Tuesday, July 26, 2016 | 2 a.m.
Las Vegas homebuilders this year are selling more houses, pulling more permits and booking higher prices than they were in 2015, a new report shows.
Buyers picked up 3,422 new homes in Clark County this year through June, up 12.7 percent from the same period last year, according to Las Vegas housing tracker Home Builders Research.
The median sales price of June’s closings was $327,622, up 8.1 percent from a year earlier and back to summer 2007 levels. According to data provided by RCG Economics, the median price of new homes in Las Vegas hit a record of $338,560 in August 2007.
Builders also have ramped up construction plans, pulling 4,710 new-home permits this year through June, up 14 percent from the same period last year, the report said.
The first half of 2016 “resulted in some stronger new-home closings results than we anticipated,” Home Builders Research founder Dennis Smith wrote in the report.
A year ago, most people in the housing and lending industries figured mortgage rates would climb enough “to slow some consumer demand,” he said. Instead, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates only once and mortgage rates have fallen, suggesting the housing and lending markets “were not as solid as some at the Fed and other government agencies would like.”
Nationally, the average interest rate for a 30-year home loan was 3.57 percent in June, down from 3.98 percent in June 2015 and 4.16 percent in June 2014, according to mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac.
Meanwhile, Smith attributed higher sales prices in Las Vegas to bigger price tags: New homes increasingly are priced above $400,000, and fewer are priced below $250,000.
If more homes were priced below $250,000 and built “in decent locations, the median price would be lower,” he wrote.
Here’s a look at sales totals and prices over the years: