The Reno/Sparks area has been rising steadily over the last few years. After a bubble in 2006, northern Nevada saw a quick decline until about 2009 then has held fairly steady until 2012. Because of this bubble, there was an overabundance of homes built, but in recent years, Reno has seen real growth with new industries creating new jobs that never existed before. Therefore, while there are homes available, there also isn’t an extremely high unoccupied rate.
In July 2014, Washoe County’s population was 440,078 with 236,995 in Reno and 94,708 in Sparks. From 2010, northern Nevada has seen an increase of 4.4% in their population with male and females comprising almost exactly half each. People 65 and older make up 14% and those under 18 represent 22%. There are 164,461 households in Washoe County with 91,133 in Reno and 34,750 in Sparks. The number of housing units is 187,142 with 57% of them owner-occupied. They all average about 2.5 people per household. Over 78% of residents in northern Nevada stayed in the same home from a year prior. A striking difference between Washoe County and Reno/Sparks is the population per square mile. Washoe County is at 66.9 while Reno is at 2,186 and Sparks follows with 2,524.
With this level development, Reno and Sparks has been able to stay consistent in pricing. The latest report from the Reno Sparks Association of Realtors http://www.rsar.net/market_reports/reno-sparks-market-reports notes that the median price for homes of $290,000 has stayed the same since July 2015. This shows a lot of stability in a previously volatile market. For December 2015, unit sales were up 14% compared to the previous month, but down 8% compared to last year. However, sales for the year were up by 6% with 6,310 units.
Much of this can be due to progress in private sector jobs. In July 2015, Nevada ranked second in the nation behind North Dakota with over 40,700 new jobs over the year. This growth has been gradually increasing since 2011 when Nevada starting gaining jobs again. In fact, in December, Nevada’s unemployment rate dropped to hit the lowest point since June 2008 at 6.4% after averaging 6.8% for the year and down a full percent from last year. For Reno alone, unemployment for December was at 5.5%.This is also the 60th straight month of increases year to year with construction having the highest percentage of growth. In 2014, there were 2,210 building permits issued.
Mortgage rates in Nevada have remained fairly low. Currently, rates for a 30 year fixed loan ranges from 3.375% to 4.313% and a 15 year fixed loan ranges from 2.5% to 3.575%. As we head toward an increased spring home buying season, these low rates along with stable prices are allowing a high degree of affordability when going to purchase a new home in Reno and Sparks. Along with these low interest rates, Nevada also does not have any pre-payment penalties or fees so you may be able to pay off your loan sooner than the original loan terms.
Consistent growth, stabilized prices, low interest rates and increasing job opportunities has made northern Nevada the perfect place to live, work and play.