After years of experiencing the lows of the real estate market, many industry professionals expressed hope that better days are on the horizon.
“The market continues to improve,” said Joel Sarmiento, senior vice president of community outreach regional manager for Wells Fargo. “There continues to be new legislation that is coming. It’s going to be a while before we are through this whole entire thing, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
More than 100 gathered for the State of the Housing Market event hosted by the Reno chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals on Friday at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. Sarmiento was one of the speakers.
Even though Nevada continues to top distressed property lists and hundreds of thousands of people have sought help to stay in their homes, it was much worse two to three years ago, experts said. The state seems to hit bottom, and the Reno-Sparks region is recovering, they said.
“The state in Reno is better than what we see nationally and also better than what we are seeing in the entire state of Nevada,” Sarmiento said. “It is one of those markets that is performing at a much higher level than the state of Nevada and, say, Las Vegas, for example.”
About 95 percent of Wells Fargo’s home loan customers are current on their mortgages in the area, he said during the presentation.
Northern Nevada is doing better because homeowner legislation has slowed down the foreclosure process more in Southern Nevada in comparison, he said.
Wells Fargo, the national’s largest home lender and a sponsor of Friday’s event, has invested in technology and hired more people to handle increased activity and are seeing improvements in the time it takes to process short sales and foreclosures, he said.
Meanwhile, home prices still are well below the peak of the market in the mid-2000s and more people are entering the home-buying market. The low existing homes for sale inventory is driving bids higher and moving others to sell their homes.