Las Vegas Home Sales Up Again in December

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LA JOLLA, Calif. ( DQNews) -- Las Vegas-area home sales rose year-over-year for the sixth consecutive month in December as increased activity below $200,000 continued to compensate for a decline in sales in higher price ranges. Home prices remained flat, with the overall median sale price parked at $115,000 for the fourth month in a row, a real estate information service reported.

In December, 4,823 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County). That was up 8.1% from November and up 3% from December 2010, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

In December, the number of homes that resold rose 1.7% on a year-over-year basis, marking the 12th consecutive month in which resales have posted an annual gain. It was the highest number of resales for a December since 2009, and the second-highest since 2005. December sales of newly-built homes also rose from a year earlier, by 15.6%, but were still the second-lowest on record for a December. New-home sales have risen year-over-year for six consecutive months.

Total sales in December were 9.1% lower than the average number of homes sold in that month since 1994, while resale activity (excludes new homes) was 33.1% above average for a December.

Continuing a months-long trend, December sales were strongest in the lower price ranges. The number of transactions below $100,000 climbed 17.8% from a year earlier and made up 42.0% of all deals, compared with 36.6% of all sales in December 2010. The number of December sales below $200,000 rose 4.9% year-over-year, while the number above $200,000 fell 5.1% from a year earlier. Above $300,000 sales fell 14.1% from December 2010.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metro area in December was $115,000, the same as in November and virtually the same as each month since September last year. The December median was 7.3% lower than the $124,000 median in December 2010, and marked the 15th consecutive month in which the median has fallen year-over-year.