Las Vegas’ housing bubble reached its most bloated point 10 years ago this month, at least by one gauge: resale prices hit their peak.
In June 2006, the median sales price of previously owned single-family homes in Southern Nevada rose to $315,000, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. Prices eventually plunged 63 percent to a low of $118,000 in January 2012, after the bubble burst and the recession clobbered Las Vegas harder than almost any metro area.
House prices have since climbed from the depths, to a median of $229,250 last month.
But looking back, whatever happened to homes that sold at the height of the real estate craze?
Their fate mirrored the broader housing market’s: widespread foreclosures, plunging property values and an uptick in sales prices for some homes — though none has reached the levels of the go-go years again.
A total of 28 previously owned single-family homes were purchased for $315,000 in June 2006, according to a VEGAS INC analysis of Clark County property records.
Among those, 18 were lost to foreclosure, including one home twice; four homes still are owned by the June 2006 buyers; and 23 homes were sold again, almost always in the $100,000 range. (Those sales do not include foreclosure auctions.)
Overall, Las Vegas-area home values are 34 percent below their peak, the biggest gap nationally among large metro areas, according to a March report by home-listing service Zillow.
Other cities have recouped their post-bubble losses and reached new highs, but not Las Vegas.
“In some markets, these new highs are a return to normalcy,” Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell said in the report. “The fact that other markets are still off by double-digits may not mean those markets are far from being recovered. It just highlights how extraordinarily inflated home values had been during the housing bubble.”
A one-story, 1,725-square-foot house on Valley Regal Way in North Las Vegas was one of the few that sold at the peak of the bubble and didn’t change hands over the next decade — until lenders seized it through foreclosure in April.
At first glance, the house doesn’t look vacant — no overgrown lawn, boarded-up windows or other obvious signs of abandonment. But a padlock hangs on the front door-handle; a push-button lock is installed above that, with general instructions from a home-inspection company on how to unlock it; and a blue-taped foreclosure notice is stuck to the door.
A neighbor said people come by about once a month to clear the weeds, but the house has been vacant for some time.
“We’ve only been here for a year and a half, and it’s been empty ever since,” she said.
Here’s a look at where homes sold in Clark County at the peak of the bubble a decade ago, and what happened to them. Data for this graphic came from Clark County Recorder and Assessor records. Note: To protect their privacy, VEGAS INC has withheld the names of the property owners.