Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When Las Vegas Real Estate Was Hotter Than Hot

Remember the good old days, when Las Vegas real estate was hotter than hot? The bad news back then was that if you were looking for a good deal in Vegas, you were better off in the casinos than in the home market. The good news for home buyers today is that the housing market in Vegas has cooled off considerably and now is an excellent time to buy.

According to a recent study done by Deutsche Bank cited by CNN Money, Las Vegas is 6th on the list of top 10 most affordable housing markets! That's a real turnaround from just a few years ago when many people were priced out of the Las Vegas real estate market and forced to put their dreams of living here on hold.

The study looked at the percentage of their income that average Vegas homeowners pay into their homes after tax. It found that the current percentage is 9.8%, down from 17.2% at the height of the housing bubble in 2007. The study also looked at the cost of home ownership in Las Vegas versus renting. Here are the statistics for the Las Vegas housing market:

Rent as a % of after-tax mortgage payment: 125.1%
Median home price change, 2006-2010: -56.5%

Due to the number of foreclosures in Las Vegas, the rental market here is booming. Many of these renters have lost their homes to foreclosure and are unable to buy an affordable home due to bad credit. This opens the door for cash buyers and those with good credit and/or no home sale contingency to get fantastic deals on available homes.

According to Dotan Melech of UnitedAMS, more than half of the sales in Las Vegas are cash, and if you are buying a Las Vegas condo, cash may be your only option. Companies such as UnitedAMS are buying up foreclosures to rent them out. With high occupancy rates comprised of reliable renters who lost their homes, the Las Vegas real estate market for rentals is a good investment.

It’s something to think about for both those looking to buy and those looking to invest in Las Vegas real estate. Prices are competitive, rental income is steady and prices will only rise in the coming years. Is now the time to buy Las Vegas real estate? All indicators say yes, and experts are advising that prospective homeowners jump in before the market heats back up.

This article was written by Beth Hrusch, an expert
in the Las Vegas category at