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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — During a decade of recovery after the Great Recession, housing in Clark County grew by 12.0%, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

But the county’s population went up 16.1%. And that’s how the current affordable housing crisis began.

When housing crashed in 2008, construction jobs vanished and prices dropped. Census data used in a nationwide report on housing growth from constructioncoverage.com shows that from 2012 to 2022, Nevada ranked No. 10 in the nation for the amount of housing that was built. The nationwide average was 8.5%. Utah was at the top of the list, growing by 23.3%.

Housing prices over that same decade have skyrocketed. In Clark County, the median price of a single-family home went up 236.7%, according to Zillow’s Housing Data Series.

The surge in construction hasn’t supplied a lot of affordable housing options, but as homeowners move on from their starter homes, it should free up options for people who are stuck renting because they can’t qualify for a home loan.

President Joe Biden traveled to Las Vegas on March 19 to announce programs in his proposed 2025 budget that are designed to clear a logjam created by high interest rates. People aren’t leaving their starter homes because they have loans at much lower rates than the ones currently available. As children grow up and move out, many people downsize. But that’s not happening because of the high rates and prices that are near record-level.

Biden’s budget would provide incentives in the form of tax credits. It would also provide incentives for first-time homebuyers.

Permits for new private housing units have been fluctuating in the Las Vegas metro area during that same time frame.

According to data on the point2homes.com website, permits grew at a steady pace from 2012 to 2017. In 2018, permits dropped back, falling 14.2%. A rebound followed, and permits peaked in 2021, when more than 16,000 were issued.

Since then, permits dropped in 2022 and stayed the same in 2023, when 13,073 permits were issued.

Point2 called nationwide growth in housing construction “underwhelming” as the affordable housing crisis continues.

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