DataQuick reports median sale prices are down and sales are up across Las Vegas as investors and homebuyers snap up distressed properties that are selling for historically low prices. Total sales were 15.6% higher thanks to increases in sales of new homes and resales in the market, helping push January numbers to a five-year high for the month, although sales in these areas remain well below average. The significant drop in the median sales price is attributed to home depreciation, strong investor activity in the depressed-property sector and the high number of sales of those low-cost homes. For more on this continue reading the following article from TheStreet.
The number of homes sold in the Las Vegas area last month was the highest for a January in five years thanks to robust sales below $200,000, and especially under $100,000.
The median price paid sank to its lowest point since April 1994 as distressed property sales made up two-thirds of all resale activity and investor purchases reached a near-record level, a real estate information service reported.
In January, 4,038 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County). That was down 16.6% from December but up 8.5% from January 2011, according to San Diego-based DataQuick, which tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.
In January, the number of homes that resold rose 7% on a year-over-year basis, marking the thirteenth consecutive month in which resales have posted an annual gain. It was the highest number of resales for a January since 2005. January sales of newly-built homes also rose from a year earlier, by 26.3%, and were the highest for that month since 2008, but they remained far below average. New-home sales have risen year-over-year for seven consecutive months.
Total January sales were 15.6% higher than the average number of homes sold in that month since 1994, while resale activity (excludes new homes) was 55.5% above average for a January.
Continuing a months-long trend, January sales were strongest in the lower price ranges. The number of transactions below $100,000 shot up 26% compared with a year earlier and represented 44.6% of all deals, compared with 38.4% of all sales in January 2011. The number of January 2012 sales below $200,000 rose 11.2% year-over-year, while the number above $200,000 fell 3.2% from a year earlier. January sales above $300,000 fell 9.1% compared with a year ago.
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metro area in January was $110,000, down 4.3% from $115,000 in December and down 7.6% from $119,000 in January 2011. The January 2012 median, which was the lowest since the median was also $110,000 in April 1994, was 64.7% below the November 2006 peak of $312,000. The median has fallen on a year-over-year basis for 16 consecutive months.
The median’s recent decline to levels not seen since the mid 1990s can be attributed to several factors: home price depreciation; robust sales of low-cost foreclosures; robust sales to investors, who mainly target low-cost properties; historically low new-home sales (new homes tend to sell for more than resale homes); and higher-than-usual condo resales (condos tend to be the least expensive homes).
Distressed property sales — the combination of foreclosure resales and "short sales" — made two-thirds of the Las Vegas resale market.
Foreclosure resales — homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months — accounted for 52.6% of the Las Vegas resale market in January. That was up slightly from 52.3% in December but down from 54.7 % a year ago. Foreclosure resales peaked at 73.7% of the resale market in April 2009.
Short sales — transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property — made up an estimated 13.9% of the resale market in January. That compares with an estimated 13.7% in December, 14.4% a year ago, and 13.6 % two years ago.
This article was republished with permission from TheStreet.