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Las Vegas housing market continues to heat up

The Southern Nevada housing market remained on the road to recovery in 2017 as it finished the year better than it started.

Las Vegas builders closed on 8,739 new homes in 2017, a 10.1 percent increase over 2016, according to research firm SalesTraq. The median price was $379,990, an 11.7 percent increase over 2016, the firm reported. The average price per square foot was $162.25, a 10 percent increase over 2016.

The new home market showed no signs of slowing down in December and is showing it’s one of the strongest in the country. The 907 closings in December were 8.5 percent higher than December 2016.

There were 680 permits issued in December, a 13.5 percent gain over December 2016. For the year, there were 9,522 permits issued, an increase of 11.8 percent over 2016.

SalesTraq reported there were 228 active builder subdivisions in December, which is 6.6 percent fewer than 2016. Of those that are active, however, sales were up 16.1 percent over the past year. There were 3.98 sales per subdivision in December.

“New home prices continued to rise, largely in response to the mix of homes demanded and rising development costs throughout the valley,” according to SalesTraq in its report. “With over $18 billion in major projects either under construction or on the drawing boards, the expectation is that these activities will pay dividends in the housing market by driving population and employment forward. The latest performance by the equities markets — reaching all-time highs — certainly doesn’t hurt.”

SalesTraq said that while the signals for the housing market appear favorable, they said people should be mindful of the sustainability of the current path.

“While a reversal is not expected, it is not unreasonable for the pace of expansion to slow or the market to experience midcourse corrections along with the broader economy,” the report said. “However, the near-term fundamentals point toward more of the same.”

In the existing home market, the median resale home price jumped 17.8 percent on the year, reaching $238,000 in December, according to SalesTraq.

“For homeowners who have remained in the same property since the downturn, the latest run has allowed them to regain a significant share of previously lost equity or push them into positive territory,” the report stated.

Dwindling supply has helped prop up prices, as December sales of single-family homes through the Multiple Listing Service experienced a median of 19 days on the market, SalesTraq reported. The volume of resale closings has grown with more than 49,200 transactions in 2017, an increase of 4.9 percent from 2016.

There were 3,800 closings in December, down 4.3 percent from December 2016.

There were 4,478 listings on the Multiple Listing service in December, a 34.6 percent decline from December 2016. There is 1.4 months of inventory of existing homes, which has pushed more people to the new home market.

“While not all potential buyers were successful in the resale market, many have turned to the new home market to identify properties that meet their specifications,” the report said.

The recovery of the housing market is reflected in the number of bank repossessions of 546 in 2017, a 67.3 percent decline over 2016. There were only 16 repossessions in December.

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