The latest housing reports for Washoe County are posted here: http://centerforregionalstudies.org/about/what-we-provide/home-sales-activity/housing-sales-report/
Looking at the new home sales for September, the actual number of units sold (18) is really low, down 64% from last year and down 5% from August – but the median sales price of those few units was up quite a bit from last year (and last month). There isn’t much activity in the new home market right now, but the average transaction price is so much higher than it is for existing homes that it makes me think that people buying new homes are clearly willing to pay a premium for a home that they don’t have to negotiate with the banks for, which is the case with over 60% of the existing homes on the market.
For the third quarter as a whole, new home sales were down 72% from 2q, and down 59% from a year ago with only 59 new home sales…at that pace, the area would only absorb 236 homes in a year compared to 3-4,000 in the market’s “normal” years. There’s virtually no demand for new housing right now, not that it should be a surprise to anyone.
EXISTING single family home sales, though, have really faltered in the 3rd quarter after posting such solid gains over the past couple of years. Existing SF home sales were down 14% in the 3rd quarter compared to 2q10, and down 11% compared to 3q09…that’s a fairly pronounced slowdown in the market. Overall, though, sales of existing SF homes is still up 10.5% in 2010 from last year, but we’re definitely seeing the market cool off this fall. The median sales price of all existing SF homes sold in 2010 was $172,500, which is 7% lower than it was during the first three quarters of 2009. Prices are still dropping, but not as rapidly as they once were.
For new condos, the sales pace is even slower…just 51 new condos have been sold in 2010, which is 41% lower than in 2009. The median sales price of those units is flat, which is somewhat promising, but there isn’t much activity in this part of the market. Existing condo sales are way up though – up 61% in 2010 through September – but with a median sales price of only $75,000, this is clearly a bargain hunter’s market. 980 existing condo units sold in the first three quarters of 2010.
With fall upon us, the summer buying season behind us, and the economy still struggling to regain some lost ground, I don’t expect the 4q10 numbers to show much improvement in this market.