Reno Home Sales Show First Quarter Improvement

RENO, Nev. (April 6, 2009) – The Reno-Sparks real estate market welcomed 2009 with a substantial increase in home sales, according to Chase International's quarterly report. The report, released yesterday, is comprised of all home and condominium sales in the Reno-Tahoe area from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2009 versus same time last year.

The Reno-Sparks area saw a 45 percent jump in homes sold for less than $1 million. Individually, sales of Reno homes priced under a million were up 31 percent and 80 percent in Sparks. Overall sales for homes over the million mark were down 38 percent. The average price of a home in Reno-Sparks is $235,592, down 31 percent from this time last year. The median price is down 28 percent to $200,000.

"These are encouraging numbers" Sue Lowe, corporate vice president for Chase International, said. "We've been seeing some significant increases in recent weeks in buyer interest and pending sales. The upswing is evident in the Reno-Sparks' numbers making this the time to buy."

Lowe is optimistic for more improvements in the market. The Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting a 3 percent increase in mortgage applications across the nation and the National Association of Realtors is projecting a possible surge in pending home sales in coming months.

"Pending home sales have a way to go for there to be a meaningful increase, but recent increases in shopping activity are hopeful indicators that we'll see additional sales gains," Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, said in a recent news release. Yun explains that buyers are taking advantage of stimulus incentives and more affordable housing market prices.

The average home price in Reno is down 31 percent to $251,610 and the median is down 30 percent to $205,000, causing an 11 percent decrease in volume but a 29 percent increase in homes sold. Homes selling for more than a $1 million were down 38 percent.

Sparks experienced notable jumps in both volume and units sold (31 and 80 percent), but saw a decrease in average home price (down 27 percent to $206,305). The median price for a home in Sparks is $195,000, down 25 percent.

The sale of Carson Valley homes was down across the board, with 33 and 13 percent decreases in volume and units sold, respectively. The sale of million-dollar homes was down 67 percent and those priced less than a million saw an 11 percent decrease in sales. The average home price in Carson Valley is down 24 percent to $289,305 and the median is down 16 percent to $244,950.

Reno-Sparks combined condo sales saw a 44 percent decrease in volume and two percent increase in units sold. Sparks experienced a 50 percent increase in units sold, while Reno saw a 9 percent decline. The average price of a condo in Reno-Sparks is $102,426, down 45 percent. The median price isdown 48 percent to $88,500.