Infill Housing Grows in Southern Nevada Real Estate

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This new real estate development in Las Vegas features energy efficient homes with covered porches and granite countertops. Homes vary from about 1,500 square feet to about 2,500 square feet and can have up to five bedrooms.

But unlike other developments that have sprouted at a record pace over the years with the expansion of southern Nevada, Casa Bella rises in the middle of the valley, in the shadow of Boulder Station near Boulder Highway and from US Highway 95 on the east side.

The 70-lot KB Home project spans 8 acres that were vacant until recently. Homes start in the $ 290,000 range, a relative bargain given that the median price of an existing home in the Valley was $ 406,000 in September, according to the Las Vegas Realtors trading group.

“We always try to strive for affordability,” said Brian Kunec, president of KB’s Las Vegas division. “We have received feedback from buyers which shows that location is not as important as it used to be, as some people can now work from anywhere. “

Buying a new home near a neighborhood that includes older homes and a short drive from a busy highway may not seem ideal to some, but Kunec said there is a large market for what Casa Bella has to offer.

About half of the Casa Bella homes – or planned homes – have been sold, Kunec said.

“We are doing better than expected at this point with these houses,” Kunec said. “These are houses for people with ordinary jobs, people who don’t make a lot of money. As the market has appreciated recently, some people have been valued. We have specifically targeted what we call the “Eastern submarket” because of its affordability. We were able to buy this land at a good price.

Small developments in places where land is relatively cheap could become more popular around the valley, although they are still rare.

The process of identifying where to invest is tricky for home builders, said Nat Hodgson, CEO of the Southern Nevada Homebuilders Association. There is little land available for residential projects, and water is scarce in southern Nevada.

Then there are the supply chain issues that have caused bottlenecks or soaring prices – or both – for many of the materials used to build homes.

With no relief in sight on the housing demand side, Hodgson and others have long pushed for the release of additional federal land in southern Nevada where new homes could be built.

This year, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Introduced a federal land bill that Hodgson said would allow more than 20,000 additional acres of land that could be developed for residential projects.

“We could see more projects [like Casa Bella], but refilling can sometimes lead to a whole new set of problems with unexpected costs, ”Hodgson said. “How far do you have to go to connect to existing public services? What surrounds you Some design guidelines in some places, like Henderson, are very similar to the requirements of a planned community. That said, you’re going to see more infill projects, but it might not always be cheaper. “

The Sherwood Crossing community of Story Book Homes, located just off Boulder Highway near the intersection of Dodd Street and Nevada Avenue, is another new residential development on the east side. These homes start at around $ 310,000 and are marketed as “affordable.” The square footage of houses varies from about 1,400 to almost 1,600 feet.

Andrew Smith, president of Home Builders Research, a Las Vegas-based company that tracks the homebuilding industry, said new construction land is often destined for large planned communities like Cadence in Henderson, or in other upscale areas like Summerlin.

“Now, more than ever, builders are looking for plots or assemblies of plots further into the valley,” Smith said.

While focusing on many different areas, Kunec said KB is considering a number of infill possibilities that fit this bill.

“We have a few that we are currently reviewing in this Boulder Freeway corridor, but there is nothing solid right now,” Kunec said. “A lot of home builders, but not us, have started targeting places like Pahrump and Mesquite because you can drive there very affordably. Land is hard to find in the valley at this time.

Kunec said many Casa Bella buyers – and those who have expressed interest – are first-time home buyers of the Millennium.

A millennial is generally considered to be someone who reached adulthood in the early 2000s. Many are now established in their careers, perhaps have young families and are looking to become homeowners.

“There are 80 million millennials and, oh, by the way, there are also 90 million Gen Z people,” Kunec said. “There is going to be a sustained demand for housing for years to come. The Spring Valley area is also popular for our first-time home buyers, but Casa Bella is a convenient location. You can jump straight onto Boulder Highway and be on 515 in minutes.

For new single-family homes, Kunec pointed out that anything on the market for less than $ 300,000 would appear to be a bargain in this housing market.

“For new home prices lately, you mostly start in the middle of $ 300,000 or more,” Kunec said. “We have a huge list of interests for these houses. “

This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.

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