Article originally published on the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Juhl, a downtown Las Vegas condo community spanning an entire city block, announced record monthly sales of 13 condos in March.
While strong sales are consistent with current national and local residential real estate trends, including a March report that shows condo sales in Las Vegas were up nearly 40 percent year over year, Juhl’s record condo sales in the urban environment of downtown Las Vegas contradicts the post-COVID “urban flight” predicted by many analysts in the early days of the pandemic.
A December 2020 Forbes article shared data that while there was an exodus from a few key cities like New York and San Francisco, the “urban flight” was temporary and people are beginning to return.
Uri Vaknin, a partner at KRE Capital LLC, whose company, in partnership with Dune Real Estate Partners, purchased Juhl and other Las Vegas high-rise condo towers in 2013 as DK Las Vegas, believes strong post-COVID condo sales represent a desire by buyers to have everything they want and need to socialize — from entertainment to restaurants and cultural activities — steps from their front door.
“As the vaccines roll out, we’re seeing a sense of relief and renewed excitement among buyers. People definitely are looking forward to and planning for doing things again,” Vaknin said. “The predictions of mass exodus from cities hasn’t reached the levels anticipated because people still want to be close to the heart of the action once COVID is in the rear view mirror. The proof is in our strong sales.”
Vaknin cites a desire by buyers to seize the opportunity to craft personal environments that give them joy and freedom.
“For many, that environment comes in the form of an urban setting like downtown,” Vaknin said. “The Smith Center, scores of restaurants, nightlife and even proximity to the Strip and professional sports, are all part of downtown’s allure. Not to mention the lock-and-leave, low-maintenance lifestyle that comes with condo living.”
Vaknin said Juhl buyers are a good mix of locals and those from other states, such as California, who are fleeing high taxes, traffic congestion and high housing prices.
‘This supports what we already know: Las Vegas is highly desirable for many reasons, including no state income tax, less traffic and congestion, more affordable housing and cost of living and a thriving professional sports scene. Plus, the growing trend to allow remote working on a permanent basis for many national companies means that people can live anywhere while still keeping their jobs. So, why not live in Las Vegas?”