According to Forbes, Las Vegas beat out the Motor City for the highest vacancy rates in the country in Q4 2008. The overall rates were obtained by averaging homeowner and rental vacancies. Vegas had a rental vacancy rate of 16% and a homeowner rate of 4.7%.
The article attributes these statistics to the recent housing bust. I’d feel pretty safe guessing that major valley wide layoffs were/are a factor as well.
Here’s an interesting developer anecdote from the article:
[Laurence Hallier]‘s $600 million Panorama Towers complex was a tremendous success at its inception three years ago. The first of his four planned residential skyscrapers sold out in six months; the second, which opened in 2007, sold out in 12 weeks. As the third tower neared completion last fall, Hallier had sold 92% of its units. Then the recession hit, and only half the units ended up closing. Hallier says it will take years to break even, and plans for the fourth tower have been delayed indefinitely.