Condo Prices in Las Vegas Plunge - 8 News NOW

Condo Prices in Las Vegas Plunge

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Home prices are dropping all over the country. According to the National Association of Realtors, median home prices fell a record 15.6-percent across the U.S. during the second quarter.

In Las Vegas, the median price of a home is $141,800. That's down nearly 40-percent from the same time last year.

One of the most telling statistics coming from the National Association of Realtors has to do with condo prices. Last year in Las Vegas, condo owners saw their homes drop in price by 54-percent. That drop means the median price of a condo in Las Vegas dipped to $66,400.

Now mortgage lenders are starting to see people wanting smaller loans to move out of renting and into a place they own.

"We are doing financing right now for several people that are buying anywhere between $65,000 and $90,000. They are just as excited as can be because they have payments that are less than what they are paying for rent right now," said Bill Ochs, Jr., owner of Nevada Mortgage.

Ochs says banks will give loans for any amount, no matter how small. It costs the same for lenders to process a large loan as it does to process a small one. Therefore, Ochs says the fees on smaller loans will be higher.

The low cost brought back investors in droves. Many of those investors are paying cash for condos from $35,000 to $70,000, causing big problems to first-time homebuyers.

Real estate agents like Erin Cross with RE/MAX have seen that interest. "These are local folks who are saying, ‘You know, I could go ahead and get a two bedroom condo, put a renter in there are a few years, sell it and pay for my child's college education,'" she said.

Cross says she saw a condo in Henderson sell last week for under $40,000 -- less than she paid for her SUV.

Some of the condos in this price range are apartment conversions that failed when the bubble burst. Others are not in desirable areas. Still when rent prices are $800 or $900 a month, a mortgage of $300 to $400 looks pretty good in the recession.

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