The median sale price for existing homes in Reno-Sparks fell for the third straight month as the residential real estate market continues to normalize from its record highs.
The combined median price for an existing single-family home in Reno and Sparks in August fell to $565,686, a decrease of 1.5% from July. Unit sales also fell by 22% to 437 homes. The data is limited to existing stick-built homes and does not include condominiums, townhouses and manufactured housing, according to the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors.
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“The market in Reno-Sparks continues to cool down with fewer homes being listed each month,” said RSAR President Sarah Scattini. “But it is giving more chances for people to enter the market.”
The Reno-Sparks market reported 595 new listings in August, down 20% from the same month last year. The market is still slightly up for the whole year with 5,173 new listings recorded compared to 4,955 at the same point in 2021.
The decline in the median home price in August was fueled by Sparks, which saw its median sale price fall to $565,686 from $574,510 in July.
Reno actually saw its median price increase by less than a percent to $599,999 — the second month in a row that the median price remained below $600,000. Previously, the Reno median home price was at $600,000 or higher in five of the last eight months.
The continued decrease represents a marked change for the Reno-Sparks housing market, which saw a rapid surge in median home prices after the Great Recession.
Not even the COVID-19 pandemic was enough to cool the local housing market, which saw Reno-Sparks median home prices jump from $399,900 in May 2020 to a record high of $615,000 in May this year. In the city of Reno, the median home sale price reached an all-time high of $635,000 in June.
Instead, it was rising interest rates that ultimately slowed down the once red-hot housing market in the Biggest Little City as the Fed enacted multiple rate hikes to address rampant inflation.
Since then, homes have been staying on the market longer. In August 2021, for example, properties spent an average of just six days on the market before getting to contract. The number rose to 14 days in July of this year and now stands at 32 days in August.
Sellers also continue to see declines in final sale prices compared to their initial asking price. The number fell to 98.3% of asking price compared to 99.2% in July and 102.1% in August 2021.
Months supply of inventory, which tracks how fast current inventory would sell at the current pace of sales if no new inventory entered the market, remained around the three-month mark compared to just one month in August of last year. Traditionally, a balanced market between sellers and buyers would have six months of inventory.
The move to a more balanced market means that negotiation skills are back in play once more, according to Scattini. It also means that there is no longer a rush to snap up a property right away, Scattini added.
“Those looking to purchase a home now have more time to decide while those trying to sell their home may see their listing on the market for longer,” Scattini said.
Jason Hidalgo covers business and technology for the Reno Gazette Journal, and also reviews the latest video games. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhidalgo. Like this content? Support local journalism with an RGJ digital subscription.