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Las Vegas home prices, sales up from one year ago

The local housing market kicked off the new decade with home prices and sales increasing from the same time last year, but giving back gains made in December. So says a report released Thursday by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada through its Multiple Listing Service during January 2020 was $305,000. That was down 2.6 percent from December, but up 1.7 percent from January of 2019. Meanwhile, the median price of local condos and town homes sold in January was $175,000. That was down 1.7 percent from December, but up 2.9 percent from January 2019.

“January is usually one of our slowest months for home sales and prices, and this month was a good example of that seasonal trend,” said 2020 GLVAR President Tom Blanchard, a longtime local Realtor whose one-year term leading the association began on Jan. 1.

After seeing the median local home price in December come within a few thousand dollars of its all-time peak, Blanchard said he still expects that price record to fall sometime this year.

“I think it’s a good bet that this will be the year we finally break the record for our median home price,” he said. “At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that we’re still not back to our all-time high set way back in 2006. Most markets around the country have already surpassed their pre-recession record for home prices. When you factor in the rate of inflation over that time, you could argue that local home prices should be much higher than they are.”

Before slowing down in the last year or so, local home prices had been soaring since early 2012, posting double-digit gains from year to year while climbing back from their post-recession low point. According to GLVAR, the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada peaked at $315,000 in June 2006 before falling during the recession. Local home prices hit a post-recession bottom of $118,000 in January 2012.

The total number of existing local homes, condos and town homes sold during January was 2,875. Sales were down from December. But compared with the same time last year, January sales were up 25.2 percent for homes and up 22.8 percent for condos and town homes.

That year-over-year sales increase reverses last year’s trend. According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condos and town homes sold in Southern Nevada during 2019 was 41,269. That was down from 42,876 total sales in 2018 and from 45,388 in 2017.

By all indications, Blanchard expects the local housing market in 2020 “will look a lot like it did last year,” with gradually increasing or stable home prices, strong demand for housing and a persistently tight supply. As long as Southern Nevada continues to enjoy economic, job and population growth, he expects the housing market to continue on its current course.

The local housing inventory started 2020 the way it ended in 2019, with just over a two-month supply of homes available for sale, with the supply shrinking from the previous month and year.

By the end of January, GLVAR reported 4,906 single-family homes listed for sale without any sort of offer. That’s down 32.4 percent from one year ago. For condos and town homes, the 1,418 properties listed without offers in January represented a 16.7 percent drop from one year ago.

GLVAR reported that 24.3 percent of all local properties sold in January were purchased with cash. That compares with 24.9 percent one year ago. That’s well below the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, indicating that cash buyers and investors are still active in the local housing market, but are playing a much smaller role than they were during and just after the recession.

Meanwhile, the number of so-called distressed sales remains near historically low levels. GLVAR reported that short sales and foreclosures combined accounted for 2.7 percent of all existing local property sales in January. That compares with 2.8 percent of all sales one year ago, 4.3 percent two years ago and 11 percent three years ago.

These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of January 2020. GLVAR distributes statistics each month based on data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for newly constructed homes sold by local builders or homes for sale by owners. Other highlights include:

■ The total value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during January was nearly $814 million for homes and nearly $117 million for condos, high-rise condos and town homes. Compared with one year ago, total sales values in January were up 27 percent for homes and up 31.5 percent for condos and town homes.

■ Homes and condos are selling at a slower pace than last year at this time. In January, 68.8 percent of all existing local homes and 66.2 percent of all existing local condos and town homes sold within 60 days. That compares with one year ago, when 72.0 percent of all existing local homes and 71.2 percent of all existing local condos and town homes sold within 60 days.

GLVAR was founded in 1947 and provides its more than 15,000 local members with education, training and political representation. The local representative of the National Association of Realtors, GLVAR is the largest professional organization in Southern Nevada. Each GLVAR member receives the highest level of professional training and must abide by a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.LasVegasRealtor.com.

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