Las Vegas Home Sales Increase in August, Inventory Remains Tight

Las Vegas Home Sales Increase in August, Inventory Remains Tight

Residential News » Las Vegas Edition | By Monsef Rachid | September 9, 2016 8:00 AM ET

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors is reporting this week that Southern Nevada home sales increased in August 2016, even as the local housing supply remained tight.

Meanwhile, GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold during August through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was $235,000. That was down slightly from $236,000 in July, but still up 6.8 percent from $220,000 one year ago.

GLVAR said the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in August was $115,000. That was up 4.5 percent from $110,000 last year at this time.

"It's good to see that we sold more homes last month than we did during the previous month and year, even with this persistently tight inventory we've been dealing with this year," said 2016 GLVAR President Scott Beaudry. "As for home prices, we're starting to see a more normal rate of appreciation, where prices are going up more gradually, as opposed to the double-digit increases we've seen the last few years."

According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in August was 3,789, up from 3,454 total sales in August of 2015. Compared to the same month one year ago, 8.7 percent more homes, and 14.7 percent more condos and townhomes sold in August.

So far in 2016, Beaudry said local home sales are 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.

At the same time, he 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 August was 13,222, down 2.8 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 2,366 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in August, down 31.6 percent from one year ago.

By the end of August, GLVAR reported 7,594 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That's down 5.8 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 1,244 properties listed without offers in August represented a 46.4 percent decrease from one year ago.

GLVAR continues to track declines in distressed sales and a corresponding increase in traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In August, 4.1 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 6.2 percent of all sales one year ago. Another 5.5 percent of all August sales were bank-owned, down from 7.0 percent one year ago.

Though they continue to make up a smaller percentage of all local home sales, Beaudry said short sales could 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 August were purchased with cash, compared to 28.2 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 total value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during August was more than $835 million for homes and more than $86 million for condos, high-rise condos and townhomes. Compared to one year ago, total sales values in August were up 11.6 percent for homes and up 0.1 percent for condos and townhomes.
  • Homes sold faster in August, when 76.1 percent of all existing local homes and 74.7 percent of all existing local condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 68.9 percent of all existing local homes and 64.6 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.

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