Reno continues to see record or near record number of unit sales each month, though the median price is still declining (free falling if last month’s results continue).  The RSAR (Reno Sparks Association of Realtors, an unbiased and trustworthy reporter of facts (not)) reports a high level of first time buyers in the market.  Is it true?

I took a snapshot of single family homes and end/interior townhouses that have posted as sold so far this month on the Washoe Assessor’s site.  I included townhouses since cluster housing like the Village at Somersett are often included in this building type.  I sorted for properties sold for $75,00 – 150,000, the low but near median market.  There were 3 sales that were between family members that I excluded, leaving 86 so far this month.

41 Investor Sales

45 First Time Buyer (FTB) Sales

I do not claim this to be a 100% scientific study, but it is an interesting look at the order of magnitude of the distribution of sales around the median and low end of the market.  This is the range were the rent/purchase equation is positive for investors, but where the FTBs need to enter the market.  Some of the “investors” may in fact be move up buyers, but they already own homes in Reno.  Some of the “FTBs” may actually be investors new to the market, but I tried to screen them out by their mailing addresses.

I quite frankly thought the percentage of FTB sales would have been a lot lower, and the Investor sales higher.  This is a good thing, if qualified first time buyers are actually able to enter the market, thanks to low prices and low interest rates (a decent number of the FTB purchases were cash, but they all looked legit).  Trustee’s Deeds at the courthouse steps are excluded from this analysis, but the resale of those properties are included.  My data set is HERE if you are interested.

With FTBs and Investors about equally represented in this price sector, competition could easily bump the median back up.  Any thoughts, or did I just Geek out for nothing?