More homes are hitting the market in Clark County this year, but they’re barely satisfying demand and keeping prices in the rafters.
The latest data from the Regional Multiple Listing Service shows there have been about 10 percent more homes for sale so far this year, but buying activity is almost as aggressive. Median home prices have risen to $350,000.
The raw numbers: 4,860 more homes have been listed this year, compared with 4,421 last year. Closed sales have risen from 3,108 to 3,303.
Real estate agent and analyst Mike Lamb called the year so far “really significant” for demonstrating the demand for new homes and people’s willingness to pay despite the swelling prices.
“It’s significant. You can see the growth in the listing activity and the growth in sales. I think it’s the best total sales, year-to-date, since 2005,” he said. “And we’re coming off several really, really good years.”
Affordability continues to be a mixed bag in the area, however. The rise in median home prices can be prohibitive for first-time buyers. But, Lamb noted, Clark County is still cheaper than the likes of Seattle and Portland.
Portland’s median home price rose to $409,000 in May, according to the RMLS, which is 5.4 percent higher than it was this time last year. Meanwhile, Clark County’s is 11 percent higher.
That rise could still be fueled by new arrivals to Clark County, Lamb said. As reported earlier this week, Clark County’s population grew 1.8 percent over the last year, but that growth is actually slowing compared to recent years.
“We see them,” Lamb said of new arrivals. “It may have been because I’ve had several people tell me that with retirement looming and high income taxes in Oregon and California, the fact that we don’t have state income tax is really fueling this trend.”
Real estate is booming in some places more than others.
Homes in rural areas around Ridgefield and La Center, as well as east of Amboy, have topped $500,000 in median sale price so far this year.
Meanwhile, Camas and Brush Prairie have been the busiest cities for sales so far and boast median prices of $469,900 and $395,000, respectively.
Median home prices have hit $343,500 in Battle Ground, $360,000 in La Center, $390,000 in Ridgefield and $409,900 in Washougal.