Archive for May 12th, 2011

Las Vegas home sales rise in April

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Home sales increased in April from a year ago while prices continued to bounce along the bottom, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported Monday.

Realtors sold 3,902 single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes during the month, compared with 3,738 sales in April 2010. Single-family home sales alone increased by 4.5 percent..

“All things considered, I think we had a pretty good April,” said Paul Bell, president of the Realtors association. “Easter, tax season and spring break all fell into April this year. Given all these activities and how they tend to slow home sales, I think our local sales numbers were strong.”

If sales continue at their current pace, nearly 30 percent of Las Vegas homes on the Multiple Listing Service will have turned over by the end of the year and 35 percent will have turned over by mid-2012, Bell said. That’s one of the highest rates in the nation.

Median home prices fell slightly to $125,000 in April, about the same as the previous month, but down 12 percent from a year ago. Condo and townhome prices decreased 14.2 percent, to $60,000.

The number of single-family homes for sale on the Multiple Listing Service was 22,443 in April, up 7.5 percent from one year ago. About half of the listings have contingent or pending offers. There were 4,875 new listings in April.

Real estate investors continue to influence median prices by purchasing large numbers of lower-priced homes, which are generally owned by banks, Bell said. The association reported that 51.9 percent of existing homes sold in Southern Nevada during April were purchased with cash.

Forrest Barbee of Prudential Americana Group said he’s seeing a lot of Canadian and Asian buyers in Las Vegas.

“Foreign buyers don’t have a choice. They have to pay cash,” he said. “We’ve also got a lot of townhomes and condos that don’t qualify for financing. That affects the whole mix.”

One positive trend Barbee sees is upward momentum in traditional sales, or those that are not foreclosures or short sales. They’ve ticked up to 30 percent of all sales, compared with 47 percent real estate-owned, or bank-owned, and 23 percent short sales.

The median price of a traditional home sale is $200,000, compared with $128,000 for a bank-owned sale, Barbee said.

Realtor statistics are based on data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for new homes sold by local builders or sales by owners not involving a Realtor.