Las Vegas home sales hit five-year high in March: DataQuick
Las Vegas area home sales rose in March from a year earlier, when the homebuyer tax credit was in place, to a five-year high.
Almost 5,000 homes sold in the Las Vegas metro area during the month, the highest volume since March 2006, according to DataQuick. Sales were up a staggering 27.3% compared to the month prior and up 1.6% compared to a year earlier.
The San Diego-based research firm said that "unusually strong" demand came in the distressed properties sector, as activity among investors, cash buyers and others targeting properties less than $100,000 increased. In March, 54% of all homes were purchased with cash, up from 47.7% in March 2010. The median sale price for cash transactions was $88,450.
DataQuick believes the trend toward more cash purchases reflects the effects of tighter lending standards as well as a preference among buyers to invest their cash in real estate as opposed to other investments.
New home sales suffered because of dominant buying of distressed properties, dropping 17.9% to just 446 homes during March. Resale condos fared much better, selling about 1,000 units at a median price of $60,000.
Driven in large part by distressed sales, home prices in the Las Vegas metro plummeted to $117,000, the lowest level since January 1996. Distressed sales accounted for 69% of all market transactions, with foreclosure resales accounting for 57.3% share of the resale market and short sales accounting for 11.7% share.
DataQuick reported a sharp rise in the number of foreclosed properties in March. Lenders foreclosed on 3,331 single-family homes and condos during the month, up 41.6% from February and up 52.1% from March 2010.
DataQuick just completed the acquisition of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Property Information Group, which includes MDA Lending Solutions and DataQuick Information Systems.
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