Salestraq, which provides our local database for new home sales and floor plans, also provides some excellent, easily understandable reports on current real estate market trends in Las Vegas. Below is the latest report that was released with the pertinent sales statistics through the end of August 2013. Since then, the market has remained relatively stable and no major changes are anticipated through the end of the year.
Salestraq Report on Recent Market Activity
THE BOTTOM LINE... The housing market remains a hot topic for those who analyze the Las Vegas economy and are keeping a close eye on its pace of recovery. Nevada has gone from the fastest appreciating housing market in the United States, to the fastest depreciating market in the United States, only to come full circle in 2013 and once again post nation-leading price gains. For some, the recent spike in pricing is merely a rebound from the market's overcorrection that pushed the median resale down to $100,000 in January 2012. For others, the recent price gains reflect overly aggressive residential investment, gobbling up inventory, driving up prices and creating a whole new housing bubble that threatens to burst as soon as investors start looking for an exit strategy. Respecting the clear distortions in the market, current pricing levels are more in line with household incomes and new construction levels are more in line with population growth than they were at either the market's peak or its trough. Month-to-month price gains are slowing, availability in the resale market is rising (now at 2.6 months of availability) and the share of cash purchases now stands at 48 percent of the total (the first time it has dipped below the 50-percent mark in nearly two years). The potential exists for some air to be let out of the bubble, but an expanding population base, positive job growth and fewer investor purchases may lead to more sustainable sales volumes and pricing levels if the market settles at or near its present condition.
New Home Sales
New Home Closings: The number of new home closings reached a recent cycle high of 755 sales, which was 25.4 percent ahead of a year ago. Through the first eight months of 2013, new home closings are up 62.4 percent with a total of 4,961 units.
New Home Pricing: New home prices remain up 30.1 percent when compared to the prior year, but the median has started to level out over the past three months. While the softening pace of month-to-month gains is not a surprise, it does provide some insight into overall demand and buyers' willingness to pay. Prices reached $123 per square foot in August, higher than the $119 reported in July and the $105 demanded one year ago.
New Home Supply: New home permitting volumes remain relatively consistent with recent trends as builders pulled 641 permits valley-wide for new home construction. The top 10 most active builders included: Richmond American (80), Ryland (77), Lennar (74), American West (73), DR Horton (59), KB Home (43), Pulte (27), Harmony Homes (25), Warmington Homes (25), and Dunhill Homes (24).
Existing Home Sales
Existing (Resale) Home Closings: Existing home closings totaled 4,249 units in August, with volumes continuing to show signs of slowing. On a year-to-date basis, closing volumes are off 10.6 percent. For the past 12 months, sales totaled 48,667, down 12.6 percent from 55,702 closings in the prior period.
Existing (Resale) Home Pricing: Median resale home prices remained flat from July to August at $155,000. Compared to a year ago, pricing is up 30.3 percent, and on a per-square-foot basis average resale prices were at $102 (+24.3 percent year-over-year).
Resale Availability (MLS Listings): Availability in the resale market is continuing to rise. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) reported over 8,300 units available (condos and single family homes), which equates to approximately 2.6 months of effective inventory at the current MLS selling pace.
Bank Foreclosures (Repossessions): The number of homes repossessed by lenders totaled 165 units in August, which is a relatively small amount when considering the total count of delinquencies in the market.
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