Clark County home sales, values rise

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Clark County home sales increased by 8.7 percent in May from a month earlier, according to a report issued Monday.

May's closed sales of 575 existing homes, which includes single-family houses, condos and townhouses, are 21.6 percent higher than a year ago, reported RMLS, a Portland-based listing service.

Meanwhile, the inventory of available listings continued to tighten, pushing home values higher. There were 3.8 months worth of available homes for sale in May, down 5 percent from April and a 33.3 percent drop from one year ago. That means at the current sales pace, the supply of 2,192 Clark County homes on the market would be exhausted in less than four months.

In a normal market, a healthy supply level is about six months. But Clark County's shrinking inventory continued to boost county home values, a welcome trend for underwater homeowners — borrowers who owe more for their mortgage than the house is worth. In May, the median home price — half sold for more, half for less — was $225,000 in Clark County, up 4.4 percent from April's median of $218,000 and up 14.2 percent from a median of $197,000 in May 2012.