Home/Mortgages/Las Vegas Home Sales Highest for a January in Five Years

February 29, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of new and resale homes in the Las Vegas area followed seasonal trends and declined last month but were still at their highest level for a January in five years according to the latest data released from DataQuick.

A total of 4,038 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area in January. Sales were 16.6 percent lower than the 4,823 homes sold in December and were 8.5 percent higher than in January of 2011.

Home sales in the region typically decline 23.7 percent between December and January but were 15.6 percent higher than the average number of homes typically sold during the month.

New home sales continued to be far below average but were at their highest level since 2008 while resold home sales were 7.0 percent higher than in January of last year and were at their highest level for a January since 2005.

Cash buyers accounted for 53.7 percent of the purchases in January, which was up from 50.9 percent in December but down from 54.5 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 January fell to $80,000 from $81,180 in December and down from $92,250 in January of last year.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 49.1 percent of all homes sold in January, up from 47.2 percent in December. The prices they paid for their purchases fell to $90,000 in January from $95,000 in December and were down from $100,000 in January of 2011. The record amount of purchases made by absentee buyers was 49.9 percent in March of 2011.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in January was $110,000, down from $115,000 in December and down from $119,000 in January of last year. Year-over-year, home prices have fallen for 16 consecutive months.

January’s median price is 64.7 percent below the peak median price of $312,000 in January 2006.

Distressed property sales accounted for 66.4 percent of the re-sale market in January as foreclosure re-sales accounted for 52.6 percent of total re-sales, up slightly from 52.3 percent in December, and short sales accounted for 13.8 percent of total re-sales, up from 13.7 percent the previous month.

Foreclosures increased in January from December with lenders foreclosing on 1,960 single-family homes and condos, up from 1,744 foreclosures in December. The highest number of loans foreclosed by lenders in a single month was in May 2011, when lenders foreclosed on 3,818 loans.

Notices of default (NoDs) increased 13.8 percent in the fourth month following the new Nevada law that created additional requirements in order to foreclose on a property, rising from 921 in December to 1,048 in January. In September, the month before the new law took effect, 4,507 NoDs were filed. In January of last year, 5,497 NoDs were filed.

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