LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas led the nation's large metropolitan areas in September in both residential short sales and sales of bank-owned homes, RealtyTrac reported Wednesday night.
RealtyTrac found that 34 percent of last month's residential transactions in Las Vegas involved short sales and 21 percent represented bank-owned sales.
The real estate analytics company from Irvine, Calif., also placed Las Vegas second with 27 percent of the purchases coming from institutional investors, and tied for second with 62 percent of the sales representing all-cash transactions.
The median sales price for a home in Las Vegas last month was $155,000, which was unchanged from August but 20 percent higher than September 2012.
RealtyTrac also reported that median housing prices in Nevada rose 23 percent from a year ago, the third highest increase among states behind only California (up 30 percent) and Michigan (up 25 percent). But Nevada experienced a 5 percent decrease in sales volume over the past year.
"The housing market continues to skew in favor of investors, particularly deep-pocketed institutional investors, and other buyers paying with cash," RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said. "While the institutional investors are pulling back their purchases in many of the higher-priced markets — places like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Seattle and Sacramento — they are continuing to ramp up purchases in markets where median prices are still below $200,000 — places like Jacksonville, Atlanta, Charlotte, St. Louis and Dallas. The availability of distressed inventory also makes a difference. For example, institutional investor purchases have rebounded in Las Vegas corresponding to a recent rebound in foreclosure activity there.
"Distressed sales remain persistently high, particularly short sales. Markets with the biggest increases in short sales tend to be those where either foreclosure starts or scheduled foreclosure auctions have rebounded in the last 18 months — translating into more motivated short sellers — or those with a still-high percentage of underwater homeowners with negative equity."