In this month’s Monthly Market Minute Update, we discuss Census data that reveals strong positive net migration to Southern Nevada, particularly from Los Angelinos. While many Las Vegans love the Southern California area, housing affordability is one of the major motivators for leaving California for states like Nevada and Arizona or remaining in those states instead of moving to California.
A recent Los Angeles Times article even described leaving coastal California a ‘no-brainer,’ due largely to housing costs. The authors note that in 2016, 75,000 more people left Los Angeles County than moved there from other U.S Counties. A majority of those who exited went to the Inland Empire, Nevada and Kern County (1).
So how do the Los Angeles and Las Vegas regions compare in terms of housing? Across the six-county region L.A region, the median home price in August was $500,000, while Clark County NV, was $265,000. Although wages in the L.A area generally surpass Clark County, the percentage of income going towards housing costs is far higher in Southern California (2). Despite some strong gains in home prices in the Las Vegas area, housing remains much more affordable relative to many other metropolitan areas. In order to afford the median home in Los Angeles, recent estimates show that a required salary is over $100,000. In Las Vegas, the estimated salary required is just below $50,000 (3). To illustrate the price difference and change over time between the two metropolitan areas, examine the S&P/Case-Shiller single family home price indices below.