Las Vegas-area home prices fell again in September to a new low during the current recession, Standard & Poor’s reported Tuesday.
Stung by elevated unemployment and high levels of foreclosures and underwater mortgages, Las Vegas saw housing prices fall 1.4 percent from August and 7.3 percent from September 2010, Standard & Poor’s said.
Data from Standard & Poor’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show Las Vegas-area prices are now at levels last seen in February 1998 after September’s decline.
Of 20 big U.S. markets tracked by Standard & Poor’s, the average decline from August was 0.6 percent while the year-to-year decline was 3.6 percent.
“It is a bit disturbing that we saw three cities post new crisis lows. For the prior three or four months, only Las Vegas was weakening each month. Now Atlanta and Phoenix have fallen to new lows too,” Standard & Poor’s analyst David Blitzer said in a statement.
Overall, he said, “Any chance for a sustained recovery will probably need a stronger economy.”
Prices locally peaked in April 2006 and have tumbled during the recession. While the pricing slide locally has been interrupted by occasional months with increases, Standard & Poor’s data show September’s decline was the eighth consecutive month prices have fallen locally.
Tuesday’s report is in line with others showing unemployment running at 13.1 percent in the Las Vegas area and the city is still experiencing an elevated level of foreclosures.
Tuesday's data follows release of statistics by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors Nov. 8 finding that in October, the median price of single-family homes sold locally was $121,000. That was down 1.9 percent from $123,400 in September and down 9 percent from $133,000 in October 2010.
Also Tuesday, mortgage data provider CoreLogic reported that at the end of the third quarter, Nevada had the highest negative equity percentage in the nation with 58 percent of its mortgaged properties underwater, down from 60 percent in the second quarter.
In the Las Vegas-Paradise Metropolitan Statistical Area, 61 percent, or 257,345 of residential properties with a mortgage, were underwater, CoreLogic reported.
That’s an improvement from the 63.3 percent negative equity figure for Las Vegas in the second quarter.
These numbers compare to 22.1 percent of homes with mortgages being underwater nationwide, down from 22.5 percent in the second quarter.