It's not easy but Sin City is doing all it can to turn the tide on the bad hand it has been dealt over the past few years regarding the housing market. It has steadily occupied high rankings on many mortgage- and real estate-related lists that no one really wants to be on. But now Vegas is on one that is going make it look a little better. And give everyone in the valley real hope as far as the future of the housing market goes.
The Top 10 Bargain Markets list is out and Las Vegas is third on it. FHFA, or Federal Housing Finance Agency, that gathers housing data on 292 metropolitan areas is behind the report. And it's easy to see why Vegas ranks so high. Mortgage foreclosures are the big thing, casting its long shadow over the entire sandy landscape. Despite their early resistance banks are now pricing REOs, or real estate owned, wherever they have to in order to sell them. That has brought values all the way down to the levels of around 2002. That's when a solid 3-bed, 2-bath single-family home in a nice neighborhood could be purchased for well under $200,000.
Is that going to help the limping housing scene in Southern Nevada recover? It sure is. In a small way it's already started. First-time buyers and investors are busily going through the huge amount of inventory at the lower end of the scale and picking up bargains in the process. That is a good sign. At least one end of the market is gathering steam. The important thing is that it begins somewhere, which gives consumers more confidence about the market's overall viability, and then everything moves by stages into other affected segments.
By the way, the number one slot on the list went to Stockton, CA, with Naples, FL, grabbing the second spot. Fourth was Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and fifth Miami. Anyone who closely follows real estate would've guessed as much. The once high-flying areas that over-priced themselves are now turning into bargain heavens. In essence, this is a perfect example of market forces at work.