investments of a lifetime. Contact LVREAL and experience the luxury and elegance of Las Vegas living for yourself.