August 25, 2009

Vegas, Detroit miss out on housing gains

Las Vegas, Nev., and Detroit, two U.S. cities hit hard by the subprime mortgage crisis, are two exceptions to generally rising home prices, statistics indicate.

The Case-Shiller Home Price Indices issued Tuesday contained good news for most of the United States, showing home prices rising overall in June in 20 big U.S. cities and hinting the long-lasting U.S. housing crisis may be easing, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

The report, issued by credit rating agency Standard & Poors, found the overall 20-city index of home prices rose 1.4 percent from May to June, but not the Nevada and Michigan cities. Home prices were down 2 percent in Las Vegas and 0.8 percent in Detroit, the report indicated.

While not alone, Las Vegas and Detroit continue to be two markets that are struggling severely, David Blitzer, chairman of S&P's Index Committee, said in a statement. These are the only two markets that fell in June and saw deterioration in their annual rates of return. Since their relative peaks they have fallen 54.3 percent and 45.3 percent, respectively.

Detroit has been hit by layoffs in the auto industry, while Las Vegas' unemployment rate has reached 13.1 percent, the Sun said.