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Study: Reno 57th hottest home market

John Seelmeyer

The Reno residential real estate market,

which felt as hot as an August night

earlier this year, might not have been so

frenetic after all.

But if anecdotal evidence counts for

anything, it’s been getting there.

A new study by the federal Office of

Housing Enterprise Oversight found that

housing prices in Washoe County rose by

2.68 percent in the second quarter.While

that’s well above the national average of

1.88 percent, it still ranks Reno only as

the 57th-hottest residential real estate

market in the country.

Topping the list? Yolo County in

California that’s the university town of

Davis and the west suburbs of Sacramento

where housing prices rose 7.43 in the

second quarter and 15.36 during the previous

year. In second place was the

Barnstable-Yarmouth region of

Massachusetts, where housing prices during

the quarter were up 4.31 percent in

the quarter and 14.43 percent for the previous

12 months.

In the 12 months from July 2001

through the end of June, home prices in

Reno rose 7.43 percent. During the past

five years, home prices in Reno are up

23.51 percent.

Nationally, home prices were up 7.52

percent in the 12 months ended June 30.

The federal study, however, may not

have captured the summer boom for

medium-priced housing in the Reno area.

Buyers looking for a home in the

$300,000 to $500,000 range continue to

bid up prices as inventories are short, said

Pete Haugh, general manager of Re/Max

Realty Professionals.

“If it’s priced right and halfway decent

list today, and you’ll have a couple

of offers tomorrow,” Haugh said. He

said multiple offers are common on

homes in that price range, and some

are selling over list price as potential

purchasers engage in bidding wars.

Driving the market, Haugh said, is

the combination of continued strong

migration into the state and demand

from current residents who want to

take advantage of low interest rates to

move up.

Chris Harris, broker at Keystone

Realty, called summer market “a feeding

frenzy” as high demand from moveup

and move-in buyers combined with

tight supplies.

But Harris said the market appears

to have calmed a bit since August.

Prices aren’t softening, he said, only

returning to normal.

Statistics compiled by the

Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors

for May hint at the beginnings of a

faster-paced market. During that

month, the houses that sold had been

on the market, an average of 68 days. A

month earlier, homes were on the market

80 days before they sold.

The hotter market hasn’t affected

homes in the $500,000-and-up range,

Haugh said. At the current rate of

sales, he estimated the inventory of

high-priced homes on the market is

enough to meet the demand for

four years.

Buyers of high-end homes, he said,

probably felt the worst pinch from the

stock market’s fall.

Price appreciation in the Las Vegas

market trailed Reno, the federal study

found. Las Vegas home prices rose 1.73

percent in the second quarter and 6.2

percent for the year. The southern

Nevada city ranked 68th on the list of

hot real estate markets.

In the Pacific region, housing prices

were up 2.3 percent in the quarter and

6.7 percent of the year. This regional

increase came despite declining prices

in some markets hard-hit by the technology

slump. In San Jose, the Office

of Housing Enterprise Oversight study

found home prices had fallen by 3.72

during the past year. San Francisco

prices rose by an anemic 0.26 percent

during the past year.

The Mountain region, which

includes Nevada, posted housing prices

increases of 0.9 percent in the second

quarter and 4 percent for the past year.

In this region, too, the technology

slump dragged down some markets.

Home prices in the technology corridor

of Provo-Orem, Utah, were up only

1.06 percent for the year.


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