The massive housing boom in Las Vegas quickly went to bust, as evidenced by the record number of vacant homes in the state of Nevada last year.
Newly released U.S. Census data revealed a staggering 167,564 homes laid vacant last year, more than double the number in 2000.
And the number of empties now represents roughly one in every seven houses across the Silver State.
This might have something to do with the fact that the state unemployment rate is 14.2 percent, coupled with demand that simply couldn’t keep up with the sprawl.
Housing Supply Grew More Than 40 Percent Over Past Decade
Residential property supply grew by more than 40 percent to 1.17 million homes over the past decade or so, making Nevada’s the youngest housing stock in the country in 2009.
And in Clark County (where Las Vegas is situated), the school district saw an average of 10 new schools built a year at its peak growth.
But much of this building began when Nevada boasted a statewide unemployment rate of just 3.8 percent.
The hard-hit state’s budget gap is now estimated at $1.5 billion (for starters), and likely rising.
Meanwhile, the median home price of resale homes dropped to $115,000 in January, well below the $300,000 seen back in 2007.
Last year, Nevada led the nation in distressed home sales (short sales, foreclosures) with a staggering 57 percent share – Arizona and California weren’t far behind, at 49 percent and 44 percent, respectively.
Amazingly, nearly 74,000 new homes were built last year in the state, because buyers still want new homes.