New 'Ghost Towns' Sprout Up in Las Vegas - 8 News NOW

Ashanti Blaize, Reporter

New 'Ghost Towns' Sprout Up in Las Vegas

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"The trend is there's a supply that exceeds the demand and it's Economics 101," says real estate broker Thomas Love. "The trend is there's a supply that exceeds the demand and it's Economics 101," says real estate broker Thomas Love.

There are more signs this week that the Las Vegas housing market is cooling down. In September, the median price for a home was $285,000. That's exactly the same as it was one year ago.

And experts say there's been a 21.5-percent decline in new home building permits in the past year. The number of new permits requests in September was the lowest since December 2001.

The housing market slow down is bringing back a wild, Wild West staple, the ghost town.

There are valley neighborhoods where vacant homes seem to outnumber the homes where people are living.

Eyewitness News visited one of these ghost town neighborhoods near Cheyenne and Torrey Pines where there were ten vacant homes on one block alone. A nearby sign shows that the homebuilder is anxious to get those houses sold.

The problem is buyers aren't buying.

In the middle of Las Vegas lies a neighborhood where you won't experience the sights and sounds of kids playing in the front yards or neighbors chatting in their driveways. In fact, all you'll hear is silence because most of these homes are vacant.

Real estate broker Thomas Love shows us one of those vacant homes. "This property is about 2,600-square feet and we're on large lots," he says.

It sports four bedrooms sitting on about 7,000-square feet of land nestled in a very quiet neighborhood.

"All of them come standard with granite," Love points out.

But even with all of those positive marks, Thomas Love knows it's still going to be hard work selling it.

"The trend is there's a supply that exceeds the demand and it's Economics 101. When the supply exceeds the demand, a couple of things happen. Prices are starting to come down and we just have more inventory than we have buyers right now," Love explains.

This is creating "ghost town" neighborhoods that can be found all across the valley where vacant homes out number the occupied ones.

Love has sold houses in Las Vegas market for 20 years and says one thing that's added to this trend is the buyer's mentality.

"They're not buying. They're sitting on the sidelines. These investors that own all these vacant properties they can't sell are turning to rental markets. So they're renting them out at actual rents that are much less than what these people would pay if they were owning them."

It seems the only way to get rid of these ghost towns and breathe life into neighborhoods across the valley is to cater to the potential homebuyer.

Right now there are about 22,000 existing homes on the market across the valley and 9,800 of them are vacant.

Send your comments to Reporter Ashanti Blaize at ablaize@klastv.com

The Clark County Commission has given a boost to the Reno businessman building a new housing development about 50 miles north of Las Vegas

In most cases the county pays for water pipelines and treatment facilities to be built. But in this case -- to speed things up -- commissioners invoked a seldom-used law allowing developer Harvey Whittemore to pay for the work himself and be reimbursed by the county at a later time.

Coyote Springs will create 49,000 news homes in Clark County and another 110,000 in Lincoln County.

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