Average home prices linger high at year’s end | NevadaAppeal.com

Average home prices linger high at year’s end

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Average home sales in Carson City for the last three months show a market that continues to sell, despite prices that encourage riskier financing methods.

The average sales price of a single-family home in November was $343,839, according to the city assessor’s office, which tracks all home sales in Carson City. A home sold for $347,540 on average in October and $357,664 in September. A local loan officer said consumers continue to take out nonconventional loans because of the higher prices.

Assessor Dave Dawley said Tuesday that the cost increase in September, which was about 3 percent higher than the average cost of a home in August, can be attributed to a $1.5 million sale of two houses adjacent to each other at the Empire Ranch Golf Course.

The Carson City housing market boom started in 2001-2002 and peaked in the first quarter of 2006 with an average cost of $348,352.

Costs have inched down from that number – but not enough for some families. The number of homes sold per month has stayed around 50 since August. The early summer months are typically a more popular time to buy. Seventy homes sold in June, when the average price was about $346,000.

Lawrance Evans, production manager and loan officer for 1st National Bank of Nevada, said new loan options have been incentives for buyers who could not normally afford the conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. New loan options, such as adjustable-rate mortgages, 40-year mortgage and interest-only coincided with the boom housing years. As demand increased when California buyers and other new owners moved into the market, so did prices.

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Evans said these loan options have been a good plan for those who buy properties to sell them again within a few months, but not for many of his buyers who are staying in the home long term.

“I’ve been in the community for such a long time and I’ve done loans three, four or five times for the same people,” he said. “When you put someone in an option ARM (adjustable rate mortgage, which changes the interest rate based on certain economic indices) most of the time they are not going to like them when the rates adjust, such as they are now.

“If you sell them a loan they don’t like, they are not going to come back to you.”

The loan officer has to pay attention to the home buyer’s long term needs. A client has to understand if and when their payments are going to increase, Evans said.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.