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GLVAR reports increasing local home sales, as prices begin to level off heading into winter

November 06 2012

LAS VEGAS – After eight straight months of rising local home prices, statistics released today by the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (GLVAR) show existing home sales increasing and home prices beginning to level off.

GLVAR President Kolleen Kelley, a longtime local REALTOR®, said she it was only a matter of time before the eight-month run of rising local home prices came to an end.

"The biggest thing I noticed in this month's report is that the inventory of homes available for sale went up. We sold fewer homes in October than we listed," Kelley explained. "As inventory goes up, you're not going to see prices go up as much. It's supply and demand."

She added that local home prices typically drop along with the temperature. Based on these seasonal trends, she said stable home prices heading into the holidays would be a good indication that the local housing market is continuing to rebound from the downturn of the past few years.

GLVAR's statistics continue to paint a picture of a housing market transitioning from foreclosures to short sales – which occur when a lender agrees to sell a home for less than what the borrower owes on the mortgage. The percentage of local existing homes sold as part of a short sale are hovering at record levels and have nearly doubled in the past year, Kelley added.

Kelley said many homeowners have been rushing to short-sell their homes by the end of 2012, when the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act is set to expire unless Congress acts to extend it. If Congress does not extend this law by Dec. 31, she said any amount of money a bank writes off in agreeing to sell a home as part of a short sale will become taxable when sellers file their income taxes.

GLVAR said the total number of local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in October was 3,651. That's up from 3,298 in September, but down from 3,881 total sales in October 2011.

Compared to September, single-family home sales during October increased by 11.9 percent, while sales of condos and townhomes increased by 5.7 percent. Compared to one year ago, home sales were down 4.3 percent, while condo and townhome sales were down 12.5 percent.

As for prices, GLVAR reported the median price of single-family homes sold in October was $140,000, the same as in September and up 15.7 percent from one year ago. October's flat prices marked the end of the longest run of monthly price appreciation since at least 2004. Meanwhile, the median price of local condominiums and townhomes sold in October was $72,000, up 2.5 percent from $70,250 in September and up 22.0 percent from one year ago.

The total number of homes listed for sale on GLVAR's Multiple Listing Service bounced back in October, with a total of 16,778 single-family homes listed for sale at the end of the month. That's up from 16,775 homes listed for sale at the end September, but down 21.9 percent from one year ago. GLVAR reported a total of 3,880 condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS at the end of October, up 2.0 percent from 3,805 condos and townhomes listed at the end of September, but down 15.0 percent from one year ago.

The number of available homes listed for sale without any sort of pending or contingent offer also increased from the previous month. By the end of October, GLVAR reported 4,079 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That's up 3.4 percent from 3,943 such homes listed in September, but still down 60.6 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 1,341 properties listed without offers in October represented a 10.3 percent increase from 1,216 such properties in September, but a decrease of 38.5 percent from one year ago.

In October, GLVAR reported that 54.1 percent of all existing homes sold in Southern Nevada were purchased with cash. That's down from 54.8 percent in September.

Meanwhile, 44.7 percent of all existing local homes sold during October were short sales. That's down slightly from a record 44.8 percent in September, but still up dramatically from 25.4 percent one year ago. Continuing a trend of declining foreclosure sales in recent months, bank-owned homes accounted for 11.6 percent of all existing home sales in October, down from 13.6 percent in September.

GLVAR reported that the median price of bank-owned single-family homes sold in October was $132,575, up from $130,000 in September. The median price of single-family homes sold as part of a short sale in October was $127,500, the same as in September.

These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of October 2012. GLVAR distributes such statistics each month based on data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for newly constructed homes sold by local builders or for sale by owners. Other highlights include:

  • The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during October increased by 12.8 percent for homes to nearly $522 million. For condos and townhomes, the total value of all sales in October was nearly $65 million, up 6.7 percent from September. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in October were up 11.5 percent for homes and up 13.8 percent for condos and townhomes.
  • In October, 69.6 percent of all homes and 75.1 percent of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to September, when 67.2 percent of all homes and 71.8 percent of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.

About the GLVAR
Celebrating its 65th anniversary, GLVAR was founded in 1947 and provides its nearly 11,000 local members with education, training and political representation. The local representative of the National Association of REALTORS®, GLVAR is the largest professional organization in Southern Nevada. Each GLVAR member receives the highest level of professional training and must abide by a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.lasvegasrealtor.comwww.lasvegasrealtor.com.