Las Vegas-area home sales rose to the highest level for a March in six years amid a record level of absentee purchases, the most new-home sales since mid-2010, and continued strength in the sub-$200,000 market, according to new statistics from San Diego-based DataQuick.
DataQuick reports that 5,020 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area in March, up 18.4% from the month before and up 1.4% from a year earlier. March sales were 2% above the average number sold during that month since 1994, and were the highest for the month since March 2006, when 8,486 homes sold.
In March, 4,426 homes resold (excluding newly built homes), down 1.8% year-over-year. That year-over-year decline was the first in 16 months. However, March's 594 sales of newly built homes represented a 33.2% year-over-year gain, marking the ninth consecutive month to post an annual increase and the highest new-home total for a March since 2008.
The number of transactions below $100,000 rose 5.6% from March 2011 and represented 41.6% of all deals, compared with 40% of all sales in March 2011.
The number of March 2012 sales below $200,000 rose 2.4% year-over-year, but sales above $300,000 fell 3.3% compared with a year ago, while sales above $500,000 dropped 1.2%.
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metro area in March was $115,000, up 2.7% from $112,000 in February and down 1.7% from $117,000 in March 2011. It was the second consecutive month in which the median rose month-to-month, but on a year-over-year basis the median has been falling for 18 consecutive months.