I donâ€™t mean the side dish many of us enjoy with our meals. No, the
Las Vegas area as a buyerâ€™s market is what I mean. The days when buyers
called the shots and named their prices are far behind us, and we are
now well on our way to being a seller-dominated market.
Weâ€™ve been publishing â€œTop Dealsâ€ on our web page for many years,
sifting through the Multiple Listing Service for properties that we deem
to be good deals based on price (excluding short sales and foreclosures
from our search.) Back before the real estate bubble, we were using
$100/sq.ft. as a bench mark and came up with several hundred matches.
When the real estate market crashed, the number of properties that came
up in our searches jumped dramatically, to well over 1000. When the
mortgage robosign fiasco arose and many banks temporarily halted
foreclosure procedures, the numbers dropped by a few hundred for awhile
but began edging up again. We tightened our search criteria to limit the
area somewhat to south Las Vegas & Henderson, and reduced the price
to $85/sq.ft in order to come up with the more reasonable few hundred.
This week, when running our search, I was utterly amazed to see there
were only 42. FORTY TWO! Just for the heck of it, I expanded the search
to our original $100/sq.ft over the entire Las Vegas area, and found
563. Although Iâ€™ve been seeing prices gradually rise and competition for
homes increasing, seeing these numbers demonstrated to me just how far
weâ€™ve come since the darkest days of our real estate woes.
The biggest challenge we Realtors sometimes face is when folks donâ€™t
realize that our real estate market can change in the proverbial blink
of an eye. Back when the real estate bubble burst, many sellers thought
they would still be able to get the fabulous prices that homes were
commanding during the height of the frenzy, and were frustrated to learn
that their homes were dropping in value rapidly. Now, we are seeing
buyers who remember the stories of homes that were selling for amazingly
low prices, tales about desperate sellers eager to accept low offers
just to get out from under their shrinking home equity. Unfortunately,
these buyers are too late; those days are over, and the numbers show it.
Buyers are returning to real estate and their eagerness for Las Vegas
homes is slowly but surely driving up the prices, along with the
decreasing number of distressed properties (ie short sales, foreclosures
and auctions) that have in the past kept home prices low.
This is not to say that itâ€™s too late to buy a home. Mortgage rates
are still near historic lows, and home prices are still dramatically
below what they were several years ago. Good deals are still around, but
those â€œscreaming dealsâ€ we used to see are becoming as rare as
snowstorms in Las Vegas in the summer. Buyers who are realistic about
home pricing are still benefiting from the comparatively low prices of
homes, especially combined with the extremely low interest rates weâ€™re
Sellers, on the other hand, are likely to be rejoicing. The market
recovery means that home owners are seeing their equity increase, in
many cases going from an underwater situation to breaking even or even
slightly ahead. And, for those who have owned their homes long enough,
prices today may net a tidy profit over what they originally paid for
If you are thinking about buying, please remember that prices are
increasing, and we donâ€™t foresee this trend to be reversing. NOW is the
time to take advantage of low interest rates and still-low real estate
prices, before both go up and home ownership becomes more costly.
If you are a home owner thinking about selling, now can turn out to
be the best time. Buyers are clamoring for homes; demand is high and
homes often sell shortly after they come on the market.
Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, give us a call and let
us show you how acting NOW in our unique market can work for YOU!