Friday Figures for 4/13/2012

Time for a special triskaidekaphobia issue of Friday Figures! All information from the GLVAR MLS system. This is the REAL data you and your REALTOR really need to know before touring, making an offer, or preparing a listing in the Las Vegas Valley this weekend.

Summary: Did you miss me last week? I was out of town and had limited internet access. The number of available units continues to plummet! There are only 6382 left. I am recommending new construction to any buyer whose budget will allow it: no bidding wars, nothing to fix up, rarely an issue with appraisal. The good news for sellers is that limited supply is pushing prices up — particularly on single family homes and non-short listings. And traditional sellers are taking advantage of this: over half our current listings are classics! One interesting detail is that Million Dollar Plus listings are moving faster than I’ve ever seen. Is this a sign of froth, or just overdue interest? Not too surprisingly, the number of properties under contract is up. Interest in low cost properties is pushing the median price of both contingent and sold units down. Just because a contract is signed doesn’t make it a “done deal”: 4 units fell out of contract while I was calculating the breakdown. We still have strong numbers of closings, and time on market is dropping. I’ll bring it full circle by pointing out that with just over 6000 listings and just over 4000 closings, we have roughly 6 weeks of available inventory. If you are at all thinking of selling, this is the time to reach out to your Realtor and make it happen.

The News: Some economists think housing prices will bottom this year and start to rise next year nationwide — unless of course we have another wave of foreclosures or “shadow inventory” coming on to the market. Remember, I’m skeptical of most doomsday shadow inventory projections. Meanwhile, foreclosure activity hasn’t been this low since 2007 (I promise a post about why soon).

I’ve talked about Nevada’s Hardest Hit Funds before. It’s still a great program worth looking into. However, a watchdog group thinks that most Hardest Hit Funds aren’t doing all they can to help homeowners (although their beefs seem to have more to do with “not sticking it to the banks hard enough”).

Now that the foreclosure fraud settlement is officially approved by a judge, there’s some press about what happens now. Will there really be a lot of principal reductions? Personally I think principal write-offs are the only way to really strengthen the market going forward; banks have to admit that homes will not sell for what they did in the bubble anytime soon and take their medicine. Meanwhile, the financial fraud task force and banks are still hammering out details. That’s why your mortgage statement will be changing soon.

People outside the Valley are starting to notice that our home sales are up and our inventory is down.

Interest rates  on the 30 year fixed mortgage have hit yet another low, well under 4%. Despite this, Cash Is Still King when it comes to writing an offer.

And finally, if you are involved in a short sale with Bank of America, make sure your Realtor is aware of the paperwork change that goes into effect this weekend.

Available Listings: There are 5373 single family homes (down), with a median price of $175,000 (up), $83 per square foot (up). In addition, there are 571 condominiums (down), with a median price of $59,900 (up), $61 per square foot (up) and 438 townhomes (down) with a median price of $89,900 (unch), $65 per square foot (down).

Distressed Properties: Of available listings, there are 2095 short sales (down) and 1034 bank-owned (REO, foreclosures, & “repos”) properties (down). Median price for a short sale is $130,000 (up); median price on a bank-owned home is $116,777 (down). All short sale listings should be considered at risk of becoming bank owned properties whether they are available or contingent. The 3255 non-distressed properties for sale (down) had a median price of $210,000 (up). While many of the non-distressed properties are traditional sellers, many others were purchased fairly recently as short sale or bank owned, and then renovated by investors.

Single Family Home Prices: Of available listings, 137 under $50,000; 970 between $50,000-$100,000; 2023 between $100,000-$200,000; 1402 between $200,000-$400,000; 437 between $400,000-$700,000; 169 between $700,000-$1,000,000; and 288 over $1,000,000.

Condo and Townhome Prices: Of available listings, 310 under $50,000; 398 between $50,000-$100,000; 235 between $100,000-$200,000; 59 between $200,000-$400,000; 14 between $400,000-$700,000; 1 between $700,000-$1,000,000; and 1 over $1,000,000. For technical reasons, these figures do not include high-rise communities.

Contingent and Pending Listings: Of the 15690 properties in the process of being purchased (up), 13271 are single family homes with median price of $120,000 (down); 1507 are condominiums with median price of $50,000 (down); 912 are townhomes with a median price of $74,975 (down). Final negotiated sales prices are confidential until closing. Of the total, 11285 are short sale, 2452 are foreclosed, and 1951 are traditional sales. While the bank-owned and traditional sales are likely to close within 30-45 days, no time frame is available for unapproved short sales.

Recently Sold: 674 properties closed this week, 4110 in the last 30 days, and 12730 so far this year. For properties closed in the last 30 days, median time on market was 41 days (down). Median sales price was $110,000 (unch); median list price was $112,838 (up). For single family homes, median sales price was $125,000 (unch), for condos $51,475 (down), and for townhomes $70,000 (down). Short sales accounted for 1083 of the total, there were 1677 bank owned properties, and 1353 non-distressed sales.

Rentals: 5200 homes, townhomes, and condos were available for rent in the Valley in the MLS system (up). Median square footage of these units is 1515 and median rent is $1099. There are 988 contingent leases waiting to be signed and 2724 leases signed in the last 30 days (down) with median rent of $1095 and median square footage of 1510.

Need more information or help with your real estate needs? Call me today at 702-727-7842 or email Based on information from the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service for the date specified above. This article was written and copyright by Bridget Magnus, and is her sole property.

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