Residential construction in Clark County saw 50% surge in July

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New home starts in Clark County rose by 50 percent in July, according to a county building report issued Wednesday. The expected increase was driven, in part, by dwindling inventory of existing houses for sale.

There were 96 permits issued to build single-family houses in unincorporated parts of the county in July, up from 64 permits handed out in July 2012 and on par with the 98 permits issued in June.

Clark County home sales and prices have risen through the year, forcing inventory levels down to a 3.7-month supply of houses on the market, according to RMLS, a Portland listing service. The number means it would take 3.7 months to sell all of the homes listed for sale if no houses were added. Real estate brokers say healthy markets contain between 5 months and 6 months worth of inventory.