According to a report by Home Builders Research, flush Californians are immigrating to Las Vegas and buying up the good stuff. The report shows 238 new home closings of $750,000 and above during the first six months of 2018, up from 130 in the first six months of 2017 - a gain of 83%. As a comparison, there were fewer than 100 such sales in 2016.Moving up the scale, during the first six months of this year, there were 87 new home closings of more than $1 million, up from 46 during the same period in 2017 - a gain of 89%.

Gary Mayo, group president of luxury home builder Toll Brothers, said, “We have passed the previous high point, so the market has matured enough again where the luxury segment comes back, and people now have equity in their homes where they can make the move up to a luxury home. They have the equity to do it. That’s the key.” Mayo believes changes to the federal tax law are in play as new legislation signed in December limits deductions on property and state taxes to $10,000.

Many Californians coming to Las Vegas aren’t necessarily the uber rich, but they are selling homes priced between $4 million and $10 million and buying homes priced from $1 million to $4 million.

Heidi Kasama, broker/owner with Berkshire Hathaway, said she also sees Californians wanting to buy in Nevada to claim their primary residence here, save on taxes, relocate their businesses and in the end help them in their retirement.“I always say the best governor for the state of Nevada is (California’s) Jerry Brown,” Kasama said. “He keeps driving people over here.”

Besides taxes, Kasama said, regulatory costs and traffic congestion are driving people from California to Nevada. “I was talking to someone thinking about coming here from the La Jolla area, and he said, ‘I don’t know why I live close to the beach because it’s packed,’” Kasama said. “He said he could hardly walk on it now because it’s so crowded and that it’s not what it was when he first bought there.”

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