Fewer Vegas homebuyers paying cash; short sales declining

Fewer homebuyers in Las Vegas are paying cash, and homes that are underwater are a continuing smaller percentage of the Southern Nevada market, according to November numbers released by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR).

At 30.9 percent of the total, cash sales are still high compared to elsewhere in the nation, but they’re below last month’s 35.1 percentage and well below last year’s 59.5 percent peak in February of 2103. In a news release, GLVAR said that indicated while cash buyers remain active in Las Vegas, their influence on the market and its pricing is declining.

People buying short-sales also are paying more than in 2014, with the median price of such a single-family house at $185,000 compared to $160,000 last year.

GLVAR President Keith Lynam noted that if Congress once again extends the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, something his organization supports, short sales could increase. Without that, a seller could have to pay taxes on the debt forgiveness as if it were income.

Also, more houses for sale are getting offers than a year ago. When October ended, some 8,252 homes were on the Multiple Listing Service that had not a single offer. However, that’s 7.1 percent lower than a year ago.

Meanwhile, the median price remained steady at $220,000, which Lynam said indicated stability in the market.

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