LAS VEGAS : Hottest real estate market in the country

Hottest real estate market in the country? Las Vegas

The Las Vegas real estate market is as hot as the desert heat.

Las Vegas home values reported the highest year-over-year gains in home values, totaling a 13 percent increase, according to the S&P’s Corelogic Case-Shiller Index (the leading measure of U.S. home prices).

Seattle came in a close second with a 12.8 percent increase, San Francisco in third with a 10.7 percent increase.

“The prices that are really moving the quickest are homes under $300,000,” Zar Zanganeh said. “Affordable housing is the hardest thing to find, right now, in Las Vegas.”

Zanganeh is the owner and broker of Luxe Estates and Lifestyles. He believes this surge in prices is partially thanks to the city’s growth in employment and population.

“The Vegas market is growing very quickly,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of new businesses, we have 3 new casino projects being built, we have a stadium coming along, we have a medical school that just started in Las Vegas, so there are a lot of people moving to Las Vegas and a lot of money coming to Las Vegas.”

The Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, David M. Blitzer, credits the same thing for the market boom.

“Home prices continue to rise across the U.S.,” Blitzer said in a press release. “However, even as home prices keep climbing, we are seeing signs that growth is easing in the housing market.”

Avi Dan-Goor is another real estate agent in the region, working for Berkshire Hathaway. He believes the real estate market is currently in a very healthy state.

“The real estate market here is really healthy right now. It took a while to get there, but we’re there and it’s exciting,” he said. “The landscape of the city is changing with us becoming a sports city if you will, and there’s a lot of investors buying these properties, so the competition is becoming fiercer and more difficult for the average home buyer.”

Dan-Goor isn’t concerned that the market is going to suffer any time soon. He says the real estate market fluctuates, prices may go up a bit and down a bit, but doesn’t anticipate any kind of crash.

“I’m not concerned about a bubble, not concerned about a burst, I think a correction will come, and I think it’s already slowly starting,” Dan-Goor said. “The median home price right now is about $290,000, so it went up for a long time, it continued to go up. I think last month was the first time that it dropped, around $5,000. I don’t think that’s indicative of anything bigger coming.”

Zanganeh isn’t worried either and thinks homeowners should see the rise in value as a good thing for the market. He understands why some people may be concerned that the serious rise will lead to a crash, but says the circumstances surrounding the current growth are much different than in previous situations.

“Financing is still a lot more strict than it was 15 years ago when they were giving away loans very easily,” he said. “It’s still harder to qualify for a loan today, and prices aren’t going up as high as they were back then.”

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