This home at 1140 Elkridge Drive in Carson City sold for $560,000.
The winter months are typically the slowest in the home-selling cycle, but the housing market in Northern Nevada is showing no signs of a soft winter season.
“We haven’t even hit the spring market yet,” Sarah Scattini, 2022 president of the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors and an agent at RE/MAX Premier Properties, told the NNBW in a mid-January interview. “Typically, you see a little bit of slowdown around mid October, and the spring market starts after the Super Bowl. But we are already there.”
High prices combined with extremely low sales inventory are making for a challenging market for many home buyers. Scattini said the average sales price for homes in Reno-Sparks to end the year was $545,000. There were just 290 homes listed for sale in the month of December, which translates to less than a month’s supply. A balanced market has six months of sales inventory.
“That is just crazy high,” Scattini said. “Those aren’t really affordable housing numbers. We are not even remotely in a balanced market. Interest rates are still low, but they are starting to tick up. They went from 2.95 to 3.5, and that’s still great — there’s still buying power there.”
The number of days before going into contract was drastically reduced as well. Rather than a standard 15 days, that number was cut almost in half to eight days in December as eager home buyers quickly made offers to sellers. Scattini recently listed a condo and had an offer in hand that same day.
“We are already getting multiple offers — I just listed three homes, and all three are selling over list price and had multiple offers,” she said.
And although countless homeowners have built up massive equity in their residences, there aren’t many lateral moves to be made in this market — homeowners who are taking advantage of high market prices usually move out of state, Scattini said.
“Most of my sellers that sold in 2021 were relocating to a different state,” she said.
ScattiniThe steady stream of immigration from California residents and businesses isn’t expected to ease any time soon, which will keep pressure on all sectors of commercial and residential real estate.
There’s no sign of a slowdown in Northern Nevada’s robust economy, and housing trends experienced over the past few years are likely to remain unchanged in 2022. Less-affluent buyers looking for homes in the $300,000 and below range are finding exceptionally difficult market conditions.
“This market requires patience,” Scattini said. “I will get you there, but I can’t say when, and (buyers) have to have faith — they are going up against cash a lot of times. It will happen, but they have to be patient.”
Case in point: Scattini last year wrote 16 offers for one client, only to have all of them rejected in favor of sweeter deals. The seller’s market won’t see a shift in the new year.
“I don’t see it slowing down at all,” RSAR’s Scattini said. “Interest rates may tick up and take away a little buying power. For sellers, if you are looking to sell and relocate, now is a great time. If you have been in your house for a while and have equity, do a refinance, especially if you are working from home. Make your space your space and do some updating.
“For buyers, interest rates are still low, so it’s a great time to buy. But if you are a financed buyer, especially FHA or VA, you have to be patient because, unfortunately, a lot of people prefer conventional buyers or cash offers.”
Robert Bartshe, a Realtor with RE/MAX Professionals in Dayton and past president of Sierra Nevada Realtors, said the situation remains the same in Northern Nevada’s rural communities — Fallon, Fernley, Dayton, Silver Springs and Minden/Gardnerville — as well as in Carson City.
In Carson City, inventory remained low in the fourth quarter of 2021 at 24 days, but the average days on market ticked up to 24 from six over the summer. The median home price in the fourth quarter was $465,000, a 21-percent year-over-year increase.
Some buyers are spillover from Greater Reno-Sparks, while others simply prefer to live in the rural areas.
“Prices continue to increase,” Bartshe said. “Carson City trends very similar to Reno-Sparks — it’s a high-demand area. I think we will continue to see that spillover effect continue into Dayton and out into Stagecoach and Silver Springs area of Lyon County as well … The growth has pushed them out further.”
BartscheYear-over-year pricing escalated 16 percent in Lyon County, with the median home price increasing to $350,000, Bartshe said. However, Lyon County remains a viable option for income-restricted buyers who are priced out of $500,000 homes in the Truckee Meadows.
The median home price in Churchill County at the close of 2021 was $369,000, a rise of 15 percent, and there were just 23 homes listed for sale.
Demand for housing remains high in Douglas County as well. The median home price for the fourth quarter was $615,000, with a 12-month median of $545,000, a 21-percent year-over year increase.
“California buyers love Douglas County, and they are having a huge impact there,” Bartshe said. “They continue to sell their houses for cash and buy here for way less.
“Douglas County has a multiple-offer trend more than any of the counties that we (the SNR) serve,” he added. “That has a lot to do with the California buyers. They will fight for views down there be it views of Jobs (Peak) or the proximity to California. It is definitely a high-demand area for those buyers.”