I have been perusing through the copious sums of real estate data provided by our local MLS. Overall the market trends are looking solid. I took a look at the last three months, August through October in Clark County. The median price for a home sold excluding bank owned and short sales, was $254,000. This 3 month period produced 1875 sales. This compares to 1475 sales with a median price of $240,000 over the same period last year.
I took short sales and bank owned out because these properties can skew the figures. Often bank owned properties are trashed and snatched up by investors with all cash at prices well below market for a move-in ready home. Short sales dramatically skew the marketing time because they take months to complete. Both bank owned and short sale categories are decidedly shrinking as a percentage of the market.
Investors are finding it increasingly difficult to find homes they can either fix up and resell or purchase for rental. That market is very tight right now.
The data shows a few hidden gems. First the average price is 290k which is roughly 15% higher than the median. This indicates that the activity below the median is closer to the median, clumped up tight against the middle. The activity above the median stretches well beyond the middle into the upper end. Median means half cost more, half cost less. The idea is to eliminate skewed results from a large number of sales at the extremes. But the average is still important because it shows us where the market trend is; high, low or middle. If the average is higher than the median, like it is here; the activity in the half of sales above the median tended to be well above and/or the sales under the median were close to the median. If the average is lower than the median (this is unusual in large markets), that indicates that sales below the median often fell well below and the homes in the top half were likely clumped close to the median. When the median and average are very close it means that the bulk of sales were very clustered around the median with few extremes or there was a very even disbursement across the full range of values.
The trend now, is in the high side of the median. The bottom of the market has become so tight that most of those properties are selling in the $200-250k range. The top of the median is showing broad activity well above $500,000. This is driving the average up. This can mean many things economically. Perhaps this is indicating a vote of confidence in the local economy or real estate market as people return to upgrading their property. It could also indicate an urgency at the top of the market as loan rates remain low but prices are heading north.
Sellers with homes that are above median have an opportunity to list and get solid activity and a good offer. There is strong movement towards the middle upper price range and that was absent just a couple of years ago. 2015 has strong potential to be a great year in real estate.