Clark County home sales, prices increase

Selection in February down over year, but lately it's been rising

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

Published:

 
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Clark County home sales increased 10.7 percent in February from the same month a year ago, while the selection of existing houses for sale declined. But signs of change are on the horizon.

The median sales price in February of a house in Clark County was $202,000, up 22.4 percent from a year earlier. But the number of homes on the market was down significantly from a year earlier and from the previous month. At the current sales pace, it would take 5.6 months to sell all the homes listed in Clark County, down from an inventory of 6.2 months in January and 7.7 months a year earlier.

However, the supply has increased in recent months. In October, houses listed for sale here had reached a three-year low of 4.7 months' worth of inventory.

The recent jump in inventory may reflect homebuilders working fast and furiously to meet growing demand.

In February, county housing starts continued to rise, as measured by permits to build single-family homes. The county issued 56 permits in February, according to the Department of Community Development. It represented a 69 percent increase in new home building over the same period in 2012.

Meanwhile closed sales improved by 9 percent in the Portland metropolitan area, defined by RMLS as the Oregon counties of Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Columbia and Yamhill. The area experienced 1,376 closed sales in February, up from 1,262 in the same month last year.

The median home sale price in the Portland metro area was $242,000 in February, a 14.7 percent increase from the same month last year. In February, the area's supply of houses for sale dipped to 4.5 months' worth of inventory, which means it would take 4.5 months to sell the supply off if no new listings were added. The Portland metro area's inventory in February declined from a 6.5-month supply in the same month last year.