Las Vegas Housing Market Returns to Normalcy

My friend Suzanne Gillespie sends me a story on the Las Vegas Housing Market.

CNBC reports that houses in Las Vegas are falling apart, and that at least one buyer went to a homebuilder for a new house because she couldn’t find any existing home that was acceptable.

This is actually a good example of what Ed Olsen was writing about in his seminal paper, “A Competitive Theory of the Housing Market.” When prices fall below replacement cost, housing deteriorates until its depreciated cost equals price. Once this happens, housing markets are in equilibrium. The fact that the inventory of houses available for sale in Las Vegas has dropped to four months suggests that it is near its equilibrium level.

We could just be happy that the market in Vegas had returned to normalcy where it not for the fact that the deodorization of houses has almost certainly produced negative externalities–i.e., blight. (I was last in Vegas late last spring, and it looks pretty awful). But it is amazing how quickly markets adjust.

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About Richard K. Green 103 Articles

Affiliation: University of Southern California

Richard K. Green, Ph.D., is the Director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. He holds the Lusk Chair in Real Estate and is Professor in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Prior to joining the USC faculty, Dr. Green spent four years as the Oliver T. Carr, Jr., Chair of Real Estate Finance at The George Washington University School of Business. He was Director of the Center for Washington Area Studies and the Center for Real Estate and Urban Studies at that institution. Dr. Green also taught real estate finance and economics courses for 12 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was Wangard Faculty Scholar and Chair of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics. He also has been principal economist and director of financial strategy and policy analysis at Freddie Mac.

His research addresses housing markets, housing policy, tax policy, transportation, mortgage finance and urban growth. He is a member of two academic journal editorial boards, and a reviewer for several others.

His work is published in a number of journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Land Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Real Estate Economics, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Housing Economics, and Urban Studies.

His book with Stephen Malpezzi, A Primer on U.S. Housing Markets and Housing Policy, is used at universities throughout the country. His work has been cited or he has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and the Economist, as well as other outlets.

Dr. Green earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his A.B. in economics from Harvard University.

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