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2021 was record-breaking year for sales, prices

It used to be big news when we set a record in our local housing market. Not anymore.

For more than a year, we’ve been breaking records virtually every month — especially when it comes to the rising price of homes sold here in Southern Nevada.

Then, as we turned the calendar to 2022, we broke another local housing record that had stood for at least a decade. Las Vegas Realtors recently reported that 2021 was a record year for sales of existing homes in Southern Nevada.

This sales record is especially remarkable considering it came during a global pandemic — and while local home prices have never been higher and the housing supply has rarely, if ever, been lower.

According to LVR, the total number of existing local homes, condos, town homes and other residential properties sold in Southern Nevada during 2021 was 50,010. That was the first time the association reported more than 50,000 properties changing hands in a single year. It topped the previous record set in 2011 by nearly 2,000 sales. By comparison, LVR reported 41,155 total sales during 2020.

The year also ended with another record for local home prices. LVR reported that the median price of existing single-family homes sold through its Multiple Listing Service during December was $425,000. The median local home price is up 23.2 percent from $345,000 one year ago. That tops the previous record set in November.

The median price of local condos and town homes sold in December was $242,000. That also breaks the all-time record set the previous month and is up 30.1 percent from $186,000 in December of 2020.

Of course, Southern Nevada isn’t the only place on a record-setting pace. As surprising as it seemed to most of us, 2021 was a record year for the housing market in many areas. Here are some of the national records we set last year, according to a recent report from real estate brokerage Redfin:

Record home prices

By late 2021, the median price for existing homes sold nationwide hit an all-time high of nearly $400,000. That was up more than 24 percent year over year.

Record low housing supply

The supply of homes available for sale nationwide has never been tighter, largely because of a lack of new construction, surging demand, and homeowners taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates to refinance rather than sell.

Record for how fast homes are selling

The typical U.S. home sold in both June and July of 2021 was on the market for just 15 days. That’s the lowest median number of days on market in U.S. history. That was down from a median of 39 days on market in June of 2020.

Record low mortgage rates

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit 2.65 percent during the week ending Jan. 7, 2021. That’s the lowest ever recorded. And with most experts expecting interest rates to rise this year, don’t expect to see rates that low again anytime soon.

Record demand for second homes

Demand for second homes in the U.S. nearly doubled from pre-pandemic levels. According to Redfin, demand for vacation homes has soared since remote work became increasingly common starting in the middle of 2020, “leaving many affluent white-collar workers with the ability to work from beach houses and ski chalets.” Or, I would add, from a nice new home in Las Vegas that seems like a bargain compared to what a similar property might cost in neighboring California.

Record sales for luxury homes

The typical luxury home in the U.S. sold for about 25 percent more in 2021 than during the previous year, marking record price growth.

The story has been similar here in Southern Nevada, where luxury homes continue to outperform the overall market.

In fact, 2021 set an all-time record for sales of local homes priced over $1 million — more than doubling the number of such homes sold during 2020 and tripling the number of million-dollar home sales in Southern Nevada as recently as 2018.

The good news in all this for prospective home buyers is that most experts expect things to stabilize somewhat in 2022. Most forecasts I’ve seen point to home prices locally and nationally continuing to rise this year, but at a more gradual pace than what we saw last year.

I welcome that news.

Brandon Roberts is the 2022 president of Las Vegas Realtors and broker and founder of Signature Real Estate Group. He has worked in the real estate industry for more than 25 years.

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