The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) has been emphasizing how stable the local housing market has become in 2015, and recent sales data is now beginning to verify such claims.
GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) during October was $220,000.
"If that price sounds familiar, it's not your imagination," said GLVAR President Keith Lynam. "That's the same median home price we reported in August and the same price we reported in September. You can't get much more stable than that."
While local home prices have been remarkably steady in recent months, Lynam said "homeowners are still enjoying some annual appreciation." Compared to one year ago, GLVAR said the median local home price during October was up 10.1 percent from $199,900 in October 2014. Meanwhile, the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in October was $105,000. That was up 6.1 percent from $99,000 one year ago.
According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in October was 3,020, up from 2,861 one year ago. Compared to October 2014, 4.7 percent more homes and 9.2 percent more condos and townhomes sold this October. Lynam said local home sales in 2015 remain ahead of last year's sales pace.
For more than two years, GLVAR has been reporting fewer distressed sales and more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In October, 6.7 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 10.6 percent one year ago. Another 7.5 percent of October sales were bank-owned, down from 8.9 percent one year ago.
The median price of single-family homes sold as part of a short sale in October was $180,000, up from $165,000 one year ago. The median price of bank-owned homes sold in October was $155,000, down from $161,615 one year ago.
Lynam said short sales could still increase if Congress votes to again extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, as Realtors have advocated. Last 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 again 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.
As for the number of homes available for sale, Lynam said the local housing supply remained relatively tight. The total number of single-family homes listed for sale on GLVAR's MLS in October was 13,524, down 6.3 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,385 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in October, down 7.3 percent from one year ago.
By the end of October, GLVAR reported 8,252 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That's down 7.1 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,314 properties listed without offers in October represented a 9.2 percent decrease from one year ago.
GLVAR said 30.9 percent of all local properties sold in October were purchased with cash. That's down from 35.1 percent one year ago and nearly half of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, indicating that cash buyers and investors are still more active in Southern Nevada than in most other parts of the country, but that their influence on the local housing market is waning.
These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of October 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 Las Vegas housing market highlights include:
The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during October was more than $632 million for homes and more than $83 million for condos, high-rise condos and townhomes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in October were up 9.9 percent for homes and 5.6 percent for condos and townhomes.
In October, 69.3 percent of all existing local homes and 62.4 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 64.6 percent of all existing local homes and 55.3 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.