The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors is reporting this week that Southern Nevada's housing supply remained tight while local home prices and sales increased in March 2016 as compared to one year ago.
GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada during March through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was $220,000. That was up 7.3 percent from $205,000 one year ago.
Meanwhile, GLVAR said the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in March was $118,000. That was up 2.6 percent from $115,000 one year ago.
"The local housing market continues to be as stable as it has been in many years," said 2016 GLVAR President Scott Beaudry. "Local home prices have been hovering around $220,000 for months. On the other hand, we're still dealing with a very tight housing supply. This tight inventory might be keeping prices up, but it makes it harder for buyers to find the right home for them."
According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in March was 3,488, up from a strong showing of 3,358 in March of 2015. Compared to the same month one year ago, 2.8 percent more homes and 8.3 percent more condos and townhomes sold in March.
So far this year, Beaudry said local home sales are ahead of the pace from 2015, when GLVAR reported a total of 38,578 single-family home, condominium, townhome and high-rise condo sales. That was more than in 2014, but fewer sales than during the previous five years.
At the current sales pace, he said Southern Nevada now has less than a three-month supply of homes available for sale, when a six-month supply is considered to be a balanced market.
The total number of single-family homes listed for sale on GLVAR's MLS in March was 13,429, down 0.8 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,572 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in March, down 1.1 percent from one year ago.
By the end of March, GLVAR reported 7,214 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That's down 0.6 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,304 properties listed without offers in March represented a 5.8 percent decrease from one year ago.
GLVAR continued to report declines in distressed sales and a corresponding increase in traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In March, 5.9 percent of all local sales were short sales - when lenders allow borrowers to sell a home for less than what they owe on the mortgage. That's down from 8.3 percent of all sales one year ago. Another 7.1 percent of all March sales were bank-owned, down from 9.3 percent one year ago.
The median price of single-family homes sold as part of a short sale in March was $190,750, up from $165,000 one year ago. The median price of bank-owned homes sold in March was $180,038, up from $163,500 one year ago.
Beaudry said short sales may continue to be an attractive option for some homeowners in 2016 since Congress voted in late December to again extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. If Congress had not voted to again extend this tax break to help distressed homeowners, any amount of money a bank wrote off in agreeing to sell a home as part of a short sale would have been taxable when sellers file their federal income taxes.
GLVAR said 27.7 percent of all local properties sold in March were purchased with cash, down from 32.4 percent one year ago. That's well short of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, indicating that cash buyers and investors are still more active in Southern Nevada than in most markets, but that their influence continues to wane.
These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of March 2016. 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 market highlights include:
The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during March was nearly $734 million for homes and more than $106 million for condos, high-rise condos and townhomes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in March were up 8.4 percent for homes, but down 0.2 percent for condos and townhomes.
In March, 65.5 percent of all existing local homes and 64.9 percent of all existing local condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 61.4 percent of all existing local homes and 60.9 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.