The Clark County real estate market is continually changing. Month to month and year to year, there are interesting new trends and things to watch. This is the Clark County Washington real estate market in a minute update.
Proposed Homes versus Existing
Clark County’s real estate marketplace is unique because there is a significantly higher number of active residential listings that are proposed, or “not yet under construction,” than in most other areas. This skews the stats of active listings. As of March 2019, only 71% of Clark County’s active listings are ready to be lived in. The rest are either under construction, have purchase contingencies, or are only proposed (meaning not yet under construction).
Active Listings Inventory is Extremely Low
Inventory of listed homes was at 2.4 months for March, which means that if the rate of home sales stayed the same, it would take 2.4 months for all listed homes to be purchased. However, if you remove the proposed homes, and those already under contract (but not yet closed), the real number is 1.7 months of inventory. This is close to a historic low for Clark County. Compare it to home inventory during the Great Recession when, at times, there were over 24 months of inventory.
There were 1,028 new homes listed for sale in March, a 3.9% rise over March of 2018 and a 40.4% increase over February. That makes it the strongest March for new home listings in the region since 2008.
Pending Sales are Up and Closed Sales Down
Pending sales of homes increased 1.7% over March of 2018 and 33.4% above February of 2019. There were 639 closed sales, down 4.8% from the previous year. However, there was a 24.8% increase in pending sales compared to the previous month of February.
Median and Average Sales Price Increase
The average sales price of homes sold in the prior twelve month period ending March 31st of 2019 was $396,700. Compare that with the average cost of homes in the twelve months ending March 2018, and it’s an increase of 7.1%. Incidentally, the median price of homes sold also shows a rise of 7.1% for the same period.
Days on the Market
It took an average of 72 days in Clark County for a sale to close in March. Keep in mind that is an average, so if some homes take a very long time due to financing issues or needed repairs that tilts the statistic considerably. That is up slightly from an average time on market of 64 days for March of 2018.
What’s it all Mean?
In a nutshell, it is still a seller’s market. Prices are increasing, and supply is way down. Interest rates can be extremely low. This means that if you’re in the market to purchase a new home, you need to be ready, able, and willing to make an immediate offer when you find the right one. Make sure you work with a good loan officer so that you can provide a letter of loan preapproval at the time you submit an offer. As a seller, you may have the upper hand, but you still need to be reasonable. Just because a buyer makes a full price offer (or higher) doesn’t necessarily mean it will appraise that high.
The Clark County market is hot, which probably explains all the proposed construction and homes currently being built. It’s no secret that this is a beautiful area with close proximity to Portland, jobs, and lots of great recreation.
Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views of my employer