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Housing market starts year on slow note in Las Vegas, US

Updated February 23, 2023 - 7:35 pm

Las Vegas’ housing market started the year on a slow note — and, a new report shows, so did the country overall.

Nationwide, the pace of resales “waned” for the 12th consecutive month in January, according to the National Association of Realtors, which said sales were down 0.7 percent from December and almost 37 percent from a year ago.

Sales fell year-over-year in every region of the country, the group said.

“Home sales are bottoming out,” Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, said in a news release this week, adding buyers are “beginning to have better negotiating power.”

Nicole Bachaud, senior economist with listing site Zillow, said in a statement that the U.S. had “another month of dismal home sales in January,” with sales falling to their lowest level since 2010.

She noted that as mortgage rates took “a breather” last month, some buyers came back into the market.

But given that borrowing costs have since pushed higher again, “demand will likely take another hit and push the market back into a slower pace.”

In Southern Nevada, the market ended last year in something of a logjam, and industry experts predicted a muted year ahead for housing nationwide.

Prospective buyers were sidelined amid a sharp jump in borrowing costs, and would-be sellers had incentives to stay put, as they likely had a lower mortgage rate on their current home than what they’d get on a new purchase.

Overall, sales totals dropped hard in Las Vegas last year amid the sharp rise in mortgage rates, sellers increasingly slashed their prices, available inventory soared and builders offered more incentives.

The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes — the bulk of the market — was $425,000 last month, down 2.3 percent from January 2022, trade association Las Vegas Realtors reported.

Southern Nevada’s median sales price has now dropped by $57,000 from a record-high of $482,000 last May.

A total of 1,325 single-family homes traded hands last month, down 48.3 percent from January 2022, and 5,450 houses were on the market without offers at the end of January, up a staggering 199.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the association, which reports data from its listing service.

By comparison, Las Vegas’ housing market accelerated to its most frenzied pace in years in 2021, as rock-bottom mortgage rates sparked a buying binge that sent prices soaring.

“What a difference a year makes,” Las Vegas Realtors President Lee Barrett said in a news release this month.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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