“We are grateful to Californians because you are helping our market,” says real estate agent Trish Nash of Douglas Elliman. “What started all of this was COVID. We started to see people changing their lifestyle and really coming to terms with their living situation. And we saw this influx of buyers from California, and it was just absolutely crazy.”
The enthusiasm for luxury real estate continues. Las Vegas recorded the highest number of sales over $1 million in the first quarter of 2023, although average home sales prices recently fell to around $415,000 after peaking at $482,000 in 2022 . (In contrast, the current average sales price for a home in Los Angeles is around $980,000.)
It’s no longer just a place for strip regulars like Wayne Newton and Donny and Marie Osmond; A new group of powerful players led by Mark Wahlberg are moving to Las Vegas, the land of no individual state income tax and a lower cost of living. Nevada also has one of the lowest property tax rates in the country at 0.55 percent per year Business Insider.
Last year, Wahlberg sold his 20-bedroom mansion in Beverly Park for $55 million and bought into the exclusive Summit Club in the Summerlin community, where he bought a $14.5 million townhouse and also a second home .5-acre property for $15.6 million. Wahlberg also plans to build a production studio in the city. In March, he told Fox News that it was “absolutely” his goal to make Vegas a center of the entertainment industry: “We want to create 10,000 jobs in the studio alone.” We want to train people both in front of and behind the camera, create jobs , especially for locals… And then I think we can attract a lot of people. The housing market is great.” He also said that his family loves living there: “The kids are really happy and it’s all about them.”
Real estate agent Melissa Tomastik of The Agency agrees: “The value of the dollar goes a lot further in Las Vegas. Several of our clients have expressed that their Las Vegas real estate investment is equivalent to what they would have otherwise spent in taxes.”
CSI Creator Anthony Zuiker, who grew up in Las Vegas and recently bought a $6 million home in suburban Henderson, has seen the city evolve from a mob hangout to a world-class city. “We’re at the next level of professional sports, the A’s baseball, the Raiders, some really high-end, $2 billion sphere sports, hotels, Resorts World,” he says THR. “It’s definitely going in a more fashionable direction.” The city will also host the first Las Vegas Grand Prix in November and host the 2024 Super Bowl.
Some buy because they are disappointed with California. Earlier this year, outspoken conservative Superman actor Dean Cain (who has stated he is an opponent of California’s tax, crime and homelessness policies) bought a $3.9 million five-bedroom contemporary home in a gated community in Henderson. And venture capitalist Marc Andreessen purchased a 4.47-acre property at the Summit Club in 2021, while continuing to own a record-breaking $177 million Malibu compound and a Tuscan-style mansion in Atherton, California. He tweeted: “Like Rome perhaps in 250 AD, we live in the midst of a tremendous flourishing of culture and creativity, but the streets are becoming increasingly unsafe and no one is quite sure why.”
Other recent celebrity real estate deals include Celine Dion’s sale of a Summit Club estate in May for $30 million (she still owns a home in Lake Las Vegas for $5 million) and Oscar De La Hoya’s purchase a mansion in Henderson worth $14.5 million in 2022.
The developers are doubling the value of the new Vegas seal of approval. Gated communities like The Summit Club, MacDonald Highlands, The Ridges and Ascaya offer the luxury and security of Los Angeles without the sticker shock. “It feels like Las Vegas is just getting started with its growth prospects. Due to the influx of people from other states, the luxury market has continued to grow,” says agent Ivan Sher from IS luxury, adding: “We have a new playing field for sophistication, architecture and design.”
The Four Seasons brand has also joined the trend and the Four Seasons Private Residences are scheduled to open in early 2026. And it appears that bet is paying off – of the 176 residences, which start at $3.5 million and go up to $29 million, 48 are already under contract and exceeding expectations. A Summit Club home is currently on the market for $23.5 million; listed with Lillie Shines from Coldwell BankerThe 9,800-square-foot home has nine bedrooms (five in a private, attached casita) and an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and bar on just over an acre of land.
For decades, Zuiker escaped to Las Vegas on weekends after working a week in Los Angeles. But now he lives and works full-time in Vegas and flies to Southern California for events. “I think things have changed,” Zuiker says, “in terms of where we work and where we spend our weekends.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to login.