List prices for housing rise sharply

A Glenbrook condo that sold for $2.5 million comes with this Tahoe view.

A Glenbrook condo that sold for $2.5 million comes with this Tahoe view.

A $2,465,000 million sale of a condominium near Lake Tahoe at Glenbrook set a record for a condo that’s not located along the shores of the lake itself.

Owners of more modest homes throughout the region think they’ll be able to command good prices, too, and they’re listing their homes for sale at prices that are sharply above the level a year ago., the official Web site of the National Association of Realtors, said last week that the median listing price of $275,000 for homes in the Reno-Sparks market is up by 25.1 percent over the prices that sellers were asking a year ago. That’s the second-biggest increase in the nation, trailing only on the 42 percent increase in the Stockton-Lodi market. Las Vegas is third in the nation, with a 24 percent increase in asking prices.

The trend cuts across the market.

Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty said last week that two of its agents — Claudia Thompson and Lexi Cerretti — nailed down the $2,465,000 sale of a townhome at 1967 Pray Meadow in Glenbrook.

The property, the most expensive ever for an off-lake property in the Tahoe market, was listed at $2,595,000. It’s a newly remodeled 2,835-square-foot cottage-style townhome in a gated community.

The previous sales-price record for an off-lake condo was set in July of 2005 with a $2.1 million price tag on a 1,900-square-foot townhome. It, too, is located at Glenbrook.

While listing prices are rising sharply, sales prices aren’t moving as quickly.

The Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors says the $230,000 median sales price of an existing home in the market during April was up 12 percent from the same month a year earlier. Median prices were up 1 percent from March.

Before the real estate bust of 2008, the peak median price of $330,000 was reached in September 2005 in Washoe County. The April median price still is 30 percent off that peak.

Although the rising market has helped some once-underwater homeowners get their noses above water, distressed transactions still weigh on the Reno-Sparks market.

Short sales accounted for 9.4 percent of the transactions in Washoe County during April, which compares with 15.5 percent in the same month a year earlier, RealtyTrac reported last week.

The analysis firm based in Irvine, Calif., said bank-owned properties accounted for 12.2 percent of the Washoe sales in April, up a smidgen from the 11.3 percent figure a year earlier.

Total distressed sales accounted for 23.7 percent of the month’s sales in Washoe County, down from 28.8 percent in the same month a year earlier.

The median price of distressed properties in April in the Reno-Sparks market was $160,000, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year, RealtyTrac reported, but still well below the rest of the market.

As prices continue to strengthen, more homeowners are putting their homes on the market, but inventory growth lags the national figure.

The number of existing homes for sale in the Reno-Sparks market in April — 2,317 — was up by 7.9 percent from a year earlier, reported. Nationally, inventories of homes for sale were up by 14 percent from a year ago.

At the April sales pace of 508 houses, that inventory in Reno and Sparks amounts to less than a five-month supply. As rough rule of thumb, real estate brokers say that a five-month inventory represents a sellers market.


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