Las Vegas Sun

February 1, 2015

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Report: 80 percent of Las Vegas homeowners underwater on mortgage

Las Vegas home values as measured by Zillow fell 4.2 percent in the third quarter and pushed the region’s percentage of underwater properties to 80.2 percent.

The number of homes underwater -- when property owners owe more on their mortgage then the home is worth -- increased from 78.1 percent in the second quarter, the Seattle-based firm reported. Phoenix ranked second with 68 percent underwater during the third quarter.

“The high percentage of homeowners in negative equity continues to be troubling in that it represents a huge number of people who are not only more vulnerable to foreclosure but who are essentially trapped in their current homes and are prevented from selling and buying a new home,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “This has profound implications for future demand and will be a millstone around the neck of the housing market.”

In September, 39 percent of homes sold in Las Vegas were for a loss, up from 20 percent in September 2009. Nationally, 27 percent of the homes sold in September were for a loss, the firm reported.

Zillow, which says it measures the value of all homes and not just those sold, reported home values have fallen 58 percent since their peak in May 2006 -- back to August 2000 levels.

In Las Vegas, 47 percent of all home sales in September were foreclosure sales, down from 49 percent in September 2009. Nationally, foreclosures comprised 20 percent of all sales.

Zillow reported that while the valley’s home values fell 4.2 percent in the third quarter compared to the third quarter of 2009, unincorporated areas of Clark County fell the most. That includes a 9.2 percent decline in Paradise and 5.3 percent in Enterprise and Spring Valley. Mount Charleston had a 23 percent decline.

Among cities, Las Vegas fell 3.8 percent, Henderson fell just less than 2 percent and North Las Vegas fell just less than 1 percent.

Boulder City had a 7 percent increase and Summerlin South rose nearly 7 percent as well, according to Zillow.

“While not unexpected, the unceasing declines in home values signal that we’re in for a long bleak winter of continuing troubles for the housing market,” Humphries said. “The length and depth of the current housing recession is rivaling the Great Depression’s real estate downturn and with encouraging signs fading, will easily eclipse it in the coming months.”

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  1. Hi green617, for what it's worth, it's gone up more than 10 percentage points in the past year. In November 2009, 69.5 percent were underwater, according to the same report.

  2. its called a home. you live in it. you put your stuff there. If your concerned about the Value then the home becomes and investment. If you live in your investment, you screwed up. If you need to have the value of your investment to continue to rise in order to finance\leverage your home, you gambled and lost.

    Darcy Spears and her contact 13 specials dont seem to explain why the delinquent bofa mortgage holders cant afford to pay for their HOME. Well here's the answer: Because they are renters! Bofa, the government, the city, and the taxpayers didnt agree to buy the overpriced investment at the height of the market - YOU DID. You lose. Seven out, line away.

  3. I just did a word search in 33 comments for the word "Bush" and did NOT FIND ONE INSTANCE of the name. However, I did find Harry at least once.

    The reason 80 percent of the homes in Las Vegas are underwater is because this town has a memory about two months in duration.

    When standing in line for a show and the person in front steps on their toes, that same person will turn around and punch the guy behind, warning him to read the Bible or be cast into eternal damnation.

    Perhaps the 'underwater' condition is a prelude to the next Great Flood and the Second Coming of Noah.


  4. @sunjon

    Plenty of people did get in and out multiple times. But you're right, using your house as an ATM was a losing strategy from the beginning.

  5. good job, guys...apparently none of you are in charge.

    ...just a garden variety of morons without drivers' licenses.

    Outside "investors" pushed up "home" values turning homes into investment vehicles.

    Renters are slaves, so I guess we needed more unemployed slaves (strange operating system).

    Jonny B is right, though...BIG flood on the way!

  6. NativeNevadian

    Just curious who are "THEY"?

    as I said: "I just did a word search in 33 comments for the word "Bush" and did NOT FIND ONE INSTANCE of the name. However, I did find Harry at least once."

    Being underwater has nothing to do with ATMs, nor have I ever used my house as an ATM. You must get your information from the same source as Glenn Beck, who must grab his head with both hands and pull straight down just to see daylight.

  8. Reality Check: We are all slaves, including the politicians, all people, the world over, not just here in the United States.

    Our one way to freedom: dismantle the Federal Reserve Bank, which is privately owned.

    From cradle to grave, the Federal Reserve Bank is the ALL POWERFUL MASTER.

    In over 2 centuries, no one has figured out how to break free of them. So there will be few things that are subject to improve while one is alive. Like you all are saying: do we really own our homes? No, the government will if we don't pay taxes, and a mortgage holder does if we don't make the payments. It's an illusion at best.

  9. ensign, Sandoval, Heller and Heck are of no help. Only government can fix this. The no party is doing nothing.

    At least Titus tried to help.

    The Bush ownership society caused this situation, a long with deregulation.