Las Vegas Home Prices Rise 8 Percent Annually

Las Vegas Home Prices Rise 8 Percent Annually

Residential News » Las Vegas Edition | By Miho Favela | March 10, 2015 9:11 AM ET

According to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR), the Las Vegas housing market is increasingly becoming more stable with Southern Nevada home prices remaining about 8 percent higher than they were a year ago.

GLVAR reported the median price of homes sold in February 2015 was $205,000. That was up 2.5 percent from an even $200,000 in January, and up 7.9 percent from one year ago. Meanwhile, the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in February was $105,000, unchanged from January and December and up 2.1 percent from one year ago.

"These slight variations in median sales price reinforce what we've been saying for months," said 2015 GLVAR President Keith Lynam. "We're in a stable housing market, which is a good thing."

At the same time, Lynam said overpriced listings may be holding back the local housing market. "We'd like to see more Nevada homeowners realistically pricing their homes at fair market value," he said. "One of our challenges lately is too many would-be sellers have been watching home prices go up for the past few years and are now asking too much for their homes. We need to keep educating homeowners and our members about this to make sure homes are being listed at realistic prices. Certainly some of the blame should be squarely placed on our members, but the trend of homes on the market with no offers is rising, and that is troubling."

GLVAR's median single-family home price increased by about 10 percent during 2014, entering a stabilizing period for Southern Nevada's real estate market. That annual rate of appreciation is less than half of what it was when prices increased by about 24 percent per year during both 2012 and 2013, Lynam added.

According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in February was 2,452, up from 2,239 in January, but down from 2,518 one year ago. At this sales pace, Lynam said Southern Nevada continues to have roughly a four-month supply of available homes, while a six-month supply is considered to be a balanced market.

GLVAR is tracking a two-year trend of fewer distressed sales and more traditional sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In February, 9.3 percent of all local sales were short sales - which occur when lenders allow borrowers to sell a home for less than what they owe on the mortgage. That's down from 9.7 percent in January and from 14 percent one year ago. Another 9.7 percent of February sales were bank-owned, up from 9.4 percent in January, but down from 12 percent last year.

Lynam said short sales could increase in 2015 if Congress votes to again extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. In December, Congress voted to retroactively extend the tax break it had allowed to expire at the end of 2013 to help distressed homeowners who sold properties in 2014. Unless Congress extends this act through 2015, any amount of money a bank writes off in agreeing to sell a home as part of a short sale this year 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 February was 13,188, up 4.1 percent from 12,666 in January, but down 3.2 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,558 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in February, up 3.8 percent from 3,429 in January, but down 0.1 percent from February 2014.

By the end of February, GLVAR reported 7,313 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That's down 0.9 percent from January, but up 15.8 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,425 properties listed without offers in February represented a 4.2 percent increase from January and a 9.6 percent increase from one year ago.

GLVAR said 37.4 percent of all local properties sold in February were purchased with cash. That's up from 36 percent in January, but down from 46.8 one year ago and well short of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, suggesting that fewer investors have been buying local homes.

The median price of bank-owned homes sold in February was $159,250, up from $154,900 in January. The median price of homes sold as part of a short sale in February was $165,000, down from $167,000 in January.

These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of February 2015. 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.

Other market highlights include:

  • The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during February increased by 11.7 percent to more than $485 million. For condos, high-rise condos and townhomes, February sales totaled more than $80 million, up 26.9 percent from January. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in February were up 7.4 percent for homes and up 8.2 percent for condos.
  • In February, 57.3 percent of all existing local homes and 55.6 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to January, when 59.8 percent of all existing local homes and 58.2 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.

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