The WHITE HOT Housing Market

More than a decade ago, the housing market crashed hard in Las Vegas and “For Sale” and “Foreclosure” signs sprang up like the skittering tumbleweeds of late summer. But now the market has turned white hot, and officials in the greater Las Vegas area don’t expect it to skid out of control again any time soon.

There is currently less than a one month’s supply of houses in Las Vegas, which means there aren’t enough houses for everyone who wants to buy one, said Aldo Martinez, president of Las Vegas REALTORS. Typically, he said, a six-month supply of houses is considered healthy. One reason that demand exceeds supply is because the market has been heating up with more than half of all transactions being all-cash offers. Buyers from states such as California, where the median home price reached almost $760,000 this past April, according to the California Department of Finance, can sell a home in the Golden State and buy much more house (read a newer and larger one) in the Silver State and still have money remaining from the transaction to put in the bank.

It’s a great way to improve one’s lifestyle and ultimately retire comfortably, Martinez said. 
This turnover also means out-of-staters stimulate the local Nevada economy by buying other items such as new furniture, home furnishings, cars, and boats. Once considered one of the riskiest home markets in America, the median price of a home in Southern Nevada has increased more than 20 percent since this time one year ago and beaten expectations that the market would fall again this summer.

The pandemic of 2020 slowed the market down because people couldn’t leave their homes and Las Vegas home prices stalled for a few months. But prices have picked back up and have accelerated ever since because demand didn’t keep up with population growth, said Martinez. He attributes much of the home-sales growth to extremely low interest rates. He said many market forecasters point to any slow-down in the market as a correction that will cause homebuying to plummet. But he calls that a “seasonal surge” and said he expects the market to grow again in time for buyers to be settled in by the fall and winter holidays.

Martinez expected that by the end of 2021, the median price of a single-family home would be greater than $400,000. But Nevada’s Multiple Listing Service reports the median price in Vegas exceeded $405,000 in July. But the market is not a bleak one, Martinez said. While some suggest that $405,000 will price some median wage earners in Las Vegas or Millennials, who are waiting longer to buy, out of the housing market, Martinez said this scenario simply isn’t true. 

Investing in one’s future by buying real estate is always a prudent move, he said. “Prices are jumping in Las Vegas, there’s no doubt about that. But if three friends buy a $400,000 house and put down a saved-up for $20,000 FHA or conventional down payment, with taxes, insurance and other fees they’d be paying about $1,992 each month. Divided three ways, that’s $664 each, which means they’d actually be saving money and being better prepared for their futures because they could do anything with that investment; sell it, rent it, etcetera,” Martinez explained.

The National Association of REALTORS reports that existing home sales rose 2 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual rate from June to July, with no region showing any sales decline. The median existing-home sales price rose at a year-over-year pace of 17.8 percent.
The Las Vegas housing market might seem at first to be just a good deal for homeowners selling their property, but it’s a great market for all comers.

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