Las Vegas is the #1 real estate market to invest in rental property, according to a report published Monday by HomeVestors of America, Inc. (known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” company) and Local Market Monitor (a leading forecaster of real estate markets). Here are the 5 reasons why (and why you should consider investing in a Las Vegas rental property):
#1: The Las Vegas real estate market offers the best three-year potential. The HomeVestors ranking is calculated based on “three-year forecasts of home prices (reflecting underlying home-price appreciation potential) and gross rents (as a proxy for potential investor cash flow).” On those measures, the Las Vegas real estate market tops the 99 other U.S. markets rated in the report.
#2: Las Vegas is a housing jackpot. Sales of relatively low-priced Las Vegas homes hit a 5-year high in May. There is still a good supply of affordable homes that can relatively easily be turned into rental properties, but that supply is rapidly shrinking as savvy investors are buying up prime rental properties.
#3: Las Vegas homes are relatively affordable. Las Vegas home prices have dropped more than 50% since peaking in 2006, so the real estate market offers some great investment values. In the spring of 2011, 4 out of 10 homes sold for under $100,000 (Wall Street Journal), with investors buying 20% of all homes sold in April (MarketWatch).
#4: There is a high demand for rental property in Las Vegas. The homeownership rate in Las Vegas is a relatively low 55 percent. Demand for rental property here is higher than in many other markets for two reasons: First, with the casino and tourism industry, Las Vegas has a high proportion of lower-wage workers, meaning a larger-than-typical number of people who can’t afford to buy a home. Second, the Las Vegas real estate market has a relatively high rate of foreclosures – but people who have lost their home to foreclosure still need a place to live, and many prefer a house over an apartment.
#5: Rental properties can generate positive cash flow and tax advantages. In contrast to a fix-and-flip real estate investment, a rental property can generate a steady flow of cash. Plus, there may be significant tax benefits associated with owning rental property.