August 28, 2018
Las Vegas home prices are growing fastest among major markets, topping long-reigning leader Seattle — but there are signs locally and nationally of a cooldown.
Southern Nevada home prices rose 13 percent in June from a year earlier, compared with a 6.2 percent rise nationally, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index released Tuesday.
Las Vegas’ growth rate led the 20 markets listed in the report, followed by Seattle at 12.8 percent and San Francisco at 10.7 percent.
Seattle had topped the list for almost two years, and Las Vegas’ rate was second-fastest the past 10 consecutive months. Las Vegas last led the index in July 2014, said Soogyung Jordan, S&P Dow Jones Indices’ global head of communications.
David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of S&P Dow Jones Indices’ index committee, said in a news release that even though prices are rising nationwide, “we are seeing signs that growth is easing in the housing market.”
According to Blitzer, sales of new and existing homes are “roughly flat over the last six months” amid reports of increased inventory in some markets.
Rising mortgage rates and higher prices are affecting affordability, he added.
Las Vegas’ housing market accelerated over the past year or so amid low availability and strong demand, but it’s among those showing signs of a pullback.
Price growth has cooled down, sales have slowed, and the industry’s biggest trade group in town dialed back expectations that prices would reach their pre-recession peak this year.
Locally, the median sales price of previously owned single-family homes in July was $290,000, up 11.5 percent from a year earlier. By comparison, the median price was up 12.7 percent year-over- year in June and 18 percent in May, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.
There are also signs that Las Vegas’ inventory shortage is easing.
Around 4,800 houses were on the market without offers at the end of July, down about 4 percent from a year earlier. But as recently as January, inventory had shrunk by 36.5 percent, the GLVAR reported.
Aaron Terrazas, senior economist with home-listing site Zillow, said in a statement Tuesday that it’s “hard not to notice the winds beginning to shift in the housing market,” but those changes have not resulted in homebuyer “tailwinds” and “likely won’t until at least the end of the decade.”