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For many of us, our most valuable possession is our home.
During the Great Recession, so many people lost their homes or lost so much value in their homes that fear of another economic downturn always looms in the back of their minds.
But if you were considering buying a home now, what’s it look like out there in the market?
For now, home prices remain stable. That’s a nice change for buyers and sellers after years of declines and foreclosures. The average home price has stayed at $220,000 for the last three months.
Keith Lynam, president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, told KNPR's State of Nevada that stability has returned to the Valley's housing market.
"It's a great time to buy and a great time to sell," Lynam said.
He said home appreciation is getting closer to where it should be and there are no "hot pockets" of neighborhoods that are outpacing the rest of the valley.
However, Lynam said there are still 40,000 vacant homes in Southern Nevada that need to be dealt with.
"We've got a tremendous amount of vacant homes out there that we need to address," Lynam said, "And unfortunately none of us can do anything about. It's those people in the financial institutions that need to take an action on that"
The homes are sometimes referred to as zombie foreclosures, which means no one lives there and no one is paying a mortgage and yet the bank hasn't foreclosed on them, allowing them to come back onto the market.
Lynam said those homes are hurting neighborhoods because they've become havens for squatters, drug dealers and other criminals.
"Right now they're doing nothing for the neighborhood but bringing a blight on them," he said.
He said areas in the northwest and the southwest are the hardest hit by the vacant home problem.
An area of the city is seeing a large 'infill project' is in the southeast a few miles from the center of the city of Henderson.
A spokesperson for the developer Cheryl Persinger said they decided to do an infill project rather than pushing out to the borders of the city because the stores and services people are looking for are already there.
Persinger said people like master planned communities like Cadence because they know what they're getting and know what will be built around them.
"I think a lot of people like the master-planned living," Persinger said. "They like that things will be taken care of. The amenities are there. The infrastructure is there."
She said the community is a mix of price ranges and people from snowbirds, looking for a place to spend the winter, to young people, looking for buy their first home.
Keith Lynam, president, Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors; Cheryl Persinger, spokesperson, The Landwell Company
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