Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 | 5 a.m.
Condos were more popular with home buyers than houses in December last year, according to numbers released Thursday by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR), which is not surprising because they were cheaper, too.
It’s not that housing sales were bad. In fact, home sales in December increased by 4.6 percent compared to December 2015. And sales were up 1.3 percent for 2016 as a whole compared to 2015.
However, December’s condo sales were even better. They jumped by 18.9 percent compared to December 2015 and were up 12.4 percent for all of 2016 compared to 2015.
The difference may be explained by prices. The median price of a home in December was $235,000, which was 8.3 percent higher than in December 2015 while condo prices dropped by 4.2 percent in December 2016 compared to the same month in 2015.
Some 11 percent of sales in December of 2016 were short sales and bank-owned homes, down from 13.7 percent in December of 2015.
The GLVAR described the housing inventory in December as tight. There’s just more than a two-month supply of homes available when, according to GLVAR President David Tina, a six-month supply is considered to be a balanced market.
And it’s good to keep some perspective. It’s true that more homes and condos were sold in 2016 than were in the previous two years. But yearly sales are still not where they were in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.