Investors take big bite out of Las Vegas housing supply

Las Vegas’ housing supply shrunk rapidly this past year as cash investors bought homes in bulk so they could rent them out.

Homes listed for sale in the valley fell by 35 percent during the year ending Sept. 30, according to a report today from Seattle-based Zillow. In the “bottom tier” of pricing, where first-time buyers typically try to find a house, inventory shrunk by nearly 38 percent.

The “middle tier” inventory shrunk by 39 percent, while the “upper tier” decreased by 30 percent. Zillow did not provide price ranges for the tiers.

Housing inventory fell nationally by 19 percent, including 15 percent in the bottom tier and 22 percent in the upper tier.

Cash investors, often from Southern California or Phoenix, have been buying large numbers of cheap homes in the Las Vegas area — usually ones that plunged in value in recent years — and renting them out.

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  1. The rich get richer and the poor poorer. And so the story goes.