How Hot Is It Out There?

We were wondering what influence heat has on real estate activity, so for a little background research we went to our friend, the Web. That’s when we got pulled down a different, rather fascinating, rabbit hole.

We queried Google with the words “real estate heat” and were sent to The real estate site offered up a page titled “USA Heat Map,” a state-by-state breakdown of average listing and sales prices for the week of … July 11, 2006. The 6-year-old map shows Nevada’s median home-resale price at a steaming $309,995 and median listing price at $366,104.

Summer heat has never deterred house hunters in the Valley. In fact, prior to the previous five summers, we went through several decades of appreciation, anchored by hot summer buying seasons. Even if it was oven-like outside, buyers still bought into our perpetually hot market.

Today, median sales prices have cooled to around $130,000, but sales are picking up, and marketers want buyers to think the market will just keep getting hotter. This brings us back to Trulia, which recently published another chart, with the help of the National Association of Realtors, claiming that Nevada has the lowest shadow inventory—houses stuck in foreclosure limbo—among the 50 states. Unfortunately, that seems like wishful thinking: Recent upticks in default notices indicate that the next wave of an estimated 100,000 foreclosures has already begun. Expect today’s low-shadow-inventory hot air to hit a cold front by the end of the year.