Vegas home sales surge as cash buyers flood market

Las Vegas-area home sales are on the mend as cash rules supreme.

The long-suffering Las Vegas housing market last month had its strongest sales for a February in six years, according to San Diego real estate research firm DataQuick.

Sales were up 5.0% from January and 8.9% from February 2011 to total 4,240 homes sold in Clark County. New home sales hit a four-year high and sales of previously owned homes were at their strongest since 2005.

Cash buyers purchased 52.9% of Las Vegas-area homes last month, a sign of just how prevalent investors are in that market. Sales of distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – made up close to two-thirds of all previously owned properties sold last month.

The region’s median home price edged up 1.8% from January to hit $112,000, though that was down 5.9% from February 2011. The year-over-year decline was the smallest drop in a year. The median is now back to where it was in the mid-1990s.

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New home sales fall 1.6% in February; KB Home orders tumble

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