Las Vegas Real Estate: Low Prices For Cash Deals Luring Investors

With the median price of Las Vegas homes dropping nearly 60% from its peak, the low prices are luring investors back into the market. Right now homes are …

With the median price of Las Vegas homes dropping nearly 60% from its peak, the low prices are luring investors back into the market. Right now homes are being purchased at a median price of $99,000 for all cash deals. See the following article from DQNews for more on this.

Las Vegas region February home sales fell just shy of their 16-year average but were still the highest for that month in four years as investors and first-time buyers continued to dominate the market. Last month’s median sale price sat nearly 60 percent below its 2006 peak and 17 percent below last year, but it inched up from the prior month as sales of less-expensive foreclosure properties waned and $200,000-plus sales rose, a real estate information service reported.

Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – fell to 59.6 percent of all resales in February, down from 62.0 percent in January and down from 70.6 percent a year ago, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

Foreclosure resales in the Las Vegas area peaked in April 2009 at 73.7 percent of all resales. They’ve declined each month since then.

A total of 3,698 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County) in February, up 9.8 percent from January and up 10.5 percent from a year earlier. A rise in sales between January and February is normal for the season, with the gain averaging 5.7 percent since 1994, when DataQuick’s complete Las Vegas region stats begin.

February’s sales total was the highest for that month since February 2006, when 6,065 homes sold, but it was 2.0 percent lower than the average February sales tally back to 1994. Last month marked the 18th in a row in which total sales rose on a year-over-year basis.

Sales of homes over $200,000 made up 22.4 percent of total sales, up from 21.3 percent in January but down from 30.8 percent a year earlier.

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The number of houses and condos that resold (excludes new homes) in February rose to 3,311, up 7.1 percent from January and up 9.5 percent from a year earlier to the highest point since 3,875 resales in February 2005. Resales have risen on a year-over-year basis for 22 straight months.

Resale condos represented 20.8 percent of total February sales, up from 20.0 percent in January and 15.7 percent in February 2009. Today’s higher concentration of relatively inexpensive condo resales, coupled with price erosion over the past year, helps explain why the region’s overall median sale price remains 17 percent below a year ago – despite the decline in foreclosure resales since early 2009.

Sales of newly built homes, including condos and condo conversions, rose to 387 in February, up 40 percent from January and up 20.2 percent from a year earlier. But it was still the second-slowest February, behind last year, for new-home sales since at least 1994.

Given the typical new home sells for more than the typical resale home, the gain in new-home sales in February helped push the overall median sale price up from January.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metro area in February was $126,197, up 0.4 percent from $125,750 in January but down 17.2 percent from $152,500 a year earlier. The year-over-year decline was the smallest since March 2008, when the median dropped 16.0 percent from a year earlier, to $247,925.

The overall median sale price has fallen on a year-over-year basis for 34 consecutive months and in February stood 59.6 percent below the peak $312,000 median in November 2006.

The median price paid for resale single-family detached houses – by far the region’s largest home-type category – dipped to $133,800 in February, down slightly from $135,000 in January – a level that had held each month back to last October. The February figure was down 14.8 percent from $157,000 a year earlier. The February resale house median was 57.1 percent lower than the peak $312,250 median in June 2006.

The median price paid last month for resale condos was $69,000, the same as in January but down 9.2 percent from $76,000 a year earlier. The resale condo median has been hovering a bit below or above $70,000 the past 10 months. February’s resale condo median was 66.0 percent below its $203,000 peak in July 2006.

An alternative price gauge – the median paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses – held at $76 in February. That’s the same as it’s been since last October but down 11.6 percent from $86 a year earlier. February’s figure was 60 percent below the June 2006 peak of $190 per square foot.

Meanwhile, foreclosures rose slightly in February: 1,756 homes and condos were foreclosed on in the Las Vegas region, up 5.3 percent from January but down 52.8 percent from a record 3,718 foreclosures a year earlier. The figures are based on the number of trustees deeds filed at the Clark County recorder’s office. Those filings have seesawed monthly over the past year, and a single month’s rise or fall doesn’t necessarily indicate a new trend.

In February, a popular form of financing used by first-time home buyers – government-insured FHA loans – accounted for 49.8 percent of all home purchase loans.

Absentee buyers purchased 44.6 percent of all Las Vegas–area homes sold in February, paying a median $104,000 for their homes. That was up from 43 percent absentee buyers in January. Absentee buyers are often investors, but can include second-home buyers and others who, for various reasons, indicate at the time of sale that the property tax bill will go to a different address.

Buyers who appear to have used cash to purchase their homes accounted for 51.5 percent of all February sales, up from 50.4 percent in January, based on an analysis of public property records. The median price paid in these seemingly all-cash deals in February was $99,000. Specifically, they were transactions where there was no indication of a purchase mortgage recorded at the time of sale. Some of these “cash” buyers could have used alternative financing arrangements outside of a typical, recorded purchase mortgage, and in some cases they might be taking out mortgages after their purchases. All-cash deals have become popular in many Western markets where prices have dropped sharply, luring investor buyers who don’t always qualify for traditional mortgages. Moreover, sellers favor the relative speed and certainty of all-cash transactions.

Home flipping has trended higher recently, though it declined in February from the prior month. Last month 3.7 percent of the homes sold had previously been sold between three weeks and six months prior, down from a flipping rate of 5 percent in January but up from 2.6 percent a year earlier.

This article has been republished from DQNews. You can also view this article
DQNews, a real estate research and news site.

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