Las Vegas Tops Forbes List for ‘America’s Emptiest City’

A report out this week from Forbes.com found that based on the sheer volume of abandoned apartments and homes, Las Vegas beat out all competitors.  Detroit, Michigan ranked second, followed sequentially by Atlanta, Ga, Greensboro, N.C., and Dayton, Ohio.forbes

Forbes.com evaluated fourth-quarter data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine which city ranks as the country’s most-abandoned market.    Las Vegas boasted a rental vacancy rate of 16 percent and a home vacancy rate of 4 percent, the editors say.  Keith Schwer, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, says that amounts to 31,000 empty apartments and homes.

But this statistic alone, and the dubious publication-selling list rating that goes along with it, does not begin to tell the complete story.  The relative numbers of Las Vegas inhabitants have not packed up their bags and skedaddled out of town in droves.  Far from it.  

Consider that Las Vegas back in the irrational build-crazy construction years between 2003 and 2006 were churning out a record number of between 30,000 and 40,000 new units a year, far surpassing most cities, supply far outstripping the artificially created demand.   Residents were not leaving, just more houses were built than needed.  Now, Las Vegas has many of those same dwellings back on the market, dramatically contributing to the current Las Vegas unit glut and claim to fame.   The expectation of growth building on growth never materialized.  The housing bust crippled consumer spending and the recession began.

But as one can see by going to the many entertainment and dining venues in Las Vegas, there are still plenty of people in Sin City and lots of action and excitement abound.   With the enticement of unprecedented Las Vegas entertainment, dining, and lodging deals galore, you’re invited to come on in- the water’s fine.

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