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LAS VEGAS-Local housing statistics show an increase in sales, a corresponding drop in pricing and shrinking number of listings. Condo and townhome sales in August came in at 385 units, up 35% compared to the same period last year while the median sale price fell by 35% to $123,000, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. Single-family home sales grew 93% to 2,532 units from August 2007 while the median sale price fell 30% to $210,000. Compared to July 2008, which marked the seventh consecutive month of increasing home sales, condo sales were up 7.5% and the median price was down 8.9%; single family home sales were down 1.8% and the median price was down 4.5%.

GLVAR leaders attributed these declining home prices to the unprecedented number of bank-owned properties on the market and the fact that about two out of every three homes being sold here each month are now owned by lenders. “Of course, this is great news for qualified buyers, who are finding bargains all over town,” says GLVAR President Patty Kelley. “Once we sell off this inventory of homes in or nearing foreclosure, prices will begin to increase.”

The number of condos and townhomes listed for sale in August was 5,390, which is down 2.7% from the previous month and down 13.4% from August 2007, according to GLVAR. The number of single family homes listed came in at 23,423, a 3% decrease from the previous month and a 6.7% decrease from August 2007.

The total value of condo and townhome sales in August was $63 million, down 23.6% from July and down 18.2% from August 2007, according to GLVAR. The total value of single-family home sales was $636 million, down 3.6% from July and up 26.3% from August 2007. As for sales efficiency, 66.5% of all single-family homes and 57.9% of all condos and townhomes sold within 60 days, up from 60% and 57.3% in the previous month, respectively.

As of Friday, the total number of resale homes on the market (condos, townhomes and single family homes listed with Realtors and posted in the Multiple Listing Services) came in at 21,928, according to Applied Analysis, a locally based business research and advisory firm. Current inventory levels continue to slant toward investor/speculator units with 64.8% of supply consisting of tenant-occupied units and vacant homes. The balance of properties (7,719 units representing 35.2% of inventory) are occupied by their owners in hopes selling before vacating.

Compared to the same week of the prior year (the first week of September 2007), listings are down 6,864 units, or 23.8%, according to Applied Analysis. During the past year, the bulk of the decline in inventory was attributable to owner-occupied units, contributing 4,604 units to the overall annual decline; the number of vacant properties declined by a more modest 8.5%, or 1,117 units.

The number of units in a contracted status totaled 7,320. The total comprised 4,270 units that are contingent upon some action taking place, while another 3,050 are pending, or waiting to close. Approximately 48.7% of the contingent units are identified as short sales, suggesting they may still be subject to bank approval, according to Applied Analysis. During the past 3 months, short sales represented 8.4% of all closings, while 9.8% of sales during the past month were identified as short sales.

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