Low housing inventory increasing home prices at accelerated rate

Zillow, a real estate and rental information website, recently reported faster-than-expected rise in home values across the country, with Nevada outpacing the national average.

Zillow reports home prices are rising 2 percent nationally. The April Zillow Real Estate Market Report shows home values are rising 4.9 percent nationally to a median value of $187,000.

Locally, Nevada’s year-over-year increase in median home value, in an analysis from April 2015 to April 2016, was 8.8 percent, with an average value of $203,700. Median values, which were also seasonally adjusted, included single-family homes, condominiums and cooperatives.

From April 2015 to April 2016, the national stockpile of entry-level homes fell nearly 8 percent nationally. The local inventory of such homes fell 9.3 percent in the same period, Zillow said.

High demand and stiff competition combined with low inventory to send entry-level home prices higher. The report also pointed toward stronger wage growth and low mortgage rates as to the reason behind the rise in home values, especially in the entry-level home market.

“The struggle will continue for home shoppers this summer,” Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell said. “New construction has been sluggish over the past year; we’re building about half as many homes as we should be in a normal market. There still aren’t enough homes on the market to keep up with the high demand from every type of homebuyer.

Zillow reports 16 percent of top-tier homes cut home values nationally. On the bottom tier, 11 percent of homes cut prices and 13 percent of homes cut prices in the middle tier for home values.

Nevada fourth for construction

job growth

Nevada had the fourth-largest growth in percentage of construction jobs in a year-over-year analysis in April, by the Associated General Contractors of America.

The reported said Nevada added 6,900 jobs, an additional 10 percent, over the 12 months ended April 3o. The state lost 1.6 percent of construction jobs between March and April, following a pattern across several other states.

“The slowdown for the month may reflect the elevated hiring that occurred earlier this year in many states that experienced mild winters,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “With construction employment having declined for the year in only six oil- or coal-intensive states, the industry appears to have plenty of work ahead and should resume hiring if firms can find enough qualified workers.”

The growth in construction employment occurred across 42 states and Washington, D.C., for the year-over-year analysis, compared with 23 in an analysis from March to April of this year.

Hawaii had 18.4 percent growth, adding 6,200 jobs, in the year-over-year analysis in April. Iowa had a 13.5 percent growth, adding 10,600 jobs. California added 49,800 jobs, the most of any state.

Plaza Las Vegas to open

renovated pool

The Plaza plans to open its recently renovated rooftop pool this summer, with food truck included.

The pool deck will cover about 70,000 square feet and will include a wet deck, hot tub, refurbished outdoor recreation space and resort-style furnishings, according to a recent statement.

The tennis and basketball courts, adjacent to the pool area were also refurbished and a pickleball court was added. The food truck will be lifted by crane to get it to the top.

National construction starts

fall in April

A recent report by Dodge Data and analytics showed the national rate of construction starts, for the residential and nonresidential markets, fell in April.

The two markets fell by 8 percent to an annual rate of $608.3 billion, with nonresidential building dropping 19 percent to an annual rate of 185.1 billion. This number, however, followed a 26 percent increase the previous month, which included the start of multiple large transportation terminal projects and large hotel and casino projects.

Residential construction starts fell 8 percent amid a slower production in the multifamily sector.

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