Condo median sold price, units, DOM, and $/sq.ft. – January

I received a request from a reader to provide the latest sales numbers for condos in the Reno – Sparks market.  Happy to oblige.

January’s condo sales were lighter than in recent months, and as we saw with the SFR numbers for January, price per square foot hit a new low.  At $51.70/square foot, January’s ppsf is 75 percent off of the high of $209.42 reached in May 2007.  Similarly, January’s median sold condo price of $56,500 is off 77 percent from the high of $244,900 reached in January 2007.   Yes, that is a 77 percent drop in three years!

One of the driving factors for this decline is the high percentage of distressed properties comprising the condo market — higher even than the proportion seen in the SFR market.  Looking at the most recent sales, the breakout is:

  • bank-owned: 61%
  • short sales: 22%
  • non-distressed sales: 16%
Month Year # Sold Sold Price Sold Price per SqFt Average DOM
Jan 2010 54 $56,500 $51.70 133
Dec 2009 61 $50,000 $53.98 117
Nov 2009 64 $78,450 $75.19 133
Oct 2009 62 $64,200 $67.47 107
Sep 2009 63 $72,000 $69.31 157
Aug 2009 73 $70,000 $74.42 161
Jul 2009 58 $69,750 $74.42 181
Jun 2009 70 $85,000 $89.11 120
May 2009 63 $62,000 $84.06 122
Apr 2009 61 $110,250 $98.28 141
Mar 2009 45 $120,000 $98.22 115
Feb 2009 24 $78,450 $81.76 138
Jan 2009 30 $99,000 $87.93 140
Dec 2008 32 $98,450 $100.68 128
Nov 2008 28 $91,000 $91.02 162
Oct 2008 48 $113,000 $117.93 149
Sep 2008 28 $144,750 $128.40 173
Aug 2008 44 $132,500 $131.80 215
Jul 2008 37 $160,500 $134.35 167
Jun 2008 35 $170,000 $143.93 248
May 2008 34 $145,000 $138.39 162
Apr 2008 32 $149,500 $150.13 205
Mar 2008 18 $117,450 $128.34 149
Feb 2008 31 $179,000 $149.92 156
Jan 2008 33 $210,000 $177.45 147
Dec 2007 27 $170,000 $148.72 172
Nov 2007 36 $160,725 $154.62 177
Oct 2007 33 $185,000 $164.14 172
Sep 2007 48 $174,000 $159.85 127
Aug 2007 48 $188,975 $170.99 109
Jul 2007 60 $189,500 $171.69 118
Jun 2007 51 $195,000 $172.81 99
May 2007 76 $222,500 $209.42 225
Apr 2007 79 $251,950 $206.77 202
Mar 2007 65 $224,000 $203.58 177
Feb 2007 65 $208,000 $198.17 180
Jan 2007 89 $244,900 $241.34 159
Dec 2006 70 $215,013 $221.94 148
Nov 2006 55 $170,000 $187.29 134
Oct 2006 67 $195,000 $180.34 116
Sep 2006 66 $206,000 $181.23 102
Aug 2006 60 $168,550 $183.21 90
Jul 2006 60 $164,750 $176.30 82
Jun 2006 64 $184,000 $191.33 85
May 2006 72 $190,000 $189.99 105
Apr 2006 65 $194,000 $189.17 96
Mar 2006 69 $178,000 $177.08 79
Feb 2006 55 $185,000 $190.42 106
Jan 2006 61 $208,000 $195.24 112
Dec 2005 68 $220,000 $200.91 110
Nov 2005 80 $205,000 $198.22 66
Oct 2005 91 $172,000 $184.88 65
Sep 2005 100 $204,500 $193.32 64
Aug 2005 125 $199,900 $192.05 59
Jul 2005 81 $190,000 $179.50 56
Jun 2005 118 $181,875 $185.49 57
May 2005 93 $185,000 $181.62 57
Apr 2005 108 $181,200 $156.34 78
Mar 2005 107 $159,900 $158.65 64
Feb 2005 76 $172,118 $153.53 86
Jan 2005 57 $165,000 $155.91 78
