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June 30, 2015

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economy:

Las Vegas bucks downward trend, notches home price gain

The Las Vegas housing market was among the best performers nationwide in September, new data today from the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show.

No, the boom-year conditions of 2006 did not return to Las Vegas.

Rather, the rest of the nation had a terrible month when it came to home sales, which made Las Vegas look like a star.

And, compared to itself, Las Vegas is looking slightly better as it rebounds from a four-year low hit in July.

Standard & Poor's today said home prices in Las Vegas in September edged up 0.1 percent from August and that Las Vegas and Washington, D.C., were the only markets of the 20 tracked by S&P to show monthly gains.

Las Vegas prices as tracked by S&P also rose 0.1 percent from July to August.

Overall, the 20-city average home price declined 0.7 percent from August to September.

On a year-to-year basis, prices for the 20 cities rose 0.6 percent with Las Vegas prices falling 3.5 percent from September 2009 to September 2010. But, for a change, Las Vegas didn't lead the list in year-to-year declines. That distinction went to Chicago, down 5.6 percent.

Las Vegas prices did fall, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, 0.2 percent from August to September. That compares to an average decline of 0.8 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis for the 20 big U.S. cities tracked in the report. In August, Las Vegas prices had declined 0.5 percent from July based on the seasonally-adjusted numbers.

Overall, analysts at Standard & Poor's expressed disappointment today at the nationwide numbers in their widely-tracked report.

"While some of the bad numbers may reflect the end of the government’s tax incentive for first time homebuyers, there are other problems weighing on the housing market." David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's, said in a statement. "The national economy is certainly the number one issue for housing. Additionally, there is a large supply of houses on the market and further, hidden supply due to delinquent mortgages, pending foreclosures or vacant homes. New construction is running at less than half the pace needed to meet normal demand, so a sustained recovery could be a ways off."

Today's numbers follow the release earlier in the month of home price statistics by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

With the Las Vegas-area economy struggling with a high foreclosure rate and a high unemployment rate (14.1 percent), the median single-family home price in Southern Nevada during October was $133,000, down 1.5 percent from $135,000 in September and down 4.4 percent from $139,100 in October of 2009.

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