Vegas Still Shows Signs of Life

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The price of existing homes in April in Las Vegas rose to its highest level in more than a year, according to figures released Tuesday by SalesTraq.

The median price of existing homes closed in April was $126,000, the highest median price since it was $134,000 in March 2009, the firm reported. The price is $6,000 higher than March 2010 according the the Las Vegas Sun.

Prices had been expected to increase since foreclosure sales have declined in recent months. SalesTraq reported 4,323 existing home closings in April, 348 fewer than March but 3.6 percent higher than April 2009.

In another optimistic article, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported Las Vegas might have finally found an occupant for a vacant, city-owned building smack in the middle of a downtown district that supporters are trying to transform into a nightlife and entertainment mecca.

On Wednesday, the Las Vegas City Council will consider leasing 601 Fremont Street to a company called 601 Fremont LLC, which plans to remake the building into a nightspot with retail stores and condominiums on the upper floors.

Media news is mixed right now. But there is also some poor indicators: as of the end of April 2010, servicers participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) had canceled 277,640 three-month trials since the program launched in March 2009, according to the Treasury Department. It’s an 80% increase from the 155,173 total in the previous month states Housing Wire.

Participating servicers have converted almost 300,000 trial modifications into permanent status since the Treasury launched HAMP in March 2009. Borrowers must make three monthly payments and submit all documentation during the trial period to receive a permanent modification.

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