Aug. 5, 2012
One Las Vegan has made nine propositions since February. He's hired professionals to help him
find the right house. Four banks have pre-qualified him.
Yet, every time he's made an offer on a home, someone else has swooped in, usually an investor
with cash, often with a higher bid -- to snatch the property from his clutches.
He recently offered $138,500 for a $124,900 house and got rejected, his bid being the third highest.
A local realtor said that "Las Vegas is a buyer's market only in regard to price. In reality, it's
practically impossible for someone relying on a mortgage to buy here today. There are just too many people chasing too few homes."
In a clash between between cash investors and mortgage backed buyers, the financed buyer loses
almost every time. In the past 10 months or so, according to this realtor, more than 90 percent of his sales on homes priced at $125,000 have gone to cash buyers.
Investors dominate the game. Cash has long reigned in the local Las Vegas and Henderson housing market. The Vegas association of Realtors reported in February 2011 that cash buyers made up 51 percent of all local buyers. It was the first time that cash transactions were the majority of sales here or perhaps anywhere in the country according to officials.
This trend has intensified -- numbers show that 54 percent of buyers paid cash in June.
Investors remain hot in the Las Vegas market because homes are undervalued. The median home price for a
single family home was $131,785 in June down from a peak of $290,000 in fall 2006, and below a national
average of $190,100.
Investors can even find better deals on attached housing. Among townhomes and condos, the local
median price was $69,000 in June, compared with $205,000 in mid-2006.