When the Great Recession hit, there were a few regions that took a particularly powerful blow-and Sin City was one of them. Las Vegas’ economy was nearly destroyed along with people’s credit, and the housing bubble burst was one for the record books. Flipping houses in one of the biggest vacations destinations in the country was extremely lucrative in the early aughts, but it came with a nasty lesson for those in the thick of it just a few years ago. However, nobody was more greatly affected than average home owners, workers, families and residents who call Las Vegas home year-round, and not just for a long weekend.
As 2013 comes to a close, housing prices are spiking again, but some people are understandably (and wisely) gun-shy. In fact, Las Vegas is being hailed by some as having one of the hottest housing markets in America with the sale price of homes spiking around 35 percent this year. Home values in general are up 29 percent, and there are some 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 Gamble
Those who live in or around Las Vegas, Nevada are all too aware of the commonalities between the economy and casinos: The house always wins, don’t gamble what you can’t lose and if there’s a chance to stack the odds, do it. Elsewhere in the country, home values have risen about three percent in the past year-that should be a red flag. Thus far, analysts aren’t declaring the city in “Housing Bubble 2.0,” but then again the Great Recession wasn’t widely predicted until it was too late, either.
Once again, investors are flocking to the city, houses are being turned over quickly and those homeowners who aren’t underwater on their mortgage are turning a tidy profit. However, it’s still possible that this is the emergence of yet another bubble-which is exactly what’s happening according to Robert Schiller, a Yale University economist. So what should homeowners do if they’re looking to sell? The answer is simple: Take the highest offer you can get right now.
“If I Could Do It All Over… “
When America was in the thick of the Great Recession, people had all kinds of regrets-especially those in Las Vegas. They wish they would have protected their credit score, saved up a bigger emergency fund, not paid so much for that dream house or had a backup plan in terms of job security. People rarely get second chances, but in Las Vegas this just might be the bonus round.
If this really is a second housing bubble, your best move depends on your situation. Are you looking to buy or sell property? Or are you simply trying to stay afloat financially? If you’re a buyer, tread with extreme caution. But if you’re a seller or trying to straighten out your finances and repair your credit, this is your market. Remember, a few professionals in your corner couldn’t hurt.