Friday, April 24, 2009

Bargain Hunters Heat Up Vegas Home Sales

More interesting than national numbers on sales of existing homes, both primary residences and second homes, is the growing appetite among shoppers in snapping up foreclosed properties at fire-sale prices.

"Homebuyers shrugged off economic worries and pounced on sharply discounted foreclosed homes in California, Nevada and Arizona, driving up sales last month across the West, according to two reports," the AP reported yesterday.

But the median price for these homes sold in the 13-state West region was down 11 % to $252,400. The red hot center for sales: Las Vegas, which in March saw its median home price fall "about 42 percent to $135,723."

No surprise here. Investors with cash see rock-bottom prices as a chance to take advantage of the opposite end of the Vegas home-building boom. One broker told Alex Veiga of the AP that his buyers were chiefly Californians. ""The biggest difference between now and the investors from '04 is these investors are buying them in full cash, and in '04 it was everyone buying them with zero-down loans."

Takeaway point: We seem to be entering the vulture phase of real estate enterprise.

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