The Nevada housing market could take decades to recover, despite a slowdown in foreclosures and an uptick in prices, an economist said at a housing forum in Las Vegas.

Corporate and government help has been unable to turn the tide on an economic morass that has left 59% of the city’s mortgages underwater, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman hosted the housing stabilization roundtable that was held to update local officials, social service providers and analysts on the state of the housing market.

Goodman said the five-year-old housing meltdown has wrought an environment of empty, dilapidated houses, falling property tax revenue and strained city services.

During his presentation, Jeremy Aguero of the economics research firm Applied Analysis said full recovery from the crash that sapped $20 billion in equity from the region will take decades, according to the report.

Among the numbers indicating that recovery will be a rocky path is the percentage of adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, in the state.

According to Aguero’s presentation, 18.2% of Nevada mortgages are adjustable-rate mortgages compared with 12.1% nationwide.

The percentage of ARMs is a problem all its own as it makes the state and city vulnerable when interest rates begin to rise.

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