We are seeing a major shift here. The Las Vegas housing market has lagged behind other major metro areas for some time. Following the housing crash, it was one of the last metros to regain year-over-year appreciation of home prices. The economists behind the Case-Shiller index noted this shift in their January 29th release:
“Regional patterns are shifting as well. The Southwest — Las Vegas and Phoenix — are staging a strong comeback with the Southeast — Miami and Tampa close behind.”
Inventory is a major factor driving these changes. A few months ago, real estate investors began to “sense” that house prices were bottoming out in this metro area. They began snatching up homes by the thousands, racing to beat rising prices that would eat into their resale profits.
This has driven inventory down across the entire metro area. According to Realtor.com, the number of homes listed for sale in Las Vegas has dropped by 25% over the last year or so.
During the same 12-month period, the median list price rose by 12.5%.
Demand is rising among “regular” buyers as well, but at a much slower pace. Unemployment is still high in this metro area, and it’s limiting the size of the non-investor buyer pool. At the end of 2012, the unemployment rate in Las Vegas was hovering above 10%, compared to 7.8% nationally. You might say the local real estate market is improving in spite of the job market — not because of it.
Read more: http://www.homebuyinginstitute.com/news/las-vegas-comeback-303/#ixzz2MASxUzW8