LAS VEGAS – Statistics released by the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (GLVAR) show existing home prices in April increased for the third straight month while the supply of homes listed for sale continued to shrink.

“This is the first time in two years that we’ve seen local home prices go up for three months in a row. It’s also the first time we’ve seen prices go up on a year-over-year basis since August of 2010,” said GLVAR President Kolleen Kelley, a longtime local REALTOR®. “Of course, this has a lot to do with our shrinking housing inventory. Based on current demand, our housing supply is down to about four to six weeks.”

The local housing inventory, which was already tightening throughout 2011, began to contract more rapidly after Oct. 1, 2011, when a new state law known as AB284 took effect, requiring lenders to prove they have all the necessary documents in place before proceeding with a foreclosure. Since Oct. 1, Kelley said there has been a dramatic drop in the notices of default lenders file to begin the foreclosure process and in the number of bank-owned homes put on the market in Southern Nevada.

Even with fewer homes to sell, Kelley said existing home sales remain ahead of the record pace set in 2011, when GLVAR reported that 48,186 existing properties were sold in Southern Nevada.

According to GLVAR, the total number of local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in April was 3,924. That’s down from 4,388 in March, but still up from 3,902 total sales in April 2011.

Compared to March, single-family home sales during April decreased by 9.9 percent, while sales of condos and townhomes decreased by 13.5 percent. Compared to one year ago, home sales were up 3.3 percent, while condo and townhome sales were down 9.7 percent. As for prices, GLVAR reported the median price of single-family homes sold in April was $127,900, up 4.0 percent from $123,000 in March, and up 2.3 percent from $125,000 one year ago. Kelley said it was the first time since April of 2010 that single-family home prices had increased for three consecutive months. Meanwhile, the median price of local condominiums and townhomes sold in April was $59,900. That’s down 1.8 percent from $61,000 in March and down 0.2 percent from one year ago. The total number of homes listed for sale on GLVAR’s Multiple Listing Service again decreased from March to April, with a total of 17,884 single-family homes listed for sale at the end of the month. That’s down 1.7 percent from 18,200 single-family homes listed for sale at the end of March and down 20.3 percent from one year ago. (more) GLVAR housing stats – page 2 GLVAR reported a total of 3,836 condos and townhomes listed for sale on its MLS at the end of April. That’s down 1.7 percent from 3,901condos and townhomes listed at the end of March, and down 27.8 percent from one year ago. As in past months, the number of available homes listed for sale without any sort of pending or contingent offer also dropped sharply compared to the previous month and year. By the end of April, GLVAR reported 4,162 single-family homes listed without any sort of offer. That’s down 15.1 percent from 4,901 such homes listed in March and down 63.4 percent from one year ago. For condos and townhomes, the 1,161 properties listed without offers in April represented an 8.9 percent decline from 1,275 such properties listed without offers in March and a decrease of 57.4 percent from one year ago. In April, GLVAR reported that 54.9 percent of all existing homes sold in Southern Nevada were purchased with cash. That’s up from 54.5 percent in March.
Meanwhile, 29.9 percent of all existing local homes sold during March were short sales, which occur when a lender agrees to sell a home for less than what the borrower owes on the mortgage. That’s up from 26.6 percent in March, but still short of the peak of 34 percent set in June 2010.

Bank-owned homes accounted for 36.9 percent of all existing home sales in April, down from 40.7 percent in March. GLVAR reported that the median price of bank-owned single-family homes sold in April was $112,500, up 6.1 percent from $106,000 in March. The median price of single-family homes sold as part of a short sale in April was $120,000, down 0.8 percent from $121,000 in March. This month’s GLVAR statistics include activity through the end of April 2012. 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 April decreased by 5.5 percent for homes to nearly $508 million. For condos and townhomes, the total value of all sales in April was nearly $57 million, down 12.2 percent from March. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in April were up 3.7 percent for homes, but down 16.9 percent for condos and townhomes.

• In April, 61.1 percent of all homes and 70.5 percent of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days. That compares to March, when 58.8 percent of all homes and 66.6 percent of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days