The outlook for home builders in Southern Nevada remains rather bleak. It has been a tough real estate market throughout the year for the entire industry and especially so for new homes. This year, 2008, will be a year to remember in the business. Mortgage money has become outright inexpensive lately, though, so perhaps the coming months will bring more traffic for the struggling segment.
As for the pure numbers, there were only 643 new home closings in November, a noteworthy decline from 1,521 recorded at the same time last year. That comes to about a 58% change for the worse. These figures were tallied by Home Builders Research, a reliable Las Vegas analyst.
Moreover, only 180 new home building permits were granted in November in the entire valley, signifying the lowest level ever after the research shop began compiling these numbers in 1988. Twenty years ago Vegas was far from being a true boom town but even the figures from those days were better than what the market can post today. That alone tells how difficult the situation currently is.
On the price front, it dropped 1% in November from the month before to $247,990. This is an 8.2% decline from the same month last year, or $22,288. New home values have held better than those on the resale side that has been hammered by a flood of foreclosures. And that's where the problem is for new homes. They can't come even close to competing with bank-owned resales that are often priced as low as necessary to move them.
Is next year going to be any better? Tough to say. The early going is likely to be much of the same but hopefully the second half will show some improvement.