August median sold price, units, DOM, $/sq.ft.

August’s median sales price jumped up more than 6 percent over July’s median sold price. The median is now at $175,500 and up a whopping 30 percent year-to-date, and up 14 percent year-over-year. These are incredible gains. And as I mentioned in Wednesday’s post, the Reno-Sparks market is not alone in experiencing rapidly rising prices.

The median sold price per square foot continues to climb as well, increasing to $98.78/sq.ft. in August. This number is 4.2 percent higher than July’s $94.82/sq.ft; 21.7 percent higher than the low of $81.16/sq.ft. hit in January of this year; and 8.1 percent higher than August of last year.

August saw a robust 506 houses sold. This number of units sold is in line with the 509 sold in July and the 514 sold in June.

As we’ve observed over the past few months, days on market (DOM) continues to decrease. August’s median DOM of 86 days is the lowest DOM number we’ve seen since the peak months of the housing bubble back in 2005. The current low DOM is undoubted driven by the market’s extremely low inventory. Many new listings don’t last a day on the market without receiving multiple offers – with many offers being “all cash with a quick close”.

Speaking of inventory, available inventory has increased a bit – a welcome change in this extremely tight market. Today’s snapshot is showing a 6 percent increase in the number of available listed houses over last month. However, given the current rate of sales, the market still has less than a two-month supply.

August sales by type break out as follows:

  • REO sales: 13% – down from July’s 15%
  • Short sales: 38% – no change from July’s 38%
  • Equity sales: 49% – up from July’s 45%

Equity sales continue to climb – comprising nearly half of all sales.

August sales by price band break out as follows in the table below. 10% of the houses sold in August sold for less than $100,000; 62% sold for less than $200,000; 83% sold for less than $300,000; and 93% sold for less than $400,000.

sales price ($000’s) units sold
0 – 99 52
100 – 199 260
200 – 299 109
300 – 399 51
400 – 499 16
500 – 599 7
600 – 699 6
700 – 799 1
800 – 899 2
900 – 999 2
1M+ 0
total 506

For those readers who prefer the median sold price for houses and condos combined, August’s 615 sold houses, condos and town homes exhibited a combined median sold price of $155,000 – no change from July’s median of $155,000 for 601 combined sales.

Below are the last 13 months of data:

Month Year # Sold Median Sold Price Sold Price per Sq Ft Median DOM # of Actives # of Pendings
Aug 2012 506 $175,500 $98.78 86 882 1,846
July 2012 509 $165,000 $94.82 91 832 1,873
Jun 2012 514 $170,000 $91.48 92 759 1,891
May 2012 522 $164,750 $90.56 99 783 1,873
Apr 2012 526 $151,100 $87.04 95 785 1,885
Mar 2012 540 $149,900 $84.89 107 809 1,889
Feb 2012 465 $145,500 $82.12 100 980 1,788
Jan 2012 448 $135,000 $81.16 123 1,170 1,643
Dec 2011 534 $155,000 $85.86 123 1,403 1,481
Nov 2011 497 $149,012 $85.02 115 1,545 1,635
Oct 2011 497 $148,000 $84.32 107 1,682 1,646
Sep 2011 575 $149,000 $83.73 106 2,044 1,967
Aug 2011 555 $154,000 $91.36 98 1,947 1,694

Note: 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 – September 2012. Note: This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

Click here for historical data back to 1998.

Related post: July median sold price, units, DOM, $/sq.ft.


  1. Twister

    If this keeps up and I think it will, we could see this story gain national attention and wouldnt that be something after all the negative headlines in the last year. News spreading that Reno has one of the hottest housing markets in the country will be like throwing fuel on the fire and even a post AB284 wont be able to stop it! Ohhhh the irony.

  2. Dr. Fargo

    Politicians manipulate the economy for electoral purposes. Its short term improvement to the economy. Guy, if you can help me; Who is buying? (family, investors and etc) I am interested in buying a home in Tahoe/Reno area since I enjoy the Tahoe/Reno area. My financial advisor tell me to wait until after the election. Should I listen to my financial advisor or to a real estate agent.

  3. Guy Johnson

    Dr. Fargo, to your question, “Who is buying?”; it is all types of buyers. Certainly investors are a large proportion of the mix [and this includes new first-time investors who feel the time is right to diversify into real estate]. But it also includes first-time homebuyers; retirees relocating here, and homebuyers who have been sitting on the fence for a few years.

    Regarding your second question, it sounds as though you are asking a market timing question. Those questions are always difficult (if not impossible) to answer. So, from a macroeconomic standpoint I suppose I’ll defer to your financial advisor. If you’d care to share, I’d be interested in hearing just what he/she thinks is going to happen to the housing market post-election.

  4. Twister

    Yeah I’d like to hear what the financial advisor has to say too! Sounds like hes asleep at the wheel and about 8-12 months late to the party.

