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GLVAR president calls Las Vegas housing ‘stable’

The Las Vegas housing market is off to a good start in 2016 with home prices and sales continuing to rise and fewer homeowners in distress, picking up where 2015 left off, according to a recent report.

The median home price on an existing single-family home during January was $219,000, a 9.5 percent rise from $200,000 one year ago, according to a report by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Relators. The condominium and townhouse market saw even larger gains over the past 12 months, with a 14.3 percent rise over January 2015. Average prices jumped from $105,000 to $119,990.

“We’re expecting the local housing market to follow last year’s trends and stay fairly stable,” said GLVAR president Scott Beaudry, a longtime local Realtor who succeeded 2015 president Keith Lynam on 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.”

The total number of existing homes, condominiums and townhouses sold in the valley in January was 2,438, up from 2,239 in January 2015. The year-over-year sales gain for single-family homes was about 5 percent and for condos and townhomes it was 5.4 percent.

Combining all residential sectors, the total sales of 38,578 units in 2015 were higher than 2014, yet less than the number of sales in the previous five years, according to the report.

The number of short sales continued to drop with more traditional home sales on the rise. The January report showed 7 percent of all sales were short sales, down from 10 percent last January. The number of bank-owned properties also fell to 7.9 percent, down from 9.4 percent in January 2015.

Beaudry said the market will continue to see short sales in 2016, largely because of the extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 in December. The passage of the legislation keeps any amount of money a banking institution wrote off during a short sale nontaxable on a seller’s federal income taxes.

Higher confidence in 55-plus, single-family housing market

Builder confidence in the national 55-plus, single-family housing market ended 2015 on a positive note, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The NAHB’s quarterly 55-Plus Housing Market Index rose one point to 61 in a report that measures builders optimism in the sector. A score of 50 or higher on the 0-to-100 index indicates a positive market, and the score has been over 50 for seven quarters in a row.

“Builders and developers for the 55-plus housing sector continue to report increased optimism in the market,” said Jim Chapman, chairman of NAHB’s 55-plus Housing Industry Council and president of Jim Chapman Homes LLC in Atlanta. “We are seeing steady consumer demand for homes and communities that are designed to address the specific needs of the mature homebuyer.”

Builders are surveyed on three areas across the multifamily and single-family markets: current sales, expected sales and prospective buyer traffic over the next six months.

In the single-family market, the optimism level on prospective buyers increased by six points, with present sales holding steady and expected sales decreasing. The 55-plus multifamily market fell eight points in confidence levels overall, with decreases in all three areas.

Gains were seen in the demand and production expectations of the 55-plus multifamily rental market. Current production and expected future production both rose one point to 56 and 61, respectively, with future demand rising three points to 71. The only loser was current demand, falling four points to 66.

Burke Construction completes new church

Burke Construction completed construction on St. Anthony Padua Parish Hall in early February. The opening was celebrated with a dedication Mass on Feb. 5.

“Burke Construction Group is honored to have partnered again with the Diocese on the St. Anthony of Padua Parish Hall in bringing this facility to fruition,” company president and CEO Kevin Burke said.

The 16,274-square-foot structure was designed by LG Architects and is on 10 acres at Fort Apache Road and Centennial Parkway. The facility has a capacity for 1,000 attendees and is equipped with conference rooms, eight meeting rooms for instruction and parish offices.

Outside the building includes a monument plaza with a circular drive, a patio for gatherings and water-efficient landscaping.

DC Building Group contractor on upcoming church

Las Vegas-based DC Building Group, formerly Danoski Clutts Building Group, was chosen as general contractor for the new Southern Hills Baptist Church campus at 6425 W. Pebble Rd.

The 14,855-square-foot project is pegged to be completed in October. The project includes a 600-seat auditorium, lobby, lounge and meeting rooms. The project was designed by JVC Architects.

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