Hello, readers! As your new Residential Real Estate Examiner for Las Vegas, I’d like to introduce myself briefly and then let you know what these articles will be about. My name is Steve Fey, and I’m an agent with Keller-Williams Las Vegas on South Durango Drive. In my practice, I am concentrating especially on those who want to retire to Las Vegas. I have a web site called Retiring to Vegas that includes both real estate information and information about retirement communities and life in Las Vegas in general, especially life in retirement in Las Vegas. I hold the certifications from the National Association of Realtors of Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES.) As a licensee in Nevada, I keep in touch with the market and current trends, so I can offer a bit of an informed opinion on what’s happening around the Valley of Meadows.
For Examiner I will try to answer questions such as, “What the heck is up with Las Vegas real estate? When will the market turn around? How do I get out of my upside-down house?” and the like. For today, let me say that the market in Las Vegas will most assuredly turn around. In a very general way, I would like to talk about when that might happen.
In Las Vegas, beginning in 2003 and 2004, speculation ruled the day in real estate. The television show “Las Vegas” had a story line involving the “red hot Vegas real estate market.” The feeling amongst investors was that you couldn’t lose by buying into the Vegas market and selling a few months later for an obscene profit. And in fact, for some people that actually was true. People who bought into this “bubble,” which is what economists call any situation where speculation drives the market, at first did very well indeed. Later on in the process, however, the bubble was a lot like a pyramid scheme, with the later investors left holding the bag.
So, the greediest of all got shafted, right? What could be bad about that? What was and is bad about that is that plenty of ordinary people who just needed a place to live and raise a family also had to buy at the artificially inflated bubble prices. Those are the source of the stories that break your heart: people losing their home, abandoning their pets, moving back East and letting their home go into foreclosure. People were given mortgages under questionable circumstances, because everybody knew that Vegas was a town that never stopped growing. Unfortunately, those very questionable mortgages led to a national financial crisis that ultimately drove a lot of homeowners out of work. Unable to pay their increasing monthly mortgage, people started losing homes, which made the mortgage finance situation worse, which drove more people out of work, and so it went until here we are.
Here, in this case, includes a real estate market with a lot of bank owned properties in it. Those properties depress the prices for the market in general. In fact, houses are selling for prices not seen in seven years or more as banks sell the inventory of foreclosed homes. The banks can only sell so quickly, so we can expect prices to stay relatively low until all of the foreclosed inventory is back in private hands.
One bright spot is that real estate prices should stay low for a while. At least the rest of this year, I imagine, maybe longer. Las Vegas lags the nation in economic status. That is, three years ago, Las Vegas employment numbers stayed up for almost a year after most of the country started losing jobs. We can expect, I’ll bet, a similar lag in recovery. That puts the apparent beginning of a recovery for Las Vegas sometime between roughly September and next summer. With real estate prices likely to remain relatively low, that’s good news for people who can take advantage of the new jobs when they become available.
I’ll be back in a few days with some information on terminology to help you to understand the market in Las Vegas.
Thanks for reading!