Las Vegas Year-Over-Year Home Sales Drop for First Time in 21 Months

Wed, Jul 7, 2010


By: Brittany Dunn

As fewer foreclosed properties sold and the impact of the federal homebuyer tax credit began to fade, May marked the first time in 21 months that Las Vegas region home sales dropped below the year-ago level, MDA DataQuick recently reported.

According to the San Diego-based property data provider, a total of 4,386 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area in May, down 1.7 percent from April and 3.3 percent below last year’s level. MDA DataQuick said this was the second-lowest home sales total for the month of May in 10 years, following behind May 2008.

The number of houses and condos that resold – meaning no newly built homes – in May fell to 3,859, a 3.1 percent

decline from one month earlier and 7.5 percent lower than the same month in 2009. Until April, resales had risen on a year-over-year basis for 23 straight months, MDA DataQuick said.

The drop-off in sales was partially impacted by a decline in foreclosure resales, which fell to 49.5 percent of all resales in May, down from 51.9 percent the month prior and significantly lower than the record-high of 73.7 percent in April 2009. The last time foreclosure resales were this low was March 2008 when sales of homes that has been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months accounted for 48.1 percent of the resale market.

MDA DataQuick said foreclosure resales have declined each month since last year’s peak. According to the firm, the dwindling number of foreclosed properties reselling over the past year has created more competition between first-time buyers and investors, who still represent a huge portion of the market.

While overall home sales declined, the median price paid for a Las Vegas home in May barely budged. MDA DataQuick said the median price for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metro area in May was $134,000, virtually unchanged from $133,955 in April and down just 0.7 percent from $135,000 one year ago. However, May’s median price was a whopping 57.1 percent below the peak median price of $312,000 in November 2006.

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