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Rent check keeps going up across Las Vegas Valley

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) - Rental rates are climbing once again in the Las Vegas Valley. Economic analysts and real estate experts say there is no sign of slowing down.

The housing inventory is tight. The average price for an apartment in Las Vegas is $850 a month. But it's not just apartments. Homes are also becoming more expensive to rent.

Jerime Pinkerton has a list of must-haves for his new rental home.

"I want big secondary bedrooms. It would be nice to have a backyard I could enjoy myself in," Pinkerton said.

Anna Hensley of Black & Cherry Real Estate Group has shown Pinkerton 15 rental homes in the past three weeks.

Hensley and Pinkerton spent Wednesday looking at a four-bedroom home near North Stephanie Street and West Warm Springs Road. It's going for $1,575 a month.

"Every time I go see one, it's either off the market or somebody's got an app on it. They're going fast," said Pinkerton.

They're going fast because rental rates are rising across the Las Vegas Valley. Rates are up about 7 percent over last year.

"We had a home in Seven Hills recently. A couple years ago it was renting anywhere from $950 to $1,000. It rents today for $1,500," Hensley said.

The reason is a shortage of available rentals.

"I don't think the inventory is going to change much," said Hensley. "What we have is what we have. The competition is very stiff right now."

Brian Gordon, a principal analyst with Applied Analysis, collects and analyzes economic data. He says there's plenty of pressure on the rental market.

"More people coming to Las Vegas and more jobs. More employment opportunities for folks," Gordon said.

The southwest submarket continues to report the highest price point across the Las Vegas Valley. The average apartment will set you back more than $1,000. The area is also reporting the most development, with nearly 3,000 new apartments being built.

"Really it's in response to what they're seeing on the demand side of the equation and that's simply more people looking for more housing options and they are responding to that," said Gordon.

Pinkerton says his "must-haves" are quickly becoming more of a "wish list."

"I've given up some things and raised my limit what I'm willing to spend per month and I'm still hunting," he explained. "I think with due process I'll find what I need."

Gordon said expect to see rental rates continue to rise.

"Occupancies remain relatively stable. Fundamentals of the economy are much more sound than they were three, four or five years ago," said Gordon.

"We may reach back to those peak rental rates that we saw in the 2007 time frame."

In 2007, the average apartment rent reached nearly $900.

Hensley said Summerlin and Green Valley are the most sought-after communities for rentals.

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