Review Journal Article with my Thoughts on the 2024 Housing Market

Thoughts on the 2024 Housing Market

2023 was the slowest year for home sales in the Las Vegas Valley since 2008, dropping 18 percent from the previous year. But despite that, sale prices went up. The median home price of a single-family home in December was $449,900, a nearly 6 percent increase from the same month last year ($425,000), according to the latest statistics from Las Vegas Realtors. But this down from the all-time high set in May 2022, when median home prices rose to $482,000.

A tight housing supply is to blame for current market conditions, said Las Vegas Realtors President Merri Perry, who replaces Lee Barrett as president of the association. She said she is hoping for a comeback in sales this year. “It was good to see interest rates coming back down late in the year,” Perry said. “That helps more buyers afford a home. While we still need more homes on the market, many national experts are predicting at least some increase in the housing supply as we get into 2024. That should help buyers and help us sell more homes.” December was a particularly rough month as new home listings were down 10.3 percent from November and 30 percent from December 2022, according to the latest data. However, the average list price for a house rose 1.3 percent from November and 19.5 percent from December 2022.

Jonathan Catalano, a real estate agent with ERA Brokers, said 2023 was definitely “sluggish” due to sticker shock related to interest rates, but he too has hope for a better year in terms of sales.

“I think many buyers or potential buyers remember how costly and challenging it was trying to secure any house during and after the Covid years,” he said. “And they fear this exact scenario will play out again in the near future and are making the decision to act now despite low inventory and slightly higher rates rather than battle it out with other buyers and possibly not being able to secure a house at all due to the fierce competition. I also feel that those buyers that were hoping for and waiting for that big market crash as they always are, now realize it isn’t going to happen and that values will only continue to rise in the future.”

In 2023, 29,069 existing homes, condos and townhomes were sold in Southern Nevada, down roughly 18 percent from the 35,584 homes sold in 2022. 2022 followed a record year for home sales in 2021, when 50,010 homes were sold. That was the first year the valley had recorded more than 50,000 residential property sales in a single year, beating the mark set back in 2011 by approximately 2,000 sales.

Redfin reported the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was sitting at 6.7 percent to end the year, but as Perry suggested, the online brokerage is starting to see signs that home sales may be picking up. Redfin’s national Homebuyer Demand Index, a seasonally adjusted measure of requests for tours and other services, is up 10 percent from November, to its highest level since August.

“There have been more tours and more offers on my listings since mortgage rates started declining,” Las Vegas Redfin Premier agent Shay Stein said. “It’s all about perspective: Two years ago, buyers would have cried about a 6 percent mortgage rate. Now, they’re happy they’ve dropped down to the mid-six’s.”

Courtesy of Patrick Blennerhassett at pblennerhassett@reviewjournal.com.

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