Wednesday, February 27, 2013

January Las Vegas Home Sale Press Release

Las Vegas Region January Home Sales

Las Vegas-area home sales fell short of a year earlier for the eighth consecutive month in January amid a tight supply of homes for sale and far fewer foreclosure resales. The combination of demand outweighing supply and a shift in market mix pushed the median sale price up at its fastest year-over-year clip – 31.8 percent – in nearly eight years, a real estate information service reported.

In January, 3,619 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County). That was down 19.2 percent from the month before and down 10.5 percent from a year earlier, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

A drop in sales between December and January is normal for the season, with the change between those two months averaging a decline of 23.5 percent since 1994, when DataQuick’s complete Las Vegas area statistics begin.

Last month's total sales were the lowest for the month of January in three years and were 2.7 percent below the average number of homes sold during all months of January since 1994. However, if newly built homes are excluded, last month’s sales were above average. Resales of houses and condos combined were 21.8 percent higher than average for the month of January, while sales of newly built homes were 50.3 percent below average for the month. Although new-home sales remain low in an historical context, they’ve been rising in recent months, increasing 69.5 percent in January compared with a year earlier. Last month’s new-home sales were the highest for a January in five years.

In the overall market in January, sales of mid- to high-cost homes continued to jump compared with year-ago levels, while the number of low-end deals fell sharply.

Sales of homes priced below $100,000 delcined 47.2 percent in January compared with a year earlier. The number of transactions below $200,000 fell 23.5 percent year-over-year. January sales of homes priced from $200,000 to $500,000 – a range that would include many move-up purchases – jumped 53.3 percent from a year earlier, while the number sold over $500,000 rose 76.9 percent. (Sales from $200,000 to $500,000 accounted for 25.9 percent of all sales, while the $500,000-plus market made up about 2.6 percent of all sales).

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metro area in January was $145,000, down 0.1 percent from $145,106 the prior month and up 31.8 percent from a year earlier. The median has risen year-over-year for 10 consecutive months. The previous annual gains were 26.2 percent in December, 23.9 percent in November, 19.2 percent in October, 19.1 percent in September, 18.2 percent in August, 12.1 percent in July, 8.7 percent in June, 4.3 percent in May, and 1.7 percent in April. Prior to April last year, the Las Vegas region median price fell year-over-year for 18 consecutive months.

The last time the year-over-year increase in the Las Vegas-area median sale price exceeded last month’s 31.8 percent was in February 2005, when the region’s $269,289 median jumped 34.6 percent compared with a year earlier.

Recent sharp gains in the median sale price reflect price appreciation triggered by strong demand meeting a relatively low supply of homes for sale, as well as a change in the market mix: Fewer of the homes re-selling now are lower-cost foreclosed properties, and more are mid-to high-end homes. Included in the latter group are newly built homes, which on average are more expensive than resale homes. In January, new homes accounted for 17.3 percent of total sales, up from 9.2 percent of sales a year earlier.

Despite its large year-over-year increase, January's median sale price was 53.5 percent below its November 2006 peak of $312,000. The median has been rising off a cyclical low point of $110,000 in January 2012, which was the lowest level since the median was also $110,000 in April 1994.

An alternative home-price gauge – the median paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses – rose to $80 in January. That was up 2.6 percent from December and up 25.0 percent from a year earlier, marking the eighth consecutive month with a year-over-year gain. (The $64 median per square foot paid in January 2012 was the lowest for any month since at least 1994.) Last month’s median paid per square foot was 57.9 percent lower than the peak $190 paid per square foot in May and June 2006.

Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 14.9 percent of Las Vegas resale activity in January. That was up from 11.7 percent the month before and down from 52.6 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 73.7 percent of the resale market in April 2009.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – accounted for an estimated 34.9 percent of the Las Vegas-area resale market in January. That compares with an estimated 43.6 percent the prior month and 27.5 percent a year earlier. The estimated short sale level has exceeded the foreclosure resale level for the past eight months.

In the wake of an October 2011 Nevada law that created additional requirements for lenders trying to foreclose on properties, the number of notices of default (“NODs”) filed in Clark County plummeted. However, in recent months NODs have trended higher compared with a year earlier. In January, lenders filed NODs on 2,020 single-family houses and condo units, up 18.1 percent from the prior month and up 92.7 percent from a year earlier. The notice of default is the first step in the formal foreclosure process.

In January, lenders foreclosed on 817 single-family house and condo units in the Las Vegas region, up 17.0 percent from the month before and down 57.7 percent from a year earlier.

Many of these distressed homes are purchased by investors, who continue to account for a near-record share of all sales.

Absentee buyers – mainly investors and vacation-home buyers – purchased 50.2 percent of all homes sold in the Las Vegas area in January. That was down a tad from 50.6 percent the month before and up from 49.1 percent a year earlier. The peak was 51.2 percent in March 2012. Absentee buyers paid a median $122,500 in January, up 36.1 percent from $90,000 a year earlier. Absentee buyers are those who indicated at the time of sale that the property tax bill will go to a different address.

In January, 123 Las Vegas-area buyers purchased two or more homes on the open market (excludes foreclosure auctions). That was down from 131 multi-home buyers during January 2012, based on an analysis of buyer names in the public record. (Note: In some cases individuals and partnerships buy under different names). In January, multi-home buyers purchased 441 homes in the Las Vegas area, which amounts to 12.2 percent of all homes sold and represents a 21.2 percent increase from the number of properties that multi-home buyers purchased in January 2012. There were 34 buyers in January 2013 that each purchased three or more homes, but only six bought 10 or more. Combined, the six buyers who purchased 10 or more homes in January 2013 acquired 170 homes, or about 38.5 percent of all homes bought by multi-home buyers. In January 2012, three purchasers bought 10 or more homes, buying a total of 50 properties.

Cash buyers purchased 53.2 percent of the Las Vegas-area homes that sold in January. That was up from a cash-buyer share of 52.8 percent of total sales the month before and down a hair from 53.7 percent a year earlier. The peak was 56.7 percent in February 2011. Cash purchases are where there is no sign of a corresponding purchase mortgage in the public record. Cash buyers paid a median $120,000 in January, up 50.0 percent from $81,000 a year earlier.

To view the January Las Vegas home sale chart, visit

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157

Copyright 2013 DataQuick. All rights reserved.

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