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Been down so long it looks like up to me

It’s hard enough being a Las Vegan — the traffic, the heat, the even hotter heat — without throwing voodoo math into it. But if you’re a regular person following the news, trying to figure out which way the economy is sliding this month, well, good luck. Home values are up, according to something called Home Builders Research. Yay! But wait, they were down in June! Damn! Median home prices are up but sales are down, Realtors say! Default notices are down, says! But foreclosures are on the rise, insists RealtyTrac! AARGH! Sure, in some blind-men-describing-an-elephant way, these are all probably correct, each accurately describing a small part of our very complex real-estate economy. But it’s maddening to sit at home, mortgage squatting on your chest like a golem, just trying to decide if you’re better or worse off than the last batch of confusing numbers indicated.