LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Despite a tight housing supply, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) reported on Tuesday that 2017 was one of the best years on record for local home sales and that home prices continued to increase from the previous year.

GLVAR reported that local home prices ended the year up 14.0 percent from one year ago, with a $267,900 median price for existing single-family homes sold during December through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The median price of local condos and town homes sold in December was $143,000, up 26.5 percent from the same time last year.

Chris Bishop, a longtime local REALTOR who took over January 1 as president of GLVAR for 2018, said it was a solid year for the local housing market.

“Overall, I think most people would agree that 2017 was a pretty good year for our local housing market,” Bishop said. “Homeowners and sellers enjoyed strong appreciation, and homes were selling as fast as we’ve seen in recent memory. At the same time, local home prices aren’t even close to their peak, which suggests that we still have some room to grow. Mortgage interest rates stayed relatively low. And foreclosures and short sales have become so rare that they’re really not a factor in the market,” said Bishop.

“I’d say our biggest challenge continues to be our lack of inventory. We have a local housing supply of less than two months, when we’d like to have at least a six-month supply to have a balanced market. It has been this way for the past year or so, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon,” Bishop said.

By the end of December, GLVAR reported 3,827 single-family homes listed for sale without any sort of offer. That’s down 35.7 percent from one year ago. For condos and town homes, the 656 properties listed without offers in December represented a 27.9 percent drop from one year ago.

The total number of existing local homes, condos and town homes sold during December was 3,204. Compared to one year ago, December sales were down 3.5 percent for homes and down 14.8 percent for condos and town homes.

According to GLVAR, the 46,598 total properties sold during 2017 make it the third best sales year on record and the best year for existing local home sales since 2011. The 2017 sales total exceeds the 41,720 such properties sold in 2016. Last year’s total ranks just below the 47,685 sales recorded in 2009 and the record of 48,798 existing local properties sold in 2011, when prices were bouncing along a post-recession bottom and investors were dominating the market.

GLVAR reported that 25.7 percent of all local properties sold in December were purchased with cash, compared to 28.7 percent one year ago. That’s less than half of the February 2013 peak of 59.5 percent, indicating that cash buyers and investors are still active, but playing a smaller role in the local housing market.

At the same time, the number of so-called distressed sales continues to decline. GLVAR said short sales and foreclosures combined accounted for 3.6 percent of all existing local home sales in December, compared to 11 percent of all sales one year ago.

“What a dramatic change from five or six years ago,” Bishop added. “Back then, foreclosures and short sales accounted for about three out of every four homes we sold here in Southern Nevada,” Bishop said.

These GLVAR stats include activity through the end of December 2017. GLVAR distributes statistics each month based on data collected through its MLS, which does not necessarily account for newly constructed homes sold by local builders or homes for sale by owners. Other highlights include:

*The total value of local real estate transactions tracked through the MLS during December was nearly $822 million for homes and nearly $91 million for condos, high-rise condos and town homes. Compared to one year ago, total sales volumes in December were up 10.9 percent for homes and up 9.2 percent for condos and town homes.

*Homes and condos continued to sell faster than last year at this time. In December, 79.3 percent of all existing local homes and 88.4 percent of all existing local condos and town homes sold within 60 days. that compares to one year ago, when 71.7 percent of all existing local homes and 76.3 percent of all existing local condos and town homes sold within 60 days.

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