weather icon Clear

Rising Las Vegas home prices ‘not sustainable’

Updated March 8, 2022 - 6:10 am

Southern Nevada home prices rose to record highs again last month, with the head of the region’s main real estate association saying prices can’t keep climbing “this fast forever.”

The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes — the bulk of the market — was $450,000 in February, up 3.4 percent, or $15,000, from the previous all-time high set in January, according to a new report from trade group Las Vegas Realtors.

Last month’s median price was up 26.8 percent, or $95,000, from February 2021.

The median sales price of condos and townhomes also set a record high last month at $260,000, up 7 percent from January and 31.6 percent from a year ago, the association reported.

“Local home prices can’t keep going up this fast forever,” LVR President Brandon Roberts said in a news release. “The increases we’ve been seeing in the last year or so are just not sustainable.”

At the same time, sales totals fell amid the record-high home values and rising, but still historically low, mortgage rates. A total of 2,514 single-family homes traded hands last month, down 1.8 percent from January and 9.1 percent from February of 2021.

Fueled largely by cheap borrowing costs that let buyers stretch their budgets, Southern Nevada’s housing market accelerated last year. Houses sold rapidly, buyers paid above the asking price, supply was tight and fast-rising prices reached new all-time highs practically every month.

Overall, it became increasingly difficult to buy a home in the Las Vegas area in 2021, more expensive and, some said, increasingly unaffordable, even as Southern Nevada logged a record-high number of resales last year at just over 50,000, further underscoring the heated demand from house hunters.

Availability remained low last month. Just 1,741 single-family homes were on the market without offers at the end of February, down 4.4 percent from January but up 3.8 percent year over year, LVR reported.

Properties also sold quickly, as 76.8 percent of houses that traded hands last month had been on the market for 30 days or less, compared with 71.3 percent in January and 66.7 percent in February 2021.

Roberts, a broker with Signature Real Estate Group, said in the release that it “remains to be seen how much higher these prices can go and when we might start to see the market stabilize, as many national experts have been predicting. Either way, I seriously doubt you’ll see home prices more than triple again in a single decade.”

In January, the median sales price was up more than threefold from a decade earlier, when it bottomed out at $118,000 in January 2012 after the mid-2000s bubble burst, according to LVR figures.

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.