Overall, it has been a tough year for Clark County, Nevada, home of Las Vegas, when it comes to residential real estate. One of the bright spots has been the availability of mortgage money at affordable rates that has kept matters on some sort of a path toward a distant normalcy. Wherever that might be. The solution to that largely rests on how soon the marketplace can first arrest and then reverse the persistently high foreclosures here.
The statistics just released by Foreclosures.com for October appear to offer a ray of hope for Southern Nevada. Real estate owned, or REO, in Clark County fell to 2,653 from 3,563 in September, a nice well over 20% drop. Lenders are clearly in an aggressive mood to move unwanted property off their portfolios. What's more, preforeclosure filings also decreased, although more subtly, to 6,420 from 6,565 in September. Stats like these are eye candy to keen housing observers.
These are month to month figures and can be a touch ambiguous. As it has been for the last ten months, preforeclosures have gone up one month and then slumped the next month, in a true roller-coaster fashion. And the general pattern has been gradually upward until July of 2008 when an unofficial ceiling, hopefully, at around 6,500 was reached on the curve. If it won't go any higher and actually starts drifting lower in the coming months would make everybody a few degrees more optimistic.
The numbers year over year, however, in Las Vegas are still very scary. Preforeclosures shot up some 69% and REOs an altogether unwholesome 157.6%. In other words, there is a bunch of work to be done yet but perhaps the beginning of a new trend is emerging.