The housing market is picking up across the Las Vegas Valley, Realtors say. ( Steve Marcus )
By Eli Segall, Vegas Inc. and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Las Vegas Valley home values have sunk as low as they are expected to go and are poised to rise faster locally than nationally.
That’s according to Zillow, the national realty research firm. In a report published Tuesday, the Seattle-based company said Las Vegas area median home values hit bottom in the quarter ending March 31, falling to $111,500, and are expected to rise 1.4 percent from June’s median of $114,800 to $116,407 over the next year. Home values nationally are expected to rise 1.1 percent during that same period, to $150,942.
The region’s home values have climbed for four consecutive months. The last time that happened was from January to April 2006.
Other real estate markets that got slammed during the recession also are projected to soar in the coming year. Home values in Phoenix, for instance, are expected to rise 9.9 percent while the Miami area is forecasted to jump 6.1 percent, according to Zillow.
All told, national home values are believed to have reached bottom, and 43 percent of the markets covered by the Zillow Home Value Forecast are expected to see rising home values over the next year.
The real estate market in general is facing an inventory shortage, said Svenja Gudell, senior economist with Zillow. There are not a lot of homes for sale, so buyers are paying more than list price, and many homes are getting multiple offers.
“It’s going on in a lot of markets,” including Las Vegas, Gudell said.
The valley’s real estate market continues to have a range of problems. Gudell said median home values are down 62 percent from their peak in April 2006. Rents fell 2.9 percent this past year while almost 63 percent of all homes sold last month were sold for a loss.
In addition, 36.1 percent of all June sales were foreclosure resales, in which the lender sells a property after foreclosing on it. By comparison, foreclosure resales across the country made up 15.6 percent of all sales, according to Zillow.
As of this spring, 1 in 4 homeowners in the Las Vegas Valley owed more than double what their houses were worth, Gudell said. She described that figure as “astonishing.”
Zillow’s report comes a few weeks after Clear Capital, a realty data tracking firm in Truckee, Calif., projected that Las Vegas area home prices would rise 9.3 percent by the year’s end.
And last week, Dennis Smith, president of Home Builders Research Inc., said there were 438 new-home sales in the region in June, up 21 percent from a year earlier. However, the median price last month was $194,490, down 3 percent from June 2011.