By Gregg Weldon, Chief Analytical Officer, AnalyticsIQ, Inc.
In recent years, the United States has been hit hard by the “Great Recession”. Since then, we’ve been noting how specific areas are being affected vs. the country overall. This report looks at Las Vegas and the state of Nevada, a true “boom-or-bust” area over the last 5 years. Comparisons will include home price changes, unemployment rates, and retail sales for the CBSA, the state, and the U.S. for July 2006 and April 2011.
In July, 2006, the recession was still yet-to-come, and most areas of the country were in good shape, economically.
In 2006, Nevada was on top of the world, with homes increasing in value at 2 to 2.5 times the national rate, strong increases in retail sales, and low unemployment. In Las Vegas, there was a boom in the construction industry, as new casinos were being built in record numbers (and for record prices). In fact, Las Vegas was one of the fastest growing large cities in the country.
What a difference 5 years makes. Home prices, which had been 15% above the national average, are now 32% below average. Not only that, but home prices still haven’t bottomed out, as they continue to fall. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has more than doubled and continues to worsen. Las Vegas has several partially completed casinos on the Strip, with no timetable for these hulks ever being finished.