Las Vegas has the highest foreclosure rate of any metro in the country, but lenders there have become more willing to accept short sales as an alternative to[IMAGE]foreclosure. The ""Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors"":http://www.lasvegasrealtor.com (GLVAR) reports that 21.1 percent of all existing-home sales in the area last month were short sales.
The association's short sale figures represent a 2 percent increase from the previous month. Rick Shelton, GLVAR president and a local Realtor, called the increase in short sales ""one of the more promising trends"" for the month, particularly because it was coupled with a decline in sales involving foreclosed homes.
Shelton said bank-owned homes accounted for a decreasing percentage of all local home sales, dropping from 60.1 percent in December to 57.4 percent of all sales in January.
Overall, GLVAR's local housing statistics showed that 2010 started looking very much like the end of 2009, with local home prices staying about the same and home sales increasing from the previous year.[COLUMN_BREAK]
During January, GLVAR reported the median price of single-family homes sold in Southern Nevada was $134,925, down 0.8 percent from $136,000 in December. The median price for condos and townhomes increased 5.7 percent, from $65,300 in December to $69,000 in January.
According to the GLVAR, the total number of local homes, condominiums, and townhomes sold in January was 3,266, down from 4,196 total sales in December 2009, but up from 2,664 in January 2009. Shelton said this decline in total sales from December to January was expected since it occurs nearly every year in Southern Nevada during these months.
The percentage of local homes purchased with cash during January was 45.5 percent, up from 40.4 percent the previous month and the highest such percentage ever tracked by GLVAR.
While the indicators point to improvements in Las Vegas' market conditions, it still carries the label of the country's most foreclosure-ravaged city, and has for some time now. But with short sales gaining ground in the area as a viable alternative for both lenders and distressed homeowners, perhaps that stat too will soon improve.
""The Five Star Institute"":http://www.fivestarinstitute.com (FSI) will be hosting a ""Short Sale Summit"":http://www.fsishortsalesummit.com in Las Vegas on March 12 as part of its West Coast 2010 Spring Training. The day's full agenda will be dedicated to the ins and outs of short sales, and upon successfully passing a course exam, attendees will receive The Five Star Short Sale Certification.
In addition to the full-day summit on short sales, ""FSI's 2010 Spring Training"":http://www.fivestarinstitute.com will be held on March 10, 11, and 13, and covers such areas as building an REO business, mastering broker price opinions (BPOs), and working with the distressed borrower - all taught by instructors who are recognized leaders in their respective fields.