The Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (GLVAR) reported Monday that the local housing market weathered the traditionally slow winter months with steadily rising home prices and sales and appears poised for a solid spring sales season.
GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada during February through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was $220,350, up 7.5 percent from $205,000 one year ago.
Meanwhile, GLVAR said the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in February was $121,500. That’s up 15.7 percent from $105,000 one year ago. “Considering that we just made it through what is traditionally our slowest time of the year in the local housing market, I’d have to say that we’re in pretty good shape,” said 2016 GLVAR President Scott Beaudry, a longtime local REALTOR®. “Our home prices and home sales tend to warm up with the weather, so I think we’re well-positioned to have a solid spring and sumnmer. Unless something dramatic happens, I expect our recent trends of steadily rising prices and sales to continue this year.”
Beaudry added that the local housing market is still dealing with a low housing supply and one of the nation’s highest percentages of underwater homeowners owing more on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth. However, he said, “We’re gradually overcoming these challenges as prices continue to rise, more homeowners build equity and the local economy continues to improve.”
According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in February was 2,676, up from 2,452 in February of 2015. Compared to the same month one year ago, 7.5 percent more homes and 15.8 percent more condos and townhomes sold in February.
For 2015, GLVAR reported a total of 38,578 single-family home, condominium, townhome and high-rise condo sales. That was more than in 2014, but fewer sales than during the previous five years.
Beaudry said the local housing supply remained tight, with less than 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 February was 12,994, down 1.5 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,481 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in February, down 2.2 percent from one year ago.
By the end of February, GLVAR reported 7,328 singlefamily homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s up a mere 0.2 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,267 properties listed without offers in February represented a 6.5 percent decrease from one year ago.
GLVAR continued to report annual declines in distressed sales and increasing numbers of traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In February, 6.6 percent of all local sales were short sales – when lenders allow borrowers to sell a home for less than what they owe on the mortgage.
That’s down from 9.3 percent of all sales one year ago. Another 8.6 percent of all February sales were bank-owned, down from 9.7 percent one year ago.
The median price of single-family homes sold as part of a short sale in February was $190,000, up from $165,000 one year ago.
The median price of bank-owned homes sold in February was $166,450, up from $159,250 one year ago. Beaudry said short sales may 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® 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 31.4 percent of all local properties sold in February were purchased with cash, down from 37.4 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 February 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 February was nearly $556 million for homes and more than $87 million for condos, highrise condos and townhomes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in February were up 14.6 percent for homes, and up 8.5 percent for condos and townhomes.
- In February, 60.9 percent of all existing local homes and 61.9 percent of all existing local condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 57.3 percent of all existing local homes and 55.6 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.