Las Vegas new home sales slipped in November

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  • New home sales in the Las Vegas area totaled 365 in November, down from October and from November 2010 as the recession continued locally, statistics issued Friday showed.

    Home Builders Research Inc. said the November sales total was off slightly from 367 transactions in October. The 365 sales were also down from November 2010. Depending on the source of the data, November 2010 sales ranged from 391 to 414.

    For the first 11 months of 2011, Home Builders Research counted 3,520 sales locally, a decline of 30 percent from the same period of 2010.

    Sales in 2010 were inflated by a temporary tax credit and it’s expected that year-to-year comparisons won’t be so wide in 2012.

    With annual sales running at about 5,000 or less each year since 2009, no one is expecting a return anytime soon to the numbers seen during the economic boom. For Las Vegas-area homebuilders, the peak year was 2005 when sales totaled about 30,800.

    Dennis Smith, president of Home Builders Research, reported Friday that builders locally bought 250 building permits in November. That lifted 2011’s total to 3,348, down 21 percent from 2010.

    “It is truly amazing how much the new home industry has changed. Just five years ago we counted more than 23,200 new home permits,” Smith commented in one of his local monthly housing reports.

    As far as pricing, Home Builders Research said November’s median new home price locally was $204,221. That compares to $196,360 in October and was up $3,371, or 2 percent, from November 2010.

    “The last time we were able to report a year-to-year rise in new home prices was during the federal tax credit period in 2010. In our opinion, we will see a continuation of the new home median price going up and down month to month, and exhibiting positive and negative year-to-year changes during much of 2012. We are very comfortable suggesting there will not be a sustained downward movement of new home prices going forward into 2012,” Smith said in his report.

    Despite the monthly and year-to-year sales decline in November, Smith concluded that the housing industry is in better shape than a year ago and that growth in the gaming, tourism and convention sectors locally hopefully will lead to a more broad-based economic recovery.

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    1. The banks and every other lender have got to protect themselves against the draconian rules of the politicians designed to screw lenders--with the full concurrence of Mr. Smith and his cut-throat members (who have ended up cutting their own throats). How many years has Mr. Smith been repeating his mantra of "better shape"? This is what he and the politicians to whom he panders all want to hear and believe, but their taking the market in the opposite direction with their self-serving lies.

      I wonder if the Titanic captain was thinking something similar until the actual sinking! He only had a few hours. Smith and his ilk (including the press that uncritically parrots this nonsense) have had years to face the facts and take responsibility. I think I might be wasting my money subscribing to both of the so-called "business press" of Las Vegas.