Saturday, January 26, 2008

Viva, Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas has become a glass-half-full, glass-half-empty town. Home buying fear now is as pervasive as speculation was under two years ago, but the smart money may be moving back to town.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Deadline Newsroom - Think about it.

A record number of homes for sale.

Home sales half what they were a year ago.

Home prices slashed by as much as 30 percent.

It's a sure bet somebody is making a killing in Las Vegas.

Before you pass Sin City off as just another town sand blasted by the housing bust, the National Association of Residential Real Estate Investment Advisors (NARREIA) suggests you take another hard look at the City That Never Sleeps.

Scott Meservey with the investment association's development services says foreclosures, short sales and homeowners who've lost their shirts alls makes for great media drama.

But there's an untold story about the growing number of buyers slipping into town paying 10, 20 and 30 percent less than what homes cost less than two years ago, according to the association.

And they are not high rollers.

Meservey, a Realty Executives agent in Las Vegas, says only a fraction of the owner-occupied homes in Las Vegas were purchased -- in a short time span -- with funny money from the last housing boom.

Most Vegas homeowners, on the other hand, are just that. They didn't gamble on buying a home. They have conventional financing and are prepared to wait out the market.

It's a lot like a hungry snake gulping down a wayward pig.

It will pass.

Meservey said a minority of properties are bringing down home values region wide and the fear of buying is as pervasive as speculative buying used to be, but that's created a real housing market sale in Las Vegas.

Dataquick Information Services said November home sales in the Las Vegas area were at a 12-year low in November and the median price dropped at a record 13.5 percent pace during the year.

NARREIA reported recently, the market was awash with nearly 28,000 listings, almost half of which were vacant, indicating speculators simply bailed on the properties.

One door closes and another opens.

Viva, Las Vegas.

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© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist of 30 years, is publisher and executive editor of San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service, and the new Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's new backshop. In both cases, it's where all the news really hits home.

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