April another strong month for Nevada home prices

Two studies released Tuesday report excellent results for housing prices in Nevada, and Las Vegas in particular. CoreLogic found that Nevada led the nation in home price appreciation in the month of March, with an average 22.2% increase, while The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported a 30.6% increase in single-family homes from one-year ago. The numbers on condos and townhomes are even better, with an annual increase of 41.9%, to close at an average of $85,000 for the city.

These higher prices are indicative of Las Vegas's surging economic recovery and the gains from the housing market are being felt everywhere. "Every new household that’s formed means purchases at furniture and appliance stores. And if people are buying existing homes, then there’s a lot of minor remodeling that’s taking place. I think it’s a very good stimulus to the economy," says Steve Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Population reports from the census bureau are backing up the housing market data. 2012 saw 19,000 new residents in Clark County, the biggest increase since 2008. These population numbers are not only good for the housing market, but the economy as a whole will thrive with sustained population growth.

While many people are worried about Las Vegas just becoming another inflated housing bubble, Dave Tina, president of the realtors association, doesn't see it that way. People are paying for homes with cash, meaning they are far less likely to abandon them, like when mass foreclosures led to the housing market crash. Prices are also still well below replacement costs, meaning home values should appreciate further, at least to the point where all vacant homes are purchased and construction begins again. 

Steve Brown predicts that Las Vegas home values could increase by 35% in the next year and a half.

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