HOME SALES ACTIVITY BEGINS TO SLOW
BY JOHN SEELMEYER | The red-hot housing market in Reno and Sparks appears to be cooling.
That’s good news for families who despaired that they ever would be able to afford a starter home, and it’s dampening the ardor of some sellers.
The cooling is mostly the result of simple supply-and-demand, with a little nod to the changing seasons.
In the third quarter, 1,569 sales of single-family homes were recorded through the Northern Nevada Multiple Listing Service. That was down by 20 percent from a year ago, and it was down by 6 percent from the second quarter of this year.
The cooling market is reflected, too, in prices. Although they are up, the pace of increases is slowing.
The realty association says the median price of a home sold during September — $374,000 — was up 1 percent from the previous month. At times earlier this year, prices had jumped as much as 3 percent in a single month.
“The current slowdown in unit sales can’t be attributed to just one thing,” says Doug McIntyre, president of the real estate association and a Realtor with Reno Property Management.
For starters, sales often begin to slow in the autumn and winter months.
A bigger factor, McIntyre says, has been prices that climbed more rapidly than most families’ incomes. Rising mortgage interest rates priced even more potential buyers out of the market.
But as prices stabilize, and as the tight employment market in the region helps boost wages, more families will be able to afford homes.
Already, inventories of homes for sale are rising. The 1,377 single-family homes on the market in September represented a three-month supply. Last spring, only a one-month inventory was on the market.