The “Where” of Real Estate Values

The media and statisics in today’s real estate markets have been a challenge to report accurately due to specific “sub markets”. Incline Village, Reno and Las Vegas markets are a perfect example. These markets are all located in Nevada, but the bulk of foreclosers are happening in Clark County (Las Vegas). Incline Village and Reno are both located in northern Nevada’s most populous county, Washoe, but even these real estate markets are quite different. New home developers in Reno have cut prices sharply across the board to reduce their inventory, creating pressure on the rest of the market to lower prices. Incline Village, on the other hand, has remained very stable. Although sales volume was down 35% in 2006, the average price for a single family home in Incline Village rose 8%.

This discrepancy between markets, even those in close proximity to each other, is causing a tremendous amount of misinterpretation to consumers. The “Real Estate Market Downturn” is used by the media in a sweeping, nationwide generalization. In fact in many places such as the Northwest (Seattle and Portland), we have seen the market bottom and prices have already rebounded. The news media should qualify real estate market data by the specific region and by the local economy impacting it. This would give consumers a much more accurate portrayal of the local economy and market they live in. Educated consumers make smarter decisions and it is in everyone’s best interest to share an accurate overview of regional markets.

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