The latest report from the Southern Nevada real estate market gives the reader a warm feeling, at least for now. It was somewhat unexpected as the winter months tend to slow down a bit. Regardless, local industry observers and home buyers are doing flips over the encouraging turn of events.
In its December wrap-up GLVAR, or Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, reveals that there were 2,498 existing single-family homes sold, amounting to a powerful 184% jump from December of 2007. In addition, this beats November's number of 2,183 by 315 houses closed. Much of activity was generated by investors who now see good value in the valley and aren't afraid to make a move. Home buyers, on the other hand, remain somewhat hesitant, hoping that prices will fall even further before signing anything. After all, it's their own hard-earned money they would have to use to pay off the mortgage.
What nowadays drives this impressive resale performance here is mostly the doings of the still weakening value picture. Median home prices are down nearly 33% from last year, stopping in dollar-terms at $175,000 for December. Condo prices were hammered even more, down over 51% from the year end of 2007. By many estimates homes are now selling in Las Vegas below replacement cost and if that doesn't spell "Buyer's market", then what does? Appealing mortgage rates are helping out, too.
The MLS inventory remains high at 22,144 units, equaling roughly where it was last year this time. A worrying trend is that now over 65% of single-family houses on the market were vacant, when in early 2007 the figure stood at 44%, implying that a vast majority of them are foreclosures. Clearly, they will continue to be the key dynamic as to which way the market will go in the coming months.