Las Vegas region home sales fell sharply in October as the weak economy, job security concerns and the hangover from the homebuyer tax credit took their toll. A total of 3,961 new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metro area in October, down 7.4% from September and down 21.8% from a year earlier, according to MDA DataQuick. The San Diego-based firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records. The overall median sale price for all new and resale houses and condos in Las Vegas was $125,000 in October, down nearly 4% from $130,000 in both September and a year earlier. Last month’s sales tally was the lowest for October since 2007, when 2,952 homes sold, and it was 12.8% below the average for the month of October since 1994. On average, the region’s sales have fallen 2.5% between September and October. Sales of newly built homes fell 23.7% from September and decreased 26.2% from a year earlier, to the lowest level on record for an October. Sales of existing single-family houses fell 6.1% from September and declined 24.3% from a year ago. Resales of condos fell 3% from October and dropped 10.6% from last year. Resales of condos represented 21.9% of total sales last month. Sales are weak for a variety of reasons, including the expired federal homebuyer tax credits that spurred many buyers to purchase homes in the first half of the year, creating a hangover effect in the second half of the year. While that effect is fading, the market suffers from renewed doubts about the strength of the economy, tight credit and anemic job growth. Last month foreclosure resales — homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months — rose to 53.3% of the Las Vegas resale market, up from 51.1% in September but down from 66.8% a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 73.7% of the resale market in April 2009. The number of homes foreclosed on last month in Las Vegas increased from September but remained lower than a year ago. In October, lenders foreclosed on 2,949 single-family units in the region, up 9.8% from September but down 15.5% from a year ago. In the first 10 months of this year, 25,018 houses and condo units were foreclosed in the region, down 15.8% from the same period last year. Absentee buyers purchased 43.6% of all Las Vegas-area homes sold in October, up slightly from 43.1% in September and 41.3% a year earlier. Write to Kerry Curry.
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