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Low Inventory Sends Many Buyers to New Homes by Andy Karpf

Extremely tight housing inventory is driving more homebuyers to look at purchasing new homes, even though the gap between new and existing home prices remains far above what it was during the normal years according to Dennis Smith, Las Vegas housing analyst.

In July of the year, 462 new home sales occurred bringing the total for this year to 2,717, which is a 26% increase from a year ago.  Smith indicates that he has never seen such a quick change in supply and demand as has taken place in the Las Vegas Valley over the past few months.  He said that the irony of having virtually no inventory of new or resale homes, yet thousands of homes sitting empty or in limbo with no payments being made is unmatched.

With the bank foreclosures still going very slowly due to AB284 and Nevada’s own robo-signing law, the inventory level is still very low and experts remain divided on when there will be a remedy.  Some feel that things will loosen up after the first of the year while others feel that we have at least of year to go.

The gap between a new and a resale home remains very high.  In July the median price for a new home was $194,270, which is $71,770 more than the median price for a resale.  A normal gap would be in the $25,000 – $30,000 range.

The resale monthly count remains strong with 4,043 sales in July.  The year to date total is up 11% to 29,669.   The median resale price also rose for the fifth straight month and is up 11.4% from a year ago.

Builders are moving at a faster rate this year as well.  They pulled 543 new home permits in July, which is nearly twice the 287 permits that were pulled in July 2011.  For the year, the permit count has increased 49% to 3,437.

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