Dec 2004 75 $159,000 $141.94 76
Nov 2004 77 $141,000 $144.23 41
Oct 2004 96 $149,593 $140.82 43
Sep 2004 85 $146,000 $139.86 44
Aug 2004 93 $140,500 $133.51 54
Jul 2004 78 $139,950 $129.77 38
Jun 2004 78 $110,100 $120.45 49
May 2004 96 $124,950 $126.61 57
Apr 2004 85 $118,000 $115.49 54
Mar 2004 78 $115,000 $112.50 69
Feb 2004 69 $115,000 $113.80 65
Jan 2004 46 $117,600 unavailable 68
Dec 2003 52 $115,000 unavailable 80
Nov 2003 53 $117,500 unavailable 80
Oct 2003 48 $112,250 unavailable 81
Sep 2003 86 $109,450 unavailable 62
Aug 2003 69 $89,900 unavailable 79
Jul 2003 59 $104,000 unavailable 70
Jun 2003 56 $106,000 unavailable 61
May 2003 62 $97,000 unavailable 60
Apr 2003 59 $92,000 unavailable 98
Mar 2003 55 $96,500 unavailable 80
Feb 2003 45 $94,000 unavailable 70
Jan 2003 43 $82,000 unavailable 79
Dec 2002 42 $96,140 unavailable 63
Nov 2002 49 $90,000 unavailable 88
Oct 2002 59 $89,500 unavailable 65
Sep 2002 56 $91,800 unavailable 65
Aug 2002 60 $91,500 unavailable 67
Jul 2002 61 $96,000 unavailable 85
Jun 2002 53 $87,500 unavailable 70
May 2002 49 $87,000 unavailable 65
Apr 2002 42 $85,700 unavailable 65
Mar 2002 60 $84,750 unavailable 86
Feb 2002 35 $81,950 unavailable 72
Jan 2002 34 $76,500 unavailable 73
Dec 2001 43 $88,000 unavailable 100
Nov 2001 36 $85,750 unavailable 77
Oct 2001 44 $80,500 unavailable 87
Sep 2001 45 $88,000 unavailable 72
Aug 2001 63 $92,000 unavailable 63
Jul 2001 54 $94,500 unavailable 105
Jun 2001 56 $80,250 unavailable 75
May 2001 51 $78,000 unavailable 93
Apr 2001 54 $78,750 unavailable 101
Mar 2001 47 $78,200 unavailable 80
Feb 2001 39 $84,900 unavailable 108
Jan 2001 40 $95,350 unavailable 111
Dec 2000 37 $65,000 unavailable 107
Nov 2000 41 $67,700 unavailable 96
Oct 2000 42 $86,750 unavailable 83
Sep 2000 41 $85,000 unavailable 108
Aug 2000 51 $85,900 unavailable 84
Jul 2000 47 $84,000 unavailable 121
Jun 2000 54 $79,500 unavailable 83
May 2000 46 $78,250 unavailable 109
Apr 2000 44 $72,500 unavailable 100
Mar 2000 46 $66,000 unavailable 122
Feb 2000 49 $82,000 unavailable 96
Jan 2000 23 $72,000 unavailable 96
Dec 1999 38 $83,750 unavailable 86
Nov 1999 41 $60,000 unavailable 102
Oct 1999 53 $78,500 unavailable 103
Sep 1999 49 $81,500 unavailable 125
Aug 1999 49 $79,900 unavailable 117
Jul 1999 44 $85,200 unavailable 103
Jun 1999 42 $85,450 unavailable 92
May 1999 45 $82,500 unavailable 105
Apr 1999 39 $90,000 unavailable 113
Mar 1999 40 $63,250 unavailable 116
Feb 1999 36 $82,000 unavailable 97
Jan 1999 31 $84,000 unavailable 103
Dec 1998 34 $81,250 unavailable 104
Nov 1998 34 $79,500 unavailable 87
Oct 1998 44 $79,000 unavailable 96
Sep 1998 34 $71,750 unavailable 91
Aug 1998 39 $76,900 unavailable 100
Jul 1998 51 $76,500 unavailable 80
Jun 1998 62 $79,000 unavailable 90
May 1998 43 $77,500 unavailable 87
Apr 1998 39 $79,500 unavailable 107
Mar 1998 52 $73,750 unavailable 106
Feb 1998 40 $76,750 unavailable 107
Jan 1998 32 $84,450 unavailable 118


