Survey says confidence up among local Realtors

Southern Nevada Realtors are expecting home prices in Clark County to increase, according to a March Quarterly Sentiment Index released by the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies in partnership with the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

In anticipation of the second quarter of 2017, the report said nearly 84 percent of Realtors are expecting prices to rise in the Las Vegas Valley over the next 90 days, with 13 percent expecting home prices to stay the same. And only 3 percent are expecting prices to go down in the second quarter.

More Realtors expected prices to go up over the next year — more than 90 percent, according to survey data. Less than 10 percent of Realtors expected prices to stay the same, and none thought prices would fall over the next 12 months starting from the second quarter of 2017.

“Like past versions of these quarterly surveys, this is another indication that our local Realtors are getting more optimistic and see our housing market continuing to get better,” said 2017 GLVAR President David J. Tina, a longtime local Realtor. “That makes sense, especially since we’re heading into the time of year when home prices and sales usually increase the most.”

Median prices on single-family homes went up in February on a monthly and year-over-year basis, according to data from the GLVAR. The median price on single-family homes in February was $240,000 — up 0.8 percent from January to February and up 8.9 percent from February 2016.

The median price on single-family homes in February was nearly double that of a five-year low when the median price on homes was $121,000 in February 2012, according to a GLVAR report.

The survey is sent to a select group each quarter. There were 31 respondents that participated in the second-quarter analysis.

The second-quarter data showed the highest overall confidence since the survey began in early 2016, said Peter Counts, data analyst at the Lied Institute, who oversaw the survey. This is also the fifth consecutive quarterly increase on the 90-day forecast.

There are some challenges in the local market, some Realtors indicated on the survey, especially the tight local supply of homes. Despite a three-month supply of homes available in the valley, where a six-month supply is considered normal, the GLVAR reported that there were more existing local homes sold in 2016 over 2015.

Other concerns by local Realtors included builders not keeping up with demand for housing and rising mortgage interest rates, which could create challenges for first-time and entry-level homebuyers.

According to data from FreddieMac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, which is tallied on a weekly basis, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.23 percent for the week ending March 23. This rate was higher than a year earlier, when it was 3.71 percent.

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