Updated August 28th, 2019
Many home buyers are surprised to learn just how much of an impact the time of year can have on a home purchase. Indeed, according to data from Redfin, the median sales price of homes in Nevada as a whole fluctuates by as much as $27,000 based on the month.
Home buyers looking to get into the red hot Las Vegas real estate market should work with an experienced local real estate agent who can advise them on the best time to make a purchase.
Get in touch with a top agent near you and learn when you should plan to buy your new Las Vegas home.
In the meantime, this guide will provide you with the information you need to start house hunting and plan out your home purchase. Here, we'll go over the best time to buy a home in Las Vegas, five of the best neighborhoods to live in, and four pro tips to make your purchase go off without a hitch.
Best Time of Year to Buy in Las Vegas
The season or month during which you should buy your Las Vegas home depends on whether you're looking for the best price or the widest selection of homes to choose from. There's generally a direct relationship between sales prices and the number of houses that are on the market: as sales prices decrease, so does the number of houses on the market. Conversely, as sales prices rise, buyers have more options to choose between.
Sellers that list their homes during the slower months are usually doing so out of financial desperation, hence the lower prices — they need to sell their homes fast and can't wait until the months in which prices are historically higher. Because of this, buyers can often find great deals from sellers that can't wait to get their homes off their hands. However, since home sellers want to profit from their sale, most sellers wait until the peak months to sell, hence higher prices but greater inventory.
Throughout most of the country, spring sees the highest median sales prices. However, due to Nevada's sweltering summers, the Silver State's peak real estate season comes in the fall when temperatures are a bit milder and the weather is more amenable to house hunting.
Nevada sales prices vary by approximately $27,000 based on the month: in January, the median sales price is only $267,000, but it rises to $294,000 in September. You should aim to make a purchase in January if you want to get the best deal on your new home. However, if you want to have the most options to choose from, aim for September.
Here are the median sale prices by season in Nevada:
|Season||Median Sale Price|
Here are the median sale prices in Nevada by month:
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Home prices experience a sharp drop-off during the winter but stay fairly stable once May rolls around. If you want to get the best deal on your new home, plan to buy after December and before April. Your realtor can offer more in-depth guidance on timing the market effectively.
Las Vegas Real Estate Trends in 2019
Las Vegas is currently a buyer's market. Despite rising temperatures, the real estate market has been cooling off. According to Zillow, the median home value in 2019 is $274,100, and it's expected to rise 0.9% in the coming year. The current median home value represents a 6.0% increase over the past year.
According to data from Trulia, the median rent and the number of rentals have also been trending upwards. This may contribute to the city's slowing market, as more renters means less demand for houses. The median rent price is $1,500.
5 Best Places to Live in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is far more than the Strip and its (in)famous nightlife and casinos. The city is a modern day metropolis with culture, sports, and numerous social opportunities. Here are a few of the best places to live in Sin City:
Henderson isn't technically part of Las Vegas, but it's so close that it may as well be. The city has seen an uptick in popularity in the past few years: located just 17 miles outside of Las Vegas proper, Henderson allows residents to experience the excitement of Sin City while still having a quiet place just over the border to retreat to after a night out.
The median home value in Henderson has been on the up and up the past year, but is cooling down like the rest of the Vegas metro area. In 2018, the median home value increased 5.0% to reach its current $327,000, but home valuations are staying relatively stable throughout 2019, only increasing by about 0.3% this year.
Henderson has a strong job market, and the median income has been increasing. This is a great city for those who want a mix of the quiet life and classic Las Vegas.
Henderson at a glance:
Median home value: $327,000
Expected 1-year growth: 0.3%
Standout feature(s): Quieter city near to Las Vegas
2. Green Valley North
Green Valley North is a neighborhood in Henderson that's known for its plentiful parks and above average school system. The current population is 19,914 and is primarily conservative politically.
The median home value in Green Valley North is $303,600. Prices have leveled off, and they are not expected to increase or decrease in the coming year.
All in all, Green Valley North is an excellent place to live for those seeking a suburban lifestyle near a large cultural hub.
Green Valley North at a glance:
Median home value: $303,600
Expected 1-year growth: 0.0%
Standout feature(s): Public parks and school system
3. Summerlin South
Summerlin South offers the same suburban feel of Henderson right in Las Vegas proper. The neighborhood is composed of both young professionals and retirees, meaning that Summerlin South has something to offer people from all walks of life.
The median home value is $428,000, but it will likely come down a bit as home values are expected to decrease by 0.6% this year. That's bad news for current owners and should make new buyers cautious, but presents a good opportunity for house hunters to buy a home on the cheap — once prices drop.
Summerlin South is a great place to raise a family thanks to its schools and public parks. Residents will appreciate its many cozy coffee shops and its proximity to downtown Las Vegas.
Summerlin South at a glance:
Median home value: $428,000
Expected 1-year growth: -0.6%
Standout feature(s): Parks, schools, and proximity to Vegas nightlife
4. The Lakes
If you're a young professional looking for a place with bars, restaurants, and nightlife, The Lakes deserves your attention. Situated to the west of the Strip and to the east of Summerlin, the area was ranked as one of the best Las Vegas neighborhoods to live in due to its fantastic nightlife opportunities.