Note: The median home price data reported above covers the cities of Reno, Nevada and Sparks, Nevada [NNRMLS Area #100]. Data includes Condo/Townhouse properties only. Data excludes Site/Stickbuilt, Manufactured/Modular and Shared Ownership properties. Data courtesy of the Northern Nevada Regional MLS – February 2010


About Guy Johnson

I am a licensed Nevada REALTOR® living and working in Reno, Nevada. Give me a call at 775-722-4011. My team and I will be happy to assist you with your real estate needs.
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32 Responses to Condo median sold price, units, DOM, and $/sq.ft. – January

  1. Avatar Riley says:

    Holy Sh!t. A 77% drop in the median from the bubble high. How does that stack up with other bubble cities, does anybody know?
    Maybe Las Vegas is even worse? There cannot be very many cities in America where condo prices have dropped 77%.

  2. Avatar Calop says:

    So much for the baloney theory that prices can’t drop below replacement costs.

  3. Avatar ALPS says:

    The median price for condos, circa $50K, is back to where it was in the 1980s.

  4. Avatar GrandWazoo says:

    It will be interesting to see what the new unsold Montage joints finally sell for, if any more of them actually sell in my lifetime.

  5. Avatar lurker says:

    Can someone please explain to me how you could possibly lose by buying a $50k condo and immediately renting it out for $500-$600/month?

    Perusing Craigslist, it seems you could easily command that kind of rent for a 2br/2bath.

    Just wondering why this isn’t happening….

  6. Avatar RED says:

    Lurker, Property taxes and HOA’s can eat that little $500 up quick. When renting to the caliber of tenants so often found in the area, repairs can also be excessive. All that with high turn over. Sounds like buying the farm to me. Is it worth the headache?

    How about the price drop in 2008 alone??? That drop gives me vertigo.

  7. Avatar BanteringBear says:

    I don’t know why anyone would ever purchase a condo, especially in Reno. When you buy a condo, you don’t really own anything except for the maintenance responsibilities and ever increasing HOA dues. There’s no land, just some walls you can paint. No thanks.

  8. Avatar DownButNotOut says:

    GW – Starfire, the low bidder on Corus’s properties must be peeing their collective pants as time goes on. The assets Corus owned were all similar to the Montage – condos in boom towns that are now dropping like anvils off the Burj Khalifa observation deck. Given what they bid, even with the interest free TARP money, they must be getting close to losing it all as these condos continue to drop in value. It makes you wonder what will happen to the Montage, and as you point out, if it will be in our lifetime.

  9. Avatar bondstevenbond says:

    In Dec 2006 I attended an institutional investor luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel whose keynote speaker was Angelo Mozilo, the infamous, well-tanned, silk hanky ordained founder and CEO of Countrywide. God only knows his net worth at the time, perhaps he was worth close to a “bone”? Yet his wealth was exceeded only by his arrogance. And he had no difficulty brushing aside my question with laughter in front of an audience of 200. I had asked him what we might learn from the 70 percent decline in the price of midwestern farmland in the 70’s and the 70 percent decline in the price to Toyko condos in the 80’s? His smug answer, “I am not a farmer and I don’t live in Tokyo!” Although many of us suspected the worst, Little did any of us know then that just 3 years later Reno’s 77% drop would obliterate Tokyo’s epic declines. We have just made the history books folks. Keep in mind that now twenty plus years later, Tokyo condos STILL haven’t recovered and the Nikkei is STILL down 75% from it’s peak. Here’s to you, Angelo Mozillo, Christopher Dodd, Barney Frank, Edward Liddy, Fernando Leal, Harvey Fennel, Franklin Raines, and every last clueless, bug eyed, hype crazed, zombie infected, MLS toting, real estate licensed, bubble monkey. DO YOU SEE HOW YOU ARE??? Our sentiments are well expressed by Don Henley….

