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News / Business / Clark County Business

Clark County housing market still strong

There was softness in sales, median price

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian Business Editor
Published: March 14, 2016, 4:54pm

Clark County’s housing market in February once again showed continued strength, but with some month-over-month softness in sales and median sale price, according to the monthly report from the Portland-based RMLS listing service.

The Clark County market was not as red-hot as the market in the Portland region south of the Columbia River. There, the inventory was tighter, new listings were in shorter supply, and the median sales price showed greater growth.

In Clark County, the most noteworthy change in February was a 10.8 percent increase in new listings over February 2015. The 832 new listings offered in February represented the highest number for the month since 2010. For the year, the inventory of homes for sale was up by 3.9 percent.

Terry Wollam, managing broker at ReMax Equity Group-Wollam & Associates, said the increase in listings won’t show up in inventory for a while because it likely reflects new construction plats that are typically filed early in the year, new proposed listings and homes under construction. The future-focused nature of the new listings perhaps explains why another key indicator of housing supply barely moved in February.

As measured by the number of months’ supply of homes offered for sale, Clark County’s inventory of 2.7 months in February scarcely budged upward from the previous month. That measure has remained between 1.9 months and 2.7 months for the past year.

Pending sales in Clark County, at 731 for the month, were up nearly 10 percent from February 2015 and 5 percent from a month ago. But closed sales, at 434 for the month, were down by 5.2 percent from January and had increased by less than 1 percent from a year ago.

“With the increase in pending sales, we will continue to see the monthly inventory drop to levels below last year’s low,” Wollam said. “This will continue to apply pressure for prices to rise.”

The median sale price of a Clark County home in February was $266,300. That’s a drop from the $269,900 median sale price in January but a 6.6 percent increase for the year. On average, a home sold in February had been on the market for 70 days.

The Portland region’s housing market was stronger than Clark County’s market in several key measures. Homes in that part of the region sold in just 60 days, and the housing inventory would satisfy demand for just 1.8 months. New listings for Portland scarcely increased for the month and were down by 4.3 percent for the year. And the Portland area’s median sales price, now at $315,000, increased by 1.6 percent for the month and 10.5 percent for the year.

The largest difference between Clark County’s market and that of Portland was in closed sales. While Clark County’s sales barely budged for the month, the Portland metro area’s closed sales increased by 10 percent. The 1,813 closed sales for the Portland area represented the strongest February showing since 2007.

Columbian Business Editor