Squatters See a New Frontier in the Empty Homes of Las Vegas - The New York Times
"In Las Vegas, the crackdown against squatters coincides with a resurgence, albeit modest, in the local housing market. Foreclosures are falling and home prices are creeping upward (though they remain far short of the prerecession peak). But with a transient population of down-and-out gamblers and a glut of homes that have already been foreclosed, opportunists can still take their pick of thousands of empty houses. Inside one, squatters had scrawled a warning to stay away on a wall: “Violent tweekers on guard.”
During the housing boom there was far too much housing built in Las Vegas. Developers were trying to take advantage of the easy credit that was available to home buyers back then. In other words, these housing units were expressly built for people who couldn't afford them. There was no real market for them then, and there is even less of a market now. So now that the cocktail waitresses and golf caddies have lost their $300,000 homes to foreclosure, there is no real buyer for these units and they sit idle. In come the squatters. This is going on in other nations as well. Spain is a great example, where Barcelona elected a socialist as mayor in part based on a proposal to legalize squatting.
Thanks to Fred Pilot for this link.