Las Vegas home prices climbing again; short sales tapering off

A house is shown for sale in Henderson.

After a brief dip, Las Vegas home prices are back on the rise.

The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes last month in Southern Nevada was $195,000, up 1.6 percent from April and 14.7 percent from a year ago, according to a new report from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

Home prices are back to March’s levels after slipping 1.5 percent in April — just the third time in more than two years that prices fell month-to-month.

“We’d still like to see more inventory in our housing market, but at least we sold more homes in May than we did the previous month,” GLVAR President Heidi Kasama said in the report.

A total of 13,637 single-family homes were up for sale on the GLVAR’s listing service by the end of May, down 1.4 percent from April and 1.3 percent from a year earlier. Some 3,450 used homes were sold last month, up 7 percent from April but down 11 percent year-over-year.

Meanwhile, short sales and sales of bank-owned homes, two staples of the housing market’s collapse, continue to become less common.

Just 7.9 percent of used-home sales last month were short sales — in which banks agree to sell a house for less than what’s owed on the mortgage — down from 12.4 percent in April.

Another 9.1 percent of last month’s deals were sales of foreclosed properties, down from 11.4 percent in April.

Both types of deals comprised almost half the market in recent years.

Short sales have plunged in volume largely because rising property values have lifted thousands of homeowners out from being underwater and eliminated the need for lender-approved short sales.

Additionally, sales of bank-owned homes have been phased out in large part by state legislation that drastically slowed the foreclosure process after the market crashed.

Real Estate