LAS VEGAS (AP) — A battle of perceptions is being waged over whether Nevada’s economy is recovering or still falling four years after the collapse of its housing, tourism and construction industries.
The state continues to top the nation in unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, but the tepid return of tourists has drawn cheers from government and business leaders, including Gov. Brian Sandoval. The jobless rate has also dipped slightly and unemployment benefit claims are down.
But the housing market remains in a free fall. The average home price in Las Vegas fell to $118,000 last month, down from $330,000 just four years ago. Half of all homes are purchased with cash.
University of Nevada, Reno economist Elliot Parker says Nevada’s recovery is at least a year behind the rest of the nation.
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