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Las Vegas homebuilders land higher prices but sales activity drops

Southern Nevada homebuilders keep landing higher sales prices but remain “very conservative” in releasing homesites amid material shortages and other issues, a new report says.

Builders logged 848 net sales — newly signed purchase contracts minus cancellations — in October, the lowest monthly tally since November 2020, though buyer traffic “has remained steady since mid-summer,” according to Las Vegas-based Home Builders Research.

Homebuilders’ base prices “continue to trend upward” as the $400,000 to $750,000 range now accounts for 53.5 percent of all sales activity, Home Builders Research President Andrew Smith wrote.

This marks a “complete switch” from 2020, when the $200,000 to $400,000 range accounted for 54.8 percent of sales, he added.

“Multiple builders have stated to us that buyer demand remains high and that they sell everything they release very quickly,” Smith wrote. “Due to the continued delays and other issues plaguing the industry though, they continue to be very conservative when it comes to releasing lots so that time frames can remain manageable.”

Las Vegas’ housing market accelerated this year with rapid sales and record prices, fueled largely by rock-bottom mortgage rates that have let buyers stretch their budgets. Southern Nevada also has seen more out-of-state buyers than usual during the pandemic, real estate pros have said, as people sought more space amid widespread work-from-home arrangements.

Builders have put house hunters on waiting lists, taken bids for lots and regularly raised prices amid fierce demand, supply shortages and higher costs of their own.

Overall, builders closed 9,854 home sales in Southern Nevada this year through October, up 16 percent from the same stretch in 2020, and pulled 12,481 new-home permits, up 33 percent, Smith reported.

The median closing price last month was $440,599, up 11.5 percent from a year earlier.

After a buyer signs a sales contract, it can take several months before the home is finished and the purchase can close.

Single-family houses comprise the vast majority of builders’ sales in Southern Nevada.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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