For a city that is supposed to be dead or dying, there sure is a lot of aggressive buyer activity going on for residential real estate across Southern Nevada. Clearly, there is a strong consensus among many that Las Vegas homes are an excellent long-term investment at current prices and March can best be described as a stellar month for proponents of this point of view. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers. Sales of existing homes in March hit the highest level in 17 months, and this without the artificial stimulus of a government tax credit to spur buyers to act. Not surprisingly, foreclosure sales dominated the playing field, accounting for roughly half of all transactions in March. Another encouraging statistic was the 24% of all transactions last month that can be attributed to a successful short sale negotiation. Another point worth mentioning is the relatively minor role played by the mortgage market in this flurry of activity. In fact, the number of homes in Las Vegas purchased by means of a mortgage has hit a 17-year low. Yup, you guessed it, cash is King in this market. Would you believe that roughly half of all purchases in the Las Vegas real estate market are executed on a cash basis? It’s true! In fact, this statistic has fluctuated between 40 and 50 per cent for well over a year now. That’s a huge amount of economic and financial confidence rolling through the valley in the form of cashier’s checks. People often speculate that so called “outsiders” are swooping into Las Vegas with bags of money and scooping up homes left and right, but in actual fact more than half of all cash buyers live right here in Clark County, with the next biggest group of real estate players living in next door California. It seems that the people closest to the situation understand it the best … and spend their investment dollars accordingly.