Saturday, March 05, 2011

Las Vegas Real Estate Market Inventory

As real estate agents, we often are asked the question: How does the current Las Vegas real estate market inventory stack up with past years? What about this “shadow inventory” we keep hearing about in the news? Will prices go down further? Have we hit the bottom of the market yet?

Unfortunately we cannot give predictions for the future. (If we could, we would be playing the international money markets!) But we can share statistics on current listing inventory vs. previous years to give buyers an idea of how balanced the market may or may not be.

Today’s inventory - As of March 4th, 2011 there were 12,238 single family homes and 2,658 residential condos listed as active (with no contracts pending or contingent) in the Las Vegas MLS system. As of January 2011 (the most recently published report supplied by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors) the average sales price of a single family home was $157,081, and the average sales price of a condo was $83,828.

Inventory in 2008 – In February of 2008, there were 22,497 active single family home listings and 5,388 active condo listings. The average sales price of single family homes was $297,597 and the average condo sales price was $276,222.

Inventory in 2005 – In February of 2005, there were 14,041 active single family home listings and 2,593 active condo listings. The average sales price of single family homes was $334,732 and the average condo sales price was $189,462.

What do these statistics tell us? They show that currently there are fewer active Las Vegas homes for sale now than there were in the height of the “boom” years, but that the sales prices are less than half of what they were at that time. We are seeing cash investors buying up the “bottom of the market” because rental yields are so good at today’s low prices. (Over 51% of the housing sales in January 2011 were cash.) Sales prices are less than the cost to build new. Most Las Vegas foreclosure listings are actually selling for over the initial list price. And some zip codes in Las Vegas even experienced appreciation during the past year.

Again, no one can predict with any accuracy what prices will be in the future – there are too many global factors that could impact sales. But indications seem to be good for those that are willing to buy and hold for the long term.

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