Wednesday, May 1, 2013
March Las Vegas Home Sale Press Release
Las Vegas-area home sales fell below a year earlier for the 10th consecutive month in March as housing demand continued to outweigh the supply of homes on the market. Sales of lower-cost foreclosed properties remained at relatively low levels, while activity surged again in the mid-to-upper price ranges. This ongoing shift in market mix helped push the median sale price up nearly 35 percent from a year earlier, a real estate information service reported.
In March, 4,485 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County). That was up 11.8 percent from the month before and down 10.7 percent from a year earlier, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.
Sales normally jump from February to March, with that gain averaging 27.0 percent since 1994, when DataQuick’s complete Las Vegas area statistics begin.
Total sales in March were the lowest for that month in four years and were 9.4 percent below the average number of homes sold during all months of March since 1994. However, if newly built homes are excluded, March sales were above average. Resales of houses and condos combined were 13.2 percent higher than average for the month of March, while sales of newly built homes were 57.0 percent below average for the month. Although new-home sales remain low in an historical context, they’ve been rising in recent months, increasing 17.5 percent in March compared with a year earlier. New-home sales this March were the highest for that month in five years.
In the overall market in March, 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 declined 49.3 percent in March compared with a year earlier. The number of transactions below $200,000 fell 25.6 percent year-over-year. March sales of homes priced from $200,000 to $500,000 – a range that would include many move-up purchases – jumped 55.1 percent from a year earlier, while the number sold over $500,000 rose 71.4 percent. (Sales from $200,000 to $500,000 accounted for 28.0 percent of all sales, while the $500,000-plus market made up 3.2 percent of all sales).
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metro area in March was $155,000, which is the highest since the median was $159,000 in January 2009. This March's median rose 6.9 percent from $145,000 in February and shot up 34.8 percent from $115,000 in March 2012. The median has risen year-over-year for 12 consecutive months, with those gains ranging from 1.7 percent to 34.8 percent. The year-over-year gains have been double digit for nine consecutive months.
The last time the year-over-year increase in the Las Vegas-area median sale price exceeded March's 34.8 percent annual gain was in January 2005, when the region’s $262,000 median jumped 36.5 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 changes in market mix. Fewer of the homes re-selling now are low-cost foreclosed properties, and more are mid-to high-end homes. Included in the latter group are newly built homes, which on average sell for more than resale homes. In March, new homes accounted for 15.3 percent of total sales, up from 11.6 percent of sales a year earlier.
Despite the median’s big year-over-year jump in March, it was still 50.3 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 $86 in March. That was up 7.5 percent from February and up 32.3 percent from a year earlier, marking the 10th consecutive month with a year-over-year gain. March’s median paid per square foot was 54.8 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 13.5 percent of Las Vegas resale activity in March. That was up from 11.6 percent the month before and down from 47.0 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 33.1 percent of the Las Vegas-area resale market in March. That compares with an estimated 36.8 percent the prior month and 28.2 percent a year earlier. The estimated short sale level has exceeded the foreclosure resale level for the past 10 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 March, lenders filed NODs on 2,053 single-family houses and condo units, up 0.7 percent from the prior month and up 62.8 percent from a year earlier. The notice of default is the first step in the formal foreclosure process. During the first three months of 2013 lenders filed 6,127 NODs, up 90.0 percent from the same period last year.
In March, lenders foreclosed on 686 single-family house and condo units in the Las Vegas region, down 0.9 percent from the month before and down 50.8 percent from a year earlier. During the first three months of 2013 lenders foreclosed on 2,200 homes, down 56.7 percent from the same period last year.
Many of these distressed homes are purchased by investors, who continue to account for a record or near-record share of all sales.
Absentee buyers – mainly investors and vacation-home buyers – purchased a record 53.2 percent of all homes sold in the Las Vegas area in March. That was up from 52.4 percent the month before and up from 51.2 percent a year earlier. Absentee buyers paid a median $134,000 in March, up 41.1 percent from 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 March, 150 Las Vegas-area buyers purchased two or more homes on the open market (excludes foreclosure auctions). That was down from 185 multi-home buyers during March 2012, based on an analysis of buyer names in the public record. (Note: In some cases individuals and partnerships buy under different names). In March this year, multi-home buyers purchased 647 homes in the Las Vegas area, which amounts to 14.4 percent of all homes sold and represents a 20.0 percent increase from the number of properties that multi-home buyers purchased in March 2012. There were 23 buyers in March 2013 that each purchased five or more homes, but only six bought 10 or more. Combined, the six buyers who purchased 10 or more homes in March 2013 acquired 255 properties, or nearly 40 percent of all homes bought by multi-home buyers. In March 2012, four purchasers bought 10 or more homes, acquiring a total of 83 properties.
Cash buyers purchased 54.5 percent of the Las Vegas-area homes that sold in March. That was down from a cash-buyer share of 56.5 percent of total sales the month before and up from 54.4 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 $128,000 in March, up 47.1 percent from a year earlier.
The share of homes flipped has trended higher in recent months. In March, 6.8 percent of all Las Vegas-area homes sold on the open market had previously changed hands in the prior six months. That was down from a flipping rate of 7.2 percent in February and up from 4.3 percent a year ago. (The figures exclude homes that were resold after being purchased at public foreclosure auctions on the courthouse steps.)
To view the Las Vegas chart, visit DQNews.com.
Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157
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Posted by DQNews and Custom Reports at 11:50 AM