Steady improvement in prices for at least six months key to recovery, says consultant

Like many overinflated U.S. housing markets where the bubble has burst, Las Vegas appears ripe for the picking. People got buried when home values collapsed and will spend years digging out of their holes. About one in 13 will become a foreclosure statistic. Despite encouraging reports of increased sales and stabilized prices, the housing crisis is far from over, both locally and nationally, real estate analysts and consultants said.

Rising unemployment and the nation’s highest foreclosure rate present huge obstacles to recovery in Las Vegas, said Marta Borsanyi, principal of Concord Group, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based real estate advisory firm. There’s a significant oversupply of available new units, estimated at 42,000 units for the entire market, including standing inventory, available lots and recently built homes in foreclosure, she reported. That also includes 8,000 high-density units, the majority of which are condo-hotels and rentals.

Nevertheless, median existing-home prices in Las Vegas rose 0.7 percent in July from the previous month and annual sales are up 63 percent from a year ago, Las Vegas-based SalesTraq reported.

Read Hubble Smith’s full article “REAL ESTATE: Housing recovery isn’t as close to reality as some statistics suggest” in the Las Vegas Review-Journal (October 11, 2009).

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