This according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® figures as reported here in the Las Vegas Sun. It's a 78.3% increase above April 2008 sales, and up 7.3% over the previous month's gains.
The article also noted a whopping 40% 'price drop', April 2008 to April 2009. Las Vegas foreclosed homes continue to dominate sales, driving down median price. Many first time home buyers are taking advantage of the $8,000 tax credit, all buyers the much more affordable pricing and low interest rates, while investors see opportunity in potential income producing rental properties.
There is a little more to this story that isn't discussed in the article. I think it's important for buyers to have a better understanding of these figures and what it means to them personally.
Remember that these reports are actually from sales that have taken place as much as 30 - 60 - 90 days prior. The figures represent the homes that have closed during the month and lag real time. The same will be true when you see increases in prices. They will have taken place previous to them being reported.
Of course prices have fallen and Las Vegas homes are very affordable today, but median prices aren't necessarily an accurate barometer or the entire Las Vegas home market. There are several reasons why this is true.
One of the issues is that investors are buying homes, sometimes in multiple numbers, and often the distressed foreclosure properties that require additional investment. Some of these homes may require extensive repairs that the average home buyer wouldn't be interested in dealing with. In some cases they are cash only as the damage makes them unable to be financed with a mortgage.
The credit crunch itself has been another issue. While it has eased considerably since the freeze of last fall, non-conventional or Jumbo Loans, which are those above $417,000, have been more difficult to obtain. This combined with the weak economy has caused a reduction in the number of sales in the higher tier properties that would typically offset the increased sales on the lower end of the scale. Easy to understand why the median prices can get skewed downward, as median is the middle number of all homes sold.
One last mention to understand Las Vegas home values, is location. The old saying "Real Estate is local" is true even on the local level. So is the saying "Location, location, location." While prices have dropped market-wide, there will be fluctuations in pricing in various neighborhoods. What you will find at 'median price' in one neighborhood can be totally different or not exist at all in another. Desirability still plays an important role in home pricing. That is why you'll typically find increased completion and multiple offers for the best properties in every price range or neighborhood.
While these reports do give an indication of the strong interest, don't be mislead by these very general statistics. You also need to pass on the hype of the sometimes ridiculous pricing that may be found on some internet home search sites, or late night infomercials with some extreme claims. Las Vegas home pricing has reduced significantlly, but those too good to be true prices usually are.
This often has many chasing foreclosure lists, usually with short free trials and paid subscriptions afterward. Often these sites have some unrealistic or unavailable properties. For Free Las Vegas Foreclosure Lists, every local REALTOR® with multilist access has them. They are among all listed homes from real estate brokers, as it's against federal law for the banks to sell their foreclosed properties themselves. This is true not only in Las Vegas, but across the country. They are also the most up-to-date, being the source database for the local area.
There are incredible bargains to be found in the Las Vegas home market and many are taking advantage of this unique situation of pricing, rates, and first time buyer incentives for those that qualify. Having a solid understanding of what is actually happening, and how it affects your personal home buying situation, can make your search and purchase a much more pleasant experience. That's why it's your best bet to have a knowledgeable agent working for you, to help guide you to find your best home value.
If you are interested in relocating to the Las Vegas area or would like more information or have questions about Las Vegas real estate, please email me, Roberta LaRocca, at email@example.com,
or call 702-354-8988. I look forward to hearing from
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