The RMLS April 2010 Market Action Report was just released.
Inventory is approaching a more balanced market in the Portland area, a balanced market is 5-7 months of inventory, and it is now 7.3 months of inventory, down from 7.8 months in March and 12.9 months in February. There still is a little while to go and depending on how this "perfect storm" of financial crises plays out, and Portland should be better by next year.
In the Vancouver area, we are still very much in a strong buyer's market with 6.6 months of inventory on average for April 2010. For this same time last year, in 2009, the average inventory was 11.9 months, and for 2010 so far, the average monthly inventory is 9.5 months. Real estate sales typically are at their highest in the spring and summer months, so the trend should continue. Inventory should stay low through this year, as prices are down and sellers who want to sell for top dollar will most likely wait until next spring.
Short sale (or pre-foreclosure) properties are still prevalent, however they are starting to be absorbed by banks, lenders and a few cash investors. As the short sales go away, the asking prices of homes listed for sale are going to increase. Some banks want ask full market prices and are completly OK with chasing the market down. Other banks offer homes at 25% below comparables to dump the properties quickly. Unfortunately banks do not price the homes the same across the board. Some are firm at above market pricing in their "fixer" state, while other banks will dump at deep discounts very nice homes, when they could easily sell them for at least 20% of a higher price. Banks tend to reduce asking prices by regular amounts every 30 days or so until the property sells, to avoid losing money and selling for too low.
Now, let's break it down to specific areas where you live or areas you want to keep a watch on:
Pending sales are up 37.5%, while sales prices are down 10.4%.
- Area 11/ Downtown Vancouver: 5.9 months of inventory - a balanced market, perhaps due to affordable pricing, and good proximity to Portland.
- Area 12/ NW Vancouver Heights: 4.3 months of inventory - a sellers' market. Great close-in location with plentiful affordable housing and high percentage of rental homes that could be attracting a new crop of investors.
- Area 13/ SW Vancouver Heights: 17 months of inventory - a strong buyers' market and pending sales are up 200% since 2009. Close-in location, quick to downtown Portland and Vancouver, many view homes here. This area has seen the prices increase this year over last year 1.6%.
- Area 14/ Lincoln/ Hazel Dell: 5.3 months of inventory - a balanced market, close in location, quick to I-5. Area offers larger lots than downtown, yet close to downtown conveniences.
- Area 15/ East Hazel Dell/ Minnehaha: 4.1 months of inventory - a sellers' market. This area has seen an influx of new homes during our recent boom years. Most likely a high percentage of the sales were some deeply discounted newer homes that became bank-owned homes and sold for great deals.
- Area 20/ NE Vancouver Heights: 5.4 months of inventory - a balanced market. This area is very close-in in eastern Vancouver close to Mill Plain Boulevard and I-205. Close to shopping corridor and quick access to SE Portland.
- Area 21/ Orchards of Vancouver: 6.6 months of inventory - a balanced market. The total market time for this area is 90 days versus the Clark County average now of 139 days, most likely due to the average price being 22% below the average home sales price for Clark County. This area is mostly comprised of homes built in the 1990's with a few older homes. A suburb of Vancouver.
- Area 22/ Evergreen: 4.2 months of inventory - a sellers' market. This is one of the largest areas of Vancouver encompassing the popular eastern area.
- Area 23/ East Vancouver Heights: 7.4 months of inventory - a slight buyers' market. This area consists of mostly older homes, where the original residents of Vancouver lived, close to the Columbia River and the WA-14 freeway. Many bluff homes with attractive views of PDX airport, the Columbia River and Mount Hood.
- Area 24/ Cascade Park: 8.7 months of inventory - a buyer's market, although pending sales are up 183.3%. This is a little surprising because this is one of Vancouver's most popular neighborhoods. The only probable reason why the inventory is higher here is because prices have held more steady and not dropped as much as other areas. It is a lovely area with homes on larger lots, mature trees and very close to freeway access along with abundant shopping on SE 164th Avenue and Mill Plain Boulevard.
