Las Vegas Home sales up 13% in February, Inventory off sharply

Las Vegas is an important market to track since it has seen the biggest decline in prices. Prices, as of December, were off 61.8% from the peak, according to Case-Shiller, and off 8.9% in the pastt year.

Sales in 2011 were at record levels, more than during the bubble, and it looks like 2012 will be an even stronger year. The time to buy is now.

Statistics released today by the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (GLVAR) show the number of existing homes being sold in Southern Nevada continues to go up, while the number of homes available for sale continues to go down.

“So far this year, local home sales remain strong and above the record sales pace we set in 2011,” said GLVAR President Kolleen Kelley, a longtime local REALTOR®. “At the same time, we’re seeing fewer homes available for sale each month, especially bank-owned homes. With the supply of homes going down, it makes sense that the median price of homes went up last month.”

Compared to one year ago, single-family home sales during February increased by 17.8 percent, while sales of condos and townhomes decreased by 5.0 percent. As for prices, GLVAR reported the median price of single-family homes sold in February was $121,000, up 2.5 percent from $118,000 in January, but down 5.5 percent from $128,000 one year ago. Meanwhile, the median price of local condominiums and townhomes sold in February was $60,000. That’s up 9.1 percent from $55,000 the previous month, but down 3.6 percent from $62,250 the previous year. Kelley said this is the first time the median price of local condos and townhomes had topped $60,000 since May of 2011. The total number of homes listed for sale on GLVAR’s Multiple Listing Service decreased from January to February, with a total of 18,870 single-family homes listed for sale at the end of the month. That’s down 1.5 percent from 19,160 single-family homes listed for sale at the end of January and down 15.4 percent from one year ago. GLVAR reported a total of 4,016 condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS at the end of February. That’s down 2.8 percent from 4,133 condos and townhomes listed in January, and down 16.2 percent from one year ago.

(Inventories) By the end of February, GLVAR reported 6,543 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s down 18.2 percent from 8,001 such homes listed in January and down 45.6 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 1,598 properties listed without offers in February represented an 8.5 percent decline from 1,746 such properties listed without offers in January and a decrease of 45.6 percent from one year ago.

Meanwhile, 29.3 percent of all existing local homes sold during February were short sales … Bank-owned homes accounted for 42 percent of all existing home sales in February, down from 45.5 percent in January.

An important component is the decline in inventory. Total single family inventory was down 15.4% and excluding contingent listings, it was down 45.6% year over year!

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