According to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR), local home prices in Las Vegas continued to rise along with the number of homes available for sale.
GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada during March was $195,000, up 2.6 percent from $190,000 in February and up 21.1 percent from $161,000 in March of 2013. The median price of existing condominiums and townhomes sold in March was $100,953, down 1.8 percent from $102,855 in February, but up 26.0 percent from $80,150 one year ago.
Even with these recent increases, local home prices are still well below their June 2006 peak of $315,000. Existing local home prices bottomed out at a median price of $118,000 in January 2012 before rising for a record 19 straight months until September 2013 and rising more gradually since then.
"One of the trends we noticed this month is the increase in our inventory. That helps people looking to buy a home. After dealing with such a tight housing supply last year, we now have more than twice as many homes without pending or contingent offers on them than we did a year ago," said GLVAR President Heidi Kasama, a longtime local REALTOR®. "We also sold more homes in March than in February, even though our sales pace so far this year is about 15 percent behind last year."
GLVAR continued to track the transition from distressed to more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. GLVAR has been reporting fewer short sales - which occur when lenders allow borrowers to sell a home for less than what they owe on the mortgage. In March, 12.9 percent of all existing local home sales were short sales, down from 14 percent in February. Another 11.7 percent of all March sales were bank-owned properties, down from 12 percent in February.
Kasama said one of the reasons for the slide in short sales is uncertainty about whether Congress will vote this year to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 that expired Dec. 31, 2013. If Congress doesn't extend this law and make it retroactive to Jan. 1, she said "it can create a big tax hit for anyone who did a short sale in 2014." She said Realtors are pushing Congress to extend this act for at least another year. Unless Congress extends this act, as Nevada's congressional delegation has proposed, any amount of money a bank writes off in agreeing to sell a home as part of a short sale starting in 2014 may become taxable when sellers file their income taxes.
The total number of single-family homes listed for sale on GLVAR's Multiple Listing Service in March was 13,944. That's up 2.3 percent from 13,624 listed in February and up 1.8 percent from 13,693 listed one year ago. GLVAR reported a total of 3,701 condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in March, up 3.9 percent from 3,561 listed in February and up 7.2 percent from one year ago.
By the end of March, GLVAR reported 6,470 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That's up 2.4 percent from 6,316 such homes listed in February, and a 127.9 percent jump from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,295 properties listed without offers in March represented a 3.8 percent increase from 2,212 such properties listed in February and an 88.3 percent increase from one year ago.
GLVAR said the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in March was 3,094, up from 2,518 in February, but down from 3,642 one year ago.
GLVAR said 43.1 percent of all existing local homes sold in March were purchased with cash. That's down from 46.8 percent the previous month, and well short of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent.
The median price of bank-owned homes sold in March was $165,900, up from $160,000 in February. The median price of homes sold as part of a short sale in March was $164,500, up from $159,750 in February.
These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of March 2014. GLVAR distributes such statistics each month based on data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for newly constructed homes sold by local builders or for sale by owners.
GLVAR report highlights include:
The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during March increased by 30.3 percent for homes to nearly $589 million. For condos and townhomes, the total value of all March sales was more than $76 million, up 3.2 percent from February. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in March were up 0.3 percent for homes, but down 12.0 percent for condos and townhomes.
In March, 62.8 percent of all existing local homes and 59.0 percent of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to February, when 60.2 percent of all existing local homes and 53.7 percent of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.