Las Vegas housing market sees record prices, drop in sales

A home is for sale in the Centennial Hills neighborhood on Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Las Vegas. ...

Southern Nevada house sales tumbled last month as the valley’s fast-rising prices set another all-time high and borrowing costs pushed upward.

The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes — the bulk of the market — was $475,000 last month, up 3.3 percent, or $15,000, from the previous record high set in March, according to a new report from trade association Las Vegas Realtors.

Last month’s median sales price was up 26.7 percent, or $100,000, from April of 2021, according to the association, which reports data from its resale-heavy listing service.

Amid the typically busy spring buying season, 3,001 previously owned single-family homes traded hands last month, down 8.3 percent from March and 14.9 percent from April 2021.

Inventory remains tight overall but rose sharply last month as 2,441 houses were on the market without offers at the end of April, up 21.7 percent from March and 33.6 percent from April of last year, the association reported.

Fueled largely by cheap borrowing costs that let buyers stretch their budgets, Southern Nevada’s housing market accelerated last year. Houses sold rapidly, buyers paid above the asking price, supply was tight, and fast-rising prices reached new all-time highs practically every month.

‘No wonder we’re selling fewer homes’

Overall, it became increasingly difficult to buy a home in the Las Vegas area, more expensive and, some said, increasingly unaffordable, even as Southern Nevada logged a record-high number of resales last year.

House prices locally and nationally are still skyrocketing from year-ago levels, but the main fuel for the frenzy of the past year-plus, rock-bottom mortgage rates, has slipped away.

The average rate on a 30-year home loan was 5.27 percent as of Thursday, up from 2.96 percent a year earlier, mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac reported.

Mortgage rates are now at their highest point since 2009, according to Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater.

With mortgage rates climbing and inventory still low, “it’s no wonder we’re selling fewer homes,” Las Vegas Realtors President Brandon Roberts said in a news release.

‘Signs the market remains very competitive’

He added that prices are still climbing, but the growth rate is expected “to start slowing down at some point as these trends continue.”

“At least we had more homes available for sale than we had the previous month and the previous year,” Roberts said.

Nonetheless, even though prices have never been higher, sales overall are sliding and borrowing costs are rising, houses are still selling rapidly in Southern Nevada.

Among the houses that traded hands last month, 87.2 percent had been on the market for 30 days or less, up from 82.8 percent of sales in March and 81.5 percent of sales in April 2021, Las Vegas Realtors reported.

Nationally, with “home values quickly appreciating, interest rates now at their highest levels in over 10 years, and record low for-sale inventory this spring, these are not the most favorable conditions for prospective buyers, to say the least,” Dan Handy, economic data analyst with listing site Zillow, said recently.

These conditions “might be expected to drain the pool of buyers, and may still do so eventually,” he added, but there are “signs the market remains very competitive.”

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.