Las Vegas is worst off, down 56.1% from the peak. Las Vegas appears to still be in the grips of collective insanity:
Home prices in Las Vegas are down by 60 percent from 2006 in one of the steepest descents in modern times. There are 9,517 spanking new houses sitting empty. An additional 5,600 homes were repossessed by lenders in the first three months of this year and could soon be for sale.
Yet builders here are putting up 1,100 homes, and they are frantically buying lots for even more. ... Land and labor costs have fallen significantly, so the newest homes are competitively priced.
June 2010 had fewer new home sales than any June on record. The runner up was June 1982. The inventory of unsold new homes remains above average.
Home ownership is at an eleven year low of 66.9%. This is still higher than the 63%-66% home ownership rate that prevailed for the three decades before that. The home ownership rate is falling despite herculean stimulus fund efforts in the form of the home buyers tax credit, record low mortgage rates, and significantly lower housing prices. The fact that it hasn't been more affordable to own a home in decades has not preventing home ownership rates from falling.
Perhaps it is a sign of times then, that Andrew Romanoff has sold his Washington Park bungalow, removing himself from the rank of homeowners, in order to raise funds that he can loan to his U.S. Senate campaign. Clearly, he is betting the farm on this race. He did make a handsome tax free profit in the process, as a result of good timing in the Denver real estate market:
Romanoff said the house, which he bought for $190,000 in 1996, sold for $360,000. After paying off the remaining mortgage and cashing out other savings, he put $325,000 into the campaign in four installments, ending Monday.
For what it is worth, I can vouch for the fact that the price he secured to sell the house was not a sweetheart, above market rate deal.
Voting in the U.S. Senate primary in Colorado ends August 10th (in a mail in ballot election, it isn't really accurate to describe August 10th as "election day" anymore). So, in a couple of weeks we'll learn if Romanoff's high stakes gamble (precisely the kind that one should be making when the odds are winnable but against you) will pay off. I am on record at Colorado Pols predicting that he will win that primary.