Las Vegas CBS KXNT – Las Vegas home prices rose sharply this year, but they could be headed back down in 2013 if lenders let the foreclosure genie out of the bottle.

Real estate professionals say there are between 80 and 100 thousand distressed properties in Las Vegas where the notice of default has yet to be filed, and more on the horizon.

Kevin Mikrut with First Prime Realty Group estimates it will take about five years to hit price equalibrium.

In November, the number of notices of default was about four times higher than in the early summer, Mikrut told KXNT. That means lenders have adjusted their foreclosure practices to comply with a state law that’s kept them from taking back delinquent properties.

In the short-term, prices are bound to drop as a glut of distressed properties to the market next year, he said.

Lenders have been skittish about foreclosing since October of 2011 because the state’s anti-robosigning law contains criminal penalties for faulty procedures.

Supply tightened in the Las Vegas valley over the past year as delinquent homeowners stayed in place without paying on the mortgage, and banks declined to initiate foreclosure. That’s pushed prices up at a rate not seen since last decade’s boom.


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