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Las Vegas home prices outpacing average US rate

Updated March 26, 2019 - 12:58 pm

Las Vegas home prices again rose fastest among big metro areas in January as the resale market keeps downshifting.

Southern Nevada prices were up 10.5 percent year-over-year in January, more than double the national rate of 4.3 percent, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Las Vegas’ price growth was fastest among the 20 markets listed in the report for the eighth consecutive month, and it was the only one with double-digit year-over-year price gains in January.

Nationally, prices rose in January at the slowest pace since spring 2015, according to David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of S&P Dow Jones’ index committee.

In Southern Nevada, home prices have been rising amid an expanding population and strengthened job market. But resales have tumbled amid affordability concerns, and the region’s once-depleted inventory of available houses has soared.

Las Vegas’ main housing trade group has also cautioned that the normally busy spring selling season may be slower this year – and analysts who track housing nationally are expecting changes, too.

Overall, the U.S. housing market’s “ongoing, slow march back to ‘normal’ is continuing into the start of 2019 and setting up a spring in which buyers will have more power than they have in years but may still need to work hard to find a favorable deal,” Matthew Speakman, economic analyst with listing site Zillow, said in a statement Tuesday.

“But don’t cry for sellers,” he said, adding, among other things, that prices are still growing and inventory is still “incredibly low relative to demand.”

All told, January’s slower price growth “is a strong signal that the homebuying season this spring will look quite different than in recent years,” Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist at housing tracker CoreLogic, said in a statement Tuesday.

“As a result,” he added, “we can expect buyers and sellers to be a little better matched at the negotiating table this spring.”

Locally, the median sales price of previously owned single-family homes, the bulk of the market, was $296,200 in February, up 7.7 percent from February 2018, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, which pulls data from its resale-heavy listing service.

Nearly 1,970 houses sold last month, down 7.6 percent from February 2018, and around 7,130 single-family homes were on the market without offers at the end of February, up 95.3 percent — almost double — from a year earlier, the GLVAR has reported.

“Home sales and prices usually pick up in the spring and summer, although there are signs that we may see a slower spring selling season than we have during the past few years,” GLVAR President Janet Carpenter, managing broker of Signature Real Estate Group’s Summerlin office, said in a statement earlier this month.

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

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