prices of resale homes continued its slow rise in August, with the median price
rising to $307,000, the highest level since March of 2007. Sales were also up
from August 2018.
Many feel this reflects the lower
interest rates that now seem to have bottomed out. Inventory of available homes
on Sept. 15, 2019, was down 10.7% from two months ago, as back-to-back months
of 3,000+ closings ate into inventory. The median price is up 3.72% year over
year, but only up 1.3% since January.
Many felt the meteoric rise in Las Vegas home prices would lead to a collapse, or at least a fall in prices. What we are seeing, however, is market stabilization.
The sales of existing single family homes in the Las Vegas Valley (Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson) for June 2019 has slipped a bit compared to recent years, but the market remains vibrant as the median sales price for the year has remained essentially unchanged. The market has been aided by low mortgage rates, as well as the continuing desire of Californians to escape unsustainable housing costs and the realization of retirees nation-wide that our low-tax state is a wonderful place to live. A resident in Chicago, for instance, may have to pay $7,000-10,000 per year in property taxes. Here, they may pay in the neighborhood of $1500-2000! That is a $5,000 improvement in life-style.
Plus, we are a growing vibrant community with new restaurants, parks, and entertainment options adding to our already exciting facilities. Downtown is busy with the construction of Stevens brothers’ magnificent Circa, which will set a new standard for the area. Resort World from the Genting Group continues its progress toward a late 2020 opening. The Drew, a huge Marriott hotel/convention property rising 60-plus stories above the Strip is slated to open in 2022. But it doesn’t end there! The MSG Sphere is a unique idea in entertainment venues, with high-resolution 360 degree LED screens and the most sophisticated sound system in the world.
The new stadium built in conjunction with the Oakland Raiders is over half complete. AEG Worldwide has just signed on to bring events to the stadium once completed. And we are experiencing new energy in revamped casinos such as the Sahara reverting to its original name and the Hard Rock slowly becoming a Virgin property. All of this revitalization beats the hell out of a stagnant neighborhood with declining appeal and rising taxes! Is it time for you to move to Las Vegas?
The long-term sellers’ market continues this month in spite of a significant slowing in the pace of home sales. In March, the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® totals show the number of homes sold continues to trail the previous year, but prices remain stable.
March 2019 sales dropped over 17% from the year before, and this is a trend we expect to continue, although not always to this degree. Although, for the first quarter, sales are down a little over 15%, the Las Vegas real estate market is still considered a sellers’ market because inventory remains tight, with just a 2.89 month (87 days) supply of homes available. A 120-140 day supply of homes in Las Vegas is considered historically “normal”.
Prices have held steady since September 2018. The Median Price for March was $302,000. What we are finding is an affordability limit with ever fewer homes available in the price range below $275,000.
We certainly can’t blame interest rates, as today’s 30-year fixed rated conforming loan quoted by Wells Fargo Bank is 4.375% with APR of 4.443%. With the Federal Reserve disclosing their increased reluctance to raise rates, we do not anticipate mortgage rates rising much this year.
Projected sales for April also lag the year previous. It will be interesting to see what happens with prices.
Las Vegas real estate prices remain stable in February as the number of homes sold continues to trail 2018. The median price remained in the same area as it has been since August 2018 at $298,000, but it is up over 7% from February 2018. The number of Las Vegas homes sold in the first two months of 2018 is down over 14% from last year because we seem to have hit an affordability limit!
Interest rates remain in the sub-5% range, so it is price that is limiting affordability. Sellers tend to overprice the homes at the start, but we are seeing a sizable number of price reductions each week. This year, just under half the homes sold have been on the market for 30 days or less. Last year at this time, almost two-thirds (63%) of the homes sold within the first 30 days. Available inventory of homes with no offers rests at almost a 4-month supply, almost double the supply of homes we had last year.
New home sales, according to SalesTraq (a Las Vegas research company), declined 12% in January compared to a year earlier. The median price of new homes rose 6% compared to January 2018.
The trend of declining sales seems to be continuing into March as projected closings of resale homes seem to be well below March 2018. The economy continues strong but ever increasing prices must end some time, and that time seems to be 2019. Each month, we will likely see ever smaller price increases year over year as Las Vegas drops from the ranks of the hottest housing markets nationwide.
January 2019 continued the Las Vegas home sales trend of fewer sales at slightly higher prices. The $303,000 median sales price was the highest here since June 2007, which was just as prices started spiraling downward for three and a half years. However, adjusted for inflation, we are nowhere near that peak number.
So, how is the Las Vegas real estate market? Is Las Vegas real estate in a bubble? Sales, although down 20% from the year before, remain strong. Low mortgage rates are helping people decide that they should buy now rather than hope prices and interest rates will go down. Most likely, neither will. So, are we in a bubble? No. Our local economy continues to grow, bringing new residents to fill new jobs. And we still have 3 billion-dollar-plus construction projects under way.
Our inventory rests at about a four month supply, which, for Las Vegas, is about normal. Gone are the days sellers would have three or four offers within a day of listing their home for sale. In fact, for the past two months, more homes listed for sale on the market have reduced their listing price than new homes have come on the market. For example, last week 879 homes on the market reduced the asking price, while only 735 new listings entered the market.
The much feared rise in interest rates appears to have moderated. It seems the Federal Reserve is less inclined to raise interest rates as much in 2019 as it did in 2018. Most lenders are offering 30-year FHA loans well under 5% these days. We can only hope that continues.
So, what is the Las Vegas real estate forecast for 2019? In the opinion of this REALTOR® Broker, I see the number of sales decreasing 5-10% compared to 2018 while prices inch upward because of the growth of the economy.