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Las Vegas home prices up from year ago, but inventory still tight

The Las Vegas temperatures are getting hot and home prices are following that lead amid a tight supply.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, in a report being released Tuesday, said that the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada in May hit $229,250. That’s 8.5 percent higher than the $211,250 price a year ago.

Despite the gains, the housing market is a long way from its peak of $315,000 in June 2006. The market bottomed out in January 2012 at $118,000, according to the GLVAR.

A tight housing supply is fueling the price rise in Southern Nevada for homes sold through the GLVAR’s Multiple Listing Service. Even the median price of condominiums and townhomes reached $118,000 in May, 5.4 percent higher than $112,000 a year ago.

“Demand is exceeding supply in most parts of the country, but I think it’s more pronounced here in Southern Nevada,” said GLVAR President Scott Beaudry. “Our tight housing supply seems to be driving up prices, especially for entry-level homes. Even with our limited inventory, we’re still selling more homes so far this year than last year.”

Southern Nevada has less than a three-month supply of homes available for sale, which is help fueling the sales increase, Beaudry said. A six-month supply is considered a market in balance, he said.

Dennis Smith, president of Home Builders Research, who tracks the housing market, said the reason for the price hike is more than a lack of inventory. It’s a lack of inventory of lower-priced homes because there are fewer distressed properties, he said.

In May, 4.5 percent of all local sales were short sales – when lenders allow borrowers to sell a home for less than what they owe on the mortgage. That’s down from 7.3 percent of all sales one year ago. Another 6.1 percent of all May sales were bank-owned, down from 8 percent one year ago, the GLVAR reported.

The average price of homes sold in May was $274,917, which is 8.5 percent higher than April and 11.9 percent higher than May 2015, according to the GLVAR.

“If you segment the price categories above and below $300,000, it will show you the number of listings that are priced under $300,000 has decreased month-by-month,” Smith said. “Those above $300,000 has increased.”

Beaudry said local home sales in 2016 have been running nearly 10 percent ahead of the pace from 2015, when GLVAR reported 38,578 single-family home, condominium, townhome and high-rise condo sales. That was more than in 2014, but fewer sales than during each of the previous five years, he said.

The sale of homes in May, however, fell to 2,708. That’s down 3.9 percent from April and 1.6 percent from May 2015. There were 641 condo and townhome sales, which was 8.4 percent lower than April but 4.9 percent higher than May 2015, according to the GLVAR.

The total number of single-family homes listed for sale on GLVAR’s MLS in May was 14,220, up 4.8 percent from one year ago and up 3.1 percent from April. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,676 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in May, up 5.9 percent from one year ago and up 2.7 percent from April.

By the end of May, GLVAR reported that 7,626 single-family homes were listed without any sort of offer. That’s up 6.9 percent from one year ago and up 3.7 percent from April. For condos and townhomes, the 2,237 properties listed without offers in May represented a 1.4 percent decrease from one year ago.

The GLVAR said 28.2 percent of all local properties sold in May were purchased with cash, down from 29.1 percent one year ago. That’s less than half of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent.

In May, 71.2 percent of all existing local homes and 67.7 percent of all existing local condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 71.1 percent of all existing local homes and 62.4 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days, according to the GLVAR.

The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during May was more than $744 million for homes and nearly $95 million for condos, high-rise condos and townhomes.

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