Consistent gains mark Nevada housing in first half of ‘14

Nevada’s housing market closed out the first half of 2014 with steady gains.

Monday numbers from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors showed continued increases in median prices, even as sales fell, inventory improved and investment activity shrank.

The median price of a single-family resale in June was $199,900, up 14.2 percent from $175,000 in June 2013, and up 2.5 percent from $195,000 in May. That median is the highest the association has reported since September 2008, although it’s still well below a June 2006 peak of $315,000.

Association President Heidi Kasama called the market’s closing-in on a median of $200,000 “encouraging.”

The single-family median price bottomed out at $118,000 in January 2012.

The median price of existing condos and town houses surged even more, jumping 26.7 percent year over year and 6.9 percent month to month, to $109,000.

As prices have risen, sales have slid. Single-family closings dipped to 2,675, a 9.8 percent drop from June 2013. Local home sales through the first half of 2014 are 13 percent behind closings for the same period in 2013.

Amid slower sales and higher prices that have encouraged homeowners to list, inventory has begun piling up. The number of available homes with no pending offers nearly doubled in June, spiking 86.2 percent year over year to 7,126. Still, the market had just under three months of supply on the market, about half of the six months a balanced market would have.

Also, investors played their smallest role in the local market in years. Cash purchases — a proxy for buying activity among individual investors — dropped to 34.7 percent of all sales. That’s its lowest rate since July 2009, Kasama said.

“While real estate investors have played a key role in helping our housing market recover in recent years, it’s also good to see more traditional buyers entering the market,” Kasama said.

The association tracked an uptick in distressed sales from May to June. Short sales, which happen when a bank lets a borrower sell a property for less than what he owes on the mortgage, made up 10.8 percent of sales in June, up from 7.9 percent in May. Another 10.1 percent were bank-owned properties, up from 9.1 percent in May.

The median price of a bank-owned home was $150,000 in June, down from $165,000 in May. The median price of a short sale was $170,000, up from $160,000 a month earlier.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.