Southern Nevada's housing market continued to enjoy steady growth this spring, with local home prices and sales increasing from this time last year, says the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR).
GLVAR reported the median price of homes sold through its Multiple Listing Service during April was $212,568, up 3.7 percent from $205,000 in March and up 10.7 percent from one year ago. Meanwhile, the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in April was $115,000. That was unchanged from March and up 15.0 percent from one year ago.
According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in April was 3,379, up from 3,358 in March and up from 3,215 one year ago. Compared to the previous month, GLVAR reported that sales were up 1.7 percent for single-family homes, but down 3.8 percent for condos and townhomes. Compared to April 2014, 5.3 percent more homes and 4.3 percent more condos and townhomes sold this April.
"Overall, it's shaping up to be a good spring for our local housing market," said 2015 GLVAR President Keith Lynam. "Like last month, when we saw a nice increase in sales compared to the same time last year, it's too soon to call two months of increasing sales a trend, but it's good news nonetheless."
Lynam said this increased sales pace, combined with a continued tight supply of homes available for sale, means Southern Nevada has less than a three-month supply of available homes. A six-month supply is considered to be a balanced market, he added.
GLVAR has been reporting fewer distressed sales and more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In April, 7.2 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 8.3 percent in March and from 12.4 percent one year ago. Another 8.3 percent of April sales were bank-owned, down from 9.3 percent in March and down from 11.4 percent last April.
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 April was 13,750, up 1.6 percent from 13,532 in March, but down 0.6 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,626 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in April, up 0.4 percent from 3,613 in March, but down 1.9 percent from one year ago.
By the end of April, GLVAR reported 7,296 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That's up 0.5 percent from March and up 13.6 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,437 properties listed without offers in April represented a 0.3 percent decrease from March and a 7.6 percent increase from one year ago.
GLVAR said 30.4 percent of all local properties sold in April were purchased with cash. That's down from 32.4 percent in March and from 41.4 percent one year ago. It's also well short of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, suggesting that investors are still a factor in the local housing market but less so than in past years.
The median price of bank-owned homes sold in April was $164,750, up from $163,500 in March. The median price of single-family homes sold as part of a short sale in April was $175,250, up from $165,000 in March.
These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of April 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 April increased by 4.8 percent for homes to more than $709 million. For condos, high-rise condos and townhomes, April sales totaled nearly $99 million, down 7.5 percent from March. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in April were up 16.8 percent for homes and up 19.1 percent for condos.
In April, 65.4 percent of all existing local homes and 65.8 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to March, when 61.4 percent of all existing local homes and 60.9 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.