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Local housing market slows in December

The recent cooling trend continued through December for the local housing market, with stable home prices, fewer properties changing hands and more homes on the market than one year ago. So says a report released today, Jan. 8, by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

GLVAR reported that the median price for existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada through its Multiple Listing Service during December was $295,250, nearly the same as November, but still up 10.2 percent from $267,900 in December of 2017.

The median price of local condos and town homes sold in December was $163,500. That was down slightly from November, but still up 14.3 percent from $143,000 in December of 2017.

“The local housing market has been slowing down over the past few months,” said newly installed 2019 GLVAR President Janet Carpenter, a longtime local Realtor. “Home prices are still up by double digits from one year ago, but our prices haven’t changed much since the fall. Some of this slowdown is normal for this time of year. Only time will tell how much of this cooling trend is seasonal.”

Until recent months, local home prices had generally been rising since early 2012, inching closer to their all-time peak. According to GLVAR, the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada peaked at $315,000 in June of 2006. Local home prices hit a post-recession bottom of $118,000 in January of 2012.

Carpenter added that the local housing supply has been increasing in recent months, while sales have been slowing.

While the number of local homes available for sale is still below what would normally be considered a balanced market, Southern Nevada now has more than a three-month housing supply. By the end of December, GLVAR reported 6,615 single-family homes listed for sale without any sort of offer. That’s up 72.9 percent from one year ago. For condos and town homes, the 1,528 properties listed without offers in December represented a 132.9 percent jump from one year ago.

The total number of existing local homes, condos and town homes sold during December was 2,658. Compared to one year ago, December sales were down 18.2 percent for homes and down 11.8 percent for condos and town homes. GLVAR reported a total of 42,876 property sales in 2018, down from 45,388 in all of 2017.

GLVAR reported that 22.7 percent of all local properties sold in December were purchased with cash. That compares to 25.7 percent one year ago. That’s well below the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, indicating that cash buyers and investors are still active in the local housing market, but have been playing a much smaller role than they were during and immediately after the Great Recession.

The number of so-called distressed sales continues to drop each year. GLVAR reported that short sales and foreclosures combined accounted for just 2.9 percent of all existing local property sales in December, compared to 3.6 percent of all sales one year ago and 11 percent two years ago.

These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of December 2018. GLVAR distributes 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 total value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during December was more than $739 million for homes and more than $91 million for condos, high-rise condos and town homes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in December were down 10.1 percent for homes, but up 0.7 percent for condos and town homes.

Homes and condos continue to sell relatively quickly, though at a pace more in line with last year at this time. In December, 79.9 percent of all existing local homes and 78.3 percent of all existing local condos and town homes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 79.3 percent of all existing local homes and 88.4 percent of all existing local condos and town homes sold within 60 days.

GLVAR was founded in 1947 and provides its more than 14,000 local members with education, training and political representation. The local representative of the National Association of Realtors, GLVAR is the largest professional organization in Southern Nevada. Each GLVAR member receives the highest level of professional training and must abide by a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit LasVegasRealtor.com.

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