On Monday, Jan. 4, the Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) reported a 66 percent increase in townhome permit issuance in Clark County from 2019 to 2020. In 2019, 62 permits were issued. In 2020, the number rose to 103. While townhome permits rose, single-family home permit activity saw a slight dip of about 12.8 percent over the same time period.
In a news release, the BIA said the increase in permits could signal an emphasis on building to meet the “missing middle” and tackle the crisis of housing affordability. While an increase in rents remained unchanged for many for a majority of 2020 due to the COVID-19 eviction moratorium, no protections are offered for those moving into the area or switching housing options.
Though landlords cannot raise rent on existing tenants, they can raise the price per unit when advertising a vacancy. With the current state of interest rates, mortgages are often in line with, or less than, the cost of renting. The BIA commends the builders building to meet the “missing middle” so that homeownership can become a reality for more Clark County residents.
While excited to help on the housing affordability front, the BIA expressed disappointment in the decrease in permits for single-family homes. According to the news release, Clark County is experiencing a housing inventory shortage across price-points, with less than a one month supply available. It is not surprising that home prices increase with a historically low supply and high demand. Therefore, the BIA recommends an emphasis on building homes at all price-points in 2021 so as not to contradict the efforts made on the housing affordability front.