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Builders can't build fast enough, Summerlin West exploding amid record-high home prices

Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 21:21:30-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Ivy Chan and Wilson Leung consider themselves lucky.

"We see something that catch our eye. We think, 'oh this the one. Should we just put down the deposit?," said Leung of the moment in November he and Chan were looking for a vacation home.

The San Francisco couple did put down the deposit - back in November. Since then, Chan said the price of their home has gone up about $60,000.

"We bought it in stage, phase one," she said. "We caught it in very good timing because we could not imagine the Vegas real estate market could be exploding like that in a few months."

The couple's realtor Dolly Panagopoulos said the current housing market is on fire and it is a battle for homes.

"We're back to the bidding wars," she said. "There's homes not appraising. It is what is is - it's supply and demand."

Kevin Orrock is the president of the Las Vegas region for The Howard Hughes Corporation, the developer behind all of Summerlin, including Summerlin West. He said builders can't build fast enough.

"We've got 13 neighborhoods selling, 6 under development and we're going to have another 3 more by the end of the year," Orrock said.

Orrock said many builders have growing wait lists of people interested in homes not even listed yet.

While Summerlin West is building new homes, low inventory remains a major factor in the market.

According to a recent report from Las Vegas Realtors, there were fewer than 1,800 (1,772) single family homes for sale at the end of March. That's down nearly 70% (68.8%) from a year ago. The report says a six-month supply is considered a well-balanced market.

Right now, LVR said Vegas' market is under a one-month supply. And high demand means higher prices. Orrock says Vegas is attracting people for several reasons - weather, taxes, opportunity. But there's still a surprise factor to the market.

"Who would've thought in a pandemic we would sell more homes that we did the year before?" asked Orrock.

Much of Summerlin West is still in the early phases of development. They broke ground about two years ago but over the next decade or so, the area will be full of homes, parks, schools and commercial spaces - restaurants, bars and shops.