Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Vegas Enjoys the Spring Thaw

Waaaay back in November of 2012, the Las Vegas economy, which had been in growth mode for a good 10 months, decided to take time off for the holidays. What followed, in terms of the CRE Recovery Index I maintain, was a pretty rapid slide, from an index value of 91 (a value of 100 represents the economy as it was in January 2006 – i.e. the “good old days”) down to 86, roughly the value we had in December 2011 just before the 2012 growth spurt began.

In March, though, the index began to grow again, and in April 2013 it stands at an 89, not far from the 2012 high and well above the low of 80 recorded in March 2010 at the low-point of the recession.

On a year-over-year basis, the following components of the CRE Recovery Index have posted growth, going from the highest growth to the lowest: New Home Sales (76.6 percent growth), Clark County Taxable Sales (5 percent growth), Gaming Revenue (3.1 percent growth), Employment (2.2 percent growth) and Commercial Occupancy (1.8 percent growth). With the exception of new home sales, we’re looking at very moderate growth in the economy. Depending on who you speak to, new home sales are either going to maintain their dynamic growth, or they’re at the end of it, but for now they are definitely driving the CRE Recovery Index higher. If new home sales do slack off in the coming months, it is likely the index will either turn flat or begin to decline once again.

Components of the index that experienced negative growth over the past 12 months were New Residents (negative 12.6 percent growth), Container Traffic in Los Angeles (negative 7.1 percent growth) and Visitor Volume (negative 0.6 percent growth). While a small dip in visitor volume isn’t much to worry about, the much larger dip in residents moving to Clark County is, as a lack of new bodies could disrupt new home sales.

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