Foreclosures Swarm Through Las Vegas

Foreclosures are spreading across the country like a plague, and there's almost no place worse hit than Las Vegas.
December 9, 2008, 12pm PST | Nate Berg
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"In this city, particularly in the newer developments outside the Strip, the city's center, there are tens of thousands of homes in or facing foreclosure. A massive boom, speculative buying, lax lending standards and an enormous run-up in home prices over the past decade are now unraveling at a fast pace."

"Two years ago, buyers were so eager to buy homes here they lined up and camped out in front of sales offices. For many years, Las Vegas' population was increasing at a rate of more than 5,000 people a month. To manage demand, builders meted out their homes, and there were lotteries to select bidders."

"Within the basin of greater Las Vegas, the foreclosure rate in October was more than seven times the national average - about one in every 60 homes, according to market research firm RealtyTrac. But more staggering, perhaps, is the fact that half of all homes in the Vegas area are worth less than the loans owed on them. There's more to come: Every month, several hundred more homeowners fall behind on payments."

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Published on Monday, December 8, 2008 in NPR
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