Real estate:

New home sales slowing but still faring better than a year ago

Roofers work on new homes at a residential construction site in the west side of the Las Vegas Valley in Las Vegas, April 5, 2013.

Southern Nevada new home sales, while faring much better than last year, continued cooling off in recent weeks as buyers faced skyrocketing prices.

Local builders sold 651 new homes last month, up 41 percent from July 2012, according to a new report by Las Vegas-based Home Builders Research.

That brings the year-to-date total to 4,264 sales, up 69 percent from the same period last year. However, weekly sales per subdivision fell to 0.5 from 1 over the past few weeks, research firm President Dennis Smith said in the report.

Sales often dip right before Las Vegas-area schools reopen after summer break, but builders have been concerned about the recent slowdown, Smith said.

The median price of July’s closings was $266,291, up 37 percent from a year earlier. As Smith sees it, many would-be buyers “are balking at the rising prices.”

When prices soar 20 to 30 percent in just six to seven months, he wrote, “there will be a point where consumers say, ‘Wait a minute, let me think about this.’ And we feel that point in time has arrived.”

Meanwhile, local builders pulled 509 permits in July for new homes, a 6 percent dip from July 2012. In total, though, they have pulled 4,384 permits this year, up 28 percent from the same period last year.