(Source: Wall Street Journal)

They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. It certainly is holding true for home price declines, which Las Vegas can’t seem to shake.

The latest Case-Shiller home price figures show that Las Vegas has now edged out Phoenix has the city with the steepest decline from the housing peak. Prices in Las Vegas are down 54.3% from the August 2006 peak, compared to a 53.9% decline for Phoenix from its June 2006 peak. Phoenix posted a 1.1% monthly gain in the three-month period ending in June, compared to the equivalent period ending in May. Las Vegas, on the other hand, declined by 2% in June from May.

Prices continue to take big hits in Las Vegas even as sales rise. The number of sales rose for the 11th straight month in July, with a 29% increase from a year ago (though sales were off by 4% in July from June). Nearly seven in 10 homes purchased in Las Vegas last month had been foreclosed upon in the past 12 months, and more than four in 10 sales were all cash purchases, according to MDA DataQuick, a real-estate research firm.

Read Nick Timiraos’s full article “Sales Rise, But Las Vegas Can’t Shake Home Price Declines” in the Wall Street Journal (August 27, 2009).

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