A house for sale in North Las Vegas.
A house for sale in North Las Vegas. - 
Listen To The Story

Las Vegas used to be called the foreclosure capital of the nation, but the city's experiencing a turnaround of sorts. Last month, it dropped to No. 6 on RealtyTrac's list of cities burdened by foreclosures. So what's behind the shifting market in Sin City? Continuing our series on the country's housing, we turned to Kolleen Kelley, president-elect of the Nevada Association of Realtors.

"We're suffering from a shortage of inventory. Very much a seller's market at this point. Buyers are making multiple offers on properties. We have a lot of foreign investors coming in," says Kelley.

Kelley says the median price of a house in Las Vegas is about $150,000 -- for a three bedroom, two bath house. She says houses are in various states of disrepair. Some houses are good, others have been sitting for long periods of time and have been vandalized.

"More than half of our market is short sales. That's a good thing for sellers as opposed to being foreclosed on," says Kelley. "There is some optimism, certainly, within the marketplace because our prices have risen here almost 27 percent in a year."




Kelley says investors make up a large portion of the market. As a Las Vegas realtor for more than two decades, Kelley has seen her fair share of changes in the market. "But this particularly was the perfect storm. With the housing market declining so quickly and unemployment going up, and construction stopping in mid-stream, and financing -- it was everything all at one time," she says.

Now, she is hoping that the real estate market in Las Vegas will return to normal -- after experiencing record real estate sales the past couple of years.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.