Investor impact wanes as Las Vegas home prices climb again

Fafie Moore, left, a Realty Executives owner/broker, and realtor Helen Riley look over a home being offered for sale in Henderson April 8, 2013.

Las Vegas home prices continue to rise as investors, lured here by the recession’s bargains, keep backing out.

The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes in Southern Nevada last month was $199,900, up 2.5 percent from May and 14 percent from June 2013, according to a new report from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

Prices haven’t been this high since September 2008, the month the national economy plunged into chaos with Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy.

Investors piled into Las Vegas and other hard-hit cities after the housing bubble burst to buy cheap homes in bulk to turn into rentals. They helped fuel the market’s recovery but, stung by those rising prices, have been scaling back on purchases, including in Las Vegas.

Locally, buyers paid cash for 34.7 percent of the used homes that sold last month. That’s down from a peak of almost 60 percent in February 2013 and the lowest share in almost five years, indicating a drop in investor spending.

“While real estate investors have played a key role in helping our housing market recover in recent years, it’s also good to see more traditional buyers entering the market,” GLVAR President Heidi Kasama said in the report.

Meanwhile, the market still has plenty of weak spots.

The pace of used-home sales is down 13 percent year-over-year, even though the number of single-family homes listed for sale without offers has almost doubled from a year earlier, to about 7,100 by the end of June, according to the GLVAR.

Real Estate