2011 ended with lower Las Vegas home prices

A home sits foreclosed and unoccupied in the 4500 block of E Sun Valley Drive, Thursday Dec. 15, 2011. A group of organizations and individuals are rallying together to put pressure on the Obama Administration to reject the 50 state settlement with Wall Street banks.

Home prices in Nevada and Las Vegas continued to fall during the last two months of 2011, two new reports show.

CoreLogic of Santa Ana, Calif., which tracks home prices, said existing home prices in the Las Vegas area in November were down 10.8 percent from November 2010.

Nevada, in the meantime, led the nation in home price depreciation in November, CoreLogic said, with prices down 11.2 percent statewide from the year-ago level. Nationwide, there was a 4.3 percent year-to-year decline in home prices during November.

The market in Nevada and around the country has been affected by distressed home sales involving foreclosures and short sales in which banks allow struggling homeowners to sell their properties for less than what is owed.

"Distressed sales continue to put downward pressure on prices and is a factor that must be addressed in 2012 for a housing recovery to become a reality," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

The housing market in Nevada, with unemployment measured at 13 percent in November, has been among the hardest hit in the nation.

The state has led the nation in foreclosures for the past five years. The trend is tied to steep job losses during the recession as well as questionable lending practices by lenders during the economic boom, when homes prices were inflated as many consumers received mortgages they ultimately could not afford.

On the flip side, the troubles in the residential real estate market in the Las Vegas area have generated a buying boom in which those who can pay cash or obtain mortgages are grabbing properties at deep discounts.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales locally of 48,186 local properties in 2011 broke the previous record set in 2009 of 46,879 sales.

The 2011 sales breakdown includes 38,153 single-family homes and 10,033 condominiums and townhomes.

The GLVAR reported the median price of single-family homes sold in December local was $120,000, down 4 percent from $125,000 in November and down 9.1 percent from $132,000 in December 2010.

The median price of local condominiums and townhomes sold in December was $58,550, the GLVAR said. That’s up 0.9 percent from $58,000 the previous month, but down 5.6 percent from $62,000 one year earlier.

The GLVAR is hoping prices firm up this year and expects continued strong sales.

"We may see some improvement in prices this year as our inventory of homes on the market keeps going down and demand stays high," GLVAR President Kolleen Kelley said in a statement. "We’re also seeing more short sales, which are preferable to foreclosures and sell for higher prices than homes that have gone through a foreclosure."

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  1. There Must be good jobs with benefits First, then an adequate Public Education Systems, then Citizens Must feel Safe while out, Then Opportunities for Families to grow and stay in Nevada. Also don't forget quality of Life issues. Two Million people without a significant Museum, Amusement Park, Zoo, Mass Transit System, non Casino Centric anything, with the First Major exception being The Smith Center.

    The OLD days of unlimited money are Gone. Wall-Street Banks destroyed Trillions of dollars in Homeowner Values. The Super Wealthy in Nevada Pay almost No Taxes, The Mining Companies in Nevada Pay almost No Taxes. The Political Leadership in Nevada is ALL talk, however cannot plan their way out of a paper bag. I don't care the party - all seem to be unable to move this valley anywhere beyond 2008. It's time to End the Endless Studies AND Actually Do Something.

  2. "The market in Nevada and around the country has been affected by distressed home sales involving foreclosures and short sales in which banks allow struggling homeowners to sell their properties for less than what is owed."

    The problem is those banks are usually not owed, they just put up a good front. When pressed for proof they do everything but actually prove it. Some friends of mine sent a simple "show me the note and your ID" letter last summer to BofA. At last count they've had to deal with seven separate entities, including an attorney from back east, yet not one of them have shown the requested proof.

    Go get 'em, Masto!

    "Why don't the banks want us to see the paperwork on all these mortgages? Because the documents represent a death sentence for them..... in America, it's far more shameful to owe money than it is to steal it." -- an article from the November 25, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi "Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners"