Demand for Housing is Greater than Supply in Clark County

In April, a report was published that showed home buying demand had grown significantly up to 15.4 percent, while supply remained relatively the same. The Clark County “Market Action” report by RMLS, the regions real estate listing service, happens to be one of the indicators that home buying is in a tough position moving forward with low interest rates.

The report released in April, shows that housing prices in the Portland metro area has increased by 16.2 percent. Along with the percentage increase, the inventory is even tighter for home sales within Clark County. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index report shows a one-year price increase by 11.9 percent for the Vancouver-Portland region for February, which happens to be double the nation’s average!

In contrast, new home listings have only risen by 4 percent to 1,040 when compared to April of last year. The 4 percent growth was the strongest seen since 2008. Home sales that are currently pending was at 898 for the month of April, and has risen by 5.2 percent over a 12 month period, and 2.7 percent from the month of March. The number of closed housing sales for April was 3.9 percent higher than a year ago at 697. But didn’t show any remarkable growth than the month of March. The only time April closed sales numbers were higher than March came in 2005.

The disparity between the numbers that raise concern is the supply and demand that is reflected in the inventory of homes. In April, the homes on the market that were either proposed or under construction would meet demand for a projected 1.8 months. The alarming fact is that those housing projections were one of the lowest recorded, and has been unchanged from the previous months.

April’s median housing sale price was roughly $290,000, which was an increase by 1.8 percent from the month before, and roughly 15.4 percent from a year earlier. The greater Portland region’s media sale price for the month of April was $350,000.

When interviewed, Terry Wollam a managing broker at ReMax Equity Group/Wollam and Associates, said in a report that the strong price increases seen in Clark County are in part due to the extreme short supply of housing. New housing construction is increasing slowly within the area, and it is beginning to make up a larger percentage of homes available. Wollam stated that expectations for housing to be in short supply for a possible one to three years. As a result of this, housing prices could escalate by 8 or 9 percent each year. Wollam stated that he believes the market will eventually find a balance and return to the historical average around 2 to 4 percent. The bottom line is that demand is rising, while supply remains the same, which is cause for concern for the foreseeable future.