Shoppers walk through Downtown Summerlin, Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Las Vegas. Approximately 17 million people have visited Downtown Summerlin, and mixed use development will add 12 new brands in the coming year. Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Canyons Village and TPC Las Vegas golf course is on the left and The Hills South village is on the right in this aerial photo of Summerlin from 2015. Summerlin came in fourth in the nation in terms of home and lot sales during the first six months of 2016, according to RCLCO, a housing consultant that surveys master plans around the country. (Jeff Scheid/Review-Journal file photo)
By BUCK WARGO
SPECIAL TO THE REVIEW-JOURNAL
Summerlin is re-establishing itself as king of the mountain in Las Vegas, and the developer credits the opening of its downtown nearly two years ago for making that possible.
After Mountain’s Edge in the southwest valley and Providence in the northwest dominated the Las Vegas housing market for years with its more affordable housing options, Summerlin is re-emerging as the clear leader for home sales despite its loftier price.
Some 26 years into its development by the Howard Hughes Corp., Summerlin bettered its position from 2015 and moved from sixth to fourth of the nation’s best-selling master-planned communities in a midyear report released by RCLCO, a national real estate consultant.
Inspirada in Henderson with its model of a walkable community is ranked No. 9 in the mid-year report after not cracking the top 20 in 2015. Providence ranked No. 19 after being No. 13 in the 2015 midyear report. Mountain’s Edge, which ranked No. 1 in 2007 and 2008, didn’t make the top 20 for the second consecutive year after ranking fifth for all of 2014.
Mountain’s Edge ranked No. 1 for two consecutive years in 2007 and 2008, second in 2006 and third in 2005 following its opening. Providence was as high as No. 4 in 2008.
Summerlin, a perennial No. 1 from 1992 to 2003, was 25th as recently as 2011. It returned to the top 10 in 2015 with 602 sales for the year, up 38 percent from 437 in 2014. For the first six months of 2016, Summerlin had 366 sales of homes and lots, a 12 percent gain over the first half of 2015, RCLCO reported.
Kevin Orrock, president of Summerlin for Howard Hughes Corp., credits the opening of new neighborhoods along with the opening in October 2014 of Downtown Summerlin with its 1.4 million square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment options.
“It brings a different level of attractiveness to a typical homebuyer,” Orrock said. “Most master plans of this size don’t go 24 years without a major retail employment center. This is the impetus to take us to the next level and separate us from the rest of the community. We’re the only master plan with its own downtown.”
During the first six months of 2016, Dennis Smith, president of Home Builders Research which tracks the housing market, said his count of net sales of production homes (excluding lots and customs homes) has Summerlin No. 1 with 390. That was followed by Inspirada with 314, Mountain’s Edge with 243 even though it did not crack the RCLCO ranking. Providence was fourth at 215 and Cadence in Henderson was fifth with 203.
Smith said Mountain’s Edge and Providence have led the way for much of the last decade because they’ve sold more affordable homes.
The average price of homes sold in Summerlin over a six-month period ending March, 31, was $596,972, according to SalesTraq, which monitors the housing market. No master plan was within $200,000 of that mark.
Inspirada has struggled since the recession but has come back by offering more affordable housing options, Smith said. Cadence at Boulder Highway and Lake Mead Parkway should overtake Mountain’s Edge and Providence in the near future. It sold its first homes in 2015 and plans more than 13,000 in the next 10 to 15 years.
“Summerlin will be the primary master plan for upscale production homes, but you will see Cadence be second or third. It could be two to three years,” Smith said.
Sky Canyon next to Providence in the northwest valley will be a player when builders increase that supply, Smith said.
A big player in two to three years will be Tule Springs in North Las Vegas, previously named Park Highlands, Smith said. The attraction will be affordable housing, and builders CalAtlantic Homes, Pardee, Lennar and others are gearing up, he said.
In addition to Summerlin, the average sales price of other homes includes Providence at $281,104; Inspirada, $378,967; Mountain’s Edge, $314,315; and Cadence, $325,685, according to SalesTraq.