Homebuilders’ sales in Las Vegas surged at the start of the year after slipping in 2019, and the momentum is expected to continue, according to a new report.
Builders closed 742 new-home sales in Southern Nevada in January, up 21 percent year-over-year, Las Vegas-based Home Builders Research reported. It was the highest number of January closings since 2008, when it was 881.
Fear of the spreading coronavirus has led some housing industry analysts to suggest a slowdown in the market, the report said. But in Las Vegas, the firm has “not observed this as of yet. In fact, it has been quite the opposite.”
The sales boost comes as low interest rates make it cheaper for house-hunters to finance a purchase, and amid a dip in median prices for builders’ best-selling product in Southern Nevada, the single-family house.
Nationally, the average rate on a 30-year home loan in January was 3.62 percent, down from 4.46 percent the same month last year, according to mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac.
Locally, homebuilders closed 588 sales of single-family houses in January, up 11.6 percent year-over-year, and 154 sales of condos and town homes, a whopping 83 percent increase from January 2019.
The median sales price of single-family homes in January was $377,543, down 4.1 percent. For attached homes, the median was $291,586, up 10.1 percent, Home Builders Research reported.
“Given all of the rhetoric about affordable housing, it may surprise some to see that over 60 percent of the new homes closed in January were under $400,000,” Home Builders Research President Andrew Smith wrote in the report.
Last year, builders closed 10,492 new-home sales, down 1.7 percent from 2018, the firm previously said.
The early-year sales jump mirrors Las Vegas’ resale market.
Buyers picked up about 2,470 previously owned single-family homes in February, up almost 26 percent from February 2019, and around 2,280 in January, up 25 percent from the same month last year, according to trade group Las Vegas Realtors, which pulls data from its resale-heavy listing service.