According to statistics released earlier this week by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, local home prices bounced back from a one-month lull to increase by 2.8 percent from September to October.
GLVAR reported that the median price of an existing single-family home sold in Southern Nevada during October was $185,000. That was up 2.8 percent from $180,000 in September, a month that ended a 19-month run of rising local home prices dating to February 2012. October’s median home price was 32.1 percent higher than October 2012, when the median price was $140,000.
Meanwhile, the median price of existing condominiums and town homes sold in October was $100,000, up 5.3 percent from $95,000 in September and up 38.9 percent from $72,000 one year ago.
GLVAR President Dave Tina, a longtime local Realtor, said he would not be surprised to see local home prices dip again heading into the holidays since “home prices and sales usually cool off along with the weather.” In any case, he said, “These statistics show that we’re seeing a more stable housing market than we had in the past two years or so.”
Tina said existing local home prices bottomed out at a median price of $118,000 in January 2012 before appreciating for a record 19 straight months. Still, he said local home prices are back to where they were five years ago and well below their June 2006 peak of $315,000.
GLVAR continued to report fewer foreclosures and short sales – which occur when a lender agrees to sell a home for less than what the borrower owes on the mortgage. In October, 21 percent of all existing home sales were short sales, down from 23 percent in September. Another 6 percent of all October sales were bank-owned properties, down from 7.4 percent in September. The remaining 73 percent of all sales were the traditional type, up from 69.6 percent in September. It has been several years since the local housing market has seen so few sales involving distressed homeowners, Tina said.
He expects short sales to continue playing a part in the local housing market through the end of 2013, when the federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act is set to expire. Barring any further extensions of this deadline, any amount of money a bank writes off in agreeing to sell a home as part of a short sale starting in 2014 may become taxable when sellers file their income taxes.
GLVAR said the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in October was 3,192. That’s down from 3,259 in September and down from 3,651 total sales in October 2012. Compared with September, single-family home sales during October decreased by 1.7 percent, while sales of condos and town homes decreased by 3.6 percent. Compared with one year ago, single-family home sales were down 11.9 percent, while condo and townhome sales were down 15.4 percent.
As in previous months, the number of local homes listed for sale increased in October. The total number of properties listed for sale on GLVAR’s Multiple Listing Service increased in October, with 15,011 single-family homes listed for sale at the end of the month. That’s up 6.2 percent from 14,659 single-family homes listed for sale at the end of September, but down 10.5 percent from one year ago.
GLVAR reported a total of 3,776 condos and town homes listed for sale on its MLS in October, up 8.5 percent from 3,594 listed in September, but down 2.7 percent from one year ago.
In October, GLVAR reported that 44.9 percent of all existing local homes sold were purchased with cash. That’s down from 47.2 in September and from a peak of 59.5 percent set in February 2013.
The median price of bank-owned homes sold in October was $162,501, down from $163,000 in September. The median price of homes sold as part of a short sale in October was $161,000, up from $150,000 in September.
These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of October. GLVAR distributes such statistics each month based on data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for new homes. Other highlights include:
■ The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during October increased by 1.9 percent for homes to more than $609 million. For condos and town homes, the total value of all sales in October was more than $83 million, down 9.0 percent from September. Compared with one year ago, total sales volumes in October were up 16.7 percent for homes and up 29.0 percent for condos and town homes.
■ In September, 75.4 percent of all local homes and 67.8 percent of all condos and town homes sold within 60 days. That compares with September, when 77.2 percent of all existing local homes and 75.6 percent of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.