- Electric car manufacturers Tesla Motors and Faraday Future — along with other companies like Wal-Mart and Switch, who are building operations in the Reno and Las Vegas areas of Nevada — have spurred an economic boom in the state that officials say requires the addition of tens of thousands of new housing units, according to Curbed.
- Tesla, the largest of the new Nevada-based firms, and Faraday plan to hire a combined 11,000 new workers in Nevada over the next five years, which means an unprecedented 80,000 new residents will require 40,000 additional housing units by 2020.
- Nevada officials have said builders from outside the state — including Toll Brothers, Lennar and Lansing Companies — are contributing most of the needed new-home inventory because many Nevada builders went out of business during the recession, and the ones remaining are gun-shy about jumping into the fray of a new building boom, Curbed reported.
The recession saw housing prices cut in half in Reno and Las Vegas, and foreclosures and short sales in southern Nevada accounted for 75% of all sales as late as 2011, according to Curbed. Today, home prices are just over half of pre-recession prices, and foreclosure sales account for only 6% of sales in the area. Median home prices in Las Vegas, according to the Nevada Association of Realtors, rose 9% to $220,000 in 2015, and Reno’s median home price increased by 17% to $275,000.
Nevada’s housing comeback was in the works even prior to Tesla’s arrival on the scene, and Kevin Sigstad, president of the Nevada NAR, said it is becoming more difficult for homebuyers to find available homes.
"We were already really busy before Tesla announced," Sigstad told Curbed. "Now we are three, four, five times busier than we were. It is kind of heady."
From luxury single-family homes to modest apartments, there are several new housing developments in the works in the area, but Mike Kazmierski, president of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, said that, even in the face of waiting lists, Nevada builders have been slow to fill demand.
"We will have a housing crisis if we don't respond to it," Kazmierski told Curbed. "They are building at a pace that based on their historic trends has been adequate, but they need to accelerate the pace. The sooner we get things started the better."
Sigstad said the area was booming prior to Tesla’s arrival, but just last month, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Director Steve Hill told the Reno Gazette-Journal that companies who have heard about Tesla’s move to Nevada are contacting him, eliminating the need, for the time being, for his office to recruit business to the state.
"We met recently with a really large company — a very household name — looking at an opportunity in Northern Nevada," Hill told the Gazette-Journal. "They said if Tesla hadn’t picked Nevada, they wouldn’t even have considered it. That opened their eyes."
Construction of Tesla's $5 billion gigafactory is ahead of schedule, and, according to the Gazette-Journal, the county’s business licenses are up 41% — with the "vast majority" in the trades and construction.