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It’s ‘very conceivable’ the region has a surpassed a half-million population

By Bob Conrad
Published: Last Updated on

The Reno-Sparks area continues to grow. 

Brian Bonnenfant with the University of Nevada Center for Regional Studies today presented to the Community Homeless Advisory Board an update on housing, growth and jobs data for Washoe County.

He said “we probably have reached the 500,000 population milestone.” 

The July 2021 population estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Washoe County at 493,392. Bonnenfant said the Census Bureau does not provide county-level population projections, but Nevada’s State Demographer does.

“It’s very conceivable we have added 7,000 persons over the last year,” Bonnenfant said. “The data’s not out. When the data is out we’ll know.”

The Reno area grew by 65,000 people in the last decade, which is below the prior decade which saw the area’s population grow by 85,000 people.

Bonnenfant said one third of the growth is coming from California but the other top cities from which people are moving to Reno are Las Vegas, Seattle and Honolulu.

Home sales dropping

Home sales in 2022 are dropping from last year. 

“We are probably looking at about a 22% dip in home sales in 2022,” he said. “Expect that in 2023 – a little pullback from developers.” 

But about 2,500 new multifamily units will continue to be built in the area for the next couple years due to low vacancy rates – below 3%, Bonnenfant added. Many of those units will be apartments.

Bonnenfant said growth in south Reno is close to “full absorption. That’s it for the south. In the next couple of decades, the south is done.”

Growth for the next 20 years will be in the North Valleys and Spanish Springs areas. 

“That’s where the room for growth is,” he said.

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