Las Vegas Real Estate Posts 2009 Gains Despite Recession

Jan 07, 2010, 18:33 ET from Prudential Americana Group

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- According to newly released statistics, the Las Vegas real estate market is poised for a comeback. Data compiled by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors and the state's top real estate company show that approximately 95,000 transactions, or an estimated 47,500 home sales, were made in 2009.

"Prudential Americana Group was involved in more than one out of every ten home sales in Las Vegas last year," said Mark Stark, CEO of the company. "Even though the average sales prices are down, we posted nearly 50 percent more transactions than we did the previous year. That is a great sign that the market is stabilizing." According to the GLVAR's records, the average single family home sales price was $204,000 in December 2008. In December of 2009, the average sale price was $165,000.

"Prices are down 14 to 15 percent year over year, but that is a victory after dropping three percent per month," said Forrest Barbee, Prudential Americana Group's corporate broker and a GLVAR board member. "Prices dropped 33 percent from December 2007 to December 2008," he said.

One other bright spot Stark saw was the overall affordability of homes. "People who thought in the past that home ownership was out of reach have now come to understand that they have a golden opportunity to not only purchase a home, but look forward to long-term appreciation," he said.

One standout figure from 2009 is that 67 percent of all current pending sales in Las Vegas are short sales, with 8,935 of 13,406. And GLVAR now lists just 2,367 available REO, or bank-owned, properties compared to nearly 10,000 one year ago.

"In 2009, the big trend in the Las Vegas resale market included the significant increase in cash sales for both investors and first time homebuyers," said Barbee. "We saw 41 percent of home closings in December 2009 made with cash while FHA/VA buyers continue to make up one third of the closings and conventional loans." Barbee noted that over the past 12 months Las Vegas has experienced a shrinking inventory of available properties - most notably bank-owned listings. "This came in the wake of a significant increase in overall demand, which resulted in record high resale closings in the last half of 2009," he said.

"2010 should be the beginning of a recovery for residential real estate," said Stark. "The actual extent of the recovery will depend in part upon how successful Southern Nevada is in continued job creation."

And for residential real estate, Barbee predicts that 2010 will be the year that strides will be made to create a more efficient climate for conducting short sales and loan modifications. "The Home Affordability Financing Alternatives (HAFA) legislation will pave the way for a much needed streamlined short sale process," he said. "Short sales have been very, very difficult the past two years. Banks have not been truly motivated to work on them expeditiously and as a result they have taken anywhere from 6 months to 18 months to complete. The lengthy timeframes have led to unusually high fallout rates in those escrows."

Prudential Americana Group is Nevada's top selling real estate company. It is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate affiliates. For more information, visit

    Sarah Thornton
    for Prudential Americana Group

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Mark Stark

SOURCE Prudential Americana Group