Let's review the Reno-Sparks housing market activity, comparing residential sales from November to December 2016, and comparing year over year activity to December 2015. According to the Reno Sparks Association of Realtors, the Median Sold Price for single family homes and condos in the Reno/Sparks area decreased 1.6% from $294,500 in November to $289,900 in December. When we compare this price to a year ago, we see a 4.7% increase, validating a continued healthy market.
While the year over year increases are beginning to impact affordability, it is important to note these increases are being fueled by sustainable economic growth and new jobs created by existing companies that are expanding in addition to many companies moving to our region. The number of homes sold decreased in December as well, with 582 sales versus 614 in November.
Year over year, however, there was a slight increase of 1.2% in sales of single family homes and condos. There were 360 new listings on the market in December, which was a 27.7% decrease from November. Year over year, there was a 12.6% decrease in the number of new listings. Current demand for homes continues to outpace the supply, especially in price ranges below $500,000, and we expect a seller’s market to remain until more homes are offered for sale in the region.
As we look at the Inventory numbers, there were 1,713 homes available for sale at the end of December, which was a 21.1% decrease from the 2,172 in November. Comparing year over year numbers, we saw a 4.7% decrease in inventory from December last year. All this information allows us to calculate the Months Supply of Inventory.
Overall, there was a 2.9 month supply of inventory in December. This was a 16.8% decrease from November, and is still in Seller’s Market territory. The year over year inventory comparison also decreased by 5.9% from 3.1 months in December 2015 to 2.9 months in 2016. The National Association of REALTORS considers 5 to 6 months of inventory to be a balanced housing market, where neither buyers nor sellers have a distinct advantage. What does all this information mean to you, and why should it matter if you are a home buyer or seller? The lack of inventory and our region’s economic growth will continue to drive home prices higher.
Although mortgage rates have crept up in recently, we still have historically low mortgage rates, which will contribute to a steady stream of home buyers. As prices increase, concerns of affordability will continue to make headlines. If you are thinking about buying, now is the time to get pre-qualified for a mortgage and start your home search. Whether you are buying or selling in Reno or Sparks, talk to us first.