The real estate market in the Lakes is cooling off. The median home value is $330,700, and values are expected to decrease by 1.6% in the next year. Buyers may want to hold off until prices settle a bit before investing in a new home in this area.
The Lakes is not particularly well-suited to families, as schools in the area are nothing to write home about. Generally, residents in the area are moderate politically.
The Lakes at a glance:
Median home value: $330,700
Expected 1-year growth: -1.6%
Standout feature(s): Proximity to the Strip
5. Paradise Hills
Paradise Hills is a neighborhood in nearby Henderson that offers families a perfect place to settle down. With a quiet suburban feel and lots of greenery, Paradise Hills is truly a slice of, well, paradise.
The median home value in Paradise Hills is $361,000, which represents a 5.5% increase over the past year. The median value is expected to increase another 2.1% in 2019.
With above average public schools, great weather, and lots of parks, Paradise Hills should definitely be on every family's short list.
Paradise Hills at a glance:
Median home value: $361,000
Expected 1-year growth: 2.1%
Standout feature(s): Suburban feel, good schools, lots of parks
4 Pro Tips for Buying a Home in Las Vegas
When you find yourself ready to take the next steps in starting your new life in Las Vegas, make sure to keep these four pro tips in mind:
1. Find a Great Las Vegas Real Estate Agent
The importance of an experienced real estate agent cannot be stressed enough. Indeed, partnering with a great realtor may very well be the most important step in the entire home buying process.
Your realtor will help you time the market, find and visit suitable properties, negotiate a great deal, and navigate the complex closing paperwork. For anyone who isn't a seasoned real estate professional, working with a real estate agent is absolutely necessary if you want to get a great deal on your new home.
2. Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
Buying a home is a personal decision, and that means that no two home buyers have exactly the same needs. When looking for a new home, figure out what you need versus what you want: do you need a piano shaped swimming pool, or is it better to spend that money on a home in a better school district?
Assess your financial situation and discuss your budget with a financial advisor. Your real estate agent can help you clarify some of your needs and find properties that fit your goals.
3. Find a Lender and Secure Financing
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can give you a leg up over the competition when trying to buy a house in a competitive market.
Many buyers confuse mortgage pre-qualification with pre-approval, but they are not the same. You can pre-qualify for a mortgage by submitting your financial history to your lender yourself, but the lender will eventually need to go over it on their own and give you a final approval.
When you're pre-approved for a mortgage, your lender has already dug up your financial history and approved you for a loan up to a certain amount. It's more set in stone, and that makes it more appealing to home sellers because they don't have to worry that you won't be able to finance your purchase.
4. Negotiate the Best Possible Price
Your real estate agent will be a major help during this part of the home buying process. They'll be able to use their years of real estate expertise to get you the best possible deal on your home.
In general, it's best to negotiate after the inspection takes place as you'll have a bit more leverage. It's important to know the market, understand the seller's situation, and be stern without coming across as overly aggressive.
How to Find a Top Las Vegas Real Estate Agent
When you need an agent in Las Vegas, you want someone who can help you find your dream home and save you money in the process. Work with an agent who has your needs in mind and knows the local area well.
Clever Real Estate connects home buyers with top-rated Las Vegas real estate agents. Clever partners with expert real estate agents from major brands like Century 21, Keller Williams, and RE/MAX to offer full-service quality at a discount price.
Buyers working with a Clever Partner Agent will enjoy access to on-demand showings and a pre-negotiated $1,000 Home Buyer Rebate to help cover closing costs. Our Partner Agents will use their years of expertise to help you find a great home at a fantastic price.
Get in touch with us to learn more about how our Partner Agents can help you achieve your home buying goals.
Top FAQs About Buying a Home in Las Vegas
What credit score is needed to buy a house in Las Vegas?
A credit score of 580 is usually the bare minimum to buy a house in Las Vegas. An FHA loan generally requires a credit score of 580. Most other loans will require a score of 620 and above. VA loans require a minimum of 620 and USDA loans require a minimum of 640.
What is the average price of a house in Las Vegas?
According to Zillow, the median home value in Las Vegas is $274,100. This represents a 6.0% increase over the past year, and values are expected to continue rising 0.9% in the coming year. The neighboring city of Henderson has a median home value of $327,000.
Are housing prices going up in Las Vegas?
According to Zillow, the median home value in Las Vegas is expected to increase by 0.9% in 2019. However, there are many parts of Las Vegas and the surrounding area that are predicted to decrease in value. Values in The Lakes and Summerlin South, for example, are expected to depreciate by 1.6% and 0.6% respectively, and Green Valley North is projected to stay at exactly thesame price.
How much does it cost to live in Las Vegas?
As far as mortgage expenses go, if you assume you are purchasing a home at the city's median home value with a 10% down payment and a credit score between 680 and 699, you can expect to pay around $1,200 each month for your mortgage.
Outside of mortgage expenses, how much it costs to live in Las Vegas is entirely dependent on your lifestyle and spending habits. However, Las Vegas is a fairly affordable city, with the average cost of living sitting at just 3% more than the U.S. national average. Utilities in the city are 10% below the national average, transportation is 14% above the national average, and food is 4% above the national average.