Nevada has posted the highest share of seriously underwater properties at the end of the first quarter, 2017 due to a higher than average number of distressed sales during that period. The toll on Nevada housing came as a result of the market collapse in the years surrounding 2008.

A decade later the area is still struggling to recover. The New York Times has headlined increasing numbers of squatters moving into abandoned homes over the years. A short sale attorney can explain how the situation can become cyclical: one negative factor influences another and this creates a drag on the overall market, pulling down home values. Nevada led the pack with an 18.9% share of seriously underwater properties. Next were Ohio (17.1%), Illinois (16.5%), Louisiana (16.4%) and Missouri (14.5%).

Market Data

Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, explains America’s housing situation from a bird’s eye view: “While negative equity continued to trend steadily downward in the first quarter, it remains stubbornly high in often-overlooked pockets of the housing market. For example, we continue to see one in five properties seriously underwater in… Las Vegas. Additionally, close to one-third of homes valued below $100,000 are still seriously underwater.”

  • A house is “seriously underwater” when the mortgage exceeds the value of the property by 25% or more.
  • Across the United States about 5.5 million (or about 10%) of homes with mortgages were considered seriously underwater at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Las Vegas’ seriously underwater homes percentage is 22.7.
  • The housing situation in Las Vegas is over 13% higher than the rest of America.

According to further statistics from ATTOM Data Solutions, the worst hit area in the United States is Las Vegas ZIP Code 89109, which has Las Vegas Boulevard running through the center of it.

At the end of Q4 2017, there were 6,327 properties with mortgages there and almost 70% of them were seriously underwater. In this climate, a homeowner facing foreclosure will need a competent short sale attorney to help sort through the various competing scenarios. On the upside, the number of seriously underwater homes is down from the first quarter of 2016.

Home Prices Rising in Las Vegas

Home sales have been on the rise over the past five-plus years. In March of 2016, the median single-family home was about $220,000. That was an increase over two years ago when it was $205,000. In 2012 it was just $121,000. This growing demand is stimulated by an increasing population and buyer confidence toward job stability and the local economy.