NVSAA Executive Director Susy Vasquez said Northern Nevada's evolving economy and growing population have fueled the growing demand for housing in the area. Demand and vacancy rates improved during the second half of 2020 as more people returned to work and Nevada's eviction moratorium was extended, most recently through at least March 31. She said it also helps that many newcomers, such as those from California, have the ability to work from home, offsetting elevated unemployment rates caused by the pandemic.
Despite the strong demand for housing in recent years, the report notes that supply growth was slow to arrive to Northern Nevada, leading to vacancy rates falling to just over 3% as recently as 2017. But since then, about 6,000 local apartment units have hit the market and the local vacancy rate is now near the national average. Though apartment construction slowed during 2020 compared to the past few years, the report showed 1,827 apartment units under construction during the fourth quarter.
According to the report, about 700 units broke ground in the Reno-Sparks metro area in 2020. That's down from about 1,800 units per year that broke ground each year from 2016 to 2019.
"Given the general uncertainty, developers may be exercising caution," the report concluded.