Report: Las Vegas home prices up, sales slip slightly

The median price of Southern Nevada homes sold rose slightly in September although home sales edged down, a report released today shows.

The report, from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, notes the median price of a single-family home sold by Realtors through its Multiple Listing Service was $205,500, up 1.3 percent from $200,000 in July and up 12.5 percent from a year ago.

At the same time, the median price of condominiums and town homes sold in September was $104,250, down 0.7 percent from $105,000 in August, but up 9.7 percent from one year ago, the report says.

A top GLVAR official said the numbers are evidence of stability.

“Our housing prices went up slightly last month, but they really haven’t changed much these past few months,” GLVAR President Heidi Kasama, a longtime local Realtor said in the report. “Our market is entering a more stable time, with inventory levels increasing slightly and price increases moderating.”

According to the GLVAR report, 2,982 existing local homes, condominiums and town homes were sold in September. That is down from 3,120 in August and down from 3,259 one year ago.

In the report, Kasama said local home sales so far in 2014 are running about 12 percent behind last year’s pace. At the current pace, she said Southern Nevada has less than a four-month supply of available properties. Most Realtors consider a six-month supply to be normal.

Still, the report noted, for nearly two years, GLVAR has reported fewer distressed sales and more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. That trend continued in September, when GLVAR reported 10.4 of all sales were short sales — which occur when lenders allow borrowers to sell a home for less than what they owe on the mortgage. That’s down from 11.5 percent in August. Another 8.8 percent of all September sales were bank-owned properties, down from 8.9 percent in August.

The total number of single-family homes listed for sale on GLVAR’s Multiple Listing Service in September was 13,857, up 0.8 percent from 13,752 in August, but down 5.5 percent from one year ago, the report showed. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,524 condos and town homes listed for sale on its MLS in September, down 2.7 percent from 3,623 in August and down 1.9 percent from September 2013.

GLVAR said in the report that 34.3 percent of all local properties sold in September were bought with cash. That’s up from 32.1 percent in August but still near a five-year low and well short of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, suggesting that fewer investors have been buying homes in Southern Nevada. Kasama noted the percentage of cash buyers remains highest among local condo and town-home buyers, 65.7 of whom paid cash for those properties in September.

The median price of bank-owned homes sold in September was $169,222, up from $161,550 in August. The median price of homes sold as part of a short sale in September was $165,000, down from $170,000 in August.

The report noted that GLVAR’s median local home price is still well below the June 2006 peak of $315,000. Single-family home prices bottomed out at a median of $118,000 in January 2012 before increasing by 24 percent per year in 2012 and 2013.

GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of September 2014. GLVAR distributes such statistics each month based on data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for newly constructed homes sold by local builders or for sale by owners.

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