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Signs of cooling Southern Nevada rental market bring little relief to tenants facing rent hikes

Posted at 12:58 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 18:31:15-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV)  — A new report says so-called "apartment inflation" won't likely continue in Southern Nevada. But when could you see things getting back to "normal" again?

Rents have been steadily on the rise in the Las Vegas valley, but a new report from the Nevada State Apartment Association says renters might soon see some relief.

MORE: Rising rents create huge concern for Las Vegas area tenants

For the Gallegos family, rent relief can't come soon enough. For the past year, they've called a studio apartment in southeast Las Vegas home.

Report: 'Historic run of rent growth' in Southern Nevada is 'unlikely to continue'

"It's not even a one-bedroom, it's a 400-square-foot studio," Hope Gallegos explained. "So as soon as you walk in, you're walking into a bedroom and supposedly a dining area and small kitchen and a bathroom."

For their small space, the rent has been affordable — until now.

"When we first moved in, our contract was $856 (per month) and then as soon as the renewal is coming — September — we got a notice that it will go to $1,200," she said.

That's an increase of nearly $300, and the couple say they simply can no longer afford it.

"You know, usually it's 20 bucks, 50 bucks, and it goes on year after year, but $300 for 400 square feet, no washer, no dryer, no security — no," Gallegos said.

Las Vegas rental market
Signs that the Southern Nevada rental market is cooling off may bring optimism for valley renters, but it can't change the rent hikes they're already facing.

But could lower rents be on the horizon? Based on data released by CoStar, a real estate analytics company, the Nevada State Apartment Association says "yes." The so-far historic run of rent growth in Southern Nevada is "unlikely to continue," the association says.

REPORT: 'Historic run of rent growth' in Southern Nevada is 'unlikely to continue'

"What the report is really showing is that, moving forward, rents are expected to stabilize," said Suzy Vasquez, interim executive director of NVSAA.

Vasquez says the nnew report is focused on future rent trends, which is not good news for those like Hope Gallegos, who are facing rent hikes now.

"Soon is not enough," Gallegos said. "People are struggling now."

Still, the CoStar report finds local rents are increasing only about half as fast as they were one year ago. The report also found that local apartment vacancy rates "remain solid."

Despite the new findings, as the population in Las Vegas grows, there is concern rent could increase again. Vasquez said it's not likely.

"I know that local lawmakers are working very hard with housing stakeholders to ensure our look forward is more purpose-driven and makes more sense to correlate that with the anticipation of an influx in population," Vasquez said.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: What you can do when faced with an unaffordable rent hike

The NVSAA says if you are struggling with a rent hike, be honest with your property management team and maybe you can come to an agreement — or wait a few months to see if rents not only continue to stabilize, but reduce in price.

Find our continuing coverage of the housing issues facing Southern Nevadans at ktnv.com/housing.