Las Vegas Housing Market Outlook Grim - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Housing Market Outlook Grim

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The prices of new and existing homes have been steadily dropping in Las Vegas since mid-2006 and likely will continue to plummet.

That's according to several professional traders and national economists monitoring the valley's real estate market. Futures contracts on the housing market that trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange indicate Las Vegas is sliding toward the country's largest price decline. Some are predicting as much as a 20-percent drop in home prices by 2010.

The impact is being felt by buyers, sellers and realtors. Last month, the world's leading Century 21 realtor filed for bankruptcy in Las Vegas.

Realtors say they are feeling the pinch. Kelly Kuntz bought a real estate business last year as the housing market was starting to crash. He calls the situation dreadful. He says although he has plenty of work, he won't make any money this year. 

"What happens is this doesn't become a slow market, I am swamped."  He is swamped with sellers, many of whom are desperate to sell.

"They believe that through some miracle somebody is going to come to their home and the chances are very very remote," Kuntz said.

He says it keeps him awake at night trying to figure out how to make his real estate business grow.

"I am an optimist, I am a cynical optimist, but I am an optimist." He says real estate is not a get rich quick business, at least in this market. However, he does believe it will turn around.

UNLS's economics department estimated home prices would stop dropping and people would start buying in the next five months. But the most recent estimate by housing experts is that it could take up to another two years for that to happen.

SalesTraq reported the median price for new homes in the valley in August was $309,241, 13 percent below its peak in April 2006. The median existing-home price was $270,000 in August, down 6.8 percent from its June 2006 peak.

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