It's not a phenomenon restricted to Las Vegas - it's repeated in Phoenix, Tucson, Southern CA and throughout Florida - the four states with the highest highest foreclosure rates.
"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. Yet builders here are putting up 1,100 homes, and they are frantically buying lots for even more.
Las Vegas is trying to recover by building what it does not need. It is an unlikely pattern being repeated in many of the areas where the housing crash was most severe."
"All of this goes contrary to the conventional wisdom, which suggests an improved market for builders is years away. Nationwide, new home sales at the beginning of this year plunged to a level below any recorded since 1963, when the figures were first officially tabulated.
Simply put, the country already has too many houses, the legacy of wide-scale overbuilding during the boom. The Census Bureau says there are two million vacant homes for sale, about double the historical level".