  5. ursula

    We are one of the fence-sitters who are finally buying in the Reno area. In fact, after following this blog for so many years (at least 6), we signed up with Guy to help us with the process.

    We feel we found a very good deal. I’m not going to post about it yet because I’m superstitious and we are mere handful of days away from closing.


  6. walt trauth

    Four questions: Dr. Fargo, how well did this financial advisor protect you in the summer of “08? If he couldn’t save you then, why would you believe him now?(I’m not asking you to answer. Just think abut it.)
    Guy, what percent of these purchases are all cash? How does that number compare with pre-crash cash buyer numbers?

  7. Guy Johnson

    Good question. I assume you are making a correlation between cash buyers and investors – which is likely. So, I’ve pulled sales from the last 90 days. [I can use a different time period, if you’d like.] These 1,473 sales from the last 90 days break out as follows:

    • 553 (37.5%) were financed with a conventional mortgage
    • 389 (26.4%) were financed through an FHA loan
    • 94 (6.4%) were financed with a VA loan
    • 396 (26.9%) were purchased for cash
    • the remaining 41 (2.8%) of sales were purchased in other ways, such as assumption of existing mortgage; owner financed; contract of sale.

    How does the current proportion of cash buyers compare to pre-crash proportions? I have always heard that in a “normal” market cash buyers account for less than 10 percent of home purchases. So, obviously, the nearly 27 percent we’re seeing today is well above that number.
    But just to confirm, I took a look at home sales from a six-month period from 2001. I chose the months April 2001 – September 2001. [Again, I’d be happy to use a time period of your choosing.] The 2,451 home purchases during that period break out as follows:

    • 1,722 (70.3%) were financed with a conventional mortgage
    • 362 (14.8%) were financed through an FHA loan
    • 114 (4.7%) were financed with a VA loan
    • 180 (7.3%) were purchased for cash
    • the remaining 73 (2.9%) of sales were purchased in other ways, such as assumption of existing mortgage; owner financed; contract of sale.


  8. walt trauth

    Guy, thank you for your excellent and incredibly prompt response. You continue to produce valuable, pertinent data. And yes, my question was related to investor purchases compared to owner occupied. I was also trying to get a feel for any easing of credit. For a while the lenders were advertising extremely low rates but were reluctant to make the loans. It appears that may have eased somewhat, yes?
    Thanks again.

  9. tyler durden

    where is debbie downer aka bb ???

  10. Dirtbagger

    There seems to be a number of reasons one could attribute to improvement in the Reno housing market. Historic low interest rates, supply constraint (AB-284 and banks), investment activity, arbitrage opportunitity between cost of new construction vs existing housing, fence sitters who believe the local housing market has bottomed, etc.

    It still seems that forward housing demand is going to be a bit iffy until the local economy improves. Not so sure the housing market has legs until unemployment dips below 10% and we have rising wage trends.

  11. Mark M

    Where are the jobs for Reno? Let’s see what’d happen after the election. My 2c.

  12. tyler durden

    mark m—

    where are the jobs anywhere in the USA?

    zirp and inflation is the medicine being used….right or wrong

  13. Tom

    Mark and Tyler, for whatever it is worth, there seem to be new job openings currently near us, in the financial center of downtown Los Angeles. We just added one person, in fact, at our office. This was a position with requirements of a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university, an ABA-accredited Paralegal Certificate, and three years of general law office experience, including certain software familiarity requirements. So I think for people with a useful combination of education, experience and office skills, there are jobs out there, and more opening up. I don’t know about other market segments, though.

  14. Matthew

    Tom, the reality is that reliable and skilled people are *always* in demand. The question is a matter of price.

    Price is contentious, though, because of existing debt obligations people have combined with the rising cost of living (inflation, per Tyler’s comment) and the lack of performance in non centrally-planned asset classes (ZIRP, per Tyler’s comment).

    The prolonging of this crisis is that we’re looking for the hair of the dog and rather than “investing” money to retrain and facilitate productive capacity for those “out of work” we are supplementing to extend their condition…. and this is not healthy for the state nor the individuals.

  15. walt

    We can’t go back to the great real estate market we once built. It’s gone forever. If you’re waiting for the market to “come back” you’re in for a long wait. Time and markets go in one direction. We can only go on to the new real estate market that we build.

  16. Tom

    Matthew, I don’t think it is the case that reliable and skilled people are `always’ in demand. Last year this time, major law firms in downtown Los Angeles were laying off paralegals, secretaries, and junior associates. Probably the majority of them would be deemed reliable and skilled by most measures. The cost to the law firms to retain those people would be no different now than it was then. The difference was then the economy was still sliding downhill then, and now there are some perceived glimmers of positive change. So the firms are willing to step out and incur those same costs to staff up.

  17. Matthew

    @Tom, If I made it sound like they were always “in demand in their preferred field” then I was not clear.

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