December 1, 2011 (Shirley Allen)
Monthly sales of new and resale homes in Las Vegas declined slightly from September to October but remained well above year ago levels for the fourth consecutive month according to the latest data released from DataQuick.
A total of 4,595 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area in October. Sales were 2.0 percent lower than the 4,690 homes sold in September but were 15.3 percent higher than in October of 2010. Home sales in the region typically decline 2.4 percent between September and October.
October’s home sales marked the fourth consecutive month that transactions in the Las Vegas area have increased year-over-year and the tenth consecutive month that that existing home sales outpaced the previous year’s tally. Last month’s sales total was 1.1 percent higher than the area’s historical average for October.
New home sales continued to be weak with October’s tally the second lowest total for that month since 1994, but still 31.8 percent higher than last October, the worst on record for an October.
Cash buyers accounted for 49.3 percent of the purchases in October, which was down from 51.2 percent in September and 51.3 percent a year earlier. The record for cash purchases was in February 2011, when 56.7 percent of the sales were for cash.
The price that cash buyers paid for a home in October increased to $84,000 from $83,000 in September but down from $95,000 in October 2010.
Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 46.5 percent of all homes sold in October, up from 45.2 percent in September. The prices they paid were unchanged from September at $90,000, but down from $100,000 in October of 2010.
Cash buyers and investors continued to scoop up lower priced homes as 41.3 percent of the homes sold in the area during the month were under $100,000. About 72 percent of the sub-$100,000 homes were paid for with cash while about 58 percent of those same homes were bought by absentee buyers.
The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in October was $114,900, down 0.1 percent from $115,000 in September and down from $125,000 in October of last year.
October’s median price is 63.2 percent below the peak median price of $312,000 in November 2006.
Distressed property sales accounted for 65.5 percent of the resale market in October as foreclosure re-sales accounted for 52.8 percent of total re-sales, down from 56.3 percent in September, and short sales accounted for 12.7 percent of total re-sales, down from 13.3 percent the previous month.
Foreclosures continued to decline in October with lenders foreclosing on 1,928 single-family homes and condos, down from 2,027 foreclosures in September. Notices of default (NoDs) plummeted 81.2 percent in October following the new Nevada law that created additional requirements in order to foreclose on a property. A total of 846 NoDs were issued in October, down from 4,507 in September.
However, lenders appeared to have already streamlined their processes and overcome the new requirements because in the first ten business days of November, they had already issued nearly 860 NoDs, more than in the whole month of October.
The highest number of loans foreclosed by lenders was in May 2011 when lenders foreclosed on 3,818 loans.
Tags: existing home sales, Las Vegas, distressed properties, resale homes, condos, cash buyers, investors, median price