- Area 25/ Five Corners of Vancouver: 4.9 months of inventory - a slight seller's market. The total market time here is only 94 days, most likely due to the average selling price being 25% below the average home sales price for Clark County. This is one of the smallest areas of Vancouver along the eastern corridor.
- Area 26/ East Orchards: 7.0 months of inventory - a balanced market. This area is mostly comprised of newer homes built after 2000 with above average amenities and a higher level of fit and finish than much of Vancouver.
- Area 27/ Fisher's Landing: 4.5 months of inventory - a slight seller's market. This area is the home of Fisher's Landing Elementary, which is consistently achieves top scores, always in the top 5 of elementary schools for Washington State. People who work in Portland often choose this area for this specific reason, also it is quick to the freeway and takes about 17 minutes to get to downtown Portland. Most homes here are built from the late 1980's to 2010.
- Area 31/ SE Clark County: 10.5 months of inventory - a buyer's market. This area consists mostly of acreage properties, which have a historically higher time on the market, because there are less buyers and sellers tend to be firmer on their prices. The average market time here is 207% higher than the average for Clark County. The average sold price is 26% above the average home price in Clark County, Washington, however the overall price change is down 31% from 2009.
- Area 32/ Camas, Washington: 6.8 months of inventory - a balanced market. Area of nicer homes, many with territorial, Lacamas Lake, Mount Hood, Columbia River or PDX views due to hilly nature of the topography. Close to freeway access and about 23 minutes to downtown Portland.
- Area 33/ Washougal, Washington: 8.6 months of inventory - a buyer's market. Washougal was hit hard by the real estate bust, because a vast majority of the homes in Washougal were built in the last 5 years. Many builders went out of business and there still is a ample supply of very nice homes for deeply discounted prices. Michael and Marjie live here and have a very detailed knowledge of the inventory.
- Area 41/ North Hazel Dell: 6.0 months of inventory - a balanced market. This area has home sales prices 7.6% above the average prices in Clark County, along with a total market time that is 25% lower than the rest of Clark County. This area maintains its popularity due to quick access to I-5 and its great westside location.
- Area 42/ South Salmon Creek: 4.5 months of inventory - a slight seller's market. This area rests in the "triangle of Vancouver" sandwiched between three of the four major freeways - east of I-5, west of I-205 and north of WA-500.
- Area 43/ North Felida: 8.7 months of inventory - a buyers' market. This is one of the rare areas of Vancouver, where pending sales are actually down 18.9%.
- Area 44/ North Salmon Creek: 7.8 months of inventory - a slight buyers' market. Year over year from 2009 to 20108, pending sales are up 181.8%.
- Area 50/ Ridgefield, Washington: 12.4 months of inventory - a strong buyers' market. Like Washougal, Washington (Area 33), this area saw a huge influx of new home development over the last 5 years. This area still has a while to go before that inventory of vacant newer homes is absorbed.
- Area 61/ Battle Ground, Washington: 7.3 months of inventory - a slight buyers' market. Pending sales have had a 0% change from 2009. This area also saw a huge influx of new home construction over the last 5 years, but is doing a better job with absorbing the inventory. Many buyers prefer this city for the schools, although it is farther away from freeways. It has more of a country feel, but with city conveniences of ample shopping and restaurants.
- Area 62/ Brush Prairie, Washington: 7.1 months of inventory - close to a balanced market. Pending sales are up 52% from 2009. Brush Prairie mostly consists of acreage properties. People like it because it is a shorter drive to Vancouver than Battle Ground and is fairly close to the Vancouver Costco.
- Area 66/ Yacolt, Washington: 10.6 months of inventory - a strong buyers' market. Pending sales have dropped 66.7% since 2009. This area has mostly acreage properties. The average market time is 55% lower than the rest of Clark County and the average price is about 17% lower than the rest of Clark County.
- Area 70/ La Center, Washington: 7.4 months of inventory - a slight buyers' market. Pending sales are up 100% from 2009 and the average price here is about the same as Clark County, however the marketing time is 38% above the average for the rest of Clark County. People like La Center because it is closer to I-5, yet has a country feel and most properties rest on acreage plots of land.
Please forward this email to anyone who you think will benefit from the information.