Houses sprawl across the Las Vegas Valley. When the housing bubble burst in 2007, Las Vegas became the No. 1 area in foreclosures nationwide. (Photo: Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun)

Jan. 30, 2013 (TSR) – A majority of Nevadans are living “on the edge of financial disaster” with almost no savings to fall back on, a new report says.

Some 62.5 percent of state households have less than three months of savings to rely on in the event of a job loss, medical crisis or other financial emergency. And for 44 percent, the assets they do have “are overwhelmed by debt,” according to a report out today from the Corporation for Enterprise Development in Washington, D.C.

The nonprofit group’s “Assets & Opportunity Scorecard” painted a dark picture of Nevada consumers, ranking the Silver State worst among all 50 states and the District of Columbia for its residents’ ability to achieve financial security.

Nevada had the highest rates of “underbanked” households (31.2 percent), bankruptcies (8.6 per 1,000 people), unemployment (13.1 percent), delinquent mortgage loans (6.3 percent) and uninsured low-income children (26 percent).

Additionally, almost 68 percent of Nevadans have subprime credit scores, second-worst in the United States.

At least one of those figures has improved since the group apparently collected its data. State officials recently reported that Nevada’s jobless rate fell to 10.2 percent in December, the lowest since February 2009 but still above the national rate of 7.8 percent.

The CFED’s report comes more than four months after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported that 33 percent of Las Vegas Valley households were underbanked in 2011, up from 20 percent two years earlier.

The banking regulator defines “underbanked” as households with checking or savings accounts that also used nonbank money orders, check-cashing stores, payday loans, pawn shops and other alternative lenders.

About 57 percent of valley households in 2011 were fully banked, meaning they had a bank account and didn’t use any alternative lending, down from 71 percent in 2009, the FDIC reported.

Las Vegas has most empty office space in the USA

Las Vegas office buildings filled up a bit more in 2011 but still had the largest percentage of empty space in the country.

The Las Vegas Valley had a 25.8 percent office vacancy rate in the quarter ending Dec. 31, down from 26.4 percent a year earlier, according to a report from brokerage firm CBRE Group. Las Vegas had the highest vacancy rate in both periods among the 63 markets tracked in the report.

Detroit had the second-highest office vacancy rate last quarter at 24.9 percent, while Honolulu had the lowest at 6.6 percent. The rate nationally was 15.4 percent.

Other real estate submarkets in the valley also continued to struggle.

Las Vegas had a 16.4 percent retail vacancy rate last quarter, tied for fifth-highest with Cleveland. The valley’s rate was down from 16.9 percent a year earlier but still above the fourth-quarter national average of 12.8 percent, CBRE said.

Valley apartment complexes had the third-highest vacancy rate in the country last quarter at 9 percent. That’s up from 8.6 percent a year ago and above the fourth-quarter national rate of 5 percent. Also, industrial properties had a 14.6 percent vacancy rate, up from 13.7 percent a year earlier and above the national average of 12.8 percent.

Source: Vegas Inc


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