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U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Spotlight on the Housing Market

in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise,
NV MSA
U.S. Department Efforts to Stabilize Development | Office of Policy Development and Research
The Obama Administration’s of Housing and Urbanthe Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | April 2014

The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area (Las Vegas MSA) is located at the southern tip of Nevada and contains
the largest concentration of people in the state. Las Vegas was one of the hardest-hit areas during the housing crisis and is in many ways
typical of how the crisis unfolded in the four so-called “sand states” of Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada. The MSA currently ranks 37th
in the nation for the share of mortgages at risk of foreclosure- -those 90 or more days delinquent or in the foreclosure process. In the years
leading up to the housing crisis, Las Vegas experienced rapid population growth, elevated levels of new home construction, and a rapid rise
in home prices--home price appreciation in the Las Vegas MSA rose at a pace that was 28 percent higher than the national average. After
the bubble burst, house prices in Las Vegas plummeted by 60 percent--nearly twice the national rate. The much lower property values and
the resulting severely underwater mortgages were partially fueled by unsustainable mortgage lending and investor speculation going into the
crisis. The rise in unemployment with the subsequent recession added further to rising defaults and the decline in property values. Similar
to the nation, the share of distressed mortgages in Las Vegas began to rise rapidly in 2007 with the decline in house prices, but by its peak
in early 2010, mortgage distress in Las Vegas far surpassed the national rate. The share of mortgages at risk of foreclosure has declined
substantially in Las Vegas--the result of a relatively strong economic recovery, fairly substantial house price increases, and state legislation
in 2009 and 2011 that sharply curtailed foreclosure activity. Nonetheless, relatively high shares of both distressed as well as underwater
mortgages remain. The Administration’s broad approach to stabilizing the housing market has been a real help to homeowners in the Las
Vegas metropolitan area. This addendum to the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard provides a summary of local economic trends and
conditions and describes the impact of the Administration’s efforts to stabilize the housing market and help local homeowners.

Population Growth, Employment,
and Housing Market:

With nearly 2.0 million people according to the most
recent Census, the Las Vegas MSA is the 30th largest in
the nation. From 2000 to 2010, the population increased
by an average of 57,550 people, or 4.2 percent a year.
An influx of people accounted for 74 percent of the net
population increase, as an average of nearly 42,800
people per year moved to the Las Vegas MSA during the
last decade. When economic growth was strong from
mid-2000 through mid-2006, those relocating to the area
reached an annual average of 55,000.
Las Vegas MSA Housing Unit Growth Outpaced Population
and Household Growth During the Past Decade
Date of Census

4/1/2000

4/1/2010

Las Vegas MSA Population

1,375,765

1,951,269

Annual Growth Rate

-

4.2%

512,253

Las Vegas MSA Households

715,365

Annual Growth Rate

-

4.0%

Las Vegas MSA Housing Units

559,799

840,343

Annual Growth Rate

-

5.0%

During the decade spanned by the Census, new housing
production exceeded household growth in Las Vegas. Net annual
housing unit growth of 5.0 percent during the last decade was greater than
the corresponding population and household growth rates of 4.2 and 4.0
percent, respectively, in the Las Vegas metro area. According to the Census
Bureau, the number of vacant units in the MSA increased by an average of
7,750 units, or 16.3 percent, annually, during the 2000s compared with
a 4.4-percent national increase. This excess construction contributed to an
oversupply of housing in the Las Vegas MSA and a sharp decline in home
prices after the housing bubble burst. Investor speculation had a significant
impact on the overbuilding in the years leading up to the housing crisis, as a
relatively large share of home purchases in the MSA were by non-occupant
investors. Specifically, from 2000 to 2005 investor home sales rose from
10.4 to 30.5 percent of total sales in Las Vegas, while the corresponding
increase for the nation was from 8.0 to 14.8 percent. Subprime lending
also contributed to overbuilding in the Las Vegas MSA. A study by the
National Bureau of Economic Research shows that in 2005, Las Vegas
ranked 4th out of the top 107 metropolitan areas with the highest share of
subprime mortgage originations relative to housing units. According to a
Wall Street Journal article, First American Loan Performance data indicates
that 17.8 percent of all mortgages were subprime in the Las Vegas MSA as

Source: Census Bureau (2000 and 2010 Decennial)

Spotlight on the Housing Market in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV MSA | Page 1

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of the Treasury

U.S. Department Efforts to Stabilize Development | Office of Policy Development and Research
The Obama Administration’s of Housing and Urbanthe Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | April 2014

of December 2006, ranking 5th highest among large
metropolitan areas. A conservative estimate based on
HMDA (Home Mortgage Disclosure Act) data indicates
that high-cost (proxy for subprime) originations tripled
nationally between 1998 and 2005, while a study
by the Center for Responsible Lending estimates that
approximately 90 percent of subprime mortgages during
that period faced increases in monthly payments of 30 to
50 percent within a few years, causing subprime loans
to typically default at more than 7 times the rate of other
mortgages. Many subdivisions of new homes in Las Vegas
were left only partially complete as builders lost their
financing or went bankrupt.

