Vegas Existing Home Sales Surge to 7-Yr. High
DQ News reported today on Las Vegas home sales for February, with these highlights:
1. The number of homes sold in the Las Vegas area (4,240) rose to the highest level for a February in six years, with new-home transactions at a four-year high and resale activity the strongest since 2005.
2. Total February sales were 11.5% higher than the average number of homes sold in that month since 1994, while resale activity was 52.7% above average for a February.
3. In February, 3,744 existing homes resold (excludes newly built homes), up 5.1% year-over-year. It was the 14th consecutive month in which resales have posted an annual gain, and marked the highest number of February resales since 3,875 sold in February 2005.
4. Cash buyers purchased 52.9% of the Las Vegas-area homes that sold in February. That was down from a cash-buyer share of 53.7% of total sales in January and down from a record 56.7% a year earlier.
5. Absentee buyers – mainly investors and vacation home buyers – purchased a near-record 48.2% of all Las Vegas-area homes sold in February. That compares with 49.1% in January and 49.7% a year earlier. The record was 49.9% in March last year.
6. The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metro area in February was $112,000, up 1.8% from $110,000 in January and down 5.9% from $119,000 in February 2011. Last month’s figure was 64.1% below the November 2006 peak of $312,000.
MP: The Las Vegas real estate market is now being driven by cash buyers and absentee buyers (often the same) who are attracted to the bargain prices today that are about one-third (median price of $112,000) of the median home prices at the peak in 2006 of $312,000. But the fact that existing home sales are at a 7-year high suggests that the Las Vegas market is recovering and adjusting to a new era where "cash is king."