Las Vegas February 2008 Home Sales Report

March 27, 2008

The Las Vegas region's median home sale price continued its months-long descent in February, falling a record 16.7 percent from a year earlier to the lowest level since July 2004. The number of homes sold was the lowest for a February in 13 years and marked the 25th consecutive month in which sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis.

The median price paid in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County) for all homes combined was $250,000 in February, down 1.9 percent from $254,900 in January and down 16.7 percent from $300,000 in February 2007, according to DataQuick Information Systems of La Jolla, Calif. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

The median sale price has fallen on a year-over-year basis for 10 consecutive months and is now 19.9 percent below the region's peak $312,000 median reached in November 2006. December's median was the lowest since it was $245,000 in July 2004.

Another gauge analysts track shows greater price weakness in the Las Vegas market: The median price paid per square foot for resale houses fell to $132 in February, down 27.5 percent from a year ago and nearly 31 percent below the $190 peak in June 2006.

About 52 percent of Las Vegas area homes resold in February had been foreclosed on at some point since the beginning of last year. Generally, as more of a housing market's sales become stressed, meaning the homes are sold following a foreclosure or under threat of foreclosure, the greater the price declines. The percent of homes reselling in February that had been foreclosed on since January 2007 also was close to, or above, 50 percent in some California markets hard hit by foreclosures, including Sacramento, San Joaquin and Riverside counties.

A total of 2,591 new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas area in February. That was up 3.2 percent from 2,511 in January but down 29 percent from 3,651 in February 2007. That 29 percent annual decline in sales was the smallest drop since sales fell 28.6 percent on a year-over-year basis in November 2006. The region's February sales were the lowest for that month since 1995, when 1,903 homes sold.

Purchases financed with jumbo loans over $417,000 represented 3.6 percent of all transactions in February. Before the credit crunch hit in August last year, making jumbo loans costlier and harder to get, about 12 percent of all Las Vegas area sales were financed with jumbo mortgages.

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916)456-7157 or John Karevoll (909) 867-9534

Copyright 2005 DataQuick Information Systems. All rights reserved.

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