December median sales price and other market metrics

Whoa! December’s median sales price for Reno and Sparks, Nevada dropped to nearly its lowest level of the year!

December’s median finished 2018 at $360,000. This number is:

  • nearly equal to January 2018’s median sales price of $359,950
  • down a whopping 4.5 percent one-month drop from November’s median of $377,000
  • and up only 4.3 percent year-over-year

Also noteworthy, December’s was the second one-month decline of 4 percent or more that was observed this year. The first occurred in August. [See: August median sales price and other market metrics]

Despite the big drop in the median sales price December’s median sold price per square foot (PPSF) fell less than 1.0 percent — coming in at $209.82/sq.ft. Year-over-year, December’s median sold PPSF is up 8.0 percent.

Perhaps even more startling than December’s huge decline in the median sales price was its drop in the number of homes sold for the month. Units sales in December totaled a paltry 361 homes — down a sobering 22.7 percent from November’s 467 units sold. December’s number is not only the fewest number of homes sold in any month in 2018, but also is the fewest number of homes sold in a single month since January 2017. Year-over-year, home sales are down 26.7 percent from the 493 homes sold in December 2017.

Regarding inventory, presently 1,079 homes are available for purchase in the Reno-Sparks market. Given the current rate of home sales, available inventory equates to about a 3-month supply. Currently, available inventory is down 12.8 percent from the 1,237 homes for sales this time last month. Year-over-year, the current number of available homes for purchase is up a whopping 78.3 percent from this time last year.

However, despite the gains in the number of homes available for purchase only 30.1 percent are priced at, or below, the current median sales price.

Pending sales also fell in December. Presently, 541 homes are pending sale in the Reno-Sparks market. That number is down 14.1 percent from the 634 homes pending sale this time last month. Look for low unit sales in January. Year-over-year, current pending sales are down 6.4 percent from December 2017.

December’s median days on market (DOM) came in at 75 days — an increase of four days over November’s DOM. December’s DOM is up 8.7 percent year-over-year.

December sales by type, break out as follows:

  • REO sales: 2.2% – up from November’s <1%
  • Short sales: 0% – down from November’s <1%
  • Subject to Court Approval sales: 0.6% – down from November’s 1%
  • Relocation sales: 0.6% – unchanged from November’s <1%
  • Equity sales: 96.7% – down from November’s 97%

December sales by price band, break out as follows in the table below…

Sales by Price Segment
sales price ($000’s) units sold cumulative % of sales
0 – 99 0 0.2%
100 – 199 1 1.8%
200 – 299 84 19.7%
300 – 399 145 55.0%
400 – 499 63 77.6%
500 – 599 32 88.6%
600 – 699 13 93.2%
700 – 799 5 95.2%
800 – 899 3 96.3%
900 – 999 3 97.4%
1M+ 12 100%
total 361

December’s median sold price for houses and condos combined was $335,000 — down 5.6 percent from November’s median sold price for combined sales of houses and condos.

The table below contains the past 13 months of data[1]

Past 13 Months of Home Sales Data
Month Year # Sold Median Sold Price Sold Price per Sq Ft Median DOM # of Actives # of Pendings
Dec 2018 361 $360,000 $209.82 75 1,079 541
Nov 2018 467 $377,000 $211.68 71 1,237 634
Oct 2018 468 $385,000 $213.84 65 1,300 717
Sep 2018 458 $372,777 $210.92 60 1,333 725
Aug 2018 569 $370,000 $211.79 57 1,208 790
Jul 2018 566 $387,000 $216.32 53 1,154 838
Jun 2018 602 $381,950 $215.88 49 923 906
May 2018 575 $375,000 $209.12 49 725 920
Apr 2018 491 $374,000 $205.34 51 638 891
Mar 2018 549 $375,000 $200.86 50 529 814
Feb 2018 444 $370,000 $193.90 61 528 796
Jan 2018 406 $359,950 $191.74 68 514 782
Dec 2017 493 $345,000 $194.35 69 605 578

Thank you for taking the time to read this market report. As always, your comments and questions are welcomed.


1. The medians table above is updated on a monthly basis. The median home price data reported covers the cities of Reno, Nevada and Sparks, Nevada [NNRMLS Area #100]. Residential data includes Site/Stick Built properties only. Data excludes Condo/Townhouse, Manufactured/Modular and Shared Ownership properties. Data courtesy of the Northern Nevada Regional MLS – January 3, 2019. Note: This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

For historical home sale data back to 1998 click here.

