October RE Market Update

Clark County Housing Market Update
October 2018
Home and Land Market News

Buyer Activity: The number of lockbox openings during the week ending October 7 is trending downward only slightly. This is totally normal for this time of year.  This suggests that a major correction is not yet upon us. Dropping buyer activity could be an early sign of pending market problems.

Price Reductions: We have experienced price reductions on listings steadily since last March. This last reporting was the first time since March we have seen fewer price reductions. The number of reductions dropped by 17% even though the number of listings actually increased by about 5%. This suggests that the market is still in a solid “stall” stage.

The Average Price: We again experienced a falling value for the average price of a home. The average home fell from $400,900 to $392,000, 2.2% in one month. Last month the average price dropped 1.5% in one month.  This seems alarming until one realizes that we have had many similar drops over the past steady rise since 2012. So no worries here as yet.

Marketing Time: Time on the market improved slightly from 45 days to 41 days.

Inventory Levels: We saw a significant increase of inventory this period. It rose from 2.3 months to 2.9 months moving us closer to a buyer’s market

Pending Sales: Pending sales fell significantly. While we are on a close track with last year, on average we are just a bit below what we saw in the same month in 2017. This does suggest a hint of a slowdown.

Conclusion:  While the overall market for homes appears stable as evidenced by a somewhat stable lockbox count and fewer price reductions of listings, we did see home value drops, an increase in inventory and a major drop in pending sales. While much of this is occurring during a normally slowing season, we are seeing higher inventories now than in the same time period last year. This is another clue that the market may be weakening.

Inventory changes the last 3 months as per price range:
(Inventory=months needed to sell all existing homes at the current rate of sales.)

Price                      August                  September         October
2-300,000             1.1                             1.3                          1.5
3-500,000             2.1                             2.3                          2.6
5-700,000             4                                 3.2                          5.2
7-1,000,000         5.7                              7.7                            7

Keep in mind the overall market average for inventory is 2.9 months.  These inventory numbers suggest that the market is still pretty warm below around $500,000 and getting much tougher above $700,000. Even the lower price ranges are beginning to see at least some slowing.

LAND

The above covers the housing market. Let’s take a brief moment to see what land is doing.  The land market has a total of 434 listings in Clark County. This includes small lots as well as acreage. In the last 30 days 29 have sold. This leaves an inventory level at 15 months. This is a tough market for a land seller.

The acreage market (1-20 acres) looks about the same.  There are currently  201 acreage land listings and in the past 30 days there have been 12 sales. This leaves the inventory level at 17 months.

It is getting more difficult to sell land. I suspect land prices are soon on their way down. In such tough selling conditions, if you are a land owner it is wise to consider marketing land as a land/home package (a presale.) There are usually many more buyers for homes on land than buyers for raw land.

LAND FOR SALE

Another oddity with the current market, while I mentioned above there are a total of 201 land listings at over one acre, there are few “attractive” land listings currently on the market at a reasonable price.  Acreage properties for sale usually are either in a hole or have neighbor/ environmental issues. May I offer an option?

I have a friend that just wrote me with news that they intend to list their 5 acres. I am familiar with the property. It is attractive and dry.

It has a nice view to the west overlooking the High Valley area (near 242nd Ave and 209th Street), septic is approved, there is public water and power, it is mostly pasture with a 2 acre stand of tall fir, and includes a large newer shop/barn and a 96 ft long high tunnel (like a greenhouse). The price is $295,000. Considering the beauty and amenities, it looks priced right.

If this might interest you please call me right away.
Thank you.

Chris Kelsey, Keller Williams PP

360-921-2203

Full time Realtor in Clark County, WA since 1989. I have discovered the joy in helping families accomplish their goals in real estate thereby changing lives for the better. I especially enjoy working with investors, understanding their goals and finding properties that meet their needs. They could be looking for rentals that attract specific types of tenants, rentals that have a certain return or trying to make some changes within the rules of a tax deferred 1031. Current hobbies include helping manage the small farm with my wife, (KelseyFamilyFarm.com). We raise chickens using organic methods and sell high quality eggs to local markets and restaurants. I also grow and sell vegetables on a small scale. I enjoy learning about healthy foods and healthy living.

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