The Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (GLVAR) reported Friday that the local housing market seemed to be taking its cue from June’s warmer weather, with local home prices and sales heating up last month compared to the same time last year.
GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada during June through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) increased to $235,000. That was up 6.8 percent from $220,000 one year ago. Meanwhile, GLVAR said the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in June was $115,000, the same as one year ago.
“It’s shaping up to be a strong summer for our local housing market, and I think most of our members are optimistic that we can continue this momentum in the coming months,” said 2016 GLVAR President Scott Beaudry, a longtime local REALTOR®. “As we’ve been saying all year, we’re still concerned about our limited housing supply, which is about half of what we’d like it to be. But overall, the housing market seems to be moving in a positive direction and avoiding the volatility we experienced in past years.”
According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in June was 3,957, up from 3,693 total sales in June of 2015. Compared to the same month one year ago, 6.3 percent more homes, and 11.3 percent more condos and townhomes sold in June. Beaudry said local home sales for the first half of 2016 have been outpacing 2015, when GLVAR reported 38,578 single-family home, condominium, townhome and high-rise condo sales. That was more than in 2014, but fewer sales than during each of the previous five years.
At the current sales pace, Beaudry said Southern Nevada has been dealing with less than a three-month supply of homes available for sale, when a six-month supply is considered to be a balanced market. GLVAR continued to track declines in distressed sales and a corresponding increase in traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In June, 4.4 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 6.7 percent of all sales one year ago. Another 5.9 percent of all June sales were bank-owned, down from 7.6 percent one year ago.
Though they continue to make up a smaller percentage of all local home sales, Beaudry said short sales may continue to be an attractive option for some homeowners this year 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 this 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 27 percent of all local properties sold in June were purchased with cash, down from 28.4 percent one year ago. That cash buyer percentage has stabilized in recent months. It’s still less than half of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, suggesting that cash buyers and investors remain 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 June 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 homes for sale by owners. Other highlights include:
- The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during June was more than $898 million for homes and more than $87 million for condos, high-rise condos and townhomes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in June were up for homes, but down for condos and townhomes.
- Homes sold faster in June, when 74.2 percent of all existing local homes and 71.2 percent of all existing local condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 68.6 percent of all existing local homes and 66.6 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.