Home sales in Las Vegas are improving. After reaching a peak
of 71,900 units sold in 2004, purchases of existing home in the Las Vegas
metropolitan area dropped by an average annual rate of almost 21 percent
between 2005 and 2007. Existing home sales bounced back sharply in

An economic recovery is underway in Las
Vegas. The local economy experienced strong growth
before a steep decline that began in 2008. From the
second quarter of 2003 through the first quarter of 2008,
nonfarm-payroll jobs increased at an average annual rate
of 35,750, or 4.8 percent, compared with a national
increase of 1.2 percent during the same period. The
impact of the Great Recession was more severe for Las
Vegas than for the nation. Jobs in the MSA declined at
an average annual rate of 45,950, or 5.0 percent, from
the second quarter of 2008 through the fourth quarter
of 2010, compared with a national annual decline of
2.0 percent over the same period. The recovery from the
recession started later in Las Vegas, but jobs are now
accelerating at an average annual rate of 18,450, or 2.3
percent, from the first quarter of 2011 through the fourth
quarter of 2013, compared with a national increase of
1.7 percent.
The Las Vegas MSA is known for tourism, particularly
associated with gambling. However, during the recent
recession, almost all private sectors in the MSA lost jobs.
Job losses were largest in the construction and leisure/
hospitality sectors, where jobs declined at average annual
rates of 19,350 and 6,700, respectively. Job losses were
also substantial in the professional and business services
(5,500), financial activities (2,850) and manufacturing
(2,325) sectors. The recovery of the Las Vegas economy
has been led by the leisure and hospitality, professional
and business services, and retail trade sectors with
respective average annual increases in jobs of 4,825,
4,100 and 3,500. The unemployment rate for the Las
Vegas MSA peaked at 14.3 percent in December 2010
and has since fallen to 8.7 percent as of March 2014. The
national unemployment rate peaked in October 2009 at
10.0 percent, falling to 6.3 percent by April 2014.

Spotlight on the Housing Market in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV MSA | Page 2

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of the Treasury

U.S. Department Efforts to Stabilize Development | Office of Policy Development and Research
The Obama Administration’s of Housing and Urbanthe Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | April 2014

2008 and 2009 and have since maintained a level of
approximately 50,000 units--increasing at an average
annual rate of 12 percent from 2008 to 2013. By
comparison, existing home sales in the nation peaked
in 2005 and dropped by an average annual rate of 14
percent between 2006 and 2008; existing home sales
began to rise in 2009, increasing at an average annual
rate of nearly 5 percent from 2009 to 2013. Purchases of
new home in Las Vegas peaked in 2005 at 38,400 units,
before falling from 2006 through 2011 by an average
annual rate of 14 percent. New home sales have since
stabilized at approximately 7,500 units, increasing over
the last two years at an annual rate of 22 percent (albeit
on a low base). Nationally, new home sales peaked
in 2005 before declining by an average annual rate
of almost 13 percent from 2006 to 2011; sales have
increased since at an average annual rate of 20 percent
(also on a low base).
Home prices in Las Vegas rose and declined
more steeply than for the nation during the
housing crisis. The CoreLogic repeat-sales house
price index (HPI) shows that home prices in the Las Vegas
MSA peaked in the same month as the nation during the
housing bubble, but rose 28 percentage points higher.
The decline in home prices was also more pronounced
in Las Vegas, with prices falling 60 percent from their
peak in April 2006 to their low in December 2011. By
comparison, the national peak-to-low (ending February
2012) drop was 33 percent. Investor speculation had a
significant impact on the rise in home prices in Las Vegas
during the bubble. Sales to investors averaged 21 percent
during the rapid rise in Las Vegas metro home prices--much
higher than the 11 percent share nationally. As described
earlier, subprime lending was also a factor in fueling home
prices in Las Vegas. A relatively high level of distressed
sales (involving bank-owned properties or short sales)
played a large role in the price decline in Las Vegas,
as distressed sales--at 51 percent of existing home sales
during Las Vegas’ downturn--was more than double the 17
percent rate during the national peak-to-low period. Since
the end of the bubble, home prices have increased by 45
percent in the Las Vegas metro area, nearly double the 23
percent rise for the nation. Home values in the Las Vegas
MSA are currently on par with prices there in the third
quarter of 2003.

