Trend toward price gains, fewer sales holds true in November housing report

A Monday report on local housing sales and prices showed few surprises.

Recent year-to-year trends, including big price gains, fewer sales and more listings, all held steady in November, the latest numbers from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors show.

The median price of a single-family house clocked in at $183,000, up 25.8 percent compared with November 2012. The median attached-home price was $99,000, for a 33.8 percent annual gain. The median has jumped by double-digit percentages year over year in every month since August 2012.

Nevertheless, the market showed signs of slowing. Realtors sold 17.9 percent fewer single-family houses and 19.3 percent fewer condominiums and townhomes year over year. That’s despite a jump in listings: The number of available units on the market without offers soared 77.4 percent, to 6,830 homes.

What’s more, month-to-month price trends have stabilized noticeably since July, with rising numbers of listings helping keep the single-family median between $180,000 and $185,000.

Prices declined 1.1 percent from October to November, though association President Dave Tina said it’s common for prices to fall month to month going into the holidays, when fewer people are home-shopping and the market softens as a result.

Prices also fell 1.1 percent from August to September, another typically slow demand period as school gets back in session.

“I’m not surprised to see prices go down a bit this month,” Tina said. “We may see prices soften a bit more through the winter before hopefully bouncing back in the spring. We’ve been saying for months that it’s very hard to sustain the kind of price increases we’ve been seeing since 2012.”

The market share of distressed properties stayed steady in November. Short sales made up 21 percent of all closings in November, unchanged from October. Another 7 percent were bank-owned sales, up from 6 percent a month earlier.

The median price of a short sale was $158,500, down from $161,000 in October. Bank-owned foreclosures posted a median of $152,500, down from $162,501 a month earlier.