Home Builders Want BLM to Sell Land - 8 News NOW

Home Builders Want BLM to Sell Land

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LAS VEGAS -- Those looking to buy a house are finding there is not enough inventory to go around.

Las Vegas housing builders said there is not enough available land to build them on and that trend may grow within the next five to 10 years.

The shortage is primarily in single family homes priced below $200,000, which are in short supply.

As a whole, realtors and housing builders said inventory is very low for homes throughout the valley, with little more than 3,500 homes available and three weeks worth of inventory.

With many homes tied up in the foreclosure process, home buyers often only have the option to buy a newly-constructed house. But home developers said the land to build them on is shrinking.

"It's definitely getting harder to find land," said Robert McGibney of KB Home. "As house prices are going up, builders are getting more aggressive about acquiring land."

Realtors said this trend is not at a critical point yet, but could become a major issue within the next five to 10 years.

But even now, the developers said they are feeling the effects.

"All the land that has been developed -- as in lots ready to go -- is sold and bought," said Dave Tina, president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

A Las Vegas economist said the only option is for the Bureau of Land Management to sell off pieces of government land to home developers.

"If we had just excess capacity of land -- more land out there at a relatively competitive price -- we think we could be selling thirty percent more housing units tomorrow than we are today," Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis.

According to the BLM, it offers about two public land auctions for land plots every year and right now accepting competitive bids to sell more.

Businesses such as KB Home said they will most likely petition the BLM to sell off land within the next few years as the demand increases.

"Eventually, we're going to need it," McGibney said.

Realtors said builders are snapping up any piece of rural land right now, but it will take at least a year to develop it.

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