Vegas bidders help improve market

Real estate in Las Vegas is getting snatched up left and right by investors, despite the fact that home prices are still in the red, according to the Home Buying Institute. Data released by Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller’s Home Price Indices reported homes in Las Vegas rose by 1.5 percent from May to June, but decreased in year-over-year pricing.

Prices in Las Vegas have been on the rise on a month-over-month basis, as the demand is increasing and the inventory is down. This is creating a bidding war between investors, many of whom have been categorized as cash-in-hand investors. These buyers have jumped on the opportunity to take advantage of the improving housing market while prices are still low. Homes listed for sale in July decreased by 30 percent over the same month last year.

“The myth is actually there are tens of thousands of homes on the shadow inventory and they’re all coming to the market,” Paul Murad, a real estate expert, told Home Buying, “so we’re hearing the numbers in terms of tens of thousands, but we haven’t seen that.”

Shadow inventory refers to what happens when banks sit on foreclosed properties that have not yet reached the market. It is a controversial topic - one that not all industry professionals believe exists.

Las Vegas will likely see an increase in buyers as some experts are saying the city may be expecting a medical building boom. Plans including a hospital expansion in northwest Las Vegas, a new hospice center and a massive hospital complex in Henderson have all recently surfaced. The Henderson expansion would include a new hospital tower, massive medical and senior living complex and a nursing facility.

The trend of seniors living in the Las Vegas area is expected to increase in the coming years, which is a major motivating factor for the new construction. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 12.5 percent of Nevadans were at least 65 years old in 2011 and the number is expected to increase to 15.4 percent by 2020.

These projects will also provide many jobs for construction workers, as well as individuals in the medial field. Some experts believe there is also opportunity for growth in the hospice industry, as there are few stand-alone hospice centers in the area, according to Vegas Inc.