Builders close best sales month in a year

Lennar retained its spot as the No. 1 Las Vegas builder and Summerlin remained the top master plan for the first quarter of 2023 as builders closed out March with their best sales in a year despite elevated mortgage rates.

In March, builders reported more than 1,000 net sales — sales minus cancellations — and ended the first quarter with 2,659 sales, just ahead of the 2,584 sales in the first quarter of 2019 prior to the pandemic, according to Home Builders Research President Andrew Smith.

“Despite being down 24 percent from the first quarter of 2022, the market seems to be in a place that could be considered more normal, historically,” Smith said.

There were 3,478 net sales during the first quarter of 2022; 4,113 during the first quarter of 2021; and 3,113 during the first quarter of 2020, Smith said.

“Local homebuilders reported their best month of sales in a year in March despite mortgage interest rates hovering around the 7 percent market to start (March),” Smith said. “The traditional spring selling season looks to be back in play after being less pronounced over the past couple of years based on the number of community openings, permit activity and sales activity.”

Smith pointed out that builders have opened a few communities in recent months as they continue to work through inventory created by the dip in sales during the second half of 2022. New projects are down 53 percent year over year, while permits are down 40 percent, despite making “a significant jump” in March with 1,472 permits after 1,225 combined were issued in the first two months of 2023.

The only increase was with median prices at 3 percent. The median price in March for closings was $490,000 for new single-family homes and $358,433 for new detached housing.

March showed an increase in the number of communities coming online at nine, and the April number is already higher.

“Beazer Homes, Century Communities, DR Horton, KB Home and Signature Homes brought 746 new lots to market in March, all of which are in the southwest or Henderson,” Smith said. “Three of the four new product lines opened by DR Horton are part of their large Symmetry project located on the northwest side of the Cadence master-planned community in east Henderson.”

1. Lennar recorded 547 sales during the quarter, down from 625 in the first quarter of 2022. Smith said the company’s Centennial Hills townhome project in the northwest valley was the top-selling community with 69 net sales during the quarter, while its Heritage at Cadence age-restricted community in Henderson placed fourth with 54 net sales.

2. KB Home was second with 411 sales, down from 417 in the first quarter of 2022.

3. DR Horton was third with 392 sales, down from 425 a year ago.

4. Pulte Group was fourth with 361 sales, down from 490 a year ago.

5. Richmond American was fifth with 208 sales, down from 297 a year ago.

6. Touchstone Living, which targets first-time buyers, was sixth with 130 sales, down from 169 a year ago. It had the second- and third-highest subdivision sales rankings at the Mosaic townhomes south of the Strip with 63, and 60 in Watercolor in North Las Vegas with a variety of housing options from attached to detached.

7. Beazer Homes was seventh with 111 sales, down from 195 a year ago.

8. Taylor Morrison was eighth with 91 sales, down from 147 a year ago.

9. Tri Pointe Homes was ninth with 88 sales, down from 152 a year ago.

10. Toll Brothers rounded out the top 10 with 77 sales, down from 130 a year ago.

Smith said one change during the quarter in the top-selling communities was the addition of more traditional detached single-family projects to the list. In previous quarters, age-restricted and attached products took up eight or nine of the top spots each quarter compared to five during the first quarter, he said.

Master-planned communities saw a drop in market share in new home sales during the first quarter to 44 percent. They accounted for 52 percent during the first quarter of 2022, Smith said.

“We believe this will rise as the year continues, specifically because of relatively large tracts by DR Horton opening in Cadence and the Villages of Tule Springs in North Las Vegas,” Smith said.

1. Summerlin led the way with 250 sales, down from 317 a year ago.

2. Cadence was second with 166 sales, down from 212 a year ago.

3. Skye Hills, a development of Beazer Homes in northwest Las Vegas that was sixth in the rankings a year ago, came in third with 162 sales, an increase from 110 in the first quarter of 2022. It had none in the first quarter of 2021.

4. Inspirada in Henderson was fourth with 127 sales, down from 197 a year ago.

5. Skye Canyon in the northwest valley was fifth with 94 sales, down from 198 a year ago.

6. Lake Las Vegas was sixth with 70 sales, down from 92 a year ago.

7. Valley Vista in North Las Vegas was seventh with 50 sales, down from 204 a year ago when it was third in the rankings.

8. Sunstone, a newer master plan of Lennar, Shea Homes and Woodside Homes in the northwest valley had 47 sales, down from 71 a year ago.

9. Anthem Mesquite was ninth with 27 sales, down from 68 a year ago.

10. The Villages at Tule Springs in North Las Vegas rounded out the top 10 with 11 sales, down from 51 a year ago.

The northwest and southwest valley dominated new homes sales during the quarter. The northwest had 31 percent of the sales, up from 27 percent a year ago. The southwest had 28 percent of the sales, up from 22 percent a year ago. Henderson remained at 22 percent.

North Las Vegas, which had been on top of the rankings as recently as 2021 with 25 percent, had only 10 percent market share, down from 17 percent a year ago. That market has been hurt by a lack of inventory and higher mortgage rates with its more affordable housing options.

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