Douglas County housing market slowing

Kurt Hildebrand / The Record-Courier

Douglas County’s housing market appears to be cooling off, according to figures released last week by Sierra Nevada Realtors.

May 2023 saw 62 home sales in Douglas County, down 6.1% from April, when 66 homes were sold and 7.5% from May 2022.

In the second quarter of 2022, the Douglas County Assessor’s Office reported 213 homes were sold across the county.

The median sales price in East Fork Township, which includes Carson Valley and Topaz Ranch Estates, was up to $530,000, up 1.9% from April, but down 10.5% from May 2022.

The first quarter of 2023 saw a drop in home sales in the township from 131 in the last quarter of 2022 to 104 in the first quarter of 2023, according to the Douglas County Assessor’s Office.

That was the lowest number since the second year of the Great Recession in 2009 and the lowest number in any quarter since.

The median sales price of homes sold during the quarter dropped to $543,700, with the average price of $645,416, both decreases from the fourth quarter of 2022, when 167 homes were sold.

The decrease in home sales made a dent in the county’s taxable sales.

Douglas merchants reported a 7.7% drop in sales during the month of March, bringing in $85.77 million, according to figures released by the Nevada Department of Taxation at the beginning of June.

Sectors associated with new homes, including building material and supplies, electronics and appliances, furniture and home furnishings posted big decreases during the month.

Building materials showed a 41.8% decline from March 2022, down to $5.6 million from $9.6 million.

Furnishing new homes dropped 43.9% to $1.5 million, while appliances and electronics dropped 33.5% to $2 million.

General merchandise stores, like the two Walmarts and the Target, reported a 9.1% decrease in sales over the month to $9.34 million.

Taxable sales generated in the tourism sectors showed mixed results.

The largest category in the county, food service and drinking places reported $12.18 million, up 12.2% from last year. Accommodations were down 16.8% for March to $3.37 million, while amusement, gambling and recreation was down 41.6% to $1.1 million.

March was the sixth month of decreases, with October 2022 the last month to see an increase in taxable sales compared to the same month in 2021.

However, the first four months of the fiscal year, which started July 1, 2022, where taxable sales shot up to around or above $100 million a month in the first quarter, are still carrying the county along.

According to figures released by the Nevada Department of Taxation, the county is still ahead 4.2% going into the final quarter of 2023.

Other Northern Nevada counties such as Carson City, Churchill and Washoe counties are either down for the year or right on the bubble, while the state’s economic engine in Clark County is up 9.3% for the year with $47.8 billion in sales since July 1. That’s nearly three times of the combined sales for the entire rest of the state over the first three quarters.

This is the first year Douglas County will rely entirely on sales taxes collected in the state after it lost its guaranteed status on July 1.

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