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Las Vegas Apartment Prices Surge

Apartment real estate in Las Vegas are growing in value as the trend toward condominium conversions gains momentum and the predominantly blue-collar work force is slowly squeezed out of the housing market, a real estate broker said.

Demand and desirability for multifamily investment are increasing in conjunction with the dramatic rise in development here, David Baird, senior adviser for Sperry Van Ness in Las Vegas, said Friday.

"There's some good upside in it at that price per unit," he said. "We're seeing deals move up so rapidly (in price)."

Baird said he had an investor who walked away from a contract last year to buy an apartment complex in North Las Vegas for $60,000 a unit. It eventually sold for $92,000 a unit.

Higher prices for apartment units are being partly driven by condo conversions, a trend that was spotlighted by Dennis Smith of Home Builders Research at his housing outlook earlier this year.

With median prices of Las Vegas new homes for sale climbing toward $250,000 and resale prices well above $200,000, condominiums selling for $90,000 to $150,000 offer an affordable housing alternative, Smith said. 

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