When the Great Recession hit, there were some regions that took a particularly powerful hit, and Sin City was one of them. The Las Vegas economy was nearly destroyed along with people’s credit, and the bursting of the housing bubble was one of the record books. Moving home to one of the country’s top vacation destinations was extremely lucrative in the early years, but it came with an unpleasant lesson for those who were in the thick of it just a few years ago. Yet no one was hit harder than the average homeowners, workers, families, and residents who live in Las Vegas year-round, and not just for a long weekend.
As 2013 draws to a close, home prices are on the rise again, but some folks are understandably (and wisely) shy. In fact, some people praise Las Vegas for having one of the most popular real estate markets in America, with a home sales price of about 35 percent this year. Overall home values are up 29 percent, and there are parts of the valley where land prices have doubled in value since last Christmas. Is this too good to be true and what does it mean for residents?
It’s a bet
Those who live in or around Las Vegas, Nevada are well aware of the commonalities between the economy and the casinos: the house always wins, don’t bet what you can’t lose, and if there is a chance to stack the odds, then do so. . In other parts of the country, home values have risen about three percent in the past year, which should be a red flag. So far, analysts are not declaring the city in the “real estate bubble 2.0”, but again, the Great Recession was not widely forecast until it was too late.
Once again, investors are flocking to the city, houses are being sold quickly, and homeowners who are not underwater on their mortgage are making a good profit. However, it is still possible that this is the emergence of another bubble, which is exactly what is happening according to Robert Schiller, an economist at Yale University. So what should owners do if they want to sell? The answer is simple: accept the highest offer you can get. now.
“If I could do it all over again …”
When America was in the middle of the Great Recession, people had all kinds of regrets, especially the ones in Las Vegas. They wish they had protected their credit score, saved a bigger emergency fund, not paid as much for their dream home, or had a backup plan in terms of job security. People rarely get second chances, but in Las Vegas this could be the bonus round.
If it really is a second housing bubble, your best move depends on your situation. Are you looking to buy or sell a property? Or are you just trying to stay afloat financially? If you are a buyer, please do so with extreme caution. But if you are a salesperson or trying to fix your finances and repair your credit, this is your market. Remember, a few professionals in your corner won’t hurt.