Existing Southern Nevada home sales decline, prices increase

There still are not enough existing homes for sale in Southern Nevada.

That’s the word from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. A statement Wednesday from the group notes that Southern Nevada home prices rose again in February while sales retreated. The culprit remains a shrinking housing supply, the group said.

“Our shrinking housing supply may finally be catching up to us and slowing down our home sales,” 2018 GLVAR President Chris Bishop, a longtime local Realtor, said in the statement. “Sales have continued to go up over the last few years, even as our inventory has been going

down. But with fewer homes on the market each month, it seems like it was only a matter of time before it started to affect sales.”

He said Southern Nevada still has less than a two-month supply of existing homes available for sale when a six-month supply is considered a balanced market.

The group reported that the median price for existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada during February through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was $275,000. That’s up 3.8 percent from January and up 14.6 percent from February 2017.

At the same time, the median price of local condos and townhomes sold in February was $150,000 — up 27.1 percent from the same time last year.

In all, 2,704 existing local homes, condos and townhomes were sold during February. Home sales were down 5.4 percent from a year earlier, but condo and townhome sales were up 1.8 percent.

By the end of February, GLVAR reported, 3,653 single-family homes were listed for sale without any sort of offer. That’s down 34.3 percent from a year earlier.

For condos and townhomes, the 679 properties listed without offers in February represented a 10.4 percent drop from the same point last year. The inventory of condos and townhomes listed for sale is as low as it has been since 2004, Bishop noted.

February’s sales dip is a departure from the recent trend in home sales, which have been increasing over the past few years. In fact, GLVAR reported that the 46,598 existing local properties sold during 2017 made it the third-best sales year on record and the best year for existing local home sales since 2011.

But cash transactions are clearly less common than in past years. GLVAR reported that 32.4 percent of all local properties sold in February were purchased with cash, compared with 31.4 percent in February 2017. That’s well below the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, indicating that cash buyers and investors are still active but are playing a much smaller role in the local housing market than they were five years ago.

Also, the number of so-called distressed sales continues to decline. The group reported that short sales and foreclosures combined accounted for 3.8 percent of all existing local home sales in February, compared with 10.6 percent a year earlier.

GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of February 2018. The group distributes statistics each month from data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for newly constructed homes sold by local builders or homes for sale by owners.

Contact Daniel Behringer at dbehringer@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0296. Follow @DanBehringer221 on Twitter.

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