Overall September home sales in Las Vegas reached a higher level than in August, a feat unseen in 15 years, according to San Diego-based mortgage information provider MDA DataQuick. The median sales price held at $130,000 for the third consecutive month as the market continued to work through foreclosures. The median fell by 36.6% from $205,000 a year earlier, according to the report. In September, 67.1% of resold homes in Las Vegas had foreclosed in the previous 12 months. The foreclosure portion of the market dropped from 68.4% in August, but stayed above 63.1% in September 2008. REO sales spiked in April of this year at 73.7%, DataQuick said. A total of 5,014 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in September, a 6.3% jump from August and a 17.3% hike from last year. It was the highest sales total for a September since 2006 when 6,088 homes sold, according to the report. The sales gain in September, which followed a sharp and unusual drop from July to August, is likely caused from three factors. Short sales are growing in popularity, but they take longer to close escrow. That means the deals struck in the middle of the summer closed in September when more traditional sales would have closed in August, according to DataQuick. The report added that low mortgage rates and buyers scrambling to take advantage of the federal tax credit for first-time buyers also explains the strong finish to the summer. Write to Jon Prior.
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