Hallelujah!

5 months after sales began to grow in Las Vegas, the local newspaper, the Las Vegas Review Journal, has finally been forced to acknowledge the good news.

In a huge article this morning, the RJ points out what In Business earlier reported:

Sales in May were up 5% over May 2007.

May data for the Las Vegas housing market suggests that recovery has begun for the resale market,” SalesTraq President Larry Murphy said.

The article goes on to spend a bunch of time bemoaning the fact that the sales of new homes are not as recovered, but that’s really a minor issue. I don’t care if we don’t sell a single new SFR house in 2008 in the valley. The goal is to work the backlog of inventory way down.

The RJ correctly reports inventory, noting that resale inventory is down 20% from last year, and they cite a 10 month inventory “just outside the six-to nine-month range analysts consider healthy”.

Is it just me, or have we heard these things before recently, here at Frothing Developer?

Of course, after managing to get a little good news out, writer Jennifer Robison can’t resist reverting to inaccurate and misleading gloom and doom. She goes on to cite Murphy claiming that “a marketwide halt to falling prices” is one of three preconditions for a recovery and then she writes:

The first two have happened, but not the third.

Except that she’s wrong. Prices were higher in May than in April, as reported in In Business Las Vegas. Not by much, I’ll admit. Prices were only higher by $800. But think about the implications! Prices are going up in Las Vegas! Think about what the market will do when mainstream media is forced to write about these implications.

Robison goes on to say

Analysts said May’s results don’t herald a permanent end to declines in local home prices and sales.

She doesn’t cite specific analysts for this particular assertion. My analytical opion is that it was APRIL’s results that heralded a permanent end to declines in local home prices.

The article then goes on to cite media’s hoary shibboleths: high oil and high foreclosure rates. Perhaps oil prices will hamper the recovery. But keep in mind that we are now below 200 days and counting to the start of hiring at City Center, and Encore is going to open well before then. And Fountainebleau is up to floor 50. And Echelon has 6 or 7 buildings under construction…

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