LAS VEGAS – The Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS (GLVAR) reported that the local housing market began 2016 where it left off in 2015 – with gradually rising home prices and sales and fewer homeowners in distress.
GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada during January through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was $219,000, up 9.5 percent from $200,000 one year ago.
Meanwhile, GLVAR said the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in January was $119,990. That’s up 14.3 percent from $105,000 one year ago.
“We’re expecting the local housing market to follow last year’s trends and stay fairly stable,” said 2016 GLVAR President Scott Beaudry, a longtime local REALTOR who succeeded 2015 President Keith Lynam as of Jan. 1. “We still have challenges with our low housing supply and with too many underwater homeowners, but I see room for both of those issues to improve this year. Hopefully, we’ll start to see more homes on the market as the local economy and population continues to grow and as more homeowners gradually build equity in their homes and are in a better position to sell when they’re ready.”
According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in January was 2,348, up from 2,239 in January of 2015. Compared to the same month one year ago, 4.7 percent more homes and 5.4 percent more condos and townhomes sold in January.
For 2015, GLVAR reported a combined total of 38,578 single-family home, condominium, townhome and high-rise condo sales, more than in 2014, but fewer sales than in the previous five years.
Beaudry said the local housing supply remained tight, with about a four-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 January was 12,473, down 1.5 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,343 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in January, down 2.5 percent from one year ago.
By the end of January, GLVAR reported 7,428 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s up 0.6 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,216 properties listed without offers in January represented a 4.8 percent decrease from one year ago.
As it has for the past few years, GLVAR reported fewer distressed sales and more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In January, 7.0 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 9.7 percent of all sales one year ago. Another 7.9 percent of all January sales were bank-owned, down from 9.4 percent one year ago.
The median price of single-family homes sold as part of a short sale in January was $169,990, up from $167,000 one year ago. The median price of bank-owned homes sold in January was $175,000, compared to $154,900 one year ago.
Beaudry said short sales should continue to play a role in the local housing market in 2016 since Congress voted in late December 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 31.1 percent of all local properties sold in January were purchased with cash, down from 36 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 subside.
These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of January 2016. 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 January was nearly $467 million for homes and nearly $70 million for condos, high-rise condos and townhomes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in January were up 7.5 percent for homes, and up 10.2 percent for condos and townhomes.
· In January, 62.2 percent of all existing local homes and 58.6 percent of all existing local condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 59.8 percent of all existing local homes and 58.2 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.