Clark County housing market heats up in May

Home sales, median price increase

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter


Updated: June 14, 2012, 5:54 PM


Clark County housing market

2012 $197,000

2011 $189,900

2010 $200,000

2009 $215,000

2008 $250,000

2007 $250,000

Source: RMLS, Portland.

Clark County home sales were even warmer than the weather in May, as a growing number of investors and buyers made their way into the local market.

Closed sales grew 12.9 percent to 473 homes sold across the county in May, up from 419 houses sold during the same month last year, according to RMLS, a Portland-based listing service. More homes were sold in May than the 400 houses sold in the previous month, which represented the fourth consecutive month-to-month increase, the RMLS reported.

Sellers also fetched higher asking prices for the existing homes sold last month, due in part to a smaller supply of available listings.

New listings in May dipped 7.9 percent from the same month last year, the RMLS reported. At the same time, the median price — half sold for more, half for less — was $197,000 in May for all homes sold in Clark County, a 3.7 percent increase compared with the same period last year.

Brokers are seeing pent-up demand from a wide variety of buyers, including some who are tired of renting during the long housing slump, said Terry Wollam a broker with Re/Max Equity Group in Vancouver.

He’s noticed, among other trends, that some buyers are keeping their first-time house to rent out and hold as an investment, and then buying a second home. “They’re keeping the new house to live in,” he said.

Wollam expects local home sales will continue to heat up through the summer, based on the RMLS data showing 558 pending sales in May, which means a contract has been signed by both seller and buyer.

“June’s going to look even better, based on the activity we’re seeing now,” he said.