GLVAR reports local home prices up 8 percent for year

LAS VEGASStatistics released Tuesday by the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (GLVAR) show Southern Nevada home prices are up more than 8 percent in the past year despite a seasonal slowdown and fewer homes changing hands.

GLVAR reported the median price of homes sold through its Multiple Listing Service during January was an even $200,000. That was down 2.0 percent from $204,000 in December, but still up 8.1 percent from $185,000 one year ago. Meanwhile, the median price of all local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in January was $105,000. That was unchanged from December, but up 10.5 percent from one year ago.

“January is typically a time when we see local home prices and sales slow down, so this month’s statistics are no surprise,” said 2015 GLVAR President Keith Lynam, a longtime local REALTOR®. “What’s more relevant to us is how we’re doing compared to the same time a year ago. Compared to last year, home prices are still rising, just at a more gradual pace than they did in the past few years.”

GLVAR’s median single-family home price increased by about 10 percent during 2014. 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 are still well below their June 2006 peak of $315,000, Lynam added.

For all of 2014, GLVAR reported that 36,550 total properties were sold through its MLS. 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.

According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in January 2015 was 2,239, down from 2,734 in December 2014 and down from 2,565 one year ago. At the current sales pace, Lynam said Southern Nevada continues to have roughly a four-month supply of available homes. REALTORS®consider a six-month supply to be a balanced market.

GLVAR has been tracking a two-year trend of fewer distressed sales and more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In January, 9.7 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 in December and 17 percent a year ago. Another 9.4 percent of January sales were bank-owned, up from 8 percent in December, but down from 11 percent last year.

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 January was 12,666, up 2.3 percent from 12,377 in December, but down 6.4 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,429 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in January, up 4.5 percent from 3,282 in December and up 15.1 percent from January 2014.

By the end of January, GLVAR reported 7,382 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s down 5.0 percent from 7,774 such homes listed in December, but up 12.9 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,327 properties listed without offers in January represented a 0.8 percent increase from 2,309 such properties listed in December and a 35.9 percent increase from one year ago.

GLVAR said 36 percent of all local properties sold in January were purchased with cash. That’s up from 34.1 percent in December, but down from 46.8 one year ago and well short of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, suggesting that fewer investors have been buying local homes.

The median price of bank-owned homes sold in January was $154,900, up from $155,500 in December. The median price of homes sold as part of a short sale in January was $167,000, the same as during December.

These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of January 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 January decreased by 20.8 percent for homes to more than $434 million. For condos and townhomes, the total value of all January sales was more than $63 million, down 36.8 percent from a strong December. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in January were down 5.8 percent for homes and down 3.3 percent for condos.
  • In January, 59.8 percent of all existing local homes and 58.2 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to December, when 62.8 percent of all existing local homes and 57.4 percent of all existing traditional and high-rise 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.

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