July home sales in the Las Vegas area fell 13.8% from June as political wrangling over the nation’s debt ceiling and concerns over the economy chased away potential buyers, research firm DataQuick said Friday. The Las Vegas-Paradise metro area recorded 5,262 sales in June, up from 4,535 a month earlier. Compared to last year, July sales grew 5.2%, suggesting the market maintained somewhat of a positive trajectory after the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit last year. July 2010 was the first month to post home sales figures unaffected by the tax credit program. Home sales between the months of June and July have declined 8.4% on average every year since 1994, with this year’s steeper drop tied to worsening economic conditions. New home sales reached their third-lowest sales level for the month of July this year, while resales rose 5.7% year-over-year, despite dropping 13.9% month-over-month. Investors, cash buyers and first-time homebuyers boosted resale returns for the month. Of all the Vegas area homes purchased in July, cash buyers nabbed 53% of them, up from 50.6% in June and 48.2% a year earlier. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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