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Las Vegas home prices rising but not nearly as much as other markets

Updated January 28, 2021 - 7:22 am

Las Vegas’ housing market is riding a hot streak, though prices have been climbing even faster in other cities, a new report shows.

Southern Nevada home prices were up 6.8 percent year over year in November, below the national rate of 9.5 percent, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Las Vegas’ prices rose at the slowest pace among the 19 markets reported. Phoenix topped the chart for the 18th consecutive month, with 13.8 percent price growth.

The coronavirus pandemic has kept people home and away from crowds for fear of getting infected, devastating the tourism industry, the backbone of Las Vegas’ casino-heavy economy. Despite huge job losses, Las Vegas home prices reached record highs several times last year.

Record-low mortgage rates have been providing much of the fuel by letting house hunters — or at least those who can still afford to buy a place — lock in lower monthly payments and stretch their budgets.

Buoyed by low borrowing costs, “a wave of eager would-be homebuyers poured into the market” around the U.S. in November, “further stoking the competition for homes that has been red-hot since the late spring,” Matthew Speakman, economist with listing site Zillow, said in a statement.

Homes sold quickly, prices rose at their fastest pace in years, and even as the coronavirus outbreak accelerated across the country, “this fervent market competition has shown few, if any, signs of cooling” and is unlikely to do so in the near future, he added.

Locally, the housing market ended 2020 with a surge of sales. Buyers picked up more than 3,300 single-family homes on the resale market last month, up 26.7 percent from December 2019, trade association Las Vegas Realtors reported.

The median sales price for such homes was $345,000 last month, unchanged from the all-time high set in November and up 10.2 percent from a year ago.

Overall, Southern Nevadans have been grappling with job losses, eviction and foreclosure uncertainty, changes to nearly aspect of daily life, and fear for the health of themselves and their loved ones, Las Vegas housing tracker Andrew Smith, president of Home Builders Research, noted in a report this week.

“Despite all of this,” he added, “the local housing market continues to thrive as 2021 has gotten underway.”

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

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