Las Vegas Home Sales Yo Yo Up

Las Vegas region home sales rose last month to the highest level for a March in four years as buyers took advantage of soon-to-expire tax credits and low home prices and mortgage rates. The median sale price inched up from February and declined from the year-ago level by the smallest amount since October 2007, thanks mainly to an uptick in transactions over $200,000 and a decrease in foreclosure resales, a real estate information service reported DQ News and Nuwire.

The press shows the fluctuations in the Las Vegas real estate market. Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – fell to 55.5 percent of all resales in March, down from 59.6 percent in February and down from 73.1 percent a year ago, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

Foreclosure resales peaked in April 2009 at 73.7 percent of all resales. They’ve declined each month since then. Last month’s figure was the lowest since foreclosure resales were 54.7 percent of the resale market in May 2008.

A total of 4,328 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County) last month, up 31.9 percent from February and up 12.7 percent from a year earlier. A rise in sales between February and March is normal for the season, with the gain averaging 29.1 percent since 1994, when DataQuick’s complete Las Vegas region stats begin.

Again, articles report a stabilizing of the market. March’s sales total was the highest for that month since March 2006, when 8,486 homes sold, and it was 0.8 percent lower than the average March sales tally back to 1994. Last month marked the 19th in a row in which total sales rose on a year-over-year basis.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metro area in March was $130,000, up 3.0 percent from $126,197 in February but down 10.3 percent from $144,900 a year earlier. The year-over-year decline was the smallest since October 2007, when the median dropped 9.2 percent from a year earlier, to $279,790.

The overall median sale price has fallen on a year-over-year basis for 35 consecutive months and in March stood 58.3 percent below the peak $312,000 median in November 2006.

The median price paid for resale single-family detached houses – by far the region’s largest home-type category – was $135,000, up from $133,800 in February but down 8.8 percent from $148,000 a year ago – the smallest annual decline since September 2007. The March median was 56.8 percent lower than the peak $312,250 median in June 2006.

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