BluefoxToday blog : Las Vegas sees first out-migration in hundred years

Las Vegas sees first out-migration in hundred years

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas NVSouthern Nevada was hailed as the boomtown USA just a few years ago. Those days as many as 54,000 people annually moved into the area from all corners of the country. They came here for jobs and the climate and the good old-fashioned excitement of being able to live in Sin City dominated by the gaming industry and everything that comes with it. The phenomenal growth was partially fueled by affordable housing which was soon followed by more relaxed mortgage underwriting standards that eventually opened the floodgates to an unsustainable real estate boom. And then came the bust.  

The effects have been spectacular, rivaling the oohs and aahs the many colorful and exotic Strip shows manage to elicit from their thrilled patrons. It's just that they are now growled through gritted teeth, with the words mortgage foreclosure, short sale and underwater generally dominating the conversation.

And that has actually reversed the steady in-migration Las Vegas has enjoyed at least hundred years. Census data just released shows that from July 2008 to July 2009 the city lost almost 1,300 residents. It's not much on the surface, but when it's compared to the in-migration of 54,000 during the best growth year a few moons ago, then its importance becomes quite clear. In a little bit over a two year period to beginning of this year 130,000 jobs have vanished into the thin desert air. Real estate prices have spiraled down without much resistance, prompting many underwater mortgage borrowers to either do a short sale, pull a strategic default or go into foreclosure. Whichever, they still tend to leave the area in search of a new start.

The chances of Vegas bouncing back are good. The climate won't go anywhere, nor will the desert beauty all around, nor the Strip and its universal appeal. They are important parts of the foundation. The job outlook, though, needs to improve before a sustainable rebound can take hold and that can be a while. One thing local governments ought to do is widen the economic base in Southern Nevada, being so dependent on one industry - gaming - leaves few options when a major recession comes knocking on the door. This has been discussed and written about for years among local and national economic observers, but progress has been slow. Now that this severe downturn has totally exposed Vegas' vulnerability, action might be forthcoming.



Provided by: 

Esko Kiuru
Mortgage, real estate and apartment industry analyst - syndicated mortgage, housing and property management blog
My cell: 702-499-1006

Comment balloon 11 commentsEsko Kiuru • March 29 2010 06:08PM


Esko, decreases are usually not good, but given the market conditions out there, this is much better than what I would have expected.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 9 years ago


That long streak is now history. Let's start another one.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 9 years ago

Hi Esko,

I have a difficult time to believe that it is as bad in Las Vegas as some people are describing it,used to live there for a few years in 90's and it couldn't be better.Recently I have tried to contact my old friends but couldn't find them and just went to forums to chat about this and that and to find out how is in Las Vegas today.The people I happen to talk to were the most negative people that I have ever talked to,they were discouraging me from ever coming back.It almost seemed to me that it was their intention to make sure that people all over the world will have an opinion about Las Vegas,that it's bad place to travel to,to visit or even to thing about as a place to live.Someone is spreading a bad propaganda about this city.I can understand that it can be not as good as it used to be but it's not as bad as this people are making it to sound,at least that's my opinion.


Posted by Eva Erdmann, interior decorator (Lion International Inc.) about 9 years ago


Vegas is a great place to live and play. It's going through a tough time now but will be back.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 9 years ago


I like to stay optimistic and believe that everything is going to be back to normal in a couple of years,so I can come back one day and play Roulette again in my favorite Mirage !

I love Las Vegas !


Posted by Eva Erdmann, interior decorator (Lion International Inc.) about 9 years ago


Consider coming over soon because the Strip is on sale. All sorts of deals on rooms and shows etc. are being offered to keep traffic flows somewhat decent.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 9 years ago

I would love to see Eva back here!!  It is rough times here but I agree Esko, the city will rebound!

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) about 9 years ago


We just need to get our ducks in a row in real estate and the economy and good things will happen.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 9 years ago

Now that is a trend that I'm not sure I ever thought I would see. Vegas always, I mean always has been a boom town. Maybe this mean people are actually spending less money on things like trips to Vegas and spending them on their bills instead. What ever the reason, maybe the trend will reverse itself again when the economy turns around here in a couple years.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 9 years ago


A looong winning streak obviously is history now. We are busy working on a new one, though.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 9 years ago
You will have to collect your bags and go thrgouh customs before you can board the connecting flight. Every time I have flown back into the US you have to go thrgouh customs at the first airport you land in, even if that is not your final destination. Make sure there is plenty of time between your flights for this. Two hours might not be enough time to go thrgouh customs and get to the next gate. Check a map before you get there to make sure you know where you are going when you are done with customs. Hope that helps Also, if you booked thrgouh a travel agent check with them, or call the carrier to find out the policy.
Posted by Vaibhav almost 7 years ago