It’s still a good time to be selling a home in Sparks.
Just maybe not as good as it was a few months before.
“In general, it’s still a seller’s market,” Dickson Realty Broker-Salesperson Amy Shocket said of the current Sparks real estate housing and rental values. “We’re seeing the typical fall slowdown that can be attributed to kids going back to school and people getting settled back in from vacation.’’
Shocket said that there is not a lot of inventory to buy right now in the Reno-Sparks area, which is not unusual, and houses are holding their value. She said a slowdown in sales was expected, but hasn’t really happened.
In the overall scheme of things, Shocket says that big jumps in the housing market aren’t sustainable. Currently 59 percent of Reno-Sparks families can afford a median family home priced at $275k based on a $67,000 yearly salary. But if prices of houses continue to rise without those mid-level paying employment opportunities, locals will be priced out.
“There’s potential to have significant growth in the market as big factories continue building out their facilities,” Shocket says of companies like Apple and Tesla coming in. “By 2020, the area is expected to have 9,000 new jobs available.”
According to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Nevada experienced a 4.5 percent employment growth in 2015 with projections of 10,000 jobs added per year in Northern Nevada alone. With a growth rate at almost double the national average, 5,000 homes will be necessary to fill an estimated demand.
As more people are relocating to Sparks due to skyrocketing housing prices, Reno-Sparks homebuilders are trying to make up the inventory shortage with new developments.
“It’s gradually ramping back up; they’re building like crazy,” says Shocket.
As far as the rental market is concerned, Shocket says that rental prices have gone up significantly and inventory is low.
Dickson Realty Realtor/Property Manager Charles Johns agrees. “Prices have gone up and monthly rents are increasing,” he says, noting that certain markets in Washoe County are particularly aggressive. “Inventory is still low; if folks aren’t selling homes then investors aren’t buying them and tenants aren’t transitioning as much.’’
As a property manager, Johns has seen home values continue to rise since 2012 with the subsequent effect of “buyers are wanting to buy; renters are wanting to rent”. Overall, Johns thinks that the economy had to hit bottom in order to build back up. “Now there’s excitement with the economy being good,” he says.
Johns acknowledges that locals who may have thought about buying two or three years ago may be in a tough spot now with quickly rising prices. But luckily, builders are helping to fill the demand. “They are building as fast as they can and then move on, but aren’t as aggressive as in the past in acquiring new land,” Johns has observed.
Although not everyone is in a financial position to get a mortgage, “If people can qualify for a loan, they should consider buying,” Shocket says. She noted that since there are not a lot of rental properties available, it’s also hard on clients who want to upgrade. “It’s hard for them to sell their home and have enough equity to buy a new one.”
“We’ve come a long way in the last three years with the economy,” Johns says. “I don’t know what the future holds, but I hope the trend continues. I would like to see more modest growth, but the economy has changed so much. Jobs create a circulation of money and that’s a lot better than where we were at 12 years ago.”