Reno Median Home Price Breaks All-Time Record - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Reno Median Home Price Breaks All-Time Record

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The Truckee Meadows have come a long way since the Great Recession, which led to low property values and high foreclosure rates.  In July of 2011, the median home price was $150,000 in Washoe County.  After six years of growth, it has skyrocketed to $357,500.  In Reno, the median sales price is $387,250, which is an all-time high.

"I think housing is going to continue to go up because of supply and demand," Doug McIntyre, President-Elect of Reno/Sparks Association of REALTORS said.

The market is good for sellers, like Melanie Mahan, who bought her home when prices were low.  Now, she is hoping to upgrade into a larger house.

"I'm kind of dreaming about maybe a little bit bigger home, little bit nicer situation, that kind of thing," Mahan said.

If Mahan is able to sell her home, she will still face tough competition when it comes to buying a new one. 

"There's been bidding wars, especially in the past couple of years," Mahan said. "They've just bid them up so high. We know that if we don't go in with cash, it's probably not going to do anything."

Monica McCallum is a realtor with Coldwell Banker.  She says there are a lot of investors who buy homes for more than the asking price, using cash.  That makes it easy for a seller.

"If they bought in the recession or they bought in the bubble, now they're actually starting to see some return on their investment," McCallum said.

Unfortunately, wages are not keeping up with the rising home prices.

"If we look at buyers, some of them are being pushed out of the market because it's too expensive for them," McCallum said.

The median sales price in Sparks is $315,000, but it is much lower outside of Washoe County.  Many people are buying homes in Silver Springs and Fernley, where the median is $230,000.  Prices are expected to continue rising for the next several years.

"We're going to be bringing in workers by the thousands every year for at least the next five years," McIntyre said. "So, the housing is probably going to continue to rise in prices."

"We have run out of housing in large part because people are moving here because of our unemployment right now, 3.9 percent or lower," Mike Kazmierski, President/CEO of EDAWN said.

Washoe County's home prices are 13 percent higher than July of 2016, and Reno's are up 17 percent.  The average length of time for a house to be on the market is 1.3 months.  McCallum says the best thing for buyers to do is talk to a lender to get pre-qualified, and act quickly if you want to buy a house.

"If you see a house that hits the market that moment, you want to go see it that day and if you can make an offer that day, do so," McCallum said. "Houses are flying off the market within hours of hitting the market, right now."

The cost of rent is also going up, which has more people looking at the option to buy, increasing the demand even more.

"You have rental prices going up because they know they can get it, and then you have housing prices going up because we don't have the inventory to house all those people," McCallum said.

Experts say something has to give, and it won't be housing prices.  That means wages will have to go up, since Reno's median household income is about $55,000 per year.
   

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