Tuesday, April 29, 2014

March Las Vegas Home Sales Press Release

Las Vegas Region March Home Sales

Las Vegas-area home sales dropped to a six-year low for a March as investor purchases fell and buyers struggled with a thin inventory of homes for sale, affordability constraints and credit hurdles. The median price paid for a home rose to the highest level in more than five years, but the year-over-year increase was the lowest in 20 months, a real estate information service reported.

In March, 3,890 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County). That was up 20.4 percent from the month before and down 14.2 percent from a year earlier, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

On average, sales between February and March have risen 27.2 percent since 1994, when DataQuick's complete Las Vegas-area statistics begin. Sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for six consecutive months.

March home sales were the lowest for that month since March 2008, when 3,266 homes sold, and they were 19.9 percent below the average number sold during all months of March since 1994. However, resales of houses and condos combined were 2.0 percent above average for the month of March, while sales of newly built homes were 66.1 percent below the March average. Condo resales in March were 9.2 percent higher than the March average.

In recent months home sales have been constrained by a combination of factors. Potential buyers face significantly higher prices and mortgage rates compared with this time last year, as well as credit challenges and a tight supply of homes for sale, especially in the lower price ranges. Some owners still can’t afford to sell their homes because they owe more than they are worth. Also, lenders aren’t foreclosing on as many properties, further limiting the supply of homes for sale.

In March, sales of homes priced below $100,000 dropped 44.9 percent compared with a year earlier, while sub-$200,000 transactions fell 29.7 percent year-over-year. The number of homes that sold for $200,000 or more rose 22.1 percent year-over-year. March sales of homes priced from $200,000 to $500,000 – a range that would include many move-up purchases – increased 23.2 percent from a year earlier, while the number selling for $500,000 or more rose 12.5 percent ($500,000-plus sales represented about 4 percent of March sales).

Las Vegas region buyers paid a median $185,000 for all new and resale houses and condos purchased in March, up 2.8 percent from $180,000 in February and up 17.8 percent from $157,000 a year earlier. Last month’s median was the highest since November 2008, when it was $190,000.

The median sale price’s year-over-year gains over the past 24 consecutive months have ranged from 1.7 percent to 35.3 percent. Last month’s 17.8 percent increase was the lowest since the median increased 12.1 percent year-over-year in July 2012. The median’s annual increases have been double-digit for the past 21 months.

March’s median was 40.7 percent below the region’s peak $312,000 median in November 2006.

The run-up in home prices over the last year varies somewhat depending on price segment. In March, the lowest-cost third of the region’s housing stock saw a 28.8 percent year-over-year gain in the median price paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses. The annual increase was 19.4 percent for the market’s middle third and 17.8 percent for the top, most-expensive third.

DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts. DataQuick was acquired last month by Irvine-based property information company CoreLogic.

Investors' influence on the Las Vegas housing market has declined over the past year, and that was certainly the case in March. Absentee buyers, which include investors and some vacation-home buyers, purchased 40.6 percent of the homes sold in March, down from 45.9 percent the month before and down from 48.7 percent a year earlier. The monthly average for the absentee buyer share since January 2000 is 35.4 percent.

Buyers based outside of Nevada purchased 24.3 percent of all homes sold in the Las Vegas region in March, compared with 32.1 percent a year earlier. California-based buyers accounted for 10.8 percent of March sales, while Arizona-based buyers bought 4.1 percent and buyers from 37 other states collectively purchased 7.9 percent. Buyers with a foreign mailing address accounted for about 1.5 percent of all sales. (Note: Some foreign buyers use a U.S. mailing address in public records, hence not all sales to foreign buyers can be tracked this way.)

In March, 83 Las Vegas-area buyers purchased at least two homes on the open market (excludes public foreclosure auctions on the courthouse steps). That was down from 153 multi-home buyers during March 2013, 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, buyers of two or more homes purchased a total of 393 homes in the Las Vegas area, which amounts to about 10 percent of all homes sold and represents a roughly 40 percent decline from the number of properties that multi-home buyers purchased in March last year. There were 12 buyers in March 2014 that each purchased five or more homes, but only five bought 10 or more. Combined, the five buyers who purchased 10 or more homes in March 2014 acquired 186 properties, or about 47 percent of all homes bought by multi-home buyers.

To view additional Las Vegas region March highlights, visit DQNews.com.

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157

Copyright 2014 DataQuick. All rights reserved.

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