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In the Black

11.05.21

According to Las Vegas Realtors, the median price of existing single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada during April was $375,000. That breaks the all-time record set in March 2021. April's median home price is up 3.3% from March and up 21.0% from $310,000 one year ago.

"These April statistics benefit from a comparison to the same month last year, when our housing market was hit hard by the beginning of this pandemic," said 2021 LVR President Aldo Martinez. "It's still striking to see how home prices here and nationwide continue to rise to record levels. April did signify the first month this year when single-family home sales did not exceed the previous month. We closed the month with 3,528 units sold compared to the annual high set in March of 3,726."

Martinez said the shortage of homes available for sale continues to present a challenge for potential buyers and a rare opportunity for sellers. While a six-month supply is traditionally considered to be a balanced market, the pace of local home sales in April compared to the number of existing homes available for sale equates to well under a one-month supply.

The local housing market hit its post-recession bottom in early 2012. Since then, it has experienced steady year-over-year growth. Since the pandemic started, Martinez said the local housing market has been more in line with national trends, with home sales and prices "exceeding expectations."

He attributes what he calls "abnormal price growth" in recent months to a shortage of homes available for sale, strong and steady demand and relatively low mortgage interest rates.

He added that "the pandemic has contributed to the supply shortage due in part to homeowners being out of work, and therefore unable to upgrade their homes even if they wanted to unless they can pay cash." Compounding matters, he pointed to research from the National Association of Realtors that showed that homeowners are staying in their homes longer and are slower to move than in past years.

"Homebuyers should stay persistent, because our numbers show that over 20% of accepted offers get cold feet and those homes are then awarded to the second, third and even fourth buyer in line," Martinez advised. "Last month, our MLS reported 8,056 times when a property went from active to under contract, and 1,644 of those went back into active status again."

During April, LVR reported that 27.9% of all local property sales were purchased with cash. That's up from 13.0% one year ago, when the housing market was reeling from the onset of the pandemic. That's still well below the March 2013 peak of 59.5%.

Despite the pandemic, the number of so-called distressed sales remains near historically low levels. LVR reported that short sales and foreclosures combined accounted for just 0.9% of all existing local property sales in April. That compares to 1.5% of all sales one year ago, 3.0% of all sales two years ago, 2.5% three years ago and 8.4% four years ago. Martinez suggested that these percentages may rise slightly as some homeowners "may have difficulty coming out of forbearance programs - however nowhere near what we had seen in the last recession." He was also encouraged by a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau message released April 5 "promising that lenders will be working with homeowners."

These LVR statistics include activity through the end of April 2021. LVR distributes statistics each month based on data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for newly constructed homes sold by local builders or homes for sale by owners.

Source: worldpropertyjournal.com

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