    Y’know, I remember a time when things were a lot more fun around here
    When good was good and evil was evil
    Before things got so…….fuzzy
    Yeah, I was once a golden boy like you
    And I was summoned to the halls of power in the heavenly court
    And I dined with the deities who looked upon me with favor
    For my talents; my creativity
    We sat beneath the palms in the warm afternoon
    And drank the wine with Fitzgerald and Huxley

    They pawned a biting phrase
    From tongues hot with blood
    And drained their pens of bitter ink
    Vainly reaching for the bottle full of empty Edens
    Branded specially for the ones
    Who had come with great expectations
    To the perfumed halls of Allah
    For their time in the sun

    We were stokin’ the fires
    And oilin’ up the machinery
    Until the gods found out we had ideas of our own”

    And the war was coming
    The earth was shaking
    And there was no more room
    In the Garden of Allah

  10. Avatar skeptical says:

    Epic rant BSB. Amen, brother.

    Now let’s vote the scoundrels out. Every, last, well-paid one of them, from Reid to Ensign and everyone in between.

  11. Avatar smarten says:

    I generally don’t follow IV condos but according to our friend Don Kanare [], in 2009 the median price for an IV condo was $400K down from $520K in 2008. Although one month does not make a trend, the median sales price for an IV condo in January stood at about $306.3K.

    I think the data in both Reno/Sparks and IV suggests that in the current economic climate, SFR values [although depressed] fare better than their condo counterparts.

  12. Avatar smarten says:

    One additional point. In a residential real estate recovery, FWIW condos are generally the first segment of the market to recover.

  13. Avatar bob_c says:

    even though the assessor has lowered the tax basis
    the overhead on a condo (though declining) still
    reflects the bubble—in property taxes and hoa fee (and the legal liability thereof)

  14. Avatar DonC says:

    smarten – I was under the impression that condos were usually the last segment to recover. No?

    The problem with condos is that they show up in big bunches. Coupled with a lower demand and hence thinner market than what you see for SF, if demand drops those big bunches of units are a lot of overhang, and all that overhang will effect some significant price drops.

    I actually like the idea of a condo, and even though $50/SF is a great price, it could take many years for the Reno condo market to recover. And between there and here it could get really ugly. Plus the property tax valuation as explained on this blog means you’re paying far more in taxes than you would based on actual market value.

    Builder lots are probably a better investment. They’re dead money as well but when they recover the return will be better.

  15. Avatar lurker says:

    Pay $50k for a condo, with 30% down (required these days). Your $35k fixed 30yr loan at 5.5%will cost you $200/month. Throw in $150 for HOA and $100 (high?) for prop taxes.

    Your beautiful new Reno condo will cost you $450/month.

    Add qualified renters at $550+/month, sit back, and relax as your cash flow provides you much better ROI and safety than US treasurys.

    Again, even if the equity goes nowhere over 30yrs (extremely doubtful at these levels), how can you possibly lose?

    Is this not happening because people interested in such investments have no credit or down payment? Is it that bad out there?

  16. Avatar BanteringBear says:

    DonC posted:

    “smarten – I was under the impression that condos were usually the last segment to recover. No?”

    You’re exactly right, DonC. Condos prices are the last to rise, and first to fall. I don’t know where Smarten dreams this stuff up. When called on it he disappears, like he did in the other thread.

  17. Avatar dman says:

    Lurker you CAN do that. My hoa and property taxes equal about $4k/year. Another $750 for an umbrella policy from state farm.

    I had 12 people willing to pay $1,000 no utilities except for water and sewer included! All of whom were willing to sign a 6 month or 1 year lease.

    even with maint costs I could easily clear $4,500/year. So YES it can be done! it helps if you own it outright, but still doable with a nice down and low rate on a 30 year.

  18. Avatar smarten says:

    So where are your facts BB to support your assertion that in a residential real estate recovery condos are the last to recover? I’ve gone no where.

    I’ve owned for over 30 years. What about you or is your mantra in life to just poke holes in the statements of those actually out there?

    You’re already seeing on this blog why condos are the first housing units to recover after a market crash [lurker, dman]. The prices have gotten so low that they: 1) can actually cash flow; and, 2) are far easier for first time homebuyers/former renters to afford to purchase.

    This has been my actual experience in the Bay Area Mr. BB – where’s yours?

  19. Avatar BanteringBear says:

    “You’re already seeing on this blog why condos are the first housing units to recover after a market crash…”

    Continued falling prices is a recovery? What color is the sky in your world?

    If you’ve gone nowhere, how come you never answered to your lies on the other thread, Smarten?

