Report: Las Vegas housing market ‘stuck in neutral’

Roofers work on new homes at a residential construction site in the west side of the Las Vegas Valley in Las Vegas, April 5, 2013.

Las Vegas’ new-home market continues to slump this year, with sharp drops in sales and development plans.

Local builders sold 428 new homes last month, down 34 percent from April 2013, according to a new report from Las Vegas-based Home Builders Research.

They also pulled 596 permits, down 10 percent from a year ago.

Overall through April this year, sales are down 25 percent from the same period in 2013, and permits are down 19 percent.

The median sales price of last month’s closings was $286,506, up 20 percent from a year ago but down 4.5 percent from January.

Las Vegas’ broader economy seems to be improving, but the housing market is apparently “stuck in neutral,” Home Builders Research President Dennis Smith said in his report.

“Is there a recovery taking place in the Las Vegas housing market or not?” he asked. “In our opinion, the word ‘recovery’ is now one of those overused terms by pundits, economists, realtors, politicians and reporters. If used to describe the overall economy, then yes, the improvements are there, albeit at a much slower pace than most would like to see.”