Blip or bump? The Raiders’ effect on local housing

Jeff Gillan, Twitter

Last Monday, as Raiders owner Mark Davis stood at the podium in Phoenix, retired barber Tom Gini made up his mind. He put down his money on a condo just down the road from what will become the team’s new Las Vegas stadium.

“Wasn't sure if I was going to do it without that happening, but that did it there. That was the sign,” he told me, chuckling.

Tom bought a residence at One Las Vegas, a two-tower complex on Las Vegas Boulevard south that weathered the bust and is now seeing a resurgence, where Uri Vaknin is one of the partners.

“One of the things that people love about this floorplan are the views,” he said, as he gave me a tour of a 20th floor, 3,000 square foot penthouse with a gorgeous panorama of the mountains and the strip.

It can all be yours for a million bucks.

If real estate has one rule, it's location, location, location.

And this location is in sight of the proposed Raiders stadium, across I-15.

"You've been getting interest since it looked the Raiders were a done deal?" I asked

“Correct,” Vaknin said. “And the reason why we've been getting interest is because we are close but not too close.”

Gini pulled the trigger last Monday. Vaknin says he has another client, a lady from the San Francisco area who bought last fall, when talk of the Las Vegas Raiders was building.

“She’s been a life-long Raiders fan, and she’s like, ‘I know the Raiders aren’t staying in Oakland and eventually I’m going to retire,’” says Vaknin, adding, “She said so the only place would be in Las Vegas.”

At the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors they say, “We've seen little anecdotal stories about how people were on the fence and this is pulling them over the threshold,” says Dave Tina, the association’s president.

“They said, you know what? Vegas is for real,” Tina added.

And real, not just because of the Raiders.

Experts say this boom is building because of what else is happening: a new NHL hockey team, an about-to-open medical school and a major resort that’s about to start full-throttle construction.

"The stadium is part of the momentum, rather than creating the momentum,” Jeremy Aguero, the principal at the analytical firm applied analysis, tells me.

The other rule of real estate: supply and demand.

Housing here heads into the spring sales season with very low inventory.

“Now is the time to buy in Las Vegas,” Vaknin says. “When they start putting the shovel in the ground for that stadium and make it real, we're going to see prices go up across the valley.”

For Las Vegas, that could be the Raiders' biggest score, thanks to a stadium that supposed to start construction by the end of the year.

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