Friday, December 2, 2011

The Las Vegas Housing Market Craps Out

The news regarding the housing market in Las Vegas just gets worse and worse:
Las Vegas-area home prices fell again in September to a new low during the current recession, Standard & Poor’s reported Tuesday.

Stung by elevated unemployment and high levels of foreclosures and underwater mortgages, Las Vegas saw housing prices fall 1.4 percent from August and 7.3 percent from September 2010, Standard & Poor’s said.

Data from Standard & Poor’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show Las Vegas-area prices are now at levels last seen in February 1998 after September’s decline.
Here are a few more statistics to ponder:
Tuesday's data follows release of statistics by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors Nov. 8 finding that in October, the median price of single-family homes sold locally was $121,000. That was down 1.9 percent from $123,400 in September and down 9 percent from $133,000 in October 2010.

Also Tuesday, mortgage data provider CoreLogic reported that at the end of the third quarter, Nevada had the highest negative equity percentage in the nation with 58 percent of its mortgaged properties underwater, down from 60 percent in the second quarter.

In the Las Vegas-Paradise Metropolitan Statistical Area, 61 percent, or 257,345 of residential properties with a mortgage, were underwater, CoreLogic reported.
What has happened to Las Vegas is really quite simple: during the bubble years a whole host of gamblers in the casino and construction industries made a sucker bet that the party would go on forever. Then the music stopped, the lights came on and the $1000-a-night hooker turned out to be a middle-aged transvestite.

The recently reported national numbers for housing were not a whole lot better than the Las Vegas figures. Without a recovery in housing, there will be no recovery in the real economy. So rest assured, what has happened in Vegas isn't going to stay in Vegas. It will be visiting your city, town or state sometime in the near future.


  1. "during the bubble years a whole host of gamblers in the casino and construction industries made a sucker bet that the party would go on forever."

    This is so true it's not even funny. I live here in Vegas for the 2nd time (why oh why did I ever return? Returning was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life!) I'm formerly an IT man but I worked as a telecommunications installer on the Wynn (1st time I lived here) and Aria at CityCenter. It was a bonanza! The local electricians I worked with enjoyed a 15-year long boom and they really didn't think it would end. I knew better but they thought I was crazy. They bought multiple houses, the biggest trucks obtainable (with the oh-so-classy rubber testicles hanging from the hitch), boats, atv's you name it. They thought I was stupid when I laughed at their suggestion to buy a 2 bedroom ranch house for $300,000. I know at least one of them that is living with his mom now. Each and every one of them acted like spoiled brats right up until the crash. Sucker bets indeed. I call this place 'The City Without A Future'.

  2. @CN - "I call this place 'The City Without A Future."

    And I would call America a country without a future. :(

  3. The party moved to Dubai along with all the money everyone pushes into their gas tanks.

  4. @BH - No doubt about it. And the denial the country lives in still is breathtaking. I actually thought I knew just how powerful denial is but I underestimated that by a mile. :(

    @babystrangeloop - Good point. I went to Dubai and Abu Dabhi a couple of times back in '92, it was NOTHING like it is today.