In the second quarter this year, 161 homes sold for a median price of $175,000, according to the Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors, which tracks sales in the capital and parts of Douglas County. That’s a 37 percent jump in homes sold and 10 percent boost in the price from the first three months of 2013, when 117 homes sold at a median price of $159,000. That encouraging data follows an upbeat 2012, when the number of houses sold increased 12 percent from the year earlier, although the median price dropped slightly to $130,000. “It is definitely positive,” says Kathy Tatro, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Select Real Estate in Carson City. “I think it started changing at the end of last year.” That’s when demand at the low end began to heat up and sellers started receiving multiple offers on homes priced under $250,000. Higher priced homes, meanwhile, remained mired in a slow market. The good news now, evidenced by a continual quarterly jump in median prices, is that interest is spreading across the board.
Inventory is down, even bumping up building activity in the city, which is already probably the most land-constrained town in northern Nevada outside Lake Tahoe. Mortgage rates are creeping up. Last week the rate on a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.37 percent, a full point higher than the average two months before. And unemployment in the capital is stagnantly high at 10.1 percent, according to data for June released by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. Foreclosures are down, though, and inventory is low. In Nevada, foreclosures dropped 84 percent in June from the previous month.