For sixty years Nevada was the fastest growing state in the United States. In 2006, Arizona knocked it out of first place. Still, the population of Nevada has increased by over 20 percent since 2000, and it continues to grow at a rapid and steady pace. About two-thirds of Nevada's population lives in the Las Vegas metropolitan area where the population continues to grow quickly.

The other largely populated areas of Las Vegas are centered around the state's second largest city, Reno, and the area surrounding the state capital, Carson City, and neighboring Lake Tahoe. Much of the rest of the state is ranching country. Some of the state, particularly the northern region, is sparsely populated because the harsh environment can't support dense populations. The area is arid, but does seem to harbor underground water supplies and the head of the Humboldt River.


What does this mean for those interested in commercial real estate in Nevada? Commercial real estate that is used for tourism, gambling and entertainment is at a premium, especially in the heavily populated Las Vegas area. Investors and business owners who want to locate around large populations will find more affordable rates if they choose the Reno or Carson City areas.

With a quickly growing population, it is not surprising that real estate developers are snapping up land to turn into housing developments. The areas south of Las Vegas, particularly Henderson, between the city and Arizona, are experiencing the biggest population boom, and real estate developers are jumping on this growth. Some are buying land to develop later or sell for a hefty profit as the area becomes more populated and land becomes scarcer. Another area experiencing similar growth and land development opportunities is to the west between Las Vegas and Utah.

Other successful commercial real estate ventures in Nevada include mining (the state produces 8.7% of the world's gold), industries such as printing and publishing, food processing, electronics, machinery and ranching. The state produces cattle, hay, alfalfa, dairy products, onions and potatoes. However, those considering investing in commercial real estate for ranching purposes should know that water is at a premium across much of the state, and the limited existing supplies are increasingly siphoned off to support Las Vegas and its bursting suburbs, Henderson and North Las Vegas. Unlike in other formerly agriculutral areas, it is not clear that these ranch lands will ever be able to support residential development.

Something to think about when considering commercial real estate in Nevada: the state has no corporate income tax levied against the profits of a company. This is good news for businesses that use Nevada's commercial real estate to anchor their corporate headquarters.