Posted in Agent Insights, Market Trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Reno-Sparks luxury home prices skyrocket in 2018


While the growth rate of luxury home prices slowed across the country [See Redfin’s recent Luxury Home Prices Up 3.2 Percent Annually in the Third Quarter, the Lowest Growth Rate in Nearly Two Years], the story for luxury homes in the Reno-Sparks market is much different.

The luxury home segment [defined as the top five percent of home sales] is the fastest growing segment in the Reno-Sparks market. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

In 2017, the entry price point to the top five percent of sales was $769,000. In 2018, the entry price point to luxury home segment had climbed to $885,000 — a staggering increase of $116,000, or more than 15 percent.

Compare that to the prior year’s increase when the entry price point had risen only 1 percent from 2016 to 2017.

2018’s gains in luxury home sales are even more pronounced when looking at the median sales price for the segment. In 2018, the median sales price for luxury homes was $1,177,500 — an increase of $227,500, or a whopping 23.9 percent over 2017’s luxury home median price of $950,000.

Again, compare this increase to the prior year’s increase when the Reno-Sparks luxury median price had increased only 1.1 percent from 2016 to 2017. (See table above.)

What about the lower 95% of home sales?

The lower 95% also saw gains in 2018, but not nearly as great as those in the luxury segment. The 2018 median sales price of the lower 95% of home sales increased 11.4% over 2017’s median – less than half the increase of the median price for luxury homes. Incidentally, the median sales price for the lower 95% of home sales was $367,500 for the year.

Despite the relatively smaller growth rate for home sales prices in the lower 95% of home sales, 2018’s 11.4% increase was a significant increase over the 1.2% observed in 2017. (See table above.)

Higher record sales

2018 also saw higher record sales in the Reno-Sparks housing market. The most expensive home sold for $4.9M in 2018. Compare that to 2017’s most expensive home sale of $3.5M. In fact, there were five home sales in 2018 that exceeded 2017’s record sold price. See the Reno Gazette-Journal’s The 15 most expensive home sales in Reno in 2018.

These top-tier sales impacted the sales volume as well. In 2017, the sales volume of the luxury segment totaled $378.4M and accounted for 14.2 percent of the overall market volume for the year. In 2018, the sales volume of the luxury segment totaled $403.2M and accounted for 15.2 percent of the overall market volume for the year — an increase of 7.0 percent over 2017’s luxury market share.

Other luxury segment metrics

Where are luxury sales happening?

The Northern Nevada Regional MLS divides the Reno-Sparks real estate market into 42 different areas. 2018’s luxury home sales occurred in 14 of these 42 areas – with just five areas accounting for more than 86 percent of luxury home sales (see table below).

Reno’s South Suburban area (ArrowCreek, Saddlehorn, Fieldcreek) accounted for 31 percent of luxury home sales — more than any other MLS area. Reno’s Southwest Suburban area (Montreux, St. James’ Village, Galena Forest) took the second spot — accounting for more than a quarter of luxury home sales in 2018.

Note: Click here for an interactive Google map of the MLS areas.

What will 2019 bring?

While no one has a crystal ball, the current pending sales seem to indicate continued growth in the luxury segment.

Additionally, people relocating to Reno, Nevada are generally moving from areas of higher household income [See this blog’s A closer look at Nevada’s and Washoe County’s population migration]

A recent Redfin analysis showed that 45.3 percent of people searching for Reno area homes are from San Jose, followed by 13.9 percent from Los Angeles, 9.3 percent from Sacramento, 4.5 percent from San Diego, 2.9 percent from Seattle, and 2.0 percent from Portland. [See Redfin’s 2018 Migration Trends accelerate as more people look to leave Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles]

The table below shows the median household income of these areas compared to Reno’s median household income.

Source: 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

People moving to the Reno-Sparks area with higher than median incomes can presumably afford to purchase higher than median priced homes.

Look for Reno-Sparks’ luxury segment to continue to grow in 2019. The question is by how much. What are your thoughts?


Thank you for reading. I would love to see your comments and thoughts below. Also, let me know if you have specific questions regarding the above information.

Posted in Agent Insights, Market Trends | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Incline Village, Nevada housing market report

Below please find the current housing market report for Incline Village, Nevada, provided by our friends at First Centennial Title.

From this week’s report…

This week the median list price for Incline Village, NV is $1,622,500 with the market action index hovering around 24. This is less than last month’s market action index of 29. Inventory has held steady at or around 30. [Note: The Market Action Index answers the question “How’s the Market?” by measuring the current rate of sale versus the amount of the inventory. Index above 30 implies Seller’s Market conditions. Below 30, conditions favor the buyer.]

