8. Las Vegas, Nev.
Even during the height of the real estate boom from 2004 to 2006, international investors were wary of gambling in Vegas real estate. In 2006, the city was only the 16th most popular locale for international money. But since the market has turned south–and projects ranging from residential complexes to casinos and offices have suddenly stalled–international investors are starting to look for big discounts.
Upbeat article about Las Vegas in yesterday’s USA Today
I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of closed sales in July:
Compare that to June’s already strong numbers and you see a nice rate of growth.
Note that none of these are from Trump or Palms Place. This is all resale.
Look at the difference between the Year-over-Year comparisons and the recent trends.
Values are dropping as well, which is cutting into many homeowners’ equity lines. The median price of a previously owned home in June was $215,100, down 6.1 percent from a year previous.
But look at the graph they printed on the same article:
Does it look like values are dropping to you? Funny, to me, it looks like values bottomed in February, and that they’ve risen in April, May, and even more (3.5%) in June.
It boggles the mind that the Times can print such misleading assessments in the face of such clear data.
Just like last month, pending sales fell in the rest of the country, prompting headlines like “Home Sales Fell More Than Expected”. However, once again, sales were up in the West:
Sales slowed to an annual rate of 4.86 million, adjusted for seasonal variables. That follows a 2 percent increase in May. Total sales are 15.5 percent below their level in June 2007.
Only the West had higher sales, reporting a 1 percent increase. Sales declined 6.6 percent in the Northeast, 3.4 percent in the Midwest and 3.1 percent in the South
A reader posed a very good question recently regarding the impact of contingent sales and what happens to inventory numbers when a contingent buyer is unable to sell their current home.
If a sale is contingent and the buyer’s current residence doesn’t sell then theoretically the house they had in a contingent contract should come back into inventory as an active listing. If this were happening a lot you’d expect to see the number of contingent units dropping over time and active inventory rising over time. While we’ve only been collecting pending and contingent data for the past few months, we’re seeing exactly the opposite so far.
Contingent sales are going up steadily, while inventory is dropping significantly. At this point in the cycle, sellers (and their Realtors) are getting smarter. If a buyer makes a contingent offer the sellers are going to make sure the buyer is being realistic about the price of the home they have to sell first.
Are there contingent sales out there that won’t go through? Sure. But the days when buyers were making contingent offers based on unrealistic expecations of the value of their homes are long over.