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Las Vegas house prices cool off during record-breaking run

Southern Nevada’s escalating home prices took a breather in August as a monthslong streak of record-breaking property values took “a momentary pause,” a new report says.

The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes — the bulk of the market — was $405,000 last month, unchanged from the record high set in July but up 20.9 percent from August of last year, trade association Las Vegas Realtors reported.

Buyers picked up 3,210 houses in August, down 4.2 percent from July but up 10.3 percent from August 2020, and 3,256 single-family homes were on the market without offers at the end of last month, up 8.3 percent from July but down 29.8 percent year over year.

Meanwhile, houses traded hands at a slightly slower but still rapid pace, as 87.8 percent of the single-family homes that sold last month had been on the market for 30 days or less, compared with 89.1 percent of house sales in July and 61.3 percent in August of last year, according to the association, which reports data from its resale-heavy listing service.

Despite big job losses sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, Las Vegas’ housing market has accelerated over the past year with rapid sales and record-high prices, thanks largely to rock-bottom mortgage rates that have let buyers stretch their budgets.

People have flooded houses with offers and routinely paid over the asking price, and homebuilders have put buyers on waiting lists, regularly raised prices, taken bids for lots and in some cases drawn names to determine who gets to buy a place.

It has become more difficult to buy a home in the Las Vegas area, more expensive, and, some say, more unaffordable.

Las Vegas Realtors President Aldo Martinez said in a news release that after home prices set all-time highs “each month since January, expectations of this continued trend were high,” though real estate pros “always have to account for the seasonal conditions that cause pauses in our markets.”

The association noted that prices were flat last month as families “were preoccupied getting their kids in school, graduates off to college and all the seasonal reasons that cause what LVR leaders called a momentary pause while the market readies for its last surge before the expected holiday slowdown begins.”

Martinez also said that home prices have been climbing “much faster than incomes” and that this is “not sustainable over the long term.”

“Even with mortgage interest rates near all-time lows, it’s still presenting challenges for some buyers and working-class families to afford a home,” he said.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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