Strength of Elko’s economy supports strong home sales |

Strength of Elko’s economy supports strong home sales

Rob Sabo

Sales of new and existing homes in Elko County remain strong, and many out-of-work homebuilders have been lured to the area in hopes of finding employment, Elko area real estate agents say.

Real estate agents in Elko County sold 21 new site-built and manufactured homes in the first quarter of 2011 at an average sale price of $285,696. In the first quarter of 2010, Elko-area agents sold 18 new homes at an average price of $229,133. Jesse James, owner of RE/MAX Gold, says sales of eight new homes priced at more than $300,000 each caused the 24 percent increase in average price.

“New construction is still very prosperous; it hasn’t slowed down at all,” James says. “Our market is flourishing. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

James says that for the calendar year 2010 there were 88 new homes sold in Elko County.

Tammy Bawcom of Bawcom Real Estate in Spring Creek says in addition to home builders, she’s seeing a lot of electricians and other subcontractors relocating to Elko seeking work.

“We are attracting all the other building trades,” Bawcom says.

Sales of existing homes in Elko County have been brisk as well.

For the first quarter of 2011, there were a total of 96 homes sold at an average price of $207,771. Homes spent an average of 164 days on the market. In the first three months of 2010, there were 85 homes sold at an average price of $202,366, including sale of a $1.6 million home in the quarter. Homes in the first quarter of 2010 were listed for an average of 149 days.

James says RE/MAX Gold’s six agents have been extremely busy for months and she doesn’t predict a slowdown anytime soon.

“The market is very stable,” she says. “The mines are hiring, and this is a great market. We have very few foreclosures right now. We probably will see a few more, a few HUD homes, but nothing like the rest of the state.”

James says new home builders are entering the Elko market from cities such as Fernley, Las Vegas, Pahrump and Boise, Idaho areas where new home construction long ago ground to a near standstill.

Bawcom notes that home sales also are expected to pick up in the communities of Wells and Wendover with the development of Newmont Mining Corp’s Long Canyon mine in the Pequop Mountain Range. Her office of four agents has stayed busy during typical slow winter/spring months through sales of new homes built by Arnold Beck Construction, as well as through client referrals.

Bawcom has sold seven existing homes in the Hamilton Stage subdivision in southwestern Elko, and has sold a home in the first part of phase two of the subdivision.

“Sales are good if the houses are priced right and are in good condition,” she says.


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