Business Services GroupThe Center for Regional Studies serves the State of Nevada with data and market analyses designed to help a business select a location for operations, understand current market trends, and predict where the local economy is headed.

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Washoe County Year End 2011 Housing Data...

The year-end home sales and foreclosure data has been compiled and posted to our website, and there was some good news amid the rubble.  Existing single family home sales peaked in 2005 at just over 5,800 units, but it took a few years before the glut of foreclosures and short sales began to flood the market.  With prices tumbling and inventory rising, it set the stage for investors to re-enter the market – and I say “investors” because, for the most part, they were the only ones in a cash position able to take advantage of the deals being offered.  Existing home sales began rising from the depths in 2009 and have steadily increased since – and 2011 was a banner year for existing home sales with over 6,100 single family unit sales (up 11% from 2010). Notice that unit count is even higher than it was at the peak of the buying frenzy.  The difference, of course, is that prices have continued to fall since the end of 2005, although it appears as if we might finally be getting close...

Thoughts on 2011 Housing and the Coming Year...

My outlook for the residential market in Washoe County in 2012 is pretty bleak.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I just do not see much in the data that gives me hope that 2012 will be significantly different than 2011. In 2010, new home sales sunk to their lowest level in decades — barely 500 new homes found buyers last year and it was a disaster for most area home builders.  In 2011, the pace has been even worse and we’re on track to close less than 400 new units.  The problem with new homes is that they are competing in the marketplace for the same tiny pool of qualified buyers, and most of the buyers in today’s market are purely looking for the best deal.  New homes are unable to match the bargain basement prices of existing homes — over 60% of which are being sold in distress.  Also, investors comprise a rather large proportion of today’s buyers, so for them it makes more sense from a cash flow standpoint to focus on picking up a bank owned...

Washoe County Home Sales Data through June 2011...

The Center for Regional Studies has [finally] updated the website with all of the latest home sales and foreclosure data for Washoe County through June 2011! So how has the area’s housing market been doing this year?  Pretty horribly, thanks for asking.  Overall sales of new and existing homes for the first half of 2011 were down 3% from the the first half of 2010, and the overall median sales price declined another 11%.  You’d think we would all be used to seeing these kinds of drops, but it still stings.  New single family home sales dropped 30%, but the median sales price actually posted a 10% increase compared to last year…Washoe County is on pace to close barely 400 new home sales in 2011, which is by far the worse sales rate seen in decades. Home foreclosures are up in 2011, but the leading indicators — Notices of Default and Notices of Trustee Sale — have both been trending DOWN this year.  One way to interpret this data is that banks are finally...

Corrected Year-End Home Sales Data for Washoe Coun...

The Center For Regional Studies has finished re-uploading all of the corrected home sales and foreclosure data to its website, and comparisons with previous year’s data aren’t flattering.  New single family home sales, in particular, suffered through a horrible year in Washoe County with a sales rate of just 1/4 of its “normal” pace.  The median sales price of new single family homes slipped another 11% in 2010 to just $221,450 — a 48% decline from the market’s peak.  Existing single family home sales managed to increase 2.8% in 2010 while the median sales price dropped another 7% to $171,900, largely a result of short sales and bank owned homes flooding the market.  With the “distressed” market losing steam, though, it will be interesting to see how the numbers shape up in early 2011. Interestingly, existing condo sales were a bright spot in 2010 with nearly1,300 unit sales during the year — a 38% increase from 2009 and...

October 2010 Unemployment Rates by County...

The latest unemployment data for Nevada is posted <<here>> , and news isn’t very good for the Silver State.  Nevada still leads the nation in unemployment, with a 14.2% rate when adjusted for seasonal effects.  While most of the urbanized areas of Nevada have been suffering through record-high unemployment, some of the more rural parts of the state which depend heavily on mining to pay the bills have been weathering the storm comparatively well.  Only in the context of 14+% unemployment does 7-10% look favorable, but such is the case for Nevada these days…

3q2010 Home Sales Data for Washoe County Now Onlin...

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...

MLS Home Resales, Active Listings, and Distressed ...

We have added a new section to our website which contains several reports detailing Washoe County’s home resale market using MLS data (as opposed to the assessor’s data used for all of our other housing reports).  The advantage of using the MLS data for these reports is that it allows us to look at a completely different set of variables than what the assessor captures, including the number of short sales, the amount of time homes spend on the market, the type of financing used, the active listing statistics, and the inventory of distressed housing on the market. <<CLICK HERE>> to access the new pages on the site, and make sure you’re subscribed to our RSS feed to receive notification of our updates!

2nd Quarter Economic Indicator Report completed...

The Center for Regional Studies has completed the 2nd quarter 2010 Economic Indicators Report and posted it to the website. There have been some positive indicators in the economy of the past few months, which is VERY good news after the past few years of nearly continuous doom and gloom.  The chart below gives a summary of the major indicators, which is also included on the full report located on our site: Be sure to subscribe to our website using the RSS feed to stay current on Northern Nevada’s progress!

July Home Sales — Yikes!...

The Center for Regional Studies has just completed the July 2010 home sales and foreclosure statistics for Washoe County, and the news isn’t great.  Given that the rest of the economy is still a mess, this shouldn’t come as a surprise…but if there’s anyone out there who still thinks that housing is going to lead us out of this mess, perhaps they should take a closer look at the numbers.  In July, the sales and foreclosure numbers were almost uniformly bad — fewer sales of new and existing homes, falling prices, more foreclosures, more Notices of Default (NODs) filed…you get the picture. Looking at the cumulative numbers for the first seven months of the year relative to last year, the news was a little more encouraging: Sales of existing single family homes for the first seven months of the year were up 18% from last year, and sales of existing condos were up 75%.  There ARE sales occurring, although prices have yet to bottom out in this market and...

2q10 Housing Reports are Completed!...

The Center For Regional Studies has just completed the second quarter housing reports for Washoe County.  Builders have been slowly working their way through the stockpile of finished units, and there were less than 1,200 units in “standing inventory” at the end of June (including model homes). Each quarter we are seeing more and more tentative maps expiring — these represent units that were approved in the past few years but, due to the economic downturn, builders have not been able to bring these units to market within the allotted time frame.  Seeing as there are still over 31,000 approved-unsold units in the Truckee Meadows, this trend in tentative map expiration will likely continue for some time. To put that in perspective, there were less than 1,000 new homes sold in 2009, and 2010 is carrying on at a similar pace.  The sheer volume of approved-unsold units in the area tells me that builders are going to be extremely cautious before attempting to add to that...

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