The demand for existing homes in Las Vegas strengthened in May but that hasn’t stopped prices from falling, according to statistics released today by SalesTraq.
The 4,942 sales in May is 17 percent higher than May 2010 and one of the strongest months since existing home sales started rebounding in 2009.
The median price dipped to $106,200 in May, $700 less than April and nearly 14 percent below the $123,000 price in May 2010. At that rate, the year-end median price would be the lowest it's been since 1990.
Foreclosures and investors remain a big factor in the housing market’s dynamics with 2,233 homes repossessed in May, the highest number for this year and 2010, according to SalesTraq. It was 31 percent higher than May 2010.
Foreclosures amounted to 2,005 of the 4,942 existing home sales in May with their median price at $102,000. It was $105,000 in April, SalesTraq reported.
Some 51 percent of homes sold in May were bought with cash and 79 percent were vacant, SalesTraq reported.
Short sales constituted 826 sales, and their median price was $120,000. That’s the same median price for traditional sales, which accounted for 1,365 of the total.
There were 746 properties sold at auction without going through foreclosure. Their median price was $90,100.
The price per square foot of existing homes sold in May was $70.35, which is 12 percent below the price of $79.83 per square foot in May 2010.
The new home market didn’t show much improvement in May. The 298 sales, although the second best month this year, is 42 percent below sales in May 2010, according to SalesTraq.
For the year, builders have sold 1,395 homes in Las Vegas, which at this pace means they will sell barely more than 3,000 compared to 5,400 last year. Builders sold more than 35,000 homes in 2006.
The median price of new homes sold in May was $193,843, which is about $3,000 more than April. The average price per square foot for homes sold in April was $99.49, a 2.7 percent decrease from May 2010.
Builders took out 436 permits in May, which is the highest since April 2010 when 474 were issued. For the year, builders have taken out 1,577 permits and are on pace to fall short of the 4,380 issued in all of 2010.
In his report, Dennis Smith, president of Home Builders Research, said most of the interest in new homes in Las Vegas has been in the southwest valley.
Smith reported 115 net sales in the southwest after accounting for a 25 percent cancellation rate. There were 95 net sales in the northwest; 63 in Henderson; 45 in North Las Vegas; 15 in the south valley and 13 in the east valley.
He said there were only nine high-rise condo closings in May.