Another whiff of optimism over the local real estate market blew into the Las Vegas valley this week. Any small improvement anywhere in the industry stats is nowadays welcomed with wide-open arms. So, let's take it.
In the latest statistical report on the housing market here just released, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, or GLVAR, discloses that the inventory of homes fell by 9.3% from the same time last year. Moreover, there were 21,181 units in it in May, about 1,000 less than in April when the number stood at 22,112. This statistic has remained alarmingly high despite the rather robust sales lately in the lower half of the market. A steady stream of bank REOs being listed has kept the figure that high. Now there seems to be a small break to it, even a drop by 1,000 homes is in some way an encouraging sign that perhaps a new trend is developing. Many are waiting for the day when the total inventory number sinks below 20,000, and stays there. And keeps going south.
In addition, according to GLVAR, 3,255 single-family houses were closed in May, a slight increase from April, and a large leap from last year, amounting to an improvement of 60.7%. Existing home sales have been strong for a while thanks to affordable mortgage rates and low prices. First-time home buyers and investors are seeing great real estate value here in Las Vegas and are eagerly gobbling up nice deals.
The median price continues to find new lows, this time easing down to $140,000, a 40.9% decrease from a year ago. Yet, the positive sign here is that it dropped only 1.2% in the month-to-month game, or $1,720. 1.2% only adds up to about 14% for a 12-month stretch looking into the future, whereas the loss of value was over 40% for the last twelve months. That's a big change for the better. Maybe, maybe a shift is underway for rosier days ahead.