LAS VEGAS – Statistics released by the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS (GLVAR) show the median price of homes sold last month in Southern Nevada increased slightly even as fewer homes are selling each month.
GLVAR reported the median price of single-family homes sold through its Multiple Listing Service during September was $202,500, up 1.3 percent from an even $200,000 in July and August and up 12.5 percent from one year ago. Meanwhile, the median price of condominiums and townhomes sold in September was $104,250, down 0.7 percent from $105,000 in August, but up 9.7 percent from one year ago.
“Our housing prices went up slightly last month, but they really haven’t changed much these past few months,” said GLVAR President Heidi Kasama, a longtime local REALTOR. “Our market is entering a more stable time, with inventory levels increasing slightly and price increases moderating. Overall, I still think this is a great time for buyers to enter the market since they have more homes to choose from, as well as historically low mortgage interest rates.”
Kasama pointed out that GLVAR’s median local home price is still well below the June 2006 peak of $315,000. Single-family home prices bottomed out at a median of $118,000 in January 2012 before increasing by 24 percent per year in 2012 and 2013.
According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in September was 2,982, down from 3,120 in August and down from 3,259 one year ago. Kasama said local home sales so far in 2014 are running about 12 percent behind last year’s pace. At the current pace, she said Southern Nevada has less than a four-month supply of available properties. REALTORS consider a six-month supply to be a balanced market.
For nearly two years, GLVAR has reported fewer distressed sales and more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. That trend continued in September, when GLVAR reported 10.4 of all 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 11.5 percent in August. Another 8.8 percent of all September sales were bank-owned properties, down from 8.9 percent in August.
Throughout 2014, Kasama has said short sales have been declining due in part to uncertainty about whether Congress will vote to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 that expired Dec. 31, 2013. If Congress doesn’t extend this law and make it retroactive to Jan. 1, it can create a significant tax hit for anyone who completed a short sale in 2014. She said REALTORS are still pushing Congress to extend this act for at least another year. Unless Congress extends this act in the coming months, any amount of money a bank writes off in agreeing to sell a home as part of a short sale starting in 2014 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 September was 13,857, up 0.8 percent from 13,752 in August, but down 5.5 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,524 condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in September, down 2.7 percent from 3,623 in August and down 1.9 percent from September 2013.
By the end of September, GLVAR reported 8,196 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s up 5.2 percent from 7,788 such homes listed in August, and a 29.5 percent jump from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,415 properties listed without offers in September represented a 0.7 percent increase from 2,399 such properties listed in August and a 22.7 percent increase from one year ago.
GLVAR said 34.3 percent of all local properties sold in September were purchased with cash. That’s up from 32.1 percent in August, but still near a five-year low and well short of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, suggesting that fewer investors have been buying homes in Southern Nevada. Kasama noted the percentage of cash buyers remains highest among local condo and townhome buyers, 65.7 of whom paid cash for such properties in September.
The median price of bank-owned homes sold in September was $169,222, up from $161,550 in August. The median price of homes sold as part of a short sale in September was $165,000, down from $170,000 in August.
These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of September 2014. 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 highlights include:
The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during September decreased by 11.3 percent for homes to nearly $570 million. For condos and townhomes, the total value of all September sales was more than $87 million, up 16.8 percent from August. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in September were down 4.7 percent for homes and also down 4.7 percent for condos and townhomes.
In September, 66.4 percent of all existing local homes and 60.5 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to August, when 68.3 percent of all existing local homes and 63.1 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.
About the GLVAR
GLVAR was founded in 1947 and provides its more than 11,000 local members with education, training and political representation. The local representative of the National Association of REALTORS®, GLVAR is the largest professional organization in Southern Nevada. Each GLVAR member receives the highest level of professional training and must abide by a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.HomeLasVegas.com or www.lasvegasrealtor.com.