A new report from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors showed that the median price of an existing single-family home in the Las Vegas valley was $185,000 last month, which is up over 23% from January 2013. Condominium and townhome prices are up by nearly exactly the same amount, increasing from $75,000 to $96,000 in the past year.
The report also highlighted a few significant changes in the local market, including a switch from “distress” sales to traditional sales in which no banks are involved. In 2013, traditional Las Vegas home sales increased by 25% compared to 2012.
This report reminds home owners that they now may have the option of the traditional sale. With home prices increasing at this magnitude, these folks went from being in a position where a possible short sale or loan modification may have been their only option to now actually being able to sell the property and walk away with money in their pocket.
They’re no longer a prisoner of being “upside down” in their home loan and forced to stick it out. The weight off of their shoulders should help them sleep a bit better at night!
Another plus is that interest rates are still hovering around record lows so there are buyers out there looking to buy their first home as opposed to renting. There are also situations where families that are in need of upgrading their current living conditions are able to do so now.
The report also shows that short sales have slowed down significantly in the valley, with the trend beginning even before the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act expired on December 31st. In 2013 short sales accounted for less than 10% of the overall monthly real estate transactions.
The bottom line is that home owners who have to short sell their home still can still do so. They just need to discuss tax options with a knowledgeable CPA who can assist them with taking advantage of other tax laws that are now available to off-set the loss of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act.
You can learn more about the new Vegas housing report here: GLVAR reports home prices started 2014 where they left off in 2013
LV Photo by Sarah Nichols