July 27, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Sales of new and resale homes in Las Vegas jumped up 15 percent from May to June, but home prices continued to slide downward as distressed properties accounted for 68.5 percent of all sales according to the latest data released from DataQuick.

A total of 5,262 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area in June. Sales were 15.1 percent higher than May, but 5.1 percent lower than June of 2010.

Home sales in the region typically increase 9.5 percent between May and June. Re-sales last month were 35.7 percent above average for June but new home sales were so low, the second-lowest on record for a June, that total sales fell 1.3 percent below the average number of sales for June.

Cash buyers were responsible for 50.6 percent of the purchases in June, which was down from 53 percent in May, but up from 41.9 percent a year earlier. The record for cash purchases was in February 2011, when 56.7 percent of the sales were for cash.

The price that cash buyers are paying continues to decline as the median price paid by a cash buyer in June was $83,000, which is down from $89,000 in May, and down from $106,000 in June 2010.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 45.9 percent of all homes sold in June. The prices they paid were also less than previous months with the median price paid in June being $94,000, which was down from $98,900 in May and down from $115,000 in June of 2010.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in June was $115,000, which was down from $117,000 in May, and down from $139,000 in June of last year. Cash buyers and investors accounted for 41.1 percent of the sales for homes under $100,000. A year ago, they accounted for 28.2 percent of those same sales.

The current median price is at its lowest level since October of 1995 when the median home price was $113,000, and it’s 63.1 percent below the peak median price of $312,000 in November 2006.

Distressed sales represented 68.5 percent of the resale market in June as foreclosures accounted for 57.5 percent of the distressed sales and short sales accounted for 11.0 percent of the distressed sales.

Foreclosures continued at a high rate in June with lenders foreclosing on 3,673 single-family homes and condos, down from 3,818 foreclosures in May, the most ever recorded in a single month.

Tags: DataQuick, existing home sales, Las Vegas, distressed properties, resale homes, condos, cash buyers, investors, median price