LAS VEGAS – Despite December being a traditionally sluggish time for the local housing market, statistics released Thursday by the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS (GLVAR) show Southern Nevada home prices and sales increased from the previous month.
GLVAR reported the median price of homes sold through its Multiple Listing Service during December was $204,000. That’s up 1.0 percent from $202,000 in November and up 10.3 percent from one year ago. Meanwhile, the median price of local condominiums and townhomes sold in December was $105,000, down 5.8 percent from $111,450 in November, but up 9.4 percent from one year ago.
“Single-family home prices are hovering above the $200,000 mark and have been fairly stable over the past year, which I think is a good thing for most consumers. One reason prices have held up so well is that we’ve been selling more higher-priced homes,” said 2015 GLVAR President Keith Lynam, a longtime local REALTOR. “We’re also seeing stability with the number of foreclosures and short sales making up a smaller share of the local housing market.”
Though GLVAR’s median single-family home price increased by about 10 percent during 2014, Lynam said that rate of appreciation is less than half of what it was when prices increased by about 24 percent per year during both 2012 and 2013. Prices have bounced back steadily since bottoming out at $118,000 in January 2012, but they are still well below their June 2006 peak of $315,000.
According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in December was 2,734, up from 2,483 in November, but down from 2,915 one year ago. At the current sales pace, Lynam said Southern Nevada continues to have less than a four-month supply of available homes. REALTORS consider a six-month supply to be a balanced market.
For all of 2014, GLVAR reported that 36,550 total properties were sold through its MLS. Lynam noted that was the lowest number of sales in at least six years, down from 47,685 sales in 2009; 44,045 in 2010; 48,798 in 2011; 45,698 in 2012; and 41,477 in 2013.
GLVAR has been tracking a two-year trend toward fewer distressed sales and more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. That continued in December, when 10 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 up slightly from 9.6 percent in November. Another 8 percent of all December sales were bank-owned properties, down from 8.7 percent in November.
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 December was 12,377, down 7.8 percent from 13,421 in November and down 7.0 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,282 condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in December, down 7.0 percent from 3,529 in November, but up 13.1 percent from December 2013.
By the end of December, GLVAR reported 7,774 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s down 5.1 percent from 8,195 such homes listed in November, but up 18.0 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,309 properties listed without offers in December represented a 6.1 percent decrease from 2,458 such properties listed in November, but a 38.8 percent increase from one year ago.
GLVAR said 34.1 percent of all local properties sold in December were purchased with cash. That’s up from 31.9 percent in November, but well short of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, suggesting that fewer investors have been buying homes in Southern Nevada.
The median price of bank-owned homes sold in December was $155,500, up slightly from $155,000 in November. The median price of homes sold as part of a short sale in December was $167,000, down from $170,000 during November.
These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of December 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 December increased by 10.9 percent for homes to nearly $549 million. For condos and townhomes, the total value of all December sales was nearly $100 million, up 53.3 percent from November. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in December were down 0.3 percent for homes, but up 40.6 percent for condos and townhomes.
- In December, 62.8 percent of all existing local homes and 57.4 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to November, when 67.1 percent of all existing local homes and 64.3 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.
About the GLVAR
GLVAR was founded in 1947 and provides its more than 11,500 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.