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Southern Nevada Housing Market Shows Signs of Recovery, CBER Report Finds

Vegas housing prices grew by almost 6 percent in 2012, but nearly 60 percent of Nevada homeowners have negative equity
Campus News  |  Nov 28, 2012  |  By Megan Downs
Media Contact: Megan Downs, Office of Media Relations (702) 895-0898

Las Vegas housing prices rose by almost 6 percent so far in 2012 and continue to be on the uptick, according to a report released by the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER).

After a six-year decline leading to a bottoming out in January, prices have risen this year and are set to increase over the next few years as the Southern Nevada economy improves, CBER economists said. By comparison, national housing prices have risen about 4.4 percent.

"Right now, Las Vegas housing is a very good deal," said Stephen Brown, CBER director and author of the report. "Nevada housing is more affordable than the national average. Although we tend to think of low housing prices as indicative of a depressed market, low housing prices will help the Las Vegas economy grow."

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Las Vegas had housing that was affordable by national standards, which helped propel the area's growth. By 2006, Las Vegas had lost that advantage. From 2000 to 2006 housing prices in Las Vegas rose by 231 percent. From 2007 to 2012, prices fell by 61.1 percent.

A lack of supply is also increasing prices for single-family homes in Las Vegas. Supply is down about 5.6 percent, because of a lack of listings.

Additionally, the most recent data show that 58.6 percent of Nevada homeowners have negative equity. At more than two and a half times the national average of 22.3 percent, Nevada remains the state with the highest percentage of homeowners in a negative equity position. Other states rounding out the top six include Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and California at 42.7 percent, 39.7 percent, 35.8 percent, 32.8 percent and 29 percent respectively.

For more details and data, read the full report.