Despite its reputation as a party town, Las Vegas is becoming an increasingly popular place for singles, couples and families to put down permanent roots. In fact, according to recent research from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the population of Clark County (where Sin City is located) is expected to grow steadily each year, with 698,000 new residents expected by 2040.

If you’re thinking about relocating to Las Vegas, it’s important to understand the costs associated with living there — some of which are higher than the national average. Keep reading to learn more.

Housing costs

Both home and rent prices are more expensive in Las Vegas than across Nevada and the nation as a whole. But even so, they are more affordable than in many other cities in the West, including Los Angeles and San Diego.

As of November 2022, the median sale price of a single-family home in Las Vegas was $385,000, based on data from Redfin. That’s only about $15,000 higher than November’s national median sale price, which according to the National Association of Realtors was $370,700.

If you’re planning to rent in Las Vegas, you can expect to pay around $1,067 for a one-bedroom property or $1,363 for a two-bedroom property, according to the latest Apartment List Las Vegas Rental Report. In good news for renters, these prices are actually down 4.6 percent since this time last year.

Job market in Las Vegas

Not surprisingly, the leisure and hospitality industry employs the most people in the Las Vegas area, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation. The top companies in this industry include MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment. Another large Sin City industry is education and health services, including the Clark County School District, which is the country’s fifth-biggest school district and Nevada’s number-one employer.

In terms of pay, ZipRecruiter estimates that the average salary in Las Vegas is $59,368 (or $29 per hour), with most salaries landing somewhere between $42,182 and $75,209.

Based on recent data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the unemployment rate in Las Vegas is 5.8 percent. That’s considerably above the national average of 3.4 percent.

Food costs

Nevada has the fifth-highest food costs in the country, according to a study by Lensa. The latest data from Bankrate’s cost of living calculator shows that, if you visit a grocery store in Las Vegas, you can expect to pay $4.48 for ground beef, $2.36 for eggs and $3.34 for bread. On a night out, you’ll spend around $20 for pizza and beer.

According to the MIT Living Wage calculator, a single adult living in Las Vegas will spend about $4,000 a year on food. For a family of four, the annual food expenditure is $11,764.

Transportation in Las Vegas

Transportation expenses can quickly add up in Las Vegas: Public transportation is limited, and car-related costs are higher than national averages. According to AAA, a gallon of gas in Clark County cost $3.933 as of early January, which is slightly less than the Nevada average of $3.994, but significantly higher than the U.S. average of $3.260. On top of that, car insurance in Las Vegas will cost you around $2,929, which is, again, pricier than the average insurance policies in Nevada and across the country as a whole.

If you’re committed to taking public transportation, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada operates bus routes throughout the city. Single-ride fares are $2, two-hour fares are $3 and 24-hour passes are $5. You can also buy a 30-day pass for $65.

Local and state taxes and fees

  • As part of Clark County, Las Vegas has a higher-than-average combined sales and use tax rate of 8.375 percent.
  • On the positive side, though, there’s no income tax in Nevada overall.
  • Las Vegas also has low, homeowner-friendly property tax rates (typically around 0.6 percent of your home’s value), which can’t increase by more than 3 percent each year on primary residences.
  • As of January 2023, mortgage rates in Nevada were averaging 6.51 percent for a 30-year fixed mortgage and 5.89 percent for a 15-year fixed.

Moving to Las Vegas

With around-the-clock entertainment, world-class dining and stunning desert landscapes, it’s easy to understand why so many people are relocating to the Las Vegas area. However, before you decide to move here, it’s worth doing some research to determine whether the cost of living aligns with your budget and income. It’s also helpful to shop around for competitive mortgage rates and acquaint yourself with estimated moving costs and must-do tasks, particularly if you’re planning a long-distance move.

Of course, lots of newcomers means a competitive real estate market. Homes for sale in the city often receive two or more offers, according to Redfin. If you’re looking to buy a house in Las Vegas (or another part of Nevada), it’s smart to hire an experienced local real estate agent who really knows the market. An agent will be able to give you professional insight and advice, and help you find a property that fits your needs.

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