Las Vegas housing market is gradually changing for the better. The key word is gradually. There have been subtle hints about it in the past few months and more are trickling in.
As stated by GLVAR, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, a total of 3,785 single-family homes were closed in June, climbing a respectable 16.3% from May. What's even better is that this is a 70% improvement from the same month last year. REOs still dominate but it doesn't matter as long as the market remains active. Strict conventional mortgage guidelines kept these numbers from going even higher, although FHA loans have tiptoed into the void with their low down payment requirements and more accommodating underwriting criteria.
More good news follow. Inventory of resales on the MLS dropped to 20,613, over 500 units less than in May and a solid 11.9% dive from June of 2008. This is the third consecutive decrease and it is slowly approaching somewhat of a target for Las Vegas industry observers, the 20,000 home figure. Despite still being historically high, at least it is now trending lower.
The third key indicator, the price, also offers hope for brighter days ahead. The single-family median price stood at $140,000, unchanged from May. It's too early to draw hard conclusions about that, whether the jaw-dropping slide has come to an end or not, but for now it's good to see it firm up. As a reminder of what has happened in Las Vegas real estate over the past year, this price level is a steep 37.8% lower from twelve months ago.
Overall, the housing market here is still on IR, injured reserve, but seems to be on the mend, cautiously, and looks to be activated in the months ahead.