LAS VEGAS -- Nevada in July posted the nation's second highest year-over-year jump in median home prices but also was among a handful of states that experienced a decline in housing sales, RealtyTrac.com reported Wednesday night.
The median home price in Nevada last month shot up 27 percent over July 2012 but total sales were down 7 percent over the same period, according to the real estate analytics company from Irvine, Calif. California led the way with a 31 percent hike in median home prices but also a 17 percent decline in sales.
Nevada also led the nation in July with 35 percent of its home purchases involving short sales, where the sale price was below the total of outstanding mortgages secured by the property.
Of all residential sales in the Las Vegas metro area last month, 24 percent were bank-owned properties. That tied for third highest with Stockton, Calif., among large metros nationally, behind only Detroit (26 percent) and Modesto, Calif. (25 percent).
The median sales price of a home in July was $152,800 in Nevada and $150,000 in the Las Vegas metro area, compared to $174,500 nationally.
Among other findings:
* Institutional investors accounted for 16 percent of residential sales in Nevada in July, second highest behind only Georgia (22 percent). Institutional investors also were involved in 16 percent of the sales in the Las Vegas area.
* In Nevada 64 percent of the July sales involved all-cash sales, second highest in the nation behind Florida (66 percent). All-cash sales accounted for 69 percent of the housing activity in the Las Vegas area.
"Low inventory of homes available for sale is proving to be a double-edged sword in many local housing markets that have bounced back quickly from the real estate slump," RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said. "Home prices are accelerating rapidly in these markets thanks to the combination of low supply and strong demand. However, counter to the national trend, sales volume in these markets is down even as the percentage of cash sales rises, indicating there is still strong demand but that buyers who need financing to purchase are increasingly left out in the cold.
"The recent uptick in interest rates could also be contributing to a higher percentage of cash purchases as some non-cash buyers can no longer afford to buy, particularly in high-priced markets."