Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Las Vegas Home Sales Increase in November for 5th Month; But Two-Thirds of Sales Are Distressed

DQ News -- "The number of homes sold in the Las Vegas area rose year-over-year for the fifth consecutive month in November as a surge in sub-$200,000 transactions made up for a decline in activity above that threshold. Prices appeared flat, with the region’s overall median sale price stuck at $115,000 for the third consecutive month.

The number of Las Vegas homes that resold rose 11.3 percent on a year-over-year basis, marking the 11th consecutive month in which resales have posted an annual gain. It was the highest number of resales for a November since 2009, and the second-highest since 2005. November sales of newly-built homes also rose from a year earlier, by 9.8 percent, but were still the second-lowest on record for a November. New-home sales have risen year-over-year for the past five consecutive months.

Total sales last month were 2.0 percent higher than the average number of homes sold in November since 1994, while resale activity (excludes new homes) was 45.5 percent above average for a November.

Distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and “short sales” – made up more than two-thirds of the Las Vegas resale market last month.

Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 52.4 percent of the Las Vegas resale market in November. That was down from 52.8 percent in October and 53.1 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 73.7 percent of the resale market in April 2009. Last month’s figure was the lowest since September 2010, when it was 50.8 percent.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 14.8 percent of Las Vegas-area November resales. That compares with an estimated 12.7 percent in October, 13.2 percent a year ago, and 11.7 percent two years ago."

MP: There's still a lot of distress in the Las Vegas real estate market, but the ongoing monthly increases in the number of homes sold suggest that the excess inventory of unsold homes is starting to clear, and the market there is gradually recovering.  With no increases in home prices, the increases in sales activity should continue.

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