The Market Action Index has been trending lower for several weeks while prices have remained relatively stable. If inventory continues to grow relative to demand however, it is likely that we will see downward pressure on pricing.

Click on the chart below to access the entire report.

Posted in Incline Village, Market Trends | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lake Tahoe Friday fact

Paddleboarding off Speedboat Beach, Lake Tahoe — Image by Guy Johnson

How did Lake Tahoe form?

About 3 to 3.5 million years ago, a system of north-south trending faults (fractures in the earth’s crust) began moving. The upward movement of the surrounding mountains and the downward fall of the valley bottom along these faults formed a basin that contained an ancestral Lake Tahoe. A much deeper body of water continued to form as the lake bottom fell. Approximately 2.5 million years ago, escaping water eroded through the volcanic edifice forming the existing lake outlet and Truckee River headwaters.

Fact credit: TahoeFacts.com

Posted in Lake Tahoe | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

A closer look at Nevada’s and Washoe County’s population migration

Last week the U.S. Census Bureau released its national and state population estimates with the headline, “Nevada and Idaho Are the Nation’s Fastest-Growing States”.

As a whole, the U.S. population grew by 0.6 percent between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018. However, Nevada’s population grew 2.1 percent during the same time period. That’s 3½ times the rate of the nation’s growth.

Not only was Nevada’s population percentage growth the highest in the country, but also its numeric growth placed it in the top-ten states in the country.

data source: U.S. Census Bureau

As can be seen from the table above, Nevada’s population increased by about 62,000 between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018.

Nevada’s rate of population growth has exceeded that of the country’s for several years. Looking at the U.S. and Nevada’s population growth rates since the 2010 census, we see the following…
data source: U.S. Census Bureau

But where did this growth come from and where did these people settle? To answer these questions I dug a little deeper.

Natural increase vs. Net migration

There are two types of increases in population: natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) and net positive migration (inbound migration minus outbound migration). Fortunately, the U.S. Census Bureau has data on all of this, and much more on their American FactFinder site.

Using the American FactFinder site I accessed the most recent data set available, which was for 2017. Using the 2017 data set I learned that, from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017, Nevada’s population increased by 58,785. 12,420 (or 21 percent) of that increase was due to natural increase and 46,184 (or 79 percent) was the total net migration (both domestically and internationally).

data source: U.S. Census Bureau American FactFinder

As can be seen in the table above Total Net Migration to the state of Nevada was 46,184 — with Domestic Migration accounting for 38,227 (or 79 percent), and International Migration accounting for 7,957 (or 21 percent).

Inflows vs. Outflows

Net migration is the difference between those residents leaving the state and the new ones moving to the state. To find those two components I explored deeper into the Census Bureau’s website and discovered State-to-State Migration Flows tables.

These massive tables contain the yearly inflows of people to a particular state arriving from every other state in the U.S. and also the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Additionally one can see the destination states to where those leaving a particular state are moving to.

The tables are broken out by year. Using the six most recents years of data from these tables I compiled the following domestic inflows and outflows for Nevada.

data source: U.S. Census Bureau State-to-State Migration Flows tables

Looking deeper at the data in these tables one can see the breakout of the inflows and outflows by state. In the table below I’ve listed the top ten states contributing the greatest number of new residents to Nevada in 2017.

data source: U.S. Census Bureau State-to-State Migration Flows 2017 table

Clearly, California is responsible for the greatest proportion of new Nevada residents — contributing 47,513 people to our state. In 2017 nearly 36 percent of people relocating to Nevada moved here from California. Colorado was 2nd — contributing 6.4% of those moving to Nevada.

It makes sense that the most populous states (i.e. Calif., Tex., Fla.) would be major contributors to people moving to the state, but surprisingly New York did not make the top ten list. [It is 15th on the ranking.] Also, proximity to Nevada plays a part. Four (Utah, Ariz., Calif., and Ore.) of the five states that border Nevada are on the top-ten list. The fifth bordering state, Idaho, comes in at 11th on the ranking. [Incidentally, Idaho’s rate of growth is equal to that of Nevada’s, and Idaho has topped the Census Bureau’s list of fastest growing states for the last two years.]

