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Las Vegas Home Foreclosures Finally Bow to Traditional Sales

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Sales of Las Vegas home foreclosures bowed to traditional home sales for the first time in 20 months in January this year, based on a report from Las Vegas real estate firm SalesTraq.

Since June 2008, foreclosure sales have been dominating home resales in the Las Vegas area. In January, foreclosures finally yielded. Sales of nondistressed homes shot up and accounted for 53 percent of all home resales. The rest, 47 percent, were foreclosures sales.

The total of real estate-owned homes in January this year also decreased from 2,367 units in January 2009 to 1,351 units.

However, according to SalesTraq, distressed sales still dominated the Las Vegas housing market, with sharp increases in short sales. Their sales prices, which ranged from $120,000 to $125,000, will continue to hold back home prices in the metro area, according to SalesTraq researchers.

A total of 3,429 pre-owned homes were sold in January, an increase of more than 24 percent from January last year. The median sales price for bank-owned homes was $115,000 while the median price for nondistressed pre-owned homes was $125,000.

All in all, the median sales price for existing homes fell by 20 percent from January 2009 level to $120,000, the price level that held steady since April 2009.

Las Vegas home foreclosures continued to put a heavy downward pressure on new homes, limiting the sales price median for new homes in January to $200,716, still lower by 14.3 percent from the $234,173 median in January 2009. Only 240 new housing units were sold in January.

Dennis Smith of the Las Vegas Home Builders Research said the home construction industry is still struggling and has been relying partly on government assistance programs to survive. Only 380 new home building permits were issued in January, the same low level of permit application since July 2008.

Smith acknowledged that the resale subsector of the housing market had been the main mover of the residential property market over the past year. He also reported that that 3,111 units of existing homes were sold in January, an increase from the 2,536 units sold in January last year.

In contrast, Smith said, sales of new homes accounted for only 10.5 percent of escrows in 2009, a sharp drop from the 41-percent share in 2000.

According to SalesTraq, the pace of home foreclosures in Nevada will continue to step up this year, with Las Vegas home foreclosures expected to reach 25,000 units in 2010.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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