The traditionally slow holiday season brought the Las Vegas real estate market slightly higher home prices. This is significant as home prices tend to go down during the holidays.
In 2014, sales activity slowed to 36,550 local properties as opposed to 41,000 and 49,000 from 2009 to 2013 -the lowest in the six year period. Sales prices have held up because the market is moving higher priced homes overall, which is good news.
The other good news is the market is more stable with foreclosures and short sales making up a smaller share of closings. Only 8 percent of local sales in December were bank-owned and short sales were 10 percent -down from 20.7 percent the previous year. The decline in short sales is generally attributed to the expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act in January of 2014, which offered consumers tax benefits through short sales.
The median price of condos/townhouses in December was $105,000 -down 5.8 percent from $111,450 in November -but up 9.4 from December 2013. The median price for a single family home reached $204,000 in December, up 10.3 percent from $185,000 the previous December. The median price for single family homes hit their low in January 2012 at $118,000 and in spite of the gains made the past three years, they are still below the June 2006 high of $315,000.
Cash sales dipped to a new low of 34.1 percent compared with 44.4 percent the previous year and a high of 60 percent in February 2013. Cash sales are usually indicative of investor activity. The year to year price gains have slowed significantly since 2012 and 2013 when they were jumping almost 24 percent a year.
So what does all this mean? It means the Las Vegas real estate market has stabilized, normalized and is functioning (for the most part) as it once did before the "bubble" and subsequent great recession. It is also a great time to buy, sell or invest in our housing market. If you would like more information about the market, or are interested in buying or selling, feel free to contact us.