“Flat” as a description of the Las Vegas home price picture is actually considered pretty good right now. It’s been a tough four years, and there’s some more pain to be endured in our real estate markets. But, “flat,” especially when it seems to be crossing over a few quarters of sales activity, could signal a bottom with an upturn in sight. But, it’s been really painful for homeowners who purchased in the period prior to 2007, as there has definitely been a price correction.
“The Las Vegas Housing Market Letter” just published some statistics for the Las Vegas market, and we can see a definite moving downward of median home sale prices since 2008. In May of 2010, the median price of traditional home recorded sales was $186,784, and sales in this price range accounted for 61% of all sales in that home category. This was a 12.8% decline from the same period a year ago.
For perspective, in May 2009, 38.9% of traditional homes that closed escrow were priced under $200,000. Going back to May 2008, it was just 11.7% of all sales. The damage in this situation is focused on the “move-up” buyer who must sell their current home to move up in home size and price range. In the past, their current home would have appreciated in value, and they would use equity to move up to their next home. That equity doesn’t exist any more, so there are far fewer homes selling at prices of $300,000 or higher.
If a buyer doesn’t need to sell a current home, there’s a lot of opportunity in Las Vegas to buy the home of their dreams at prices not seen for a long long time.