Home/Mortgages/Las Vegas Home Sales Post Seasonal Decline, Prices Stable for Third Month

January 4, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of new and resale homes in Las Vegas posted seasonal declines from October to November while home prices showed promising signs of stability by remaining virtually unchanged for the third consecutive month according to the latest data released from DataQuick.

A total of 4,460 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area in November. Sales were 3.1 percent lower than the 4,595 homes sold in October but were 11.2 percent higher than in November of 2010. Home sales in the region typically decline 3.9 percent between October and November.

November’s home sales marked the fifth consecutive month that transactions in the Las Vegas area have increased year-over-year and the eleventh consecutive month that existing home sales have outpaced the previous year’s tally.

New home sales continued to be weak with November’s tally the second lowest total for that month since 1994, but were still 9.8 percent higher than last November, the worse month for new home sales on record in the area. Year-over-year, new home sales have increased for the past five consecutive months.

Cash buyers accounted for 48.9 percent of the purchases in November, which was down from 49.3 percent in October and 49.4 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 November fell to $82,000 from $84,000 in October and down from $95,500 in November of last year.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 46.2 percent of all homes sold in November, down from 46.5 percent in October. The prices they paid were unchanged from October at $90,000, but down from $105,000 in November of 2010.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in November was $115,000, up slightly from $114,900 in October but down from $127,050 in November of last year.

November’s median price is 63.1 percent below the peak median price of $312,000 in November 2006.

Distressed property sales accounted for 67.2 percent of the re-sale market in November as foreclosure re-sales accounted for 52.4 percent of total re-sales, down from 52.8 percent in October, and short sales accounted for 14.8 percent of total re-sales, up from 12.7 percent the previous month.

Foreclosures were about the same in November as in October with lenders foreclosing on 1,931 single-family homes and condos, up from 1,928 foreclosures in October. So far this year, lenders have foreclosed on 30,986 homes in the area, slightly trailing the peak year of 2009 which saw 31,719 foreclosures during the same time frame.

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 51.5 percent in the second month following the new Nevada law that created additional requirements in order to foreclose on a property, increasing from 846 in October to 1,281 in November. In September, the month before the new law took effect, 4,507 NoDs were filed. In November of last year, 5,093 NoDs were filed.

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