Las Vegas house prices continue to slide, down 9 percent from year ago

A foreclosed home is seen on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

Las Vegas-area home prices continued their downward trend in October, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported Monday.

In a market hit by high unemployment (13.6 percent) and an elevated foreclosure rate, the Realtors said the median price of single-family homes sold in October was $121,000. That’s down 1.9 percent from $123,400 in September and down 9 percent from $133,000 a year ago.

The median price of local condominiums and townhomes sold in October was $59,000, up 4.4 percent from $56,500 in September, but down 9.2 percent from $65,000 one year ago.

The Realtors’ report focuses on existing homes as opposed to new homes.

The Realtors also said home sales continued locally in October at a brisk pace, driven by investors buying up foreclosures, although the sales pace declined from September.

The GLVAR said the total number of local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in October was 3,881. That’s down from 4,108 total sales in September — but up from 3,385 total sales a year ago.

GLVAR President Paul Bell said the sales decline in October from September is a normal seasonal development.

“For at least the last seven years, we’ve sold fewer homes in October than we did during September,” Bell said in a statement. “But I think the significant thing here is that October sales are up substantially from last year.”

Local housing analyst and SalesTraq President Larry Murphy, in the meantime, said in his latest report on the Las Vegas market that its inventory will likely be inflated by foreclosures for some time.

“In less than four years, more than 100,000 homes in Las Vegas have been lost through foreclosure. That’s 18 percent of our privately owned housing stock: that’s nearly one home in five. And we’re nowhere near finished with foreclosures. In all likelihood, we have another 100,000 yet to go, and at the current rate, that’s another four years,” Murphy said.

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