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Las Vegas housing market starts 2023 flat

Updated February 7, 2023 - 7:01 pm

After a sharp slowdown in 2022, Southern Nevada’s housing market started the new year trekking down the same path.

The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes was $425,000 in January, unchanged from December and down 2.3 percent from January 2022, trade association Las Vegas Realtors reported.

A total of 1,325 houses traded hands last month, down 13.6 percent from December and 48.3 percent from January 2022.

Amid the plunge in sales from year-ago levels, available inventory also skyrocketed in that time.

A total of 5,450 houses were on the market without offers at the end of January, down 12.3 percent from December but up a staggering 199.3 percent year-over-year, according to the association, which reports data from its listing service.

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

The new batch of numbers show that Las Vegas’ housing market hasn’t changed much lately, despite shrinking mortgage rates that at least in theory have eased affordability woes.

“What a difference a year makes,” Las Vegas Realtors President Lee Barrett said in a news release. “After seeing mortgage rates rise for several months, rates settled down recently. We’re still seeing more homes listed for sale and fewer people buying — especially when you compare what’s happening now to where we were a year ago.”

Record-low mortgage rates had sparked a homebuying binge in Las Vegas and across the country in 2021. Locally, sales prices hit all-time highs practically every month, homes sold rapidly, house hunters showered properties with offers and builders regularly raised prices and put buyers on waiting lists.

In a bid to fight inflation, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates several times last year. Mortgage rates rose sharply, and homebuyers pulled back.

In Southern Nevada, sales totals dropped hard in 2022, sellers increasingly slashed their prices and available inventory soared. Amid the slowdown, builders offered more incentives to buyers and higher commissions to agents who brought them in, real estate sources said.

Mortgage rates are still well above year-ago levels but have ticked lower recently. The average rate on a 30-year home loan was 6.09 percent as of last week, up from 3.55 percent a year earlier, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported.

By comparison, rates eclipsed 7 percent last fall for the first time in two decades.

Nonetheless, houses in Las Vegas aren’t selling nearly as fast as they did when borrowing costs were much cheaper.

Among the single-family homes that sold last month, 38.5 percent had been on the market for 30 days or less, compared with 71.3 percent of the sales in January 2022, according to Las Vegas Realtors data.

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

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