Las Vegas region home sales held at a five-year high in March amid unusually strong activity among investors, cash buyers and others targeting sub-$100,000 homes. The median sale price fell as foreclosed properties accounted for a higher share of the resale market, a real estate information service reported. In March, 4,953 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County) - the highest sales tally for any March since 2006, when 8,486 sold. March sales were up 27.3 percent from February and up 1.6 percent from March 2010, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.
The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records. On average, the region?s sales have risen 29.0 percent between February and March since 1994, when DataQuick?s complete Las Vegas region statistics begin. March?s sales total was 0.1 percent higher than the average number sold in March since 1994. Total March sales have risen year-over-year for three consecutive month, mainly because of robust investor and cash-only purchases. In March, 54.0 percent of all homes sold were purchased by cash buyers, down from a record 56.7 percent in February and up from 47.7 percent a year earlier.
The unusually high level of cash buyers reflects a combination of factors, including: Tighter lending standards that force some investors and other buyers to pay cash if they?re able; cash buyers? ability to move to the head of the line with sellers when there are multiple offers (sellers like the speed and certainty of cash deals); a preference among some to invest their cash in real estate as opposed to competing investments; retirees or those close to retirement who downsize, selling a more expensive property and paying cash for the retirement home.