LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Is another "foreclosure tsunami" about to sweep through southern Nevada? It looks like the region might be in for Round 2, but this time there may be some opportunities.
Real estate experts say there are recent signs that buyers and sellers need to be aware of.
Notices of defaults have tripled in the first two months of the year compared with last year.
While 2012 was a slow year for foreclosures because of a state law requiring banks to prove they had the right to foreclose, local real estate attorney Tara Newberry says the increase could alter market dynamics.
“If we go back to the same numbers as 2010 and 2011 as far as trustee (foreclosure) sales occurring then I think the real estate market will go down,” Newberry said. “If they continue with the practice of trying to short sell the property even after a foreclosures has started then, I think it won't have as much of an impact on the market price of most of our homes.”
More defaults and foreclosures could help with the shortage of inventory.
“We've got a tremendous demand, and so the foreclosures that do hit the market are selling well above market value,” said Forest Barbee, Prudential Americana Group broker and Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors spokesman
But the increase in the rate of defaults -- combined with a possible end to the mortgage forgiveness debt relief act at the end of the year -- has local professionals saying 2013 is the year to act.
“For those that were taking advantage of lull in foreclosures, I think that that cushion has come to an end and they may need to list the property for a short sale or start communicating with the back about a resolution, the sooner the better,” Newberry said.
Realtor Barbee agrees.
“So there is only 10 months left to get that done and get it closed without having to deal with the possible tax consequences,” Barbee said. “So, yes, anybody who is sitting on the sideline or thinking about it, the clock is ticking.”
While short sales and foreclosure sales have dominated the market in recent years, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reports more homes are being sold now through traditional sales. These sales accounted for more than half of all local home sales in January.