Las Vegas high-rise market stays steady

The high-rise condo market held steady during the third quarter despite elevated interest rates, but the arrival of high-net-worth visitors this past week for the Formula One race has prompted Realtors and a downtown developer of a 32-story project to seize the opportunity of those looking for a Las Vegas address.

Applied Analysis reported there were 170 sales of high-rise condos among the 21 buildings tracked by the firm.

That’s on par with the 180 sold during the third quarter of 2022 when interest rate increases started to accelerate.

The 567 sales through the first three quarters won’t come close to matching the record highs in 2021 and 2022 when there were 1,159 and 944, respectively. Still, it will be a solid year in the history of high-rise sales and has already topped the 496 in 2020 when people weren’t interested in buying condos at the start of the pandemic.

The average sale prices during the third quarter was $579,147 or $484 per square foot. That compares to $599,183 or $492 per square foot in the third quarter of 2022. The highest price paid for a high-rise during the third quarter was $2.9 million for a condo on the 24th floor at the Waldorf Astoria.

Prices are already picking up, however, to start the fourth quarter. A two-bedroom 2½ bath penthouse on the 42nd floor at the Waldorf Astoria closed Oct. 18 for $3.49 million. The condo measures 2,167 square feet.

Frank Napoli, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, was the listing agent for that unit along with having the listing for the top sale during the third quarter.

Napoli describes the penthouse he sold in October as having every detail “thoughtfully curated, boasting modern, luxurious finishes throughout. The warm, modern color palette creates an inviting atmosphere that combines seamlessly with stunning design elements and tasteful custom lighting. The kitchen is a masterpiece in itself, featuring top-of-the-line appliances and a contemporary, climate-controlled wine room.”

Napoli said the penthouse was custom built from a gray shell and has a modern custom interior.

“It was well-done with high-end finishes,” Napoli said. “It had everything you would want for a luxury high-rise condo of this caliber. And being on an official penthouse level makes it even more desirable as well.”

MGM Signature, the condo hotel, led the way in the third quarter with 39 sales with an average sales price of $378,560 or $549 per square foot.

Turnberry Place was second in sales with 19 sales and an average price of $940,474 or $403 per square foot.

Panorama Towers was third in sales with 17 with an average price of $766,647 or $489 per square foot.

Juhl and Veer Towers each had 12 sales. They were followed by Trump Las Vegas and Palms Place, both condo-hotel towers, with 10 each. Platinum, One Las Vegas and Turnberry Towers had seven each.

The Waldorf Astoria had six sales and the highest average sales price of $1.62 million or $1,089 per square foot, down from $1,313 per square foot in the second quarter and $1,222 in the first quarter.

One Queensridge Place, which had three sales, had the second highest price at $1.39 million or $521 per square foot.

F1 buyers

Napoli, who lives at the Waldorf and has purchased three units in the building, said he had planned to meet with potential buyers from Monaco and those on the East Coast looking to purchase in Las Vegas. Those from Monaco are looking for units at the Waldorf while others will look at neighborhoods to purchase a home, he said.

“I think there’s plenty of opportunity with FI,” Napoli said. “The Las Vegas Strip is one of the known streets in one of the known cities in the world, and this is the first time we’ve actually had this world’s attention on our city with some of the wealthiest people and this wealthy demographic with F1 racing,” Napoli said. “It will bring new people to the city that might not have visited Vegas before.”

The international buyers want something to be turnkey and where the building offers services to maintain the unit when they are gone, Napoli said. Those buyers will love the location and amenities at the Waldorf, he added.

“They want to feel like they are on vacation, and that’s a great option for them,” Napoli said.

Patrick Brennan, CEO of Red Ridge Development, has opened its sales office for its Cello Tower high-rise condo as part of the Origin at Symphony Park mixed-use development. It hosted a ceremony on Tuesday.

The high rise will have 240 residences, including eight penthouses. Prices start at $700,000 and go as high as $4.5 million.

“We definitely made a big push to open the sales center prior to F1 weekend commencing to capture the global fans coming in from all around the world,” Brennan said. “I wouldn’t say (F1 fans) are a major component, but I would say there’s a possibility Vegas is looked at as a large international draw for visitors. Las Vegas is maturing to not only being a destination of international travel but a destination for people to have second or third homes.”

Brian Nugent, a Realtor with IS Luxury who was the listing agent in one of the top sales in the second half of the year, said he expects the market willpick up with interest from events like F1 that will put a greater focus on Strip. There will even be people who want to buy a unit to watch the race in the future, he added.

“Things have been a little slower, but I think we will see sales pick back up in the high-rise market,” Nugent said. “I know some of the north-facing buildings that have a view of the track have been highly coveted and F1 is a big part of that. And having the Sphere open the last few months has been an attraction. Everything that is going on in the city and on the Strip is leading to a lot of buyer interest in the town and being on or near the Strip.”

Napoli said he continues to feel strongly about the high-rise market in Las Vegas even though sales have slowed from 2021 and 2022 and attributes that more to a lack of inventory (only 12 units are on the market at the Waldorf) on the higher-priced multimillion-dollar units while interest rates have impacted lower-priced units. Most higher-end buyers purchase with cash.

“It is a great alternative for those buyers moving here from out of state that don’t necessarily want or need the big house or can’t find the home they want yet,” Napoli said of the high-rise market. “It gives them a great solution to have something with a Las Vegas address but also gives them a great lifestyle. They might have their home in their other city and when they come to Las Vegas it’s a place where they can have a little more fun. If you buy in a building that’s on Las Vegas Boulevard, you have the world’s best playground at your fingertips. I have several buyers looking to buy as soon as they find the right property.”

Brennan said a lot of buyers at their tower will purchase with cash. Since construction won’t start until fall 2024 and the project completed in the fall of 2026 those who use financing will likely see lower interest rates than are available today.

Napoli said the Waldorf is primed to take advantage of condo interest going forward. It has renovated the lobby with white marble and gold chandeliers that makes it look palatial. The second phase of renovations will focus on the entertainment with the Sky Bar and Tea Lounge and upgrading and bringing in new restaurants, he said.

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