The local housing market is still looking for equilibrium.
That was the word Monday from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, which released numbers that showed new signs of stability. Some housing indicators, such as homes for sale and purchases with cash, crept toward normal, even as prices posted yet another double-digit spike year over year.
Start with those price jumps. The median price of an existing single-family home came in at $182,000 in August, up 31.9 percent from $138,000 a year earlier, the Realtors group reported Monday. Condos and townhome prices also surged, with the median soaring to $91,500. That was a 33.6 percent improvement from $65,000 in August 2012. It also was the 19th straight month of higher local existing-home prices.
Closing prices went up even as supplies increased. The number of available single-family homes without pending offers rose to 5,612 units, a 41.1 percent spike compared with August 2012. Condo-townhome supplies increased 47 percent year over year, to 1,774 units.
Those are big improvements, but not big enough to dent current demand. Realtors moved 3,539 existing units in August. At the month’s supply levels, that means the local market still has less than two months of inventory for sale, well below the six months of a balanced market.
Still, Dave Tina, president of the Realtors’ association, said he believes prices will level off soon.
The latest statistics show that may be happening: Prices were flat from July to August, with the median single-family price up just 1.1 percent. The median condo and townhome price was unchanged.
But Tina said he doesn’t expect prices to drop.
“It’s good to see more homes available for sale in the past few months,” he said. “At the same time, I see some sellers pricing their homes too high for the market and then having to reduce their asking prices. If that continues, homes will stay on the market longer. Overall, we’re seeing a more stable housing market and economy.”
Traditional sales, or home purchases that don’t involve a short sale or foreclosure, also gained ground in August. Traditional sales made up 67 percent of the market in the month, the highest percentage in several years, Tina said.
A quarter of sales were short sales, at a median price of $148,000. Eight percent were foreclosures, at a median price of $157,000.
And cash buyers continued to lose market share. They were 52.5 percent of all buyers in August, down from 54.5 percent in July and a record 59.5 percent in February.
The median price of a local single-family home peaked at $315,000 in June 2006 and bottomed out at $118,000 in January 2012.
Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4512. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.