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Las Vegas home sales, prices see November gains after recent slide

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Sam Morris

Home sales in the Las Vegas Valley have fallen after the expiration of a federal tax credit for homebuyers.

Updated Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 | 11:25 a.m.

The slide in home prices and sales in Southern Nevada that raised concerns a month ago about the future of the housing market has halted for now.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported this morning that November sales of single-family homes rose 6.8 percent over October and that home prices rose 1.4 percent.

That comes after October sales fell 7.4 percent from September and were down 27 percent from October 2009. November sales were down only 11 percent from November 2009, the GLVAR reported.

The median price of homes sold in November was $134,900, up from $133,000 in October. The price, however, is 3.6 percent lower than November 2009.

GLVAR President Rick Shelton called the numbers encouraging.

“This is the first time our statistics have shown sales increasing between October and November since at least 2004. We usually see a sales decline in November and through the winter months before bouncing back heading into spring.”

Sales have fallen sharply since the federal government ended its homebuyer tax credit in April. Prices have dipped as well.

But there are other ominous signs about the housing market.

The slowdown in demand is evident by the number of units without any offers. There were 12,581 homes without offers in November out of a supply of 22,624 -- 50 percent higher than November 2009. The 3,201 condos listed without offers was 75 percent higher than a year ago.

The 22,624 homes listed in November is up 8.5 percent from November 2009, while the 5,834 condos for sale is up 22 percent over that time.

Bank-owned homes accounted for 44 percent of all sales in November, the same percentage as October. Some 26 percent of sales were short sales in which the bank allows the owner to sell for less than is owed on the mortgage. That number was 28 percent in October.

The percentage of homes and condos purchased with cash rose to 47.8 percent in November, up from 46.5 percent in October.

In the townhome and condo market, the 733 sales in November were 6.7 percent fewer than October. Median prices held steady at $64,900, but were down 4.6 percent from November 2009.

The GLVAR primarily tracks sales of existing homes in Clark, Nye, Lincoln and White Pine counties.

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  1. What part of this "increase" is driven by short sales or foreclosures?

  2. Sales down 11% yoy. Prices down 3.6% yoy.
    Break out the champagne.