Affordability Concerns as Reno-Sparks Home Values Rise in March
Affordability is becoming an issue in Reno/Sparks. We should see more small lot and affordable product enter the market in the coming months to fill that void under $300,000.
Reno a Top 10 City for First-Time Homebuyers | Archcrest Commercial Partners
Mark Krueger, Principal
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Buyers face increasing challenges in Reno-Sparks as the upward momentum in pricing continues to fuel a seller’s market.
The median price for an existing single-family home in Washoe County in March rose to $296,000, up 2 percent from February and a sizable 8 percent jump from March of last year, according to the latest numbers from the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors.
The median price, which is for existing stick-built single-family homes and does not include condominiums and townhomes, also is not far away from the benchmark $300,000 level often used to signal affordability concerns in relation to median incomes.
“In today’s seller’s market, we continue to watch affordability issues as rising home prices are hampering buyers,” said William Process, 2016 RSAR president and a Realtor with HomeGate Realty of Nevada. “On the other end of the spectrum, sellers continue to build equity.”
Home values continue to stay above the $300,000 threshold in Reno, which posted a median price of $306,375 in March. The price represents a 1 percent increase from February and a 7 percent increase from March 2015.
Sparks also saw its median home price jump to $280,000, an increase of 4 percent from the previous month and up 12 percent from March of last year. Fernley, which is not part of Washoe County, posted a $173,750 median price for March. Fernley home prices were up 5 percent from February and 16 percent year over year.
Washoe County unit sales for existing homes in March were up slightly year over year at 559 houses, a 2 percent improvement. Unit sales were up 53 percent from February as the spring buying season kicked off.
Reno, which includes the North Valleys, accounted for most of the sales with 360 units, up 4 percent year over year. Sparks, meanwhile, saw a 3 percent drop compared to March of last year with 199 unit sales. Fernley unit sales were down 19 percent year over year with 44 houses sold.
Although the pricing gains are significant when compared to a normal market, they are not as high as the appreciation that the area posted during its initial rebound from the last recession.
“We have seen continued year-over-year price gains for the past four years, but percentage gains year-over-year have lessened as pricing appears to be stabilizing,” Process said.