Is the Las Vegas Housing Market a Gamble?
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Las Vegas is a place to take chances! Although the odds are stacked against you, with the right strategy and a lot of luck, you can hit it big in this city's famed casinos. But what about the city's housing market? When it comes to real state, is Las Vegas a city where you should go "All In" with your real estate decision -- or is buying and selling a home here a gamble that you should avoid altogether?
According to recent statistics, if you're a buyer, the market is in your favor. The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) reported last week that the median price for single-family homes in the area was $140,000 in October -- which was the same price reported the month before. Prior to that, the median price had increased for eight consecutive months. So, why have prices leveled off? GLVAR President Kolleen Kelley believes it's because there are more houses on the market. In other words, it's a case of good ol' supply and demand. When there is an increase in inventory, prices either level off or drop slightly. Although the median price in October did not increase, there is still some good news for sellers. The GLVAR statistics indicate that selling prices in October 2012 were up 16% from the same time a year ago. And, according to the GLVAR, the number of existing homes sales continues to increase around the area. In October, a total of 3,651 homes were sold in southern Nevada. That's a 10% increase from the previous month (3,298 total homes were sold in September 2012), but a 5.9% decrease from the same month last year. The GLVAR also reports that there continues to be a shift in the area from foreclosures to short sales.
The transition is evident in the latest released statistics. Nearly 45% of all homes sold in the Greater Las Vegas area in October were short sales, while bank-owned homes only accounted for 11.6% of existing home sales in the month (down from 13.6% in September). What does all of this mean? For a buyer, there couldn't be a better time to purchase a home in the Las Vegas area. There are more properties on the market than there were in previous months, so there's a wider selection of styles to choose from and prices ranges available. With that increased inventory, sellers know they can't raise their prices too much, or their homes may not sell. The increase in short sales also means that some homeowners are struggling to pay their mortgages, and, as a result, are having to sell their homes for prices that are well below what they are actually worth. So, if you are looking to buy a home in the area, consider buying a short sale home. You may get a steal of a deal! As for sellers, the market is starting to level off after an eight month increase, but that doesn't mean your home won't sell. It just means it may take longer for it to sell, and you may have to be willing to accept a lower offer than you had originally anticipated. A quality-built home that has been well-maintained, and possibly even renovated, is always an attractive option to prospective buyers. So, if your home fits that criteria, and you have it listed at a reasonable price, eventually someone will pony up the poker chips necessary to buy your home. You may just have to be patient in the meantime!