Although vacancy rates in Las Vegas have begun to decline,
the apartment market remains somewhat soft. According to
AXIOMetrics, Inc., the Las Vegas MSA apartment vacancy rate was 7.1
percent in the first quarter of 2014, down from 8.7 percent a year earlier,
representing soft market conditions. The decrease in the vacancy rate occurred
because, despite increased construction, demand for rental housing was
extremely high during the past year. The national apartment vacancy rate
declined from 5.8 to 5.3 percent over the same period. During the fourth
quarter of 2013, the average apartment rent in the Las Vegas MSA increased
by 0.8 percent from a year earlier to $806; the average rent nationwide
increased by 3.3 percent to $1,125 during the same period. Overall rental
market conditions in the Las Vegas MSA remain weaker than the apartment
market due to a high number of vacant single-family rental properties.
According to the CPS/HVS (Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy
Survey) conducted by the Census Bureau, as of the fourth quarter of 2013 the
overall rental vacancy rate for the Las Vegas MSA was 13.5 percent compared
to a national rate of 8.2 percent. The 2012 ACS (American Community
Survey) indicates that single-family homes accounted for 37 percent of all rental
units in the Las Vegas metro area, while representing 29 percent of all rental
units in the nation.

Spotlight on the Housing Market in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV MSA | Page 3

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of the Treasury

U.S. Department Efforts to Stabilize Development | Office of Policy Development and Research
The Obama Administration’s of Housing and Urbanthe Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | April 2014

Trends in Mortgage Delinquencies
and Foreclosures:

Since the beginning of 2010, the rate of
mortgages at risk of foreclosure has declined
substantially in Las Vegas. According to Black
Knight Financial Service, Inc., as of February 2014 the Las
Vegas MSA placed 37th out of 381 metropolitan areas
ranked by share of mortgages at risk of foreclosure (90
or more days delinquent or in the foreclosure process).
During the last year, mortgages at risk of foreclosure in
Las Vegas decreased by 48 percent—from 32,650 to
16,900--compared with a national decline of 35 percent
over the same period. A partial explanation for the
higher decline in the share of distressed mortgages in
Las Vegas relative to the nation is a shorter foreclosure
processing timeline. As of the first quarter of 2014, the
average time to complete a foreclosure in Nevada was
386 days, somewhat less than the national average of
572 days. The rate of mortgages at risk of foreclosure in
the Las Vegas MSA was slightly above the national rate
from 2000 through mid-2004, and slightly below the
national rate from mid-2004 through 2006, according
to CoreLogic data. However, in 2007 and 2008 when
the foreclosure crisis began and single-family foreclosures
were largely driven by unaffordable non-traditional loan
products, the increase in mortgages at risk of foreclosure
in Las Vegas far exceeded the national trend. From the
beginning of 2007 to the end of 2008, the share of
distressed mortgages in Las Vegas rose from 1.6 to 9.3
percent, compared to a national increase of 1.6 percent
to 4.5 percent. Beginning in 2009, foreclosures were
increasingly driven by loss of income, unemployment, and
strategic defaults as the economy worsened, according to
research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. A sharp
spike upward in the rate of distressed mortgages occurred
in 2009 for both Las Vegas and the nation, although the
Foreclosure Completion Rates in the Las Vegas MSA
First Quarter 2014
Area
Las Vegas
Nation
Note:

