2014 Northern Nevada Market Recap and 2015 Considerations

Posted by Mitch Argon / CalNeva Realty on Sunday, January 25th, 2015 at 11:23am.

2014 Year In Review - Real Estate Market Conditions

This blog post offers a statistical summary of 2014 by showing how the markets have changed from 2012, 2013, and 2014 as well as some thoughts and considerations for how our local real estate markets will perform in 2015.

The information and tables below are in summary form. To see charts of this information and more, please review The Greater Reno-Tahoe Real Estate Report.

Median Price

The median price for all local markets continued to rise for 2014 compared to 2013. The rate of appreciation slowed and the median price rose about half as fast as prices were rising in 2013 compared to 2012. The table below shows the median price trend for key local markets from 2012 to 2014 with the rate of annual growth as a percentage change.

Median Home Price 2012% Change2013% Change 2014 % Change
Reno $170,000 8% $221,000 30% $250,000 13%
Sparks $160,000 9% $199,500 25% $235,000 18%
Carson City $143,000 (1%) $175,400 23% $200,000 14%
Carson Valley $195,000 3% $250,450 28% $277,500 11%
Dayton $115,500 (2%) $139,950 21% $161,000 15%
Fernley $ 89,000 2% $123,250 38% $140,000 14%

Unit Sales Volume

While you can see the median price was at its recent low point in the 2011 and 2012 years, the number of homes sold began rising at a steady pace as early as 2008. The number of homes sold in the last few years has been fairly stable - with most markets showing moderate declines in 2014 compared to 2013. While interest rates remain historically low, the rise in home prices and weakening demand from investor/flippers are the primary factors contributing to this decline. The table below provides a summary.

Homes Sold 2012% Change2013% Change 2014 % Change
Reno 4,185 5% 4,246 1% 4,092 (4%)
Sparks 1,896 (0%) 1,821 (4%) 1,870 3%
Carson City 597 14% 602 1% 541 (10%)
Carson Valley 755 19% 756 0% 741 (2%)
Dayton 366 10% 322 (12%) 304 (6%)
Fernley 524 4% 502 (4%) 466 (7%)

The Reno, Sparks, and Dayton markets have reached or exceeded the unit sales volumes from their historical high levels in 2004 and 2005. At the same time, Carson City, Carson Valley, and Fernley have not yet fully recovered in this area. The table below shows the historical high point and the year it was recorded for each local market we cover:

Peak Volumes Homes SoldYear
Reno 4,175 2005
Sparks 1,896 2005
Carson City 751 2004
Carson Valley 1,164 2004
Dayton 288 2005
Fernley 915 2005

Sold Price to List Price

Another indicator as to how active market conditions may be is to review the ratio of sold prices to list prices as a percent. As you can see from the table below, most of the local markets had a higher percent of sold to list price in 2013 over 2014  indicating the activity levels in 2013 were stronger than 2014. At the same time, 2014 is still higher than 2012 so while price and activity is becoming more sustainable or stable, the markets remain very active.

% Sold to List Price 20122013 2,014
Reno 97.1%98.4%97.6%
Sparks 98.3%99.9%98.7%
Carson City 96.6%97.6%97.6%
Carson Valley 95.6%96.3%97.3%
Dayton 98.2%99.1%97.8%
Fernley 97.1%99.4%97.8%
Lake Tahoe 88.2%92.6%95.0%

What Might 2015 Bring?

Mixed Markets - price segmentation and field activity

It is important to note that the numbers in the tables above (and in the market report) are for each city/area and all price ranges for single family homes. When the market is divided into price segments, the statistics and resulting home buying/selling experience will vary greatly. Specifically, for lower priced homes (below the median price), the current markets are very active and buyers still need to compete with other buyers for well maintained and priced homes. This lower price segment, due to the competition, is a 'sellers market' and gives home sellers a tangible advantage. On the other hand, at higher prices in the market - especially in the range of what would constitute 'luxury homes', there are not as many buyers and it is taking longer to sell homes. As a result, the buyer has an advantage by not needing to compete with other buyers and having a larger selection of home inventory to review and choose from.

New Home Construction

I don't have specific numbers to report but new home construction has continued to rise aggressively during 2012, 2013, and 2014. Between 2006 and 2011, new home construction was at extremely low levels due to the builder's inability to compete with prices of the distressed properties (foreclosure, short sale) that were on the market during the downturn. New construction is expanding the general home inventory and supply of housing but will take a number of years to fill in the void left during the downturn. Our agents are representing a number of clients who are buying new construction.

Further Growth and Economic Activity - 2014 Carry Over

2014 was a big year for economic announcements in the Northern Nevada region. Tesla Motors' commitment to build its battery gigafactory in the region was the biggest. For more information on Tesla's factory and real estate related information, please visit our Tesla Real Estate Center. There has been a lot of press on other companies now considering relocating or expanding to this region since the Tesla announcement. Switch, a data center operator, was the most recent company to announce major expansion plans to the region. As these companies build out their facilities and fill their payrolls in the area, the economic tide will continue to rise. This diversification and expansion of business growth will bring changes to the real estate markets and living in Northern Nevada, in general.

If you have any questions from the statistics or analysis in this post, please feel free to comment or give your CalNeva agent a call.

Mitch Argon
Broker - CalNeva Realty

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