While more than 133,000 people moved to Nevada in 2017, over 98,000 left the state. The same State-to-State Migration Flows tables can be used to see where those people went. In the table below I’ve listed the top-ten states receiving the greatest number of former Nevada in residents in 2017.

data source: U.S. Census Bureau State-to-State Migration Flows 2017 table

Again we see California topping the list — receiving nearly a quarter of everyone who moved out of Nevada. In 2017 23,768 people left Nevada for California, but as noted previously, California contributed 47,513 people to our state during the same year. Nevada’s inflow of Californians is double its outflows to California. In other words, for every Nevadan that leaves for California, two California residents relocate to Nevada.

Diving deeper — to the county level

Did you know that much of the U.S. Census data is broken out to the county level? There are over 3,100 counties and county-equivalents in the 50 states and District of Columbia, and the U.S. Census Bureau has data on all of them.

Just as I analyzed the inflows and outflows for the state of Nevada, I can do the same for any county in the U.S. For this analysis I needed to utilize the Census Flows Mapper tool. From it’s website, “The Census Flows Mapper is a web mapping application intended to provide users with a simple interface to view and save county-to-county migration flows maps of the United States. The data are from the 2006-2010, 2007-2011, 2008-2012, 2009-2013, 2010-2014, 2011-2015, and 2012-2016 American Community Surveys.”

If you’re a numbers person or data geek, I recommend you check out this cool interactive tool. Be warned though, you may find yourself going down a rabbit hole.

Let’s take a look at the total net migration flows for Washoe County, Nevada — the county in which Reno and Sparks are located. The chart below shows a U.S. map with every county in every state outlined. By clicking on a county, in this case Washoe County, that county is outlined in red, and then every other county in the country is color coded according to the net number of people migrating to or from Washoe County.

data source: U.S. Census Bureau 2012-2016 5-year American Community Survey

In the table below I’ve listed the top ten counties contributing the greatest number (net) of new residents to Nevada from 2012-2016 (this is the most recent data set available).

data source: U.S. Census Bureau 2012-2016 5-year American Community Survey

Not surprisingly, given the state rankings above, most of the counties responsible for the greatest net inflows are located in California. That being said, Clark County, Nevada, home of Las Vegas, tops the list. Clark County is Nevada’s most populous county, and accounts for nearly three-quarters of the state’s residents.

In the table below I’ve listed the top-ten counties receiving the greatest number (net) of Washoe County, Nevada residents from 2012-2016.

data source: U.S. Census Bureau 2012-2016 5-year American Community Survey

Mendocino County, California tops the list. From Wikipedia: “The county is noted for its distinctive Pacific Ocean coastline, its location along California’s “Lost Coast”, Redwood forests, wine production, microbrews, and liberal views about the use of cannabis and support for its legalization. In 2009 it was estimated that roughly one-third of the economy was based on the cultivation of marijuana.”

Here are summary stats for Washoe County from the U.S. Census Bureau 2012-2016 5-year American Community Survey:

data source: U.S. Census Bureau 2012-2016 5-year American Community Survey

Rich Californians

We often hear the terms “rich Californians” or “California money” when discussing the inflows of Californians to our market. Though there’s not a way to calculate the amount of money moving in from California, I am able to compare the median household incomes of the areas from which people are moving to that of Washoe County.

Below I’ve compiled a table of the top twenty counties contributing the greatest number (net) of new residents to Nevada from 2012-2016 along with the median and average household income for each of those counties. I added Washoe County’s median household income for comparison purposes. [Note: The counties below are ranked by median household income.]

data source: U.S. Census Bureau 2012-2016 5-year American Community Survey and 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate

A couple items to note:

  • 16 of the top-20 counties have median household incomes greater than Washoe County’s
  • 14 of the top-20 counties are in California
  • 12 of the 14 California counties have median household incomes greater than Washoe County’s
  • Interstate 80 passes through six of the California counties

Thank you for reading. I would love to see your comments and thoughts below. Also, let me know if you have specific questions regarding the above.

Posted in Agent Insights | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

A few of my recent Facebook posts…

thumbs up
In addition to posting on this blog, I also maintain a Facebook Page where I post daily content on the Reno, Sparks, Incline Village and northern Nevada real estate market and economy.

Below are a few recent posts from my Facebook Page.

To see my Facebook posts in real time as I post them please Like my FB Page

Posted in headlines, News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

This week’s real estate headlines

Here are a few national real estate-related stories and news pieces that came across my screen this week…

Posted in headlines, News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

This week’s real estate headlines

Here are a few national real estate-related stories and news pieces that came across my screen this week…

Posted in headlines, News | Tagged , | Leave a comment