Las Vegas home sales in August fell to the lowest level in two years, according to San Diego-based real estate data provider DataQuick. New and existing home sales reached 4,270 for the month, down 0.9% from July and a 9.5% decline from last year. The figures are the lowest since August 2008 when there were 4,028 transactions, and the most-recent month is 16.6% below the average monthly total since 1994. Nationwide, home sales leveled off in August from the major drop in July, according to RE/MAX. July home sales in Las Vegas dropped 22% from June, DataQuick said. New home sales were the lowest on record for an August, dropping 6.3% from the previous month and 5.3% from a year ago. Existing home sales fell 1.5% from the previous month and remain 13% below last year. “The now-expired credits spurred many buyers to purchase homes sooner than they otherwise would have, creating a market lull in their wake,” according to DataQuick. “Sales have also suffered from a weak economic recovery, a lack of significant job growth and potential homebuyers’ concerns about job security.” REO sales, or homes that had been foreclosed within the last 12 months, took up more than half the market at 52.5% in August, up from 48.9% in July but down 68.4% from a year earlier. The median house price in Las Vegas reached $135,000 in August, up from $129,000 in July but flat with a year ago. The peak came in August 2006 when the average Las Vegas house price was $312,250. Lenders foreclosed on 2,445 Las Vegas properties in August, down 9.5% from July and 14.5% less than a year ago. The peak foreclosure levels came in February 2009 when lenders foreclosed on 3,718 homes. Of the home sales that are going through, nearly half are all-cash buyers, according to DataQuick. “Moreover, without the tax credit deadlines, only ultra-low mortgage rates are pressuring would-be buyers to purchase sooner rather than later. Some will still take their time to assess changing market conditions,” according to DataQuick. Write to Jon Prior.
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