MDA DataQuick Reports On Vegas MSA

Foreclosure resales, meaning those homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months, continued to wane in the Las Vegas market in December 2009, but still accounted for 63.3% of transactions during the month, reports MDA DataQuick. That was down from 64.2% in November 2009 and down from 68.9% in December 2008. Foreclosure resales peaked in April 2009 at 73.7% of the region's resales, and have since declined each month.

A total of 5,316 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County) in December 2009 – up 11.1% from November 2009 and up 33%Â from a year earlier. A sales gain between November and December is normal for the season, with an average gain of 12.6 percent since 1994, when DataQuick's complete Las Vegas region stats begin.

December's sales total was the highest for that month since December 2006, when 5,780 homes sold. December marked the 16th consecutive month in which total sales have risen on a year-over-year basis.

Sales of homes priced below $200,000 made up 77.1% of all December transactions, compared with 76% in November and 58.3% in December 2008.

The number of houses and condos that resold (excludes new homes) in December 2009 rose to 4,722 – the highest level for a December since 4,739 resales in December 2004. Resales have risen on a year-over-year basis for 20 straight months.

On the foreclosure front, public filings that indicate how many homes were lost to foreclosure rose slightly in December 2009: 2,114 single-family house and condo units were foreclosed on in Clark County, up 4.5% from November 2009 but down 24% from December 2008. The December 2009 total was 43.1% lower than the monthly peak of 3,718 foreclosures in February 2009.

Foreclosure filings have seesawed month-to-month over the past year, DataQuick points out, adding that single month's rise or fall doesn't necessarily indicate a new trend. In all of 2009, the number of homes foreclosed on rose 9% from 2008, but in the second half of 2009, foreclosures fell 1.7% below the same period in 2008. The foreclosure figures are based on the number of trustees deeds filed at the county recorder's office.

In December, Federal Housing Administration loans accounted for 49.8% of all home-purchase loans. Absentee buyers purchased 40.3% of all Las Vegas-area homes sold in December – up from 36.3% in November and up from 31.3% a year earlier. Absentee buyers are often investors, but can include second-home buyers and others who, for various reasons, indicate at the time of sale that the property tax bill will go to a different address.

Buyers who appear to have used cash to purchase their homes accounted for 45.5% of all December 2009 sales – up from 42.9% in November 2009 and up from 32.6% a year ago, based on an analysis of public property records. The median price paid in these seemingly all-cash deals in December was $100,000. Specifically, these were transactions where there was no indication of a purchase mortgage recorded at the time of sale.


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