It's a quiet day at the Di Loreto home development at Damonte Ranch. No "for sale" signs litter the front lawns. Inside one of the homes, Tom Di Loreto shows us around. Clicking on the light, he said, "This is one of the models we had on display here..."
But not anymore…Tom is walking us through the last house left. After 6 years, his development of 168 new homes is now sold out. He can finally say goodbye to the darkest days of Reno's housing collapse. As he remembers, "Prices went back 30 to 50%, so that leaves you out there losing money. You can't sell and make any money, when they went backwards."
But now the market is going forward. Existing home sales went up 2% in August. Home prices went up 6%. The median sales price for an existing single family home now, $175,000. That's up 14% from a year ago:
Existing home real estate market (Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors August 2012 report):
-home sales up 2%
-home prices up 6%
-median home sales price $175,000 (July $165,000)
All of it good news, unless you're a buyer. Ken Amundson is a longtime realtor with Trans-Action Realty 500. One of his clients has been looking for a home for 5 months. As he told us, "In some cases we'd get outbid by someone else."
His client is not alone. More buyers are shopping, and so are cash investors, who buy homes to rent them out. Ken told us, "Most of the homes under $200,000 will pencil as an investment and the rent will cover the payments and all the things that go into it, so it is a competition."
With more people chasing homes, Ken thinks prices may go up from here. His prediction? "I think that we'll probably see some continued growth, as long as the inventory is low."
Back at Di Loreto, Tom hopes to take care of that low inventory. He's already planning a new, 147-home development in Damonte Ranch. As he told us, "It seems what the market dictates. And we hope to get started on that right after the first of the year."
8 months of price increases is evidence of a turnaround. But in the big picture, our housing market still has a long way to go…a lot of ground to make up. We're still not out of the basement, but some encouraging signs can be seen so far this year.
-written by John Potter
We have the full August home market report for you to see online. Just click below:
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