  20. Avatar KingBud says:

    Lurker, I suspect you’re right about condo pricing now. An investment is at the point now where it can cash flow. Here’s my numbers assuming purchase of a $50,000 condo. I think my numbers are conservative, but if not anyone should feel free to question my assumptions:

    1. Monthly mortgage assuming 30-year fixed at 6% interest rate, 20% down = $239.82

    2. Monthly property tax at 2% of purchase value = $83.33

    3. Monthly insurance expense at $750/year premium expense = $62.50

    4. HOA monthly fee of $100

    5. Maintenance/mgmt allowance of $2,000/year = $166.67 per month.

    That gives a monthly expense outlay of $652.35. If you want to have $150/month in positive cash flow, you would need to get $802.32/month in rent.

    So the question is: does the Reno rental market currently support a monthly rental expense of about $800 ??

    Anyone have any thoughts on this ??

  21. Avatar lurker says:

    I think your figures are very conservative, so we agree that positive cash flow is feasible or likely at these levels.

    My bank tells me that I’d have to provide a 30% down payment on an investment property, so that there would be a bigger down payment, but also a lower monthly payment. Sorry if I’m being master of the obvious on that one.

    $800/month feels like a stretch to me on the rent. However, you’re pretty generous with your maintenance/mgt fees. Additionally, you don’t account for any tax benefits (depreciation), or equity improvement.

    I know many will snipe at this, but I believe the risk/gain of equity value improvement on a $50/sq.ft. property weighs heavily towards gain over the next 10-20 yrs for a long term holder. Even assuming a 3% inflation over 10 years, you have a 35% appreciation built in in that time span.

    If you are one who believes current govt/fed policies may lead to severe inflation or worse, then the investment is a no-brainer.

    Where is Old Parnell, anyway? He seems to be doing quite well in this end of the market?

  22. Avatar smarten says:

    Hey Mr. BB –

    Just because you ask questions doesn’t mean I’m going to oblige you with an answer – nor does the fact I choose not to mean I’ve gone anywhere. You asked me what my “angle” was, and I answered. You don’t like the answer – fine. But I don’t need to get into a pissing contest with you – and I choose not to.

    I told you you indeed have a horse in this race and it’s you. I believe your most recent testy comments make the point.

    Now for the benefit of others, did I ever say the Reno/Sparks condo market had recovered? Did I ever say it was going anywhere? What I said was that you’re already seeing on this blog why I made the statement I made to the effect that condos are generally the first segment of the residential real estate market to recover after a big drop in value [for your benefit Mr. BB, I was referring to posters like lurker, kingbud and dman who have all stated that with condo prices so low, it might make sense to make a purchase because it can cash flow]. Me thinks it’s you who need to go back to [reading comprehension] school.

    Again let me make the suggestion that you refrain from commenting upon any of my posts, and I’ll do likewise with you. But because it’s really all about you, I doubt you’ll take me up on my offer.

  23. Avatar BanteringBear says:


    Lying to misrepresent what others say, then refusing to answer when called on it says a lot about your character, or lack thereof. I’d advise you to go re-read all your posts on the IV thread, specifically your last, to understand why you haven’t a shred of credibility left. The only question I’m left with regarding you is whether or not you’ll bail when you find yourself $750k upside down in your IV property. Given the fact that you walked away in HI when it didn’t turn out in your favor leads me to believe the answer is a resounding YES. Your moral compass seems to be completely out of service.

  24. Avatar Old Parnell says:

    King Bud,
    At the risk of interrupting the squabbles going on- you pretty much nailed the costs. A little high on some areas (insurance,prop tax), a little low on others (HOA min. $150/mth). While taking advantage of some exceptionally low interest rates, I try to come in around $600-$650/month in costs-although some months are better than others. $800/month for a SR townhome is realistic in this market, tough but attainable.
    $200/month free cash flow is not going to make anyone rich-but with the five units, it supplements the other retirement funds ok. I spend on average 1 day per week taking care of business, so while not as generous as say a congressional pension, I would say I’m pretty satisfied with my retirement investment. Granted, my tastes these days are pretty modest, no IV “Tahoe” construction for me, but rather a round of golf, some volunteer work, some grandchildren play and a single 12-year Macellan on the rocks pretty much fills out the perfect day.
    For all the get rich quick schemers out there-this business is not for you. Indeed, watching the (beige) paint dry on your condo wall will be quicker than watching your investment grow.
    Take care, and relax.
    Old Parnell

  25. Avatar Sully says:

    Wow, a lot of experts on this blog.