Foreclosure
Completions

Foreclosure
Rate

Since April 1, 2009
Foreclosure
Completions

Foreclosure
Rate

1,230

0.15%

104,850

12.5%

89,400

0.07%

3,784,300

2.9%

Foreclosure Rates as Percent of All Housing Units;
Data through March 2014 for foreclosures since April 2009	
Source: Realty Trac and Census Bureau

spike was much more severe in Las Vegas--the share of distressed mortgages
rose to 19.8 percent by early 2010 compared to 8.0 percent nationally. As
of January 2014, the share of distressed mortgages has fallen to 7.6 percent
in Las Vegas compared to 4.5 percent nationally.
Realty Trac data show the rate of foreclosure completions
in the Las Vegas MSA has been well above the national
rate. From April 2009 through March 2014, the number of foreclosure
completions as a percent of all housing units in the Las Vegas MSA was
more than four times higher than the national rate--12.5 percent in Las
Vegas versus 2.9 percent in the nation. Foreclosure completions have
been trending downward nationally as well as in Las Vegas. For the first
quarter of 2014, the rate of foreclosure completions in Las Vegas was 0.15
percent, 32 percent lower than a year earlier, but still more than double
the national rate of 0.07 percent. Foreclosures in the nation declined 36
percent during the same period.
The efforts of numerous state and local entities and financial institutions in
partnership with the federal government have helped contain the rate of
foreclosures. State legislation also has had a significant impact on foreclosure
activity in Nevada. The Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program, which was
created with the passage of State Assembly Bill 149 in 2009, has helped
more than 4,725 homeowners retain their homes by finding alternatives to
foreclosure through mediation. State Assembly Bill 284, which made it a
felony for a lender to foreclose on a property without first providing legally
notarized proof that it holds the mortgage, has also contributed to a decline
in foreclosure activity since it was implemented in October 2011. The
need for recovery efforts continues. CoreLogic reports that 32.6 percent of
mortgages in the Las Vegas MSA were underwater as of the fourth quarter of
2013, down from 55.0 percent a year earlier, but still more than double the
national average of 13.3 percent.

Spotlight on the Housing Market in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV MSA | Page 4

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of the Treasury

U.S. Department Efforts to Stabilize Development | Office of Policy Development and Research
The Obama Administration’s of Housing and Urbanthe Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | April 2014

The Administration’s Efforts to
Stabilize the Las Vegas MSA
Housing Market

The Administration’s mortgage and neighborhood
assistance programs--the Home Affordable Modification
Program (HAMP), the Federal Housing Administration
(FHA) mortgage assistance programs, the Neighborhood
Stabilization Program (NSP), and the Hardest Hit Fund
(HHF) program–combined with assistance from the HOPE
Now Alliance of mortgage servicers and the National
Mortgage Servicing Settlement have helped stabilize the
Las Vegas MSA housing market.
From the launch of the Administration’s assistance
programs in April 2009 through the end of March 2014,
over 82,100 homeowners have received mortgage
assistance in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Nearly
43,300 interventions were completed through the
HAMP and FHA loss mitigation and early delinquency
intervention programs. An estimated additional 38,800
proprietary mortgage modifications have been made
through HOPE Now Alliance servicers. While some
homeowners may have received help from more than
one program, the number of times assistance has
been provided in the Las Vegas metropolitan area is
78 percent of the number of foreclosures completed
during this period (104,850). The relatively low ratio of
mortgage assistance to foreclosures in Las Vegas since
April 2009 (0.78 to 1 compared to 2 to 1 for the nation)
is likely related to the persistently high unemployment
rates in Las Vegas during this time, making it harder to
effect mortgage assistance.
Under the landmark National Mortgage Servicing
Settlement in February 2012, more than 20,413 Nevada
homeowners have benefitted from over $1.9 billion
in refinancing, short sales and completed or trial loan
modifications, including principal reduction on first and
second lien mortgages provided as of June 30, 2013.
Nationwide, the settlement has provided more than
$50 billion in consumer relief benefits to more than
631,000 families. That is in addition to the $2.5 billion
in payments to participating states and $1.5 billion in
direct payments to borrowers who were foreclosed upon
between 2008 and 2011.

Given over three rounds, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program
has invested $7 billion nationwide to help localities work with non-profits and
community development corporations to turn tens of thousands of abandoned
and foreclosed homes that lower property values into homeownership
opportunities and the affordable rental housing that communities need.
NSP1 funds were granted to all states and selected local governments on
a formula basis under Division B, Title III of the Housing and Economic
Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008; NSP2 funds authorized under the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Recovery Act) of 2009 provided grants
to states, local governments, nonprofits and a consortium of nonprofit entities
on a competitive basis; and NSP3 funds authorized under the Dodd–
Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 provided
neighborhood stabilization grants to all states and select governments on a
formula basis.
In addition to stabilizing neighborhoods and providing affordable housing,
NSP funds have helped save jobs. Each home purchased, rehabilitated and
sold through the NSP program is the result of the efforts of 35 to 50 local
employees.
Overall, a total of $174 million has been awarded to the State of Nevada
through NSP1 and NSP3. Of this, $154 million has been awarded to the
Las Vegas MSA. Over 520 households in the Las Vegas MSA have already
benefited from NSP, and activities funded by the program are expected to
provide assistance to an additional 30 to 50 owner-occupied and renter
households.
Most NSP activities in the Las Vegas metropolitan area have involved
acquisition of eligible single-family homes in targeted areas which were
foreclosed upon or abandoned; rehabilitation of those homes; and either
reselling or renting them to eligible homebuyers with incomes at or below

