Housing Market Update: September 2019

Clark County Housing Market Update
(You won’t read THIS in the paper)
September 2019

Buyer Activity:
Buyer activity has drifted slowly and slightly downward the past two months yet is still higher than it was this time last year. The start of the school year slowdown is here and we are just a few weeks away from the expected holiday slowdown. I consider this reduction in buyer activity to be expected and normal. Over the past two months it has slowly slid from about 4800 to 4,032 buyer showings per week.
It is all about how supply and demand match up -right? Typically, now is the period of peak listing numbers. Listings will normally fall rapidly come October. So I expect buyers and sellers will balance each other out. At least that is the typical arrangement. We shall see if things are different this holiday season.
So far I see a typical transition into the end of the year with listings and buyers activity slowing so as to balance each other out. The market should remain stable and strong as far and we can see at this point.

Price Reductions:
Price reductions have been slowly increasing since February of this year. However, this month they fell from 1210 in August to 1060 in September (past 30 days). While this may be a clue that buyers are being more aggressive, as I have mentioned before I do not put much weight into this statistic.

The Average Price:

The average price of a home in Clark County has been on the increase since the beginning of 2012. It is a zig -zag line with ups and downs but in general the average price has risen from just under $200,000 to now $415,000, more than doubled since early 2012. This last month, from July to August, the average price rose exactly $2,000.

Marketing time:

Market time increased from 42 to 47 days.

Inventory Levels:

Inventory levels (the number of months needed to sell current inventory based on solds this last month) fell slightly from 2.4 to 2.3 months. This suggests an ever tighter market but this trend will likely not last. This occurred because the solds were high in August while inventory remained steady. But I do not expect this same direction next month.
I am predicting that this inventory number will be a bit higher next month because pendings in August fell from 924 to 871. Pendings in August are the solds of September. These lower August pendings suggest lower September solds yet I do not expect the number of homes on the market to change enough to balance this out. So this will result in a bit higher number in October, such as 2.4 or 2.5. We shall see. These numbers still suggest a continuing strong market.

Listing Count:

As expected, listings appear to be peaking and are expected to begin falling as we move into the holiday season. This move usually will match the reduction in buyer activity and thus cause the market to remain relatively stable.

Side note: This seasonal yoyo effect is typical and roughly holds the market in a stable condition with but one usual exception. During the start of the year the buyers normally start the year right at the bell (in January) with their activity. Yet sellers who took their homes off the market during the holidays and sellers who are ready to sell, for some reason wait until around April before listing. I guess everyone thinks their property looks so much nicer in the spring. But the best time to sell is in January through March when all the buyers are out looking without the usual number of homes to pick from.

Pending Sales:

As we approach the holidays, it is normal for pending sales to begin their decline. That is what we see this month. Pending sales slid from 924 in July to 871 in August. This is normal and should continue through the end of the year.

Conclusion:

The market shows all the typical signs of a continued strong market. The earliest signal of weakness would usually be buyer activity levels (the number of times lock boxes are opened), and that remains steady for the season. I see not clues as yet that we have a market weakening at all.

 

Chris Kelsey, Managing Broker
Keller Williams PP
chris@ckelsey.com
“Don’t be Chicken to Call”

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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