Firm: Las Vegas home prices will hit bottom in late 2012

A Wisconsin research firm said Las Vegas home prices haven’t found their bottom and won’t until the fourth quarter of 2012.

Fiserv, which produces the Case-Shiller Indices, projects home prices will fall 13.9 percent by March 2012 and another 6.3 percent by March 2013.

The calculations are based on the first quarter of 2011 as a starting point. Home prices fell 5.1 percent between March 2010 and March 2011, the firm said.

David Stiff, the chief economist at Fiserv, said it will take time for Las Vegas home prices to recover because of the area's high foreclosure and jobless rates.

“Even though prices are affordable, it’s going to take until the supply improves and job market improves,” Stiff said.

Stiff said Las Vegas will see prices bottom by the end of 2012 and should start to see an increase in 2013. Any immediate increase could be a double-digit one as buyers jump into the market, but he said it could flatten out after that.

“Markets like Las Vegas are likely to be volatile, and people won’t jump in fully until they think the market is stabilizing,” Stiff said.

Fiserv calculates prices by what the same homes sold for in the past. That makes the forecast look bleaker than others who track median prices of all homes sold in a month or quarter.

One research firm projected Las Vegas wouldn't regain half of the real estate valuation it lost during the downturn until 2020 and wouldn't regain all it lost until the early 2030s.

Mark Boud, a California economist who tracks the Las Vegas housing market, predicted home prices would fall 2.6 percent in 2011 and increase by 2.5 percent in 2012. He projected a gain of 3.4 percent in 2013, 5.2 percent in 2014, 7.7 percent in 2015 and 8.8 percent in 2016. That’s a 31 percent gain in five years.

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