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GLVAR reports increase in single-family home prices

Housing statistics released by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors showed home prices increased in April compared to the previous month and increased on a year-over-year basis for the first time in more than three years.

GLVAR President and longtime Realtor Rick Shelton said the median price of a single-family home sold in Southern Nevada during April was $142,000. That’s an increase of 4.4 percent from $136,000 in March and an increase of 0.2 percent from $141,720 in April 2009.

He said this is the first time GLVAR has reported a year-over-year increase in the median price since February 2007, when the median sales price of a local single-family home was $310,000. April’s median price of $142,000 was also the highest median sales price since March 2009.

“We don’t want to make too much of this just yet, but this is obviously good news for homeowners who want to see prices appreciate,” Shelton said. “One factor in April’s price increase was the federal tax credit for homebuyers, which expired April 30 and prompted many people to buy before the deadline. This fueled an already strong demand for homes here in Southern Nevada and may have pushed up home prices, which had already been fairly stable month after month.”

According to the GLVAR, the total number of local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in April was 3,738. That’s down from 3,989 sales in March and down from 3,925 one year ago.

This month’s GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of April. GLVAR distributes such statistics each month based on data collected through its Multiple Listing Service, which does not necessarily account for newly constructed homes sold by local builders or for sale by owners. Other highlights reported by GLVAR include:

• The total number of local single-family homes sold in April was 2,951. That’s down 7.1 percent from 3,175 in March and down 7.7 percent from 3,198 sold in April 2009.

• The total number of condos and townhomes sold in April was 787, down 3.3 percent from 814 in March, but up 8.3 percent from 727 such sales one year ago.

• The value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during April decreased 4.2 percent from more than $533 million worth of single-family home sales in March to more than $511 million in April and decreased 6.4 percent from nearly $76 million in condo and townhome sales in March to nearly $71 million in April. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in April were down 3.9 percent for homes, but up 15.7 percent for condo and townhome properties.

As in past months, GLVAR reported a continued increase in short sales and decrease in sales involving foreclosed homes. In February, 22 percent of all existing homes sold in Southern Nevada were short sales. That number increased to 25 percent in March and climbed to 27 percent in April. At the same time, Shelton said bank-owned homes are accounting for a decreasing percentage of all local home sales, dropping from 53.0 percent in February to 50.0 percent in March to 43.0 percent in April. Shelton said this shift is being supported by government efforts to encourage short sales over foreclosures and lenders being more willing to work with homeowners to work out short sales as an alternative to foreclosing on homes.

Shelton said the percentage of local homes being purchased with cash continues to remain high, though that percentage slipped from 43.8 percent in March to 43.3 percent of all sales in April.

As for the number of listings on GLVAR’s Multiple Listing Service, GLVAR reported a total of 20,875 single-family homes listed for sale at the end of April. That’s up 1.6 percent from 20,548 in March, but down 5.6 percent from 22,112 homes listed one year ago.

Through April, 68 percent of all local single-family homes and 68.9 percent of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to March, when 65.6 percent of all homes and 70.5 percent of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. Homes are still selling faster than they did one year ago, when 60.1 percent of all single-family homes and 52.5 percent of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.

For more information about GLVAR, visit lasvegasrealtor.com.

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