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A Look at the Las Vegas Economy in 2012

March 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 107

The economic downturn has been especially rough here in Las Vegas since the housing bubble burst in 2008. No one knows that more than homeowners. Homeowners in Las Vegas have watched their home value plummet in the last four years and potential buyers have become scarce. But all is not lost. The night is always darkest before the dawn, as they say. There have been some developments in the housing market and some interesting resident behavior in 2012 that may give homeowners reason to be optimistic about the future.

As reported by the latest U.S. Census, the percentage of homeowners to renters has fallen from 64% in 2009 to 48% and many experts believe that will continue to fall even further. This is a problem for current homeowners because renters are less likely to make improvements on the properties-in fact, they usually aren't allowed to make improvements-or even keep up the property like a homeowner would. Renters have also shown to be less likely to form a sense of community in a neighborhood-forming things like neighborhood watches.

While the historic downturn of the U.S. economy is a major factor in the drop of home ownership, especially with residents' ability to obtain the credit necessary to purchase a home, the uncertainty of the future seems to be a mitigating factor for the reluctance of many renters to consider becoming homeowners. That reluctance isn't without merit, but there have been positive developments in the valley to warrant optimism.

This past January marked the 12th in 13 months that employment has grown in Nevada. In Las Vegas the unemployment rate dropped from 13.3% to 13.1% in December 2011 from December 2010. Though we are still more than 4% above the national average of 8.3%, this improvement is a better foundation to build on than previously thought.

Originally, reports showed Las Vegas added 4,300 new jobs in 2011, but recently new data has shown that we actually gained 9,500 new jobs. The reason for the incorrect data, economists say, is the recent spike in new businesses opening. New businesses start hiring and it takes longer for that data to be reported than measuring unemployment filings or the data of long standing businesses and large corporations.

There has also been steady growth in the population of Las Vegas. From July 2010 to July 2011 Nevada's population has grown by 17,152 people. In Clark County alone we have added 13,462 people. Now, most of this influx of people will be renting, but a steady rise in population and job growth is good for the city, good for the economy, and ultimately good for homeowners.

There is also some data that shows Las Vegas residents are struggling less financially. Las Vegas leads the country in Google searches for "bankruptcy", showing a steady increase from 2007-2010, but there has been a continuous drop for the past 18 months.

Also, in the past month builders have requested the most building permits since October 2008. Construction plans once abandoned have started up again.

Considering all this data, there is good reason for Las Vegas homeowners to be optimistic-or at the very least less discouraged-about the future value of their homes.

Kevin O'Connor is a content writer for Las Vegas Bankruptcy lawyer Anthony Deluca. Anthony is one of the leading bankruptcy experts in Nevada.

Source: EzineArticles
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