The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reports that the local housing market in Las Vegas has been able to weather the winter months, which are traditionally slow, with home sales and prices rising steadily and poised to have a robust spring sales season.
According to GLVAR, the median price for Southern Nevada single-family houses sold through the MLS (Mulitple Listing Service) in February was $220,350, which was a 7.5 percent increase from last year’s $205,000.
GLVAR stated that the median price for Las Vegas condos and townhomes, including high-rise condos, was $121,500 for those sold in February. That is a 15.7 percent increase from last year’s $105,000.
Scott Beaudry, GLVAR President, said that he felt we are in relatively good shape because we have made it through what tends to be the slowest part of the year for the local housing market. He said that our home sales and home prices have a tendency to warm up when the weather does. He thinks we are in a good position to have a solid spring and summer, and that he expected to see the recent trend of steadily rising sales and prices to continue for the remainder of the year unless anything dramatic were to happen.
Beaudry also said that the local housing market still was dealing with a small supply of housing and has one of the nation’s highest percentages when it comes to underwater homeowners who owe a greater amount on their mortgages than what their homes are worth currently. He added that we are overcoming those challenges gradually as prices continue to increase, more homeowners can build equity in their homes, and the local economy is improving.
Townhomes, Condominium and Home Sales Up This Year
The GVLAR reports that 2,676 local townhouses, condominiums, and homes sold in February, which is an increased from February 2015’s 2,452. Compared to February of last year, 15.8 percent more townhouses and condos and 7.5 percent more houses sold this February.
GLVAR reported for 2015 a total of 38,578 high-rise condo, townhome, condominium and single-family home sales. It was more sales than in 2014, but less than during the prior five years before that.
According to Beaudry, the local housing supply is still tight, with the provision of houses available for sale being less than four months, when a more balanced market supply is considered to be six months. In February, there were 12,994 single-family houses listed for sale on the GLVAR MLS, which compared to one year was down 1.5 percent. A total of 3,481 townhomes, high-rise condos, and condos listed for sale in February on its MLS was tracked by GLVAR, which was down 2.5 percent compared to a year ago.
GLVAR reported at the end of February that 7,328 single-family houses were listed without any offer. That was an increase of just 0.2 percent compared to one year ago. For townhouses and condos, 2,267 properties were listed without any offers in February, which was a 6.5 percent reduction from a year ago.
GLVAR continues reporting increased traditional home sales and decreases in distressed sales, where the transactions are not controlled by lenders. In February, Short sales were 6.6 percent of total local sales – when lenders let borrowers sell their homes for less than the total that is owed on their mortgages. That is a 9.3 percent decrease in sales compared to a year ago.
For single-family homes that were sold in February that were sold as a short sale, the median price was $190,000, which was an increased from the $165,000 price from a year ago. For bank-owned houses that sold in February, the median price was $166,450, which was an increase from last year’s $159,250.
According to Beaudry, short sales might continue playing a role in the 2016 local housing market since in late December Congress voted to extend the 2007 Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act once again, as had been advocated by the Realtors. If Congress had failed to extend the tax break for helping distressed homeowners, all money that was written off by the bank when agreeing to sell the house in a short sale would have ended up being taxable whenever the sellers filed their federal income tax returns.
GLVAR stated that 31.4 percent of the local properties that sold in February were cash purchases, which was a decrease of 37.4 percent compared to one year ago. That is much less than the peak of February 2013, which was at 59.5 percent, which indicates that investors and cash buyers were more active than in Southern Nevada compared to most other markets. However, their influence has continued to wane over time.
Included in the GLVAR statistics is activity through February 2016. These statistics are distributed by GLVAR every month based on data that gets collected via its MLS which doesn’t necessarily account for sale by owner homes or homes that are newly constructed and sold by local builders.
Other highlights from the Las Vegas market include:
Regarding local real estate transactions that the MLS tracked during February, the monthly value as almost $556 million for houses and over $87 million for townhomes, high-rise condos, and condos. February’s total sales volume, compared to a year ago, increased 8.5 percent for townhomes and condos and 14.6 percent for houses.
In February, 61.9 percent of local townhomes and condos and 60.9 percent of homes sold within a 60 day period. One year ago, 55.6 percent of townhomes and condos and 57.3 percent of local homes sold within a 60 day period.