Home/Mortgages/Las Vegas August Home Sales Highest in Five Years

September 30, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of new and resale homes in Las Vegas were at their highest levels in five years in August according to the latest data released from DataQuick as buyers looked to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in 50 years and the lowest housing prices in 16 years.

A total of 5,412 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area in August. Sales were 19.3 percent higher than the 4,535 homes sold in July and were 26.4 percent higher than August of 2010. Home sales in the region typically rise 6.3 percent between July and August.

Home sales were at their highest level for an August in five years and were 5.3 percent higher than the average number homes sold in August since 1994.

Last month’s sales benefitted from August having three more selling days than July. When compared on a daily basis, home sales rose 3.8 percent from July to August. The large difference in home sales from a year ago is a result of the sharp drop in the number of homes sold following the expiration of the home buyer’s tax credit last year.

Cash buyers were responsible for 52.3 percent of the purchases in August, which was down from 53.0 percent in July and up from 48.8 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 paid for a home in August declined to $84,000 from $85,243 in July and down from $100,000 in August 2010.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 47.1 percent of all homes sold in August, down from 46.5 percent in July. The prices they paid were less than previous month with the median price paid in August being $92,000, down from $93,050 in July and down from $110,000 in August of 2010.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in August was $112,500, down 2.2 percent from $115,000 in July and down from $130,000 in August of last year. Cash buyers and investors accounted for 42.9 percent of the sales for homes sold under $100,000 and 69 percent of all home sales under $150,000.

The current median price is at its lowest level since January 1995 when the median home price was $112,000, and is 63.9 percent below the peak median price of $312,000 in November 2006.

Distressed property sales represented 70.0 percent of the resale market in August as foreclosure re-sales accounted for 57.2 percent of the distressed sales and short sales accounted for 12.8 percent of the distressed sales.

Foreclosures continued to decline in August with lenders foreclosing on 2,477 single-family homes and condos, down from 3,161 foreclosures in July, but that may change in the future as the number of default filings surged upward nearly 58 percent in August to 5,354. The highest number of loans foreclosed by lenders was in May 2011 when lenders foreclosed on 3,818 loans.

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