Spotlight on the Housing Market in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV MSA | Page 5

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of the Treasury

U.S. Department Efforts to Stabilize Development | Office of Policy Development and Research
The Obama Administration’s of Housing and Urbanthe Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | April 2014

120 percent of the area median income. Exceptions
to this general formula were the development of two
small multifamily projects with NSP1 funds and a large
demolition of blighted units and land banking of property
with NSP3 funds. In addition, the grantees generated a
total of $24 million in program income from the sale of
rehabilitated homes which has been used to expand the
NSP programs. Examples of how NSP funds have been
put to use in the Las Vegas MSA are provided below.

million in NSP3 funds to build 80 new single-family units dedicated to serving
disabled seniors with incomes at or below 50 percent of the area median
income. Thirty-six percent of these units are already occupied. The Rulon Earl
project has increased the security and livability of this area.
•	 Through an inter-local-government agreement, Clark County became the
grantee for the City of North Las Vegas. The County received nearly
$29.7 million in NSP1 funds and $20.3 million in NSP3 funds. A portion
of the NSP3 funds was used to demolish 288 abandoned and blighted units
and to land bank the property, known as Buena Vista Springs. HUD has been
providing technical assistance to the City of North Las Vegas in establishing a

•	 The City of Las Vegas received nearly $14.8 million
under NSP1 and $10.5 million under NSP3. The City has
been managing the NSP programs since 2009, donating
all office space and supplies needed for the program. The
program has proven to be both successful and sustainable.
The original NSP1 and NSP3 awards allowed the city to
purchase and rehabilitate 185 foreclosed single-family
homes. The proceeds from the sale of those homes have
been used to purchase more abandoned homes to further
progress in returning Las Vegas neighborhoods to the

redevelopment project for the land bank.
•	 The City of Henderson received $3.2 million in NSP1 funds and $3.9
million in NSP3 funds and has produced a total of $1.8 million in program
income. A portion of these funds has been used to house 22 youths in a
multifamily project operated by St. Jude’s Ranch.
The Administration allocated $194 million from its Hardest Hit Fund to the
state of Nevada. The Nevada Affordable Housing Assistance Corporation
(NAHAC) administers the Nevada Hardest Hit Fund (NV HHF), which was
launched in December 2010. As of March 31, 2014, NV HHF had assisted

healthy communities they once were. Program income

an estimated 5,188 Nevada homeowners with approximately $82.0 million,

from this initiative has allowed an additional 39 homes
to be rehabilitated for a total of 224 homes. The recycled
income is projected to continue through 2015, with a

or about 42% of their total program allocation. The Nevada Hardest Hit
Fund is actively helping homeowners at high risk of default or foreclosure
through its Mortgage Assistance Program, which provides mortgage payment

closeout early in 2016.

assistance for unemployed and underemployed homeowners who contribute

One of the most notable projects funded by the State

to their payment. NAHAC is currently considering additional program options

of Nevada and Clark County with NSP3 funds is

to expand assistance to underserved homeowners and to address ongoing

improvement of the Rulon Earl area in the City of Las

negative equity concerns. For additional information, please visit

Vegas. Rulon Earl was created in 1979 as a mobile

http://nevadahardesthitfund.nv.gov/.

home park for seniors and is owned and operated by
the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority. By
the mid-2000s, Rulon Earl had become blighted and
presented many safety concerns for its residents. The State
of Nevada and Clark County leveraged a total of $2.6

NSP1

Originally
Projected

Completed

349

Las Vegas MSA NSP Activity (Housing Units)

433

29

Construction of new housing

Rehabilitation/reconstruction of residential structures

29

189

271

4

0

127

133

134

130

0

10

Rehabilitation/reconstruction of residential structures

89

87

Homeownership assistance to low-and moderate income

45

33

Demolition or Clearance
Homeownership assistance to low-and moderate income
NSP3

Construction of new housing

Spotlight on the Housing Market in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV MSA | Page 6


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