The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported this week that Southern Nevada home prices continued to rise, as the local housing supply remained tight.
GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold during July through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) increased to $236,000. That was up 7.3 percent from $218,000 one year ago.
Meanwhile, GLVAR said the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in July was $115,000, the same as last month and last year at this time.
"The local housing market is having a pretty solid summer so far," said 2016 GLVAR President Scott Beaudry. "Home prices have been going up gradually. And although we sold fewer homes and condos in July than we did during the previous month and year, sales have been running ahead of last year's pace. Our tight inventory might finally be slowing down our sales pace. Sales slipped the most during July for lower-priced homes. This suggests it's getting harder for entry-level buyers to find the homes they want."
According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in July was 3,447, down from 3,815 total sales in July of 2015. Compared to the same month one year ago, 7.2 percent fewer homes, and 4.2 percent fewer condos and townhomes sold in July.
Beaudry said local home sales for the first half of 2016 had been outpacing 2015, when GLVAR reported 38,578 single-family home, condominium, townhome and high-rise condo sales. That was more than in 2014, but fewer sales than during each of the previous five years.
Even with a slight drop in sales during July, Beaudry said Southern Nevada still has less than a three-month supply of homes available for sale, when a six-month supply is considered to be a balanced market.
The total number of single-family homes listed for sale on GLVAR's Multiple Listing Service in July 2016 was 13,217, down 3.8 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 2,401 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in July, down 30.9 percent from one year ago.
By the end of July, GLVAR reported 7,338 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That's down 1.3 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 1,212 properties listed without offers in July represented a 48.0 percent decrease from one year ago.
As in past months, GLVAR continued to track declines in distressed sales and a corresponding increase in traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In July, 5.7 percent of all local sales were short sales - when lenders allow borrowers to sell a home for less than what they owe on the mortgage. That's down from 7.1 percent of all sales one year ago. Another 5.9 percent of all July sales were bank-owned, down from 7.7 percent one year ago.
Though they continue to make up a smaller percentage of all local home sales, Beaudry said short sales may continue to be an attractive option for some homeowners this year since Congress voted in late December to again extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. If Congress had not voted to again extend this tax break to help distressed homeowners, any amount of money a bank wrote off in agreeing to sell a home as part of a short sale would have been taxable when sellers file their federal income taxes.
GLVAR said 25.8 percent of all local properties sold in July were purchased with cash, compared to 27.1 percent one year ago. That cash buyer percentage has stabilized in recent months. It's still less than half of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, suggesting that cash buyers and investors remain more active in Southern Nevada than in most markets, but that their influence continues to wane.
Other market highlights include:
The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during July was nearly $783 million for homes and nearly $75 million for condos, high-rise condos and townhomes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in July were down 1.4 percent for homes and down 25.2 percent for condos and townhomes.
Homes sold faster in July, when 74.9 percent of all existing local homes and 68.8 percent of all existing local condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 69.4 percent of all existing local homes and 65.2 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.