Not all real estate investors are fleeing Las Vegas housing market

By Eli Segall
 

With Las Vegas home prices much higher than last year, Wall Street investors have started to pull back and buy fewer properties.

But overall, investor appetite is growing statewide.

Institutional investors, or buyers who pick up at least 10 homes a year, accounted for 25 percent of all residential sales in Nevada last month, according to a new report from RealtyTrac. That’s up from 14 percent of all sales in August.

In the Las Vegas Valley, such buyers accounted for 15 percent of sales from January through July.

The uptick in investment deals comes as the valley’s housing market, after a two-year hot streak, shows signs of cooling off.

The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes in Southern Nevada last month was $180,000, down 1 percent from August but still up 29 percent from a year ago, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

Last month was the first since January 2012 that prices fell from the previous month.

Local real estate agents have said that several big-money investment firms, which swooped in after the housing bubble burst to buy cheap homes in bulk and turn them into rentals, are paring down on purchases because of the rising prices they helped create.

But not all investors have left Las Vegas, agents said, citing an apparent influx of smaller buyers who have been snapping up rental properties.

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