Las Vegas foreclosures still dominated home resales in December last year despite a drop in the percentage of foreclosure sales in the area, based on sales data from a San Diego-based real estate information provider.

Bank houses for sale and other types of distressed properties accounted for 63.3 percent of all home resales in the metro area, down from 64.2 percent in November and significantly down from 68.9 percent in December 2008.

It was in April 2009 that foreclosure sales peaked, accounting for 73.7 percent of all sales of pre-owned homes in the area. Since then, the foreclosure percentage dropped each month.

Despite the drop in foreclosure sales, overall home resales in December in the Las Vegas area soared to its highest point in five years as investors and first time home buyers snapped up homes priced at less than $200,000. The December sales last year marked the highest for the month of December since 2006 when the December sales reached 5,780 units.

More than 5,300 new and pre-owned homes and condo units got sold in the metro area in December, an 11.1-percent rise from November and a 33-percent jump from December 2008. Since 1994, a sales increase between the months of November and December has been posted, with an average increase of 12.6 percent.

As Las Vegas foreclosures still accounted for over half of all resales, their downward pressure on the home price median was still strong. The median sales price for new and pre-owned homes and condo units sold in December dropped to $129,000, a decrease of 4.4 percent from the $134,900 median in November and a 26.3-percent drop from $175,000 in December last year. The peak median price was reached in November 2006, when the median sales price hit $312,000.

The median for pre-owned single-family homes last December was $135,000 – the same as the price median for the previous two months but marked a 22.4-percent decrease from $174,005 in December last year. The peak resale price for single-family homes was reached in June 2006, when the median hit $312,250.

For pre-owned condos, the median sales price increased last December to $73,000 from the November median of $70,500, but it marked a 23.2-percent drop from the $95,000 median in December 2008.

Additionally, the sales data from the California-based real estate firm showed that the percentage of Nevada foreclosures and Las Vegas foreclosures purchased in 2009 by cash buyers, investors, second-home purchases and buyers using loans insured by the FHA increased.

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