Let's start with the good news. The numbers are in for March and what we see is that the prices in Southern Nevada are holding up rather well. The median new home price is down 3.5% from March of last year, but for the first quarter it's up 4%, to $324,035. That's for a new house. In the resale sector the median home price is 1.8% lower from a year ago, while the first quarter slide is only 0.3%, to 280,667. This is what the latest stats tell us. Some magazines have been predicting all sorts of bubble burstings here and looks like that's not in the cards. So far only a tad of air is coming out.
Now to the bad news. New home closings took a deep dive, to the tune of 43%, in the first quarter, amounting only in 5,264 transactions. Existing housing fared a little better, however, dropping about 20%. The weakness clearly is in the sales side. In the inventory side. A couple of reasons come to mind. Prices are still too high to attract the needed attention that would burn the inventory down. And lenders are adjusting their underwriting guidelines up, especially in the subprime sector, that is obviously putting a chilling effect on the market.
Back to the good news. It's a buyer's market. They only come every so often. Those who can qualify for a mortgage loan and those who plan on buying investment property, this is a market custom-made for them.