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Home prices stand firm during crisis

A recent report by Las Vegas Realtors shows local home prices holding their ground amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn, but fewer homes are selling.

LVR — formerly known as the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors — reported that the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada through its Multiple Listing Service during May was $315,000. That was down from an all-time record price of $319,000 in March, but still up 5 percent from a median price of $300,000 in May of 2019.

The association reported that the median price of local condos and town homes sold in May was $185,000. That’s up 3.1 percent from May 2019.

LVR reported that a total of 2,075 existing local homes, condos and town homes were sold during May — the second full month since Nevadans were ordered on March 17 to “stay home for Nevada.” Compared with the same time last year, May sales were down 48.1 percent for homes and down 51.3 percent for condos and town homes. Sales were also down from the previous month.

“This crisis has obviously had a big impact on home sales,” said 2020 LVR President Tom Blanchard, a longtime local Realtor. “At the same time, it’s encouraging to see home values remaining steady, even with sales activity dropping. The bright spot is the increased activity of homes being placed under contract, which has seen a steady and significant increase since mid-April, which appears to have been the bottom of this housing dip.”

“These are undoubtedly challenging times,” he added. “But I’m optimistic we can get through this faster and in better shape than some people have been predicting. It helps that our local housing market had such a strong foundation heading into this crisis.”

Blanchard pointed out how well the local housing market was performing just three months ago, when home sales were running ahead of last year’s pace and existing local home prices finally broke their all-time record of $315,000 set back in June 2006. LVR statistics showed that March set a new high watermark with a median single-family home price of $319,000.

According to LVR, the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada hit a post-recession bottom of $118,000 in January 2012 before rebounding.

Even with fewer homes selling last month, Blanchard said the number of homes available for sale continues to shrink and remains below the six-month supply considered to be a balanced market. The sales pace in May equates to less than a four-month supply of homes available for sale.

By the end of May, LVR reported 5,799 single-family homes listed for sale without any sort of offer. That’s down 26.2 percent from one year ago. For condos and town homes, the 1,768 properties listed without offers in May represented a 5.8 percent drop from one year ago.

LVR reported that 14.5 percent of all local properties sold in May were purchased with cash. That compares with 20.4 percent one year ago. That’s well below the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, indicating that cash buyers and investors have been less active in the local housing market.

Despite the coronavirus crisis, the number of so-called distressed sales in May remained near historically low levels. The association reported that short sales and foreclosures combined accounted for 1.5 percent of all existing local property sales in May. That compares with 2 percent of all sales one year ago, 2.6 percent two years ago and 6.8 percent three years ago.

With a 90-day moratorium on evictions and foreclosures ordered March 29 by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, Blanchard expects distressed sales to remain low in the coming months.

These LVR statistics include activity through the end of May 2020. LVR 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 May was nearly $637 million for homes and more than $73 million for condos, high-rise condos and town homes. Compared with one year ago, total sales values in May were down 45.8 percent for homes and down 49.1 percent for condos and town homes.

■ In May, 84.7 percent of all existing local homes and 79.6 percent of all existing local condos and town homes sold within 60 days. That compares with one year ago, when 75 percent of all existing local homes and 76.9 percent of all condos and town homes sold within 60 days.

Las Vegas Realtors (formerly known as 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, LVR is the largest professional organization in Southern Nevada. Each member receives the highest level of professional training and must abide by a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit LasVegasRealtor.com.

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