Las Vegas home prices hit new post-recession low

A home sits foreclosed and unoccupied in the 4500 block of East Sun Valley Drive on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011.

Las Vegas-area home prices fell from January to February, according to the closely-followed Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

S&P on Tuesday said Las Vegas was among nine big U.S. markets to see prices hit new post-recession lows in February, as the larger U.S. market continued to struggle.

Las Vegas prices fell 0.4 percent on a monthly basis and were down 8.5 percent from February 2011, S&P said.

The declines compare to 0.8 percent on a monthly basis for the 20 big U.S. markets tracked by S&P/Case-Shiller; and a 3.5 percent year-over-year decline for the 20 markets.

With Las Vegas ranking No. 8 in the nation for foreclosures and unemployment elevated at 12.1 percent, the local residential real estate market has remained stuborningly weak through the recession.

Local data for March from analytical firm SalesTraq showed that — amid indications of tightening supply — Las Vegas-area median existing home prices rose from $100,800 in February to $103,000 in March.

Still, that’s down 4.3 percent below March 2011.

SalesTraq reported that in the Las Vegas new home market, closings increased from 288 in February to 352 in March. The median new home price of $201,668 was up from $195,250 in February and was up 1.6 percent from March 2011.

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  1. Could it be that the lack of Planning by Nevada Politicians over the Past 30 Years to diversify the Economy is the Real Problem, instead of a President whose every Policy initiative is blocked by Republicans for THREE Years? Could it be that a State that has less high level Educational Options than Mississippi and can not attract Businessess that rely on an educated Workforce. Could it be that a City with the worst Hospital Care system in the U.S. is unable to attract the right mix of educated Retirees and Families. Could it be that a City that has a 50% Graduation Rate could not be taken serious in any Job Creation other than low wage, part time, service sector industries.
    All of these Locally self-inflicted wounds have been brought to you by an Ignorant Population and Lazy (at best) Politicians over decades.
    Yet to listen to the Whining Right Wingers - It's ALL President Obamas Fault! The other Day I was at the Post office in a line with a Window not filled - I wondered where President Obama was instead of taking care of my letter.

  2. As a Real Estate agent that works with investors, buying and selling, I can tell you that part of the problem has been appraisals. I have been getting contracts at full price only to find appraisers coming in very low. Market value is what a buyer is willing and does pay for a property. But when an appraiser comes in low, the contract often times must be renegotiated to a lower price. They base their values on historical data vs. real time market conditions. The market is definitely tightening up. Distressed properties that sat on the market are now receiving multiple offers. For the market to make an upward turn, buyers need to begin paying higher prices. It's econ 101.

  3. Decades of experience has taught me that the popular concept of Econ 101 is wrong. Properties were very overvalued for a very long time.Appraisals magically came in at asking price most of the time, that's not economics, that's BS. I have seen the market for decades through the eyes of buyers, sellers, owner/brokers, agents, etc. and anyone with honest experienced perspective would agree that for example: When an 800 sq. ft duplex built in the late 60s; a fixer upper that needs a new roof, flooring, exterior doors repaired, has kitchen plumbing on the outside of the exterior wall and needs these things NOW sells for $389,000., things have outstripped reason. The market overheated due to risky financing, greedy buyers, sellers, agents and lenders.

    Now that appraisers are being watched rather than ignored, lenders are requiring more than a pulse to write a loan and buyers are beginning to look for that word that agents hate - value, things are becoming more realistic. Prices don't need to come up yet, we're no where near that point yet. I know that angers those whose homes are under water and sellers who think their home is worth more (they always do). It will take time. If it happens overnight it will be another problem to deal with.

    The big question now is whether our politicians will let tax assessments reach true value too or be pressured into taking what they can get to pay for the years of over the top spending.

  4. First, Jim. That has so very little to do with this article. Your die-hard allegiance to your political affiliation is showing.

    To those who say the market is "tightening up", You must not be paying attention to the houses that the banks are holding on to, or to the houses that are defaulting as we speak. This will be the status quo for quite some time, regardless of how many investors buy into it.

  5. We all owe Osama Obama a debt of gratitude for his excellent handling of the economy over the past 3+ years. That is, if we are among Osama Obama's and his fellow travelers favorites. They're making out like bandits. The rest of us? Not so much! Handouts, bailouts, record deficits and record unemployment figures are hallmarks of Osama Obama's mishandling of the economy. And, why not? He's as ignorant a fool when it comes to economics as we've had in the Oval Office since the peanut farmer. "Crony capitalism" is the word of the day with this "administration. But we can and, hopefully, will change that come November when we toss him and his motley crew out on their behinds! Vote Mitt!

  6. Garbage in, garbage out. This is one more indiscriminant and misleading article bemoaning market realities in the service of politicians, realtors and property owners, who have a skewed view of their property value. In fact, the situation is far worse than portrayed and prices are likely to drop drastically in the future, because:

    1. Politicians buy elections and job security for themselves by subsidizing home prices with our money. Among their tools:
    a. Loans with minimal down
    b. Government-backed loans (now more than 90% of all home loans). Would any of us be stupid enough to give a 97% loan to a stranger who has just 3% skin in?
    c. Tax rules which reward borrowers and penalize savers
    d. Deficit spending equivalent to 10% of annual GNP
    e. Total debt exceeding 100% of GNP
    f. Borrowing (stealing) from the Chinese who actually work to produce things people want to buy and who actually save money in spite of receiving a fraction of the wages received by the thieves (i.e., Americans)
    g. Basing the economy on a single export--fresh-minted dollar bills, which the American government/military forces down the throats of "foreigners".
    2. Included in the calculations are the phony high prices into which realtors con their buyers.
    3. Few Americans are truly "homeowners". A more accurate picture of values would emerge if statistics were based on the prices paid by true "homebuyers" (i.e., cash buyers). This would unmask the criminal nature of the statistics foisted on the public for the purpose of propping up our corrupt one-party--Demopublican--system.
    4. Nearly 100,000 fewer people are gainfully employed today in Las Vegas than in 2007 (when the housing was built), so the true number of vacant units will exceed 50,000 until government policy changes radically and foreigners (who possess real wealth) are allowed to visit Las Vegas and create jobs.
    5. The prices quoted don't account for inflation. E.g., last year's prices equaled those of 1999--yet the value of today's dollar is 30% less.
    6. Property taxes (thanks to our corrupt and greedy government which thinks it is fine for its employees to receive 3-10 times the lifetime compensation we receive) have increased since 1999 (even though the value is equivalent). Worse, a system is in place to increase taxes if prices ever do increase. This will drag prices.
    7. Everything government does costs us more every year--even though we our income and assets are rapidly diminishing.
    8. The April 1 government water increase wiped out billions of dollars in private property values--just so Pat Mulroy could borrow $300,000,000 to forestall the bankruptcy into which she has thrust SNWA and LVVWD.
    9. That increase is just one of dozens imposed by the government on its citizens. These will impose a permanent drag on housing prices and our welfare.

    Prices are not "stubbornly weak" and the worst is yet to come, thanks in part to you, Mr. Green.