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Las Vegas housing market ‘looking up’ for buyers, report finds

Updated April 8, 2019 - 7:59 am

Las Vegas’ main housing association has reversed course and predicted a rosier spring selling season after a huge jump in deals last month.

But resales are still well below 2018 levels, and the tally of ignored listings remains much higher than it was a year ago.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors said in a new report that 2,621 single-family homes sold in March, up 33.3 percent from February but down 16.8 percent from March 2018.

Houses sold last month for a median price of $300,000, up 1.3 percent from February and 7.1 percent from March 2018.

Meanwhile, 7,091 single-family homes were on the market without offers at the end of March, down 0.6 percent from February but up 84.9 percent year-over-year, the GLVAR said.

The trade group reports data from its listing service, which largely comprises previously owned homes. Single-family houses make up the bulk of the market.

The burst of transactions follows a year marked by nationally leading price growth, tumbling resales, soaring inventory and increased affordability concerns — all in a market that likes to tout its relatively low prices, especially compared to neighboring California.

“We’re really smashing the market again,” said Las Vegas broker Randy Hatada, owner of Xpand Realty & Property Management.

Just a month ago, GLVAR President Janet Carpenter, managing broker of Signature Real Estate Group’s Summerlin office, said there are “signs that we may see a slower spring selling season than we have during the past few years.”

But amid falling mortgage rates and reports that sellers are slashing prices, Carpenter said in the latest report that “things may be looking up” this spring, especially for buyers.

Nationally, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage in March was 4.27 percent, down from 4.87 percent in November, according to mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac.

Hatada saw more houses get multiple offers last year than in 2019. As he put it, a lot of sellers “have been coming more down-to-earth,” and there are more negotiations, resulting in more closings.

“Sellers have lost the leverage they used to have,” he said.

Despite Las Vegas’ higher home values, resale prices are still below their pre-recession peaks, and even further below when adjusted for inflation.

The median sales price of a previously owned single-family house peaked at $315,000 in June 2006 during the real estate bubble, according to the GLVAR.

Adjusted for inflation, however, the peak was around $392,430 in today’s dollars — more than $92,000 above the current median.

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

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