Las Vegas is one of America's most popular tourist destinations. Casinos, world-class nightclubs, elaborate theater productions and posh accommodations beckon visitors from all over the world. Throughout the 21st century, the city has been an equally popular relocation destination, with retirees and young professionals descending on the area for its warm weather, 330 sunny days per year and vibrant entertainment scene.

During the 2007-2009 recession, Las Vegas was ground zero for plunging home prices, as a rash of speculative building during the preceding boom years created a massive supply glut. At its worst, the city's largest suburb, North Las Vegas, found itself on the precipice of bankruptcy in 2011. As excess inventory has cleared, and demand has remained high, Las Vegas has seen its home prices recover steadily since 2011. Even its struggling suburb avoided going over the cliff by negotiating with creditors and passing an ambitious balanced budget.

Market Insights

In May 2011, the median home sales price in Las Vegas stood at $115,000. That number barely budged until the following spring, at which point it began climbing rapidly, hitting $185,000 by the end of 2013. Prices have risen more gradually since 2013, but appreciation has still been steady, with the city's median sales price for homes hovering at just under $200,000 as of May 2016. Unlike in many cities where cold weather quells home-buying demand during the winter months and pushes down prices, Las Vegas experiences almost no seasonal fluctuations.

Interestingly, even as Las Vegas home prices have risen substantially since 2011, the number of home sales has dropped with equal aggression. In May 2011, over 8,000 homes were sold in Las Vegas; in April 2016, the city had barely 5,000 home sales. Such falling demand is not an ominous sign for the city. Rather, it reflects the number of bargain-hunters who came in and bought up cheap property following the crash.

Property and Transfer Taxes

Las Vegas enjoys low property tax rates compared to most major metropolitan areas. The exact rate a homeowner pays depends on his or her location within the metro area. A rate of $3.50 per $100 in tax-assessed value is standard for a home within the city limits of Las Vegas. The tax-assessed value of a Las Vegas home equals 35% of its market value. Therefore, a home valued at the city's median price of $200,000 would have a tax-assessed value of $70,000. Assuming a rate of $3.50 per $100, the homeowner's annual property tax liability would be $2,450.

Nevada imposes a real estate transfer tax of $1.25 per $500 in counties with populations over 700,000, plus an additional county tax of $1.30 per $500, regardless of population. This amounts to a transfer tax multiplier of 0.51%. Therefore, the aforementioned $200,000 home would have a transfer tax of $1,020.

Most Expensive Neighborhoods

The Ridges in Summerlin, a luxurious suburban enclave located 15 miles from the Las Vegas strip, is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods, not only in the Las Vegas metropolitan statistical area (MSA) but also in the entire country. Eleven discrete communities comprise this upmarket development, where homes priced under $1 million are difficult, if not impossible, to find. Mountain Trails, also located in suburban Summerlin, offers palatial homes on minimum half-acre lots, all situated amidst vast walking trails, community parks and tennis courts behind a guarded gate.

Top Real Estate Websites

Las Vegas home shoppers enjoy several unique resources online. At AllVegasHomeListings.com, visitors can break down their Las Vegas home search by price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and property type, and even use specific keywords, such as "pool" or "gated community." Individuals looking for luxury homes can visit LuxuryHomesOfLasVegas.com, which provides information and listings from the most exclusive neighborhoods in the city.

Long Beach Real Estate Market

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