Realtor group: Buyers, sellers ‘both in the market’

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The Carson City housing market is seeing a small spring bounce by some measures after a cool fall and winter, though the general trend is one of leveling, according to data released by Sierra Nevada Realtors.

Despite fears of an economic recession — and a repeat of the real estate crash in 2008 — foreclosures are minimal, says SNR Co-President Christie Fernquest.

“Real estate is cyclical and always has been,” Fernquest said by email. “We are simply seeing some changes not only in the real estate market, but on a much larger level, globally, etc.

“At this time, the foreclosure rate remains to be minimal; anyone who purchased with an interest rate below 4 percent really has not much incentive to sell, and rent is so high. More people are just staying put, it seems.”

As a trade group, Sierra Nevada Realtors represents six counties in Northern Nevada: Washoe, Storey, Lyon, Douglas, Churchill and Carson City. The group uses data from the Northern Nevada Regional Multiple Listing Service. Data for the month of February shows what Fernquest calls a more equal market for buyers and sellers.

“It means the inventory is low and the buyers are fewer, but they are still both in the market,” Fernquest said. “Homes are moving, just not at the same pace as this time last year. And prices have leveled off.”

In February, Carson saw 30 sales of existing single-family homes, a 41.2 decrease from the previous year but a 42.9 percent increase from January. The median sales price of an existing home was $494,000, a 1.2 percent drop from 2022 and a 10.2 percent drop from January. However, it’s an increase from the median home price of $491,750 in October 2022 and $470,000 in November 2022. In January, the median price in Carson hit $550,000, but the area only saw 21 sales, according to SNR.

“Interest rates have really played a key role in activity,” said Fernquest. “And as we know since last fall, we have really seen some changes resulting in minimal activity for buyers and an increase in days on the market for sellers.”

The median days on the market in Carson City during February — 45 days — represents a 7.1 percent increase from the prior month and a 462.5 percent increase from the previous year. According to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, many lenders in Nevada are currently offering mortgage interest rates at or below 7.125 percent.

“Buyers have more choices now and are being more selective perhaps,” Fernquest said. “Also, I think it's a bit of touch-and-go for many waiting to see what happens with the rates. And I think cash buyers are waiting to see how things correct. It is common to see buyers asking for seller concessions at closing to assist in rate buydowns or closing costs.”

Regionally, the market appears to be stabilizing. For the combined six counties, the median price of an existing single-family home was $480,000 in February, down only 5.9 percent from the previous year. The median sales price for an existing single-family residence in Washoe County was $515,000 in February, an increase of 1 percent from the previous month and a 7.5 percent drop from last year.

In Lyon County, both prices and closed sales went up month-to-month. Lyon County saw 72 sales of existing homes in February, a 105.7 percent increase from the previous month and a 20 percent decrease from the previous year. The median sales price for an existing home was $420,000, a 16.7 increase from the previous month and a 1.2 percent increase from the previous year.

Churchill County saw a small dip in the median price. In February, the median sales price there for an existing home was $332,500, a 1.8 percent decrease from January and a 6.3 percent decrease from the previous year. Storey County, in contrast, saw mixed results for the median house price of $455,000 — a 33.6 percent decrease from the previous month but a 7.1 percent increase from the previous year.

Douglas County saw sales tick up to 28 existing homes sold in February, a 7.7 percent increase from January but still a 48.1 percent drop from the previous year. The median sales price for an existing house in Douglas County also dipped to $566,250, representing a 9.4 drop from January and a smaller 5.6 percent decrease from the previous year.

Fernquest encouraged buyers and sellers to use local agents to navigate the market.

“The importance of using a local Realtor is more relevant in a market like this,” she said.

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