Local home prices rose again in February while sales slowed down amid a shrinking housing supply.
Lila Elsayeh says it's been a tough search for her dream home.
"There's a shortage of homes in the market so I could be looking for a house today and within a week it would disappear... I want to live in Las Vegas. It's just that if the shortage of houses in the market is going to be an issue then I'm going to get stuck renting."
Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reports 2018 continues to be challenging for buyers and a great market for sellers. The median price for existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada during February through its Multiple Listing Service was $275,000. That’s up 3.8 percent from January and up 14.6 percent from February of 2017. The median price of local condos and townhomes sold in February was $150,000, up 27.1 percent from the same time last year.
Meanwhile, the total number of existing local homes, condos and townhomes sold during February fell to 2,704. Compared to one year ago, February sales were down 5.4 percent for homes, but up 1.8 percent for condos and townhomes.
2018 GLVAR President Chris Bishop said Southern Nevada still has less than a two-month supply of existing homes available for sale when a six-month supply is considered a balanced market.
By the end of February, GLVAR reported 3,653 single-family homes listed for sale without any sort of offer. That’s down 34.3 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 679 properties listed without offers in February represented a 10.4 percent drop from one year ago. The inventory of condos and townhomes listed for sale is as low as it has been since 2004, Bishop added.
February’s sales dip is a departure from the recent trend in home sales, which have been increasing over the past few years. In fact, GLVAR reported that the 46,598 existing local properties sold during 2017 made it the third best sales year on record and the best year for existing local home sales since 2011.
GLVAR reported that 32.4 percent of all local properties sold in February were purchased with cash, compared to 31.4 percent one year ago. That’s well below the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, indicating that cash buyers and investors are still active, but are playing a much smaller role in the local housing market than they were five years ago.
In other words, expect to pay around $10,000 more for a home.
Realtor Runy Tan says, the key to finding a place to call home - act now but don't rush.
"That's why they have down payment assistance programs for teachers, for anybody. The qualifications are pretty easy as long as your credit score is decent... If you're even interested, start a year early because it takes a long time to get the loan approved, to get your credit score up for whatever reason. Everyone has different issues."
At the same time, the number of so-called distressed sales continues to decline. GLVAR reported that short sales and foreclosures combined accounted for 3.8 percent of all existing local home sales in February, compared to 10.6 percent of all sales one year ago.
These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of February 2018.