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Archive for January, 2010

Are we starting to see signs of recovery in the local Las Vegas housing market?

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) released its local housing statistics  for December 2009 with some interesting findings for the year.  To read the full report, download this PDF file: GLVAR_December2009_Housing Report (released 1-8-10)

According to GLVAR, sales of existing homes in Las Vegas were up 64% in 2009.  GLVAR reported 46,879 local housing sales in 2009. That represents a huge spike from 28,618 total sales in 2008 and trails only the 71,963 homes sold during the record year of 2004. The increasing sales continue to be driven by low prices.   GLVAR reports that the average single family home sold in the area in December 2008 was $204,000 in December 2008. By December of 2009, that number had fallen to $165,000.


December, 2009 saw a 9% increase in sales compared to November.  4,196 housing units sold in December alone compared to 3,843 sales in November.

One statistic that particularly stands out the in the report is that 67 percent of all current pending sales in Las Vegas are short sales – 8,935 out of 13,406.


Other recent press on the Las Vegas Real Estate Market:

Las Vegas Real Estate Posts 2009 Positives Despite Recession (1-11-10/ DSNews.com)

Las Vegas Home Sales Improve in 2009 (1-8-10 /LasVegasNow.com)

Categories : Las Vegas Market
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This Market Condition Report is courtesy of Nevada Title Company:


Overall Months Supply is 2.8 and rising at a very slow rate. The market continues “tight” overall with most of the supply/demand constriction centered in REO with 59% of demand and only 20% of supply. The percentage of the market taken by REO is declining at an average rate of about 1.8% per month. Overall, supply remains unchanged while demand declined slightly.

Prices, which were holding steady, have resumed their decline. Expect closings to remain rather steady in the current range. As far as overall prices are concerned, continued weakness is the most likely outcome. In all categories (REO, Short and Standard), current pending price is less than current closing price signaling impending price declines in the near term. The reader should take note that current Months Supply is tight, thus it is reasonable to expect rising prices. The current negative trend in price, which is running counter to supply/demand, is likely due to conservative standards applied by appraisers versus current market realities.

As a note, 34% of all closings are cash, suggesting a high level of investor participation in the current market.


Short Sale supply exceeds Short Sale demand by a factor of 6.8 (see Months Supply). Months Supply is declining in very small stepson a monthly basis. Market Speed is slow and Percent Selling depressed, while escrow inventory remains at high levels. Observe that CDOM is elevated when compared to REO/Standard. These factors continue to support anecdotal reports of an inefficient closing process. Short Sale prices are currently steady, however, future price declines are expected (see Median In Escrow Price).

Categories : Las Vegas Market
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On November 30, 2009, the Treasury Department released guidelines and forms for its new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA).  HAFA is part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

HAMP/HAFA Short Sales

Let’s discuss some of the key points outlined in these new guidelines and try to clear up misconceptions:

  1. Not all Loan Servicers have to follow these guidelines! In fact, it applies only to Servicers who have signed agreements to participate in HAMP are also required to comply with HAFA.  A list of servicers participating in HAMP is available at MakingHomeAffordable.gov.
  2. HAFA applies to loans not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which will issue their own versions of HAFA in coming weeks.
  3. Complements HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers (the current homeowners) who are HAMP eligible but nevertheless unable to keep their home.  Visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov to find out if you may be eligible for a HAMP loan modification. Basic eligibility criteria:

    • The property is the borrower’s principal residence
    • The mortgage loan is a first lien mortgage originated on of before January 1, 2009
    • The mortgage is delinquent or default is reasonably foreseeable
    • The current unpaid principal balance is equal to or less than $729,750
    • The borrower’s total monthly mortgage payment (principle, interest, taxes, insurance and HOA fee) exceeds 31 percent of the borrower’s gross income
  4. Uses borrower financial and hardship information already collected in connection with consideration of a loan modification. 
  5. Allows borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property (including the minimum acceptable net proceeds).  Hopefully this will speed up the lengthy process everyone has been experiencing for final short sale approval. 
  6. Requires borrowers to be fully released from future liability for the first mortgage debt (no cash contribution, promissory note, or deficiency judgment is allowed).  This would be some of the best news for Nevada Homeowners!
  7. Uses standard processes, documents, and timeframes/deadlines. We have not seen the forms / standards as of yet…
  8. Provides financial incentives: $1,500 for borrower relocation assistance; $1,000 for servicers to cover administrative and processing costs; and up to $1,000 for investors for allowing a total of up to $3,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders (on a one-for-three matching basis).
  9. The program does not take effect until April 5, 2010, but servicers may implement it before then if they meet certain requirements. The program sunsets on December 31, 2012.  To read the entire Supplemental Directive 09-09 – Introduction to Home Affordable Foreclsoure Alternatives

Are you a Las Vegas Homeowner facing a possible foreclosure or considering a short sale?
The Serra Group is here for your confidential, no obligation
regarding your options – there are solutions!  Call Kathryn at 702-348-7191.

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