Monthly Archives: August 2015

Median Home Prices Up to $218K

Southern Nevada real estate agents say the area’s median home price has climbed to $218,000 in July.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported Monday that the median home price is up less than 1 percent from June but up 9 percent from the same time a year ago.

Association president Keith Lynam said home prices aren’t growing as quickly as they have in the past few years, but are still rising. He said it was a good sign that more homes are selling this year than last year.

The total number of homes sold in July was more than 3,800, up from about 3,300 a year ago.

Median home prices remain between their June 2006 peak of $315,000 and their January 2012 trough of $118,000.

3% Loans Make Strong Debut

Freddie: 3%-Down Loans Make Strong Debut

Freddie Mac’s new mortgage product that allows borrowers to put down just 3 percent is off to a strong start, says Freddie Mac’s Chief Executive Donald Layton.

Read more: 3% Down Payments May Be Game Changer

Layton wouldn’t provide specific numbers on the 3 percent loan performance, but he reported that the mortgage giant netted a $4.2 billion total profit during the second quarter.

Lawmakers had expressed concern about Freddie Mac’s 3 percent down payment option loans, which debuted in March, arguing that it could lead to losses at the government-backed company. The Federal Housing Administration also supports low down payment loans but requires more insurance from home owners than Freddie Mac’s.

Freddie Mac is charging more to guarantee mortgages as they gradually shrink the size of their loan portfolios.

Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, remain under government conservatorship and send their profits to the U.S. Treasury.

Freddie Mac reported that more than 40 percent of its net interest income in the second quarter was from management and guarantee fees.

By the end of June, Freddie Mac’s post-2008 business has increased to 63 percent of its single-family credit guarantee portfolio. Also, its single-family serious delinquency rate – loans that have payments late by 90 days or more — stood at 1.53 percent in the second quarter, the lowest since November 2008 and below the national rate of 4.24 percent.

Source: “New 3%-Down Mortgage Off to ‘Good Start,’ Freddie Mac Chief Says,” MarketWatch (Aug. 4, 2015)

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Las Vegas Home Prices Increase

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According to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, local home sales and prices posted double-digit increases in June compared to one year ago.

GLVAR reported the median price of homes sold during June 2015 was $220,000, up 10.1 percent from $199,900 one year ago. Meanwhile, the median price of local condominiums and townhomes, including high-rise condos, sold in June was $115,000. That was up 5.5 percent from $109,000 one year ago.

“It’s good for our local homeowners when prices are appreciating at a healthy pace like this and more homes are selling,” said 2015 GLVAR President Keith Lynam. “Of course, we still have some challenges. We’ve been dealing with less than a three-month supply of homes available for sale. That’s less than half of what we’d like to have for a balanced market. We also realize there are too many abandoned homes throughout Southern Nevada, though we see signs that banks may finally be doing more to address this issue.”

According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in June was 3,693, up from 3,274 one year ago. Compared to June 2014, 14.2 percent more homes and 6.3 percent more condos and townhomes sold this June.

Since 2013, GLVAR has been reporting fewer distressed sales and more traditional home sales, where lenders are not controlling the transaction. In June, 6.7 percent of all local sales were short sales – which occur when lenders allow borrowers to sell a home for less than what they owe on the mortgage. That’s down from 10.8 percent one year ago. Another 7.6 percent of June sales were bank-owned, down from 10.1 percent one year ago.

The median price of single-family homes sold as part of a short sale in June was $165,000, down from $170,000 one year ago. The median price of bank-owned homes sold in June was $170,000, up from $150,000 one year ago.

Lynam said short sales could still increase if Congress votes to again extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. In December, Congress voted to retroactively extend the tax break it had allowed to expire at the end of 2013 to help distressed homeowners who sold properties in 2014. Unless Congress extends this act through 2015, any amount of money a bank writes off in agreeing to sell a home as part of a short sale this year may become taxable when sellers file their income taxes.

The total number of single-family homes listed for sale on GLVAR’s Multiple Listing Service in June was 13,740, down 0.7 percent from one year ago. GLVAR tracked a total of 3,474 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS in June, down 6.5 percent from one year ago.

By the end of June, GLVAR reported 7,432 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s up 4.3 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 2,329 properties listed without offers in June represented a 0.2 percent decrease from one year ago.

GLVAR said 28.4 percent of all local properties sold in June were purchased with cash. That’s down from 29.1 in May and from 34.7 percent one year ago. It’s well short of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, indicating that cash buyers and investors are still a factor in the local housing market but that their influence is waning with each passing month.

These GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of June 2015. GLVAR distributes such statistics each month based on data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for newly constructed homes sold by local builders or for sale by owners. Other highlights include:

  • The monthly value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during June was nearly $794 million for homes and more than $100 million for condos, high-rise condos and townhomes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in June were up 23.5 percent for homes and up 13.2 percent for condos.
  • In June, 68.6 percent of all existing local homes and 66.6 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to one year ago, when 69.4 percent of all existing local homes and 67.3 percent of all existing condos and townhomes sold within 60 days.

– See more at: http://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/real-estate-news/united-states/las-vegas/las-vegas-home-sales-las-vegas-home-prices-2015-greater-las-vegas-condo-prices-greater-las-vegas-association-of-realtors-glvar-housing-report-9211.php#sthash.gjHciuoW.dpuf

Las Vegas on Top

Monopoly homes

Timing matters in life, especially when it involves one of the largest financial decisions you’ll ever make. Buying a home is no longer viewed with rose-colored glasses. The housing crisis of yesteryear shattered long-held beliefs that home values only move in one direction. If you bought right before the bubble burst, you might consider yourself an unlucky victim. However, some homeowners who bought after the meltdown timed their purchases just right.

Home prices have been surging more than three years now, creating pockets of jaw-dropping strength across the nation. In fact, national home prices are still increasing more than 6% on a year-over-year basis. In order to find which areas of the country are seeing the biggest rebound from the housing collapse, Zillow recently analyzed cities with populations over 50,000 to find the luckiest homebuyers in America. These are people who happened to buy in the right place at the right time, and are now enjoying the highest appreciation growth.

Once again, the real estate market proves it’s all about location and timing. For example, Las Vegas homebuyers who bought in 2009 are $66,043 worse off on average today than if they rented and invested in the stock market over the same time period. But those who bought a Las Vegas home three years later made $52,000 more between 2012 and 2015 than they would have if they had rented and invested in the stock market, even without the $8,000 tax credit that enticed many previous buyers.

The Golden State is home to the luckiest homebuyers in America. As the list from Zillow below shows, California is responsible for eight of the 10 cities with the highest appreciation growth. Nevada and Florida also make an appearance on the list. Interestingly, Palo Alto is the top city and the only one to make the list with a pre-crisis purchase date. The gateway to Silicon Valley has benefitted significantly from an influx of wealthy techies.

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“It’s very clear that when it comes to maximizing gains from an investment in real estate, timing really does matter a great deal,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “However, timing isn’t everything, and trying to time the market perfectly is incredibly difficult, even for professionals. There are any number of factors to consider when purchasing a home, only one of which is the potential for financial gain. Potential buyers should always place their personal needs and their family’s needs first, and make the decision to buy only when they are ready to make a significant investment of both their time and money.”