Reno-Tahoe Region - Real Estate Update : March, 2012

Posted by Mitch Argon / CalNeva Realty on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 at 1:55pm.

Reno-Tahoe Housing Market Update - March, 2012

Welcome to the March, 2012 market snapshot. The February/March market stats are, for the most part, a continuation of conditions we have been seeing for some time. From a 'feet on the street' perspective, all of our agents are seeing a marked increase in competition among buyers in the price ranges at $150K and below. This phenomenon, of course, leads to buyers having to pay list price or over in order to secure those properties that present the best value. Even though the market is not yet in a price appreciation mode, it feels like price stabilization/appreciation at the lower price ranges is not far off.

AB 284 Progress Update (Foreclosure Market Segment)

For more background on Assembly Bill - 284, feel free to reference previous blog posts (November 2011 Market Update). This month, you can see from the Ticor Title Washoe County Housing Statistics Summary that the trend set into motion in October of last year continues. A few key items to point out include 1) the Notice of Trustee Sale count is beginning to trend down in a meaningful way which likely indicates those properties with a Notice of Default filed and making their way through the foreclosure process are beginning to dwindle; and 2) REO Listings while trending down slightly are not materially different than where they were one year ago. If the current trends continue (and banks do not begin releasing significant amounts of shadow inventory properties), the REO Listing count will likely begin its descent during the April - June timeframe. Of course, if this does happen, the competitive nature in the market for buyers will further increase!

Below is a brief summary of each local market with year over year details:

  • Reno - During February, home sales were up a healthy 29% from February, 2011 - 325 homes sold. February's median sold home price was $150,000 - 13% below February, 2011. Reno Months of Inventory for March is at 5.5 months - 19% lower than March, 2011. Depending on the price range, you may be buying or selling in, you will experience very different market characteristics. For Reno (and Sparks) during the first two months of this year, 75.5% of all homes sold were below $200K which supports the market experiences mentioned above. On the other hand, if your price segment is $400-$600K (where 3.6% of the homes were sold), there are much fewer buyers and the market pace is much less frenetic.

  • Sparks - Sparks homes sold in February totaled 129 (down 1% from one year ago February sales); median home price equals $145,500 - no change from Spark's median home price of one year ago. Months of Inventory for Sparks is at 4.9 months, 21% lower than March, 2011. Home inventory levels for Sparks (and Reno) are also trending down (in the 2-12% range monthly) from levels of one year ago.

  • Carson City - There were 33 homes sold during February, 2012 which represents an 11% decrease from February, 2011 (This may be a bit of a hangover effect from last month's strong sales volume). Carson City's median home price was $145,000 in February - down 5% from prices a year ago. At 6.1 Months of Inventory, Carson City's key metric of buy/seller market is down 30% from one year ago and is now entering the range for more stability in price.

  • Carson Valley - Homes sold in February 2012 totaled 42 - a 2% decrease over February, 2011. The Carson Valley median home price at $193,500 is 2% below February, 2011. At 7.6 Months of Inventory (down 8% from the same time one year ago), this market is moving closer towards more stable pricing but is likely still a ways off compared to other local markets in the region.

  • Lake Tahoe - With 3 homes sold in February, the Tahoe market (Douglas County only) was 40% lower than the February, 2011 sales volume. Months of Inventory, at 17.7 months, is 48% higher than March, 2011. The median home price was $811,000. Due to the small sampling size of homes sold and the wide range of home prices at Lake Tahoe, the median price shows wide fluctuation on a monthly basis.

  • Dayton - Dayton home sales in February, 2012 totaled 23 homes - 5% more than what sold in February, 2011. Months of Inventory is at 5.6 months - 33% lower than one year ago. Dayton median home price, at $95,000, is down 32% from one year ago. Dayton inventory levels are also trending down to levels not seen since late 2009.

  • Fernley - The median home price for Fernley in February, 2012 was $74,000 - a 32% decrease over the median Fernley home price in February, 2011. This median price of $74,000 does represent a new low (last new low was January, 2011 at $76,000) for the current market cycle (2005 to current). Fernley saw 32 homes sold representing a 28% increase over February, 2011. Months of Inventory is at 5.3 months and now in the range with Reno and Sparks.

If you want more details and a monthly email reminder each month when I post up new housing trends, you can read up and/or subscribe to The Greater Reno-Tahoe Real Estate Report on our web site. NOTE: if you received an email notifying you of this month's report, you are already subscribed and do not need to do anything.

Have a question or comment on market conditions? Leave a comment below and I'll answer and/or publish your comment for others to see and/or learn from!

Mitch Argon
CalNeva Realty

Mitch Argon
Broker - CalNeva Realty

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