New home sales down, but prices up

Carpenters frame a home at a residential construction site in the west side of the Las Vegas Valley in Las Vegas, April 5, 2013.

Las Vegas homebuilders sold fewer houses and cut back on construction plans last quarter, but they enjoyed a continued rise in prices.

Developers in Southern Nevada sold 453 new homes last month, bringing this year’s total to 1,287, down 22 percent from the same period last year, according to a new report from Las Vegas-based Home Builders Research.

They also pulled 549 construction permits in March, bringing this year’s tally to 1,385, down 23 percent from the first quarter of 2013.

Despite the softer activity, the median sales price of last month’s closings was $285,475, up 26 percent from a year ago.

Overall, the first-quarter numbers are “nothing to rave about,” Home Builders Research President Dennis Smith said in the report.

“As we all know, they could have been worse,” he said.