LAS VEGAS – Wrapping up the most stable year the local housing market has seen in at least a decade, the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS (GLVAR) reported Thursday that existing local home prices posted a 6.4 percent increase for the year as more homes sold in 2015 than in 2014.
GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold during December in Southern Nevada through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was $217,000, up 6.4 percent from one year ago. The price dipped slightly from November to December after holding steady at $220,000 for four straight months from August through November.
Meanwhile, GLVAR said the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in December was $117,900. That’s up 12.3 percent from one year ago.
“I think 2105 will be remembered as the year the local housing market stabilized after the roller-coaster ride we had been on during the past decade or so,” said 2016 GLVAR President Scott Beaudry, a longtime local REALTOR who succeeded 2015 President Keith Lynam as of Jan. 1. “I think most people prefer the more steady and more predictable housing market we had last year. We also sold more homes in 2015 than we did the previous year.”
For 2015, GLVAR reported a combined total of 38,578 single-family home, condominium, townhome and high-rise condo sales. That was up from 35,806 total sales in 2014.
According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in December 2015 was 3,290, up from 2,734 in December 2014. Compared to the previous year, 20.4 percent more homes and 20.0 percent more condos and townhomes sold in December 2015.
For 2016, Beaudry said he expects to see “more of the same” slow and steady price appreciation, “but hopefully with an increase in our inventory” of homes available for sale.
Beaudry said the local housing market ended the year with about a three-month supply of homes available for sale, when a six-month supply is considered a more balanced market. The total number of single-family homes listed for sale on GLVAR’s MLS in December was 11,827, down 4.4 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,094 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in December, down 5.7 percent from one year ago.
By the end of December, GLVAR reported 7,224 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s down 7.1 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,091 properties listed without offers in December represented a 9.4 percent decrease from one year ago.
In recent years, GLVAR has been reporting fewer distressed sales and more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. That continued in December, when 6.8 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 percent of all sales one year ago. Another 6.9 percent of all December sales were bank-owned, down from 8 percent one year ago.
The median price of single-family homes sold as part of a short sale in December was $180,000, up from $167,000 one year ago. The median price of bank-owned homes sold in December was $166,000, compared to $155,500 one year ago.
Beaudry said short sales could continue to play a role in the local housing market in 2016 since Congress voted last month to again extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, as REALTORS® have long advocated. If Congress had not voted to again extend the 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 28.4 percent of all local properties sold in December were purchased with cash, down from 34.1 percent one year ago. That’s well short 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 markets, but that their influence continues to wane.
These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of December 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 highlights include:
· The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during December was nearly $688 million for homes and more than $99 million for condos, high-rise condos and townhomes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in December were up 25.4 percent for homes, but down 0.7 percent for condos and townhomes.
· In December, 64.6 percent of all existing local homes and 61.5 percent of all existing local condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 62.8 percent of all existing local homes and 57.4 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.
About the GLVAR
GLVAR was founded in 1947 and provides its more than 12,500 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.