    Condos are first to recover!
    Condos are last to recover!

    Prices are still too high.
    Prices have bottomed.

    Except in IV.
    Especially in IV.

    Unemployment is up, no one can pay bills.
    EZ credit allows everyone to borrow to pay bills.

    Now is a good time to buy, so buy now or forever price yourself out of the market.
    Continue to rent until prices stabilize, prices are still too high.

    Did I miss anything? Heck, with friends like this who needs enemies? 🙂

  26. Avatar smarten says:

    Sully asks if he missed anything?

    Well yes, thank you for asking. According to our friend Mr. BB,

    1. The “high end” of the IV SFR market starts at $250K.

    2. The $1M-$1.5M segment of the IV SFR market is poised to drop another 90% [let’s see, if my mortgage is $900K; I’m poised to soon be $750K underwater; that will put the FMV of my home at $150K; which represents a loss of equity since July of $1.35M; which equals a 90% after an already 45% drop in equity (isn’t it fun what we can do with numbers?). Have I missed anything?].

    3. So I guess if the “high end” of the IV SFR market currently stands at $250K, anyone who wants to purchase in IV [CL?] will soon be able to fulfill his/her wish for MINUS $200K or so. In other words, just hold on; soon IV sellers will pay YOU $200K just to purchase their properties!

    4. And I guess if IV sellers will soon pay you $200K, what do you think Reno/Sparks sellers will soon be willing to pay you?

    You heard it here folks! And parenthetically, exactly who would that be who’s lost credibility?

  27. Avatar skeptical says:

    If I can interrupt the smackdown between BB and Smarten….

    Sully, absolutely classic post. Yet another keeper.

  28. Avatar BanteringBear says:

    Smarten posted:

    “Well yes, thank you for asking. According to our friend Mr. BB,

    1. The “high end” of the IV SFR market starts at $250K.”

    Another BALD FACED LIE, Smarten. I NEVER said that. I called the “over $500k market” high end. Are you so dumb that you think you can get away with such blatant untruths? It’s obvious that you have no ammo when it comes to me, so you have to lie to misrepresent what I say. I stand by everything I’ve said on this blog, and don’t come back apologizing for my lack of objectivity in far reaching posts, begging forgiveness, like you.

    Anyone can manufacture fictitious values for their own residences Smarten, but passing those fantasies off as reality is an entirely different thing. Thank god the bank made you put down $600k+, because every bit of that is going to be needed to keep you in that overpriced yuppie boomer shack. At $150k underwater, you might actually stay put rather than leaving the lender holding the bag which you are so fond of.

  29. Avatar skeptical says:

    For those of you who think that the bottom may be close at hand, don’t hold your breath. Condo pricing on premium homes in the best school districts is upon us.

    3881 Vistacrest, built in 1989, originally listed at $689k, and in the Caughlin Ranch school area, now listed at $299k. Listing says the seller is a Nevada Licensee. I reckon that means agent?

    And the hits just keep on coming. Ironically, if it sells within 40% of the current asking price, median sales price will tick up.

    That’s why anyone planning to buy would be better off waiting until we can have some confidence that a bottom is within site. Otherwise, sit back and watch the prices fall.

    Still holding out for my Montreux masterpiece ca. 2015 for $350k…or less…

  30. Avatar smarten says:

    Boy, three years plus on this blog and I’ve never seen Mr. BB so defensive nor sensitive. How does it feel big boy?

  31. Avatar BanteringBear says:

    You’re accusing ME of being defensive, Smarten? Who was it, again, who was “embarrassed”, and “apologized” for being “defensive” and losing their objectivity? Is it because you have no defense that you simply change the subject when called on your BS? Why don’t you answer to your lies? Could it be that because the facts don’t support your bizarre utterances, you can only resort to character assassination, Mr. Strawman? You have lost every ounce of credibility you ever had. I must say, though, you’ve done a fine job of sticking your foot in your mouth in the absence of Derrick.

  32. Avatar Raymond says:

    “overpriced yuppie boomer shack”

    I love it.

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