Las Vegas homebuilders started the year with their best January sales tally in a decade, a new report says.
Builders closed 704 new-home sales in Clark County last month, up 35 percent from January 2017, according to Home Builders Research.
The median sales price of January’s closings was $352,984, up 7 percent year-over-year.
Builders also pulled 907 new-home permits last month, up 45 percent from a year earlier.
The sales tally was the highest for a January in the past 10 years, and the permit total was the largest first-month tally in the last 11 years.
Home Builders Research founder Dennis Smith and President Andrew Smith wrote that prices “backed off a little” from the prior four months’ increases.
They said that many people believe rising mortgage rates are a key reason for the early-year sales jump, as “fence sitters” are buying to avoid further rate hikes. Higher rates boost borrowing costs, creating larger, potentially unaffordable monthly payments.
But home prices also are climbing, the Smiths noted, so the market “is experiencing a double whammy to the affordability issue.”