Guest column:

Why investing in Las Vegas real estate makes sense

Uri Vaknin is a partner at KRE Capital.

While I have only lived here a few years, I am already a proud Las Vegan and Nevadan. I relocated here in 2014 after my firm, KRE Capital LLC, took a major bet on Las Vegas, investing in the city’s condo market with the purchase of a portfolio of more than 1,300 total residences — a move that many thought was crazy. While we were bullish on Las Vegas then, we are even more so today for a variety of reasons and believe there has never been a better time to invest in real estate in Las Vegas.

What we understood in 2013 is now becoming reality. Las Vegas, already a world-class destination for hospitality and tourism, is becoming a world-class city thanks to smart city initiatives and cutting-edge advancements like autonomous vehicle testing, transportation infrastructure investment and the creation of an Innovation District in downtown Las Vegas; the opening of the UNLV School of Medicine and accompanying evolution of the surrounding Las Vegas Medical District; a law school at UNLV that is catapulting in the national rankings, and the addition of major league sports including the Vegas Golden Knights, the Raiders, Las Vegas Lights, the WNBA Stars and a new stadium for the Las Vegas 51s; and hopefully soon, the development of a first rate art museum to complement the burgeoning cultural community created by the Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the 18b Las Vegas Arts District.

The city’s economic indicators are improving, while tourism has returned and surpassed pre-recession numbers as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority prepares to invest more than $1.4 billion in an expansion and re-imagination of the Convention Center District that will ensure our city remains the world’s top convention destination for decades to come.

Tesla’s move to the state speaks volumes as does Switch’s development and expansion of its significant presence in Las Vegas. And we believe in Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s vision for the city of Las Vegas, particularly downtown, where two of our largest properties are located.

While real estate in Las Vegas is always uplifted by the city’s universal appeal, it’s especially strong today because of prices that are highly affordable relative to other markets. Partial credit for this success is the huge influx of buyers from both Southern and Northern California who are fleeing their state’s high taxes, traffic congestion and high home prices — in exchange for improved quality of life in Nevada.

In addition to affordable housing, Southern Nevadans enjoy unparalleled access to first-rate recreation like Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead, Mount Charleston and nearby national parks within a half-day’s drive; outstanding higher education; improving public education and remarkable private schools; exceptional governance, and a business-friendly environment. And, now, we’ve added a huge dose of professional sports to the mix, including a second NASCAR race.

And while prices are clearly on the rise here because of high employment and shrinking inventory, as reported recently by Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index, Las Vegas is still catching up to many other metropolitan areas that recovered more quickly from the economic downturn. That means there are still many great values to be had here with exceptionally good buys in both the single-family and multi-family housing markets. Plus, with interest rates going up, there has never been a better time to buy a home and invest in real estate. There is no better way to cast a vote of confidence in your city than by making it your permanent home. Buy Las Vegas!

Real Estate

Uri Vaknin is a partner at KRE Capital.