Values Defy Expectations of Stabilization. While Las Vegas real estate inventory continues to evaporate at an increasing rate, prices are are still falling. Are we near the bottom? Tough to tell. Monthly decline across the Las Vegas MLS was 6.2 percent. Smaller declines were in homes where the Average Joe lives. This fact might suggest the lower end of the market is ready for stabilization while the higher end still has more room to decline. Marketwide, agents are talking of multiple offers on virtually every decent home under $200K. This typically leads to above list offers and closing prices. Will we see prices tick up in the coming month? Will the appraisers allow this to happen may be the bigger question.
Pending Sales blast through 8000! In Las Vegas, this past week, homes under contract surpassed the 8000 mark – a point not seen since late 2006. Higher pending sales today mean higher closings tomorrow. Today’s market is a gift. Home prices not seen since the 1990’s, and interest rates under 5% are creating an incredible home buying climate. Supply (inventory/# sold) is just under 7.5 months. YTD closed units are 105% ahead of last year. Interesting point – more than 60% of all condo sales are cash. Lack of lending money for condo units is leading to significant price declines required by cash buyers.
The Repo Market Keeps Growing and Going. Bank repo homes in Las Vegas accounted for 82.6% of all closings in the past 30 days! An amazing number considering they account for only 35% of the total homes on the market. Other news – good news! Total inventory of condos/townhomes/detached homes is at the lowest point since 2nd week of January 2007. Is this a trend to continue, it’s possible. There are more homes under contract this week than at any point in my 25 months of reporting. A high number of Pending sales indicates a higher number of closed sales in the coming weeks. Within 3 weeks, the Las Vegas market will see the highest number of closings since 2006 in any 30 day period. It appears the fence those buyers have been sitting on is a little less crowded.
The Repo Market Leaves No Doubt. A crazy 81.4% of all closings in the past 30 days were bank repos in this weeks Market Snapshot. A measly 10.6% of closings were real Sellers – with equity – in the market. Outside of the fact the homes moving are those owned by banks, the market is providing great buying opportunities – a secret that appears to be getting out. Pending sale numbers are above 7000 for the first time since September 08. Closings in the past 30 days are up as well to its highest point in 8 weeks. Interest rates are rattling up and down around 5%. Home prices continue to decline – as much as 10% in the last 30 days in some segments. With rental inventory absorption diminishing – now looks like a great time to pick up a rental home – some up to 60% off their previously sold price!
The Las Vegas Housing Market Remains Active! While listing inventory continues to creep up ever so slightly, the Las Vegas real estate market supply continues to remain stable at 8.9 months. This is good news as prices continue to slip - now averaging close to 50% less than the market peak in 2006. Inventory absorption is critical to a recovering market. The million dollar market is dead. Fewer homes qualify for the market segment due to price declines. Million dollar closings though are off 366% compared to last year in the same time frame. 2009 continues the momentum established in the 2nd half of last year with a moderate number of closings through the first 4 weeks-up 108% compared to 2008.
Finally! This past week, the number of condo units closed in 2008 officially passed the number in 2007. What took so long??? Single family homes hit this mark back in June. Year over year, closed homes sales in the Las Vegas market are up 45.5%! More shock? REO (bank owned homes) continue to increase their share of the market closings. They accounted for 74% of the closings in the last 30 days. Short sales accounted for almost another 10%. This leaves a dismal 15% of the closings in the market for regular sellers. When will this story change? It is tough to say. Anyone sitting on the fence? Rates tumbled today and FHA loan limits will fall back to under $300K from its present $417K at the end of the year. Do not lose then chance to buy a really nice house with so little down.