Employment in the Las Vegas market saw quite a nice bump during the summer after having taken a bit of a pause earlier in the year. August data showed that there were just shy of 950,000 non-agricultural employees in the area, up by 5,300 from the prior month, and 26,400 higher than seen a year ago. The local unemployment rate dropped from 6.9% at the end of June to 6.0% in August. This is, in part, a result of the data not being seasonally adjusted, but also because we saw the workforce drop by 6,600 people. Employment sectors were a mixed bag, with sizable improvement seen in casinos and related hotel industries, but a decline in professional services, finance, insurance, and the information technology sectors.
HOME SALES ACTIVITY
DAYS ON MARKET
The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, sales velocities, interest rates and larger economics factors. Employment growth in Clark County has resumed and I believe that it is this growth that is continuing to drive home sales. Inventory levels have risen substantially over the past six months and, while they are below the levels of a balanced market, they are headed in the right direction. Home prices are increasing at a reasonable pace but there are some sub-markets that are over-performing at the present time. This is not a concern, as I think buyers will start to be more selective regarding the neighborhoods that they want to move to. This process will allow some markets to appreciate at levels higher than the regional averages. I have moved the speedometer a little more in favor of sellers, as price growth is higher across the board and, even with the rise in listing activity, sellers still have the upper hand.
Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.