Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Las Vegas Real Estate: Sales and Inventory decreased year-over-year in December

by Bill McBride on 1/08/2013 04:27:00 PM

This is a key distressed market to follow since Las Vegas has seen the largest price decline of any of the Case-Shiller composite 20 cities.

From the GLVAR: GLVAR reports home prices increased 24 percent in 2012,ranking as third best sales year ever

GLVAR said the total number of local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in December was 3,624. That’s up from 3,293 in November, but down from 4,250 total sales in December 2011. Compared to November, single-family home sales during December increased by 10.4 percent, while sales of condos and townhomes increased by 8.5 percent. Compared to one year ago, home sales were down 14.3 percent, while condo and townhome sales were down 16.5 percent.
...
The total number of homes listed for sale on GLVAR’s Multiple Listing Service declined in December, with a total of 14,601 single-family homes listed for sale at the end of the month. That’s down 6.6 percent from 15,637 homes listed for sale at the end of November and down 24.1 percent from one year ago. ...

[T]he number of available homes listed for sale without any sort of pending or contingent offer by the end of December, GLVAR reported 3,688 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s down 4.2 percent from 3,849 such homes listed in November and down 58.2 percent from one year ago.
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GLVAR’s statistics through December 2012 show a dramatic transition from foreclosures to short sales – which occur when a lender agrees to sell a home for less than what the borrower owes on the mortgage. The percentage of existing homes sold as part of a short sale set a new record in December, accounting for 45.8 percent of all sales. Foreclosures, which made up more than half of all sales a few years ago, accounted for only 9.5 percent of all sales in December 2012.
A few key points:
• Inventory decreased in December, and inventory is down 24.1% from Decmeber 2011.  For single family homes without contingent offers, inventory is down sharply from a year ago (down 58.2% year-over-year).

• Short sales are more than four times foreclosures now. The GLVAR reported a record 45.8% of sales were short sales in December, and only 9.5% foreclosures. We've seen a shift from foreclosures to short sales in most areas (not just in areas with new foreclosure laws).  Note: Some of the surge in short sales might have been to beat the expiration of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007.  The Act  was extended as part of the fiscal deal, so the number of short sales should remain high in 2013.

• The decline in overall sales is because of fewer foreclosure sales (Las Vegas had a record number of real estate sales in 2011, even higher than at the peak of the bubble in 2005, because of all the distressed sales!). As the market slowly recovers, the number of distressed sales should fall and the number of conventional sales should rise. This has been happening in Las Vegas, although distressed sales were up some in December compared to November due to seasonal factors.

Overall this is a slowly improving distressed market. Note: I ignore the median price because that is impacted by the mix.

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