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Regional Spotlight: July Home Sales in Las Vegas Close to June’s Record Numbers

RISMEDIA, August 13, 2009 (By Hubble Smith)

Housing market conditions in Las Vegas remain softer than a week-old banana, but real estate observers are seeing more signs of recovery with each passing month.

Year-over-year single-family home sales increased for the 16th straight month to 3,738 in July, up 44.2 percent from a year ago, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.

Combined with 864 sales of condos and townhomes, July’s total was 4,602, about 100 fewer than June’s record. It’s still the second-highest monthly sales volume reported by the association.

The inventory of single-family homes listed for sale decreased 0.9 percent to 20,423 in July and is down nearly 13 percent from the same month a year ago. The number had peaked above 24,000 in 2006 when the local housing market started its collapse.

Realtors have said the number is deceiving because it doesn’t include homes that are in contract status, pending or contingent upon some other action to close escrow. Excluding those homes, inventory drops to about 12,000, roughly four months’ supply.

The association is considering revising its method of counting inventory for August, spokesman George McCabe said.

The median home price tracked closely with June, declining 0.9 percent to $138,800 in July. For condos and townhomes, the median price increased 1.5 percent to $67,000.

Realtors association president Sue Naumann said demand for homes in Las Vegas remains strong and prices are staying about the same.

“I think it’s stabilizing,” she said. “It’s not the freefall we were seeing. I think people now see opportunity in the marketplace.”

She said bank-owned properties continue to drive the local housing market, accounting for 73 percent of all sales and keeping prices down. Prices are still depressed, but they’re not falling by $10,000 a month like they were in late 2008 and earlier this year.

Publish Date: 8/13/2009 12:00:00 AM