Affordability a bright spot in Dayton housing market |

Affordability a bright spot in Dayton housing market

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal

Chad Hill, of Dayton, left the renter’s world to pursue home ownership, recently closing on a house in a subdivision off Dayton Valley Road.

“I had looked in Carson City, but either homes were way out of my price range or they were junky houses, something that would take a lot of fixing up,” he said. “Homes out here in Dayton are in great shape.”

Hill, 40, works for NDOT, and said prices finally came down far enough for him to buy.

“It’s much better now that the interest rates have gone down some and you don’t get stuck in one of those ARM loans with a balloon payment,” he said.

Hill is among home buyers taking advantage of lower prices brought on by the downturn in the housing market.

Jody Foley, of Coldwell Banker Best Sellers, said both new and existing homes in Dayton are selling despite the downturn.

“There’s definitely some great opportunities for first-time homebuyers,” she said. “Homes are selling because prices are coming down and interest rates are low.”

Up to 2004, Dayton home prices were lower than Reno and Carson City, but both larger towns were within commuting distance to jobs, shopping and entertainment. There were wild horses to watch, clean air to breathe and lots of open space for recreation. If Reno’s and Carson’s prices were out of reach for a homebuyer, Dayton was a popular alternative.

Then, from about 2004-2005, Nevada’s housing market took off, and brought Dayton with it, pushing prices to starting in the high $200,000s and out of reach for many.

A credit crunch followed in 2006-2007, making home ownership harder to attain, and making Nevada the leader of all states in foreclosures.

Subdivision construction has slowed dramatically, with developers of the Riverpark, Carson River Estates, Gold Country Estates, Aspen Creek, Legado and other Dayton projects requesting one-year extensions for 2006 and 2007.

Sheena Beaver, of the Builders Association of Western Nevada, said the median price of a new home in 2006 was $269,000 in the Dayton area, and for 2007, the median price was $242,000.

“We’re still in a down market and the builders are prepared for it,” she said. “But it’s obviously a great time to buy.”

Building permit applications dropped dramatically in 2007, yet Dayton still led all the other Lyon County communities in the unincorporated areas outside of Fernley and Yerington.

Lyon County Building Department reports 171 building permits issued through Nov. 30 for stick-built, single-family homes, down from 244 in 2006 and 387 in 2005.

The next-highest number of building permits for stick-built, single-family homes went to Silver Springs, at 21.

Nick Malarchik, Lyon County Building Director, said the reason Dayton outpaced others was because developers were further along in their projects than in the rest of the county.

“There were subdivisions approved, lots were already created,” he said.

Malarchik said he is not optimistic that the building situation will improve soon.

“I don’t expect it to return to the levels of two years ago for quite some time,” he said. “I don’t expect it to bottom out and start going back up again for at least a year.”

Realtors in Dayton are more upbeat.

“I think the market is still there,” said builder and Realtor Dwight Millard, who also has asked for an extension on the final map for one of his projects. “It’s a good time for homebuyers. For the first time prices are low and interest rates are low. It’s a time to buy.”

The median sold price for Dayton homes, both new and existing, this year is $253,500, while the average list price was $262,450. According to Northern Nevada Multiple Listing Service statistics, 46 homes were sold in the Dayton area through Nov. 30, and homes stayed on the market an average of 172 days. Homes sold by owner are not included in MLS statistics.

In 2006, the median sold price was $282,500, and the median list price was $295,000, with 87 homes sold. Homes stayed on the market an average of 141 days.

In 2005, with 149 Dayton homes sold. The median sold price for 2005 was $288,950, and the median list price was $292,000. Homes stayed on the market an average of 133 days.

Foley said it does take longer for listings to sell, and sellers should be “realistic” in their pricing.

Some sellers may not be listening to that advice, as the 125 homes on the market in Dayton through Nov. 30 show the median price to be $369,900, and the average time on the market at 150 days.

The statistics on expired or withdrawn listings in Dayton show some sellers chose to wait until the market picks up.

In 2007, 80 listings expired or were withdrawn, with median list price of $417,400 and an average time on the market of 165 days.

“It’s a great time for buyers to be out there looking and buying,” Foley said. “There are good buys out there and there’s so many to pick from now.”

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.

By The Numbers

Sold Homes in Dayton

# of homes list price sold price Market days 2007 46 $262,450 $253,500 172

2006 87 $295,000 $282.500 141

2005 149 $292,000 $288,950 133

Expired or Withdrawn listings in Dayton

# of Homes list price Market days

2007 80 $417,400 165

2006 78 $398,750 110

2005 25 $399,450 86

Building Permits

Number of building permits for stick-built homes issued in Dayton:

• 2007 (through Nov. 30) – 171

• 2006 – 244

• 2005 – 387

Number of building permits for stick-built homes issued in 2007 in all unincorporated Lyon County communities:

• Dayton – 171

• Silver Springs – 21

• Mason Valley – 9

• Smith Valley – 8

• Stagecoach – 8

• Mound House – 1

• Silver City – 1