March analysis on Las Vegas Nevada home sales.
Southern Nevada resales slowed down considerably over the winter months and understandably put a little scare on local real estate folks. In the fall things had moved right along, raising hopes that some kind of a housing rebound was underway, spurred on by delicious mortgage rates and shamefully low prices. Then March rolled in and decided to reverse what had been going on over the past few months.
A total of 3,175 existing homes were closed in March, a strong 32.8% increase from February and even a 6.5% improvement from the same month last year. This data was brought to the Southern Nevada real estate observers by GLVAR, or Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. This is a good start for the spring, potentially energizing many fence sitters to hop on down and get involved. Moreover, the first-time and move-up buyer tax credit program winds down by the end of April, so the time to act on it is on hand.
The listing inventory grew to 20,548, a marginal increase of 100 some units. It has held rather steady over the last few months. More upbeat is the fact that it's 9.9% lower from a year ago.
The median home price managed to scrape a $306 gain from February, going up to $136,000, continuing a recent trend where it has moved very little one way or another. Year-to-year figure tells a different story, having dropped 8.7%. Nevertheless, Las Vegas real estate values appear to be stabilizing, offering all buyer prospects another reliable barometer on which to base decisions.
Mortgage foreclosure sales have dominated the Las Vegas housing market for a good stretch lately, being as high as 80% of the total. Now they run about 50% of closings. Homeowners are still having trouble making their mortgage payments, though, so the change is not because the challenging situation has steadily got better. Rather, home loan providers have revised strategy and increasingly favor short sales over foreclosures. Right now they command about 25% of the market, while a year ago they were only 8% of the total tally.
The word stable, with caution, can again be brought into Sin City residential real estate conversation. One way to measure a full recovery is to erase the underwater - mortgage balance is higher than property value - label from the valley's housing picture and that is still a distant goal.
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Home loans in Southern Nevada - including Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson, Green Valley, Mountains Edge, North Las Vegas, Southern Highlands, Anthem, Boulder City, Pahrump and Mesquite - and all of Nevada.