Monday Market Snapshot 9 August 2010
The market is moving, always moving. This week, the market in Vancouver, Washington and Clark County has continued the trend it started in the middle of May of moving toward higher active-to-pending ratios. To briefly recap, from about June 2008 until a peak in January 2009, my records show the ratio moved steadily up (the market for homesellers worsened). Then, from about January 2009 until October 2009, the ratios edged down, popping up slightly during the holidays and resuming the downward trend again from February until May. It's been since May that the current trend of increasingly large ratios have continued.
And the numbers are: First, active count for Vancouver Washington is 2849 and for Clark County it's 3944. Both numbers are up just a percent or so. The number of homes under contract, or pending, is 672 for the city and 897 for the county. Both about a percentage. Rounding and what not, the numbers are only slightly up on the ratios, meaning the count of active grew slightly more than the count of pending. Follow that?
What about the average home price? Numbers are tricky things. In a market as small as ours, if you have five houses sell in a higher than the average price point, that will make most averages reflect a higher 'average sell price' even if the other homes are averaging down. Even a median price can be tricky for similar reasons. There's a real estate agent in our office that has been tracking the average price of a 1200 square foot home and the average price of a 2000 square foot home for umpteen years now. His tracking may be a stronger indicator of actual price changes, but even that is going to have a hard time reflecting what people are actually buying. For example, he started tracking the larger homes because, over time, fewer and fewer people were buying 1200 s.f. homes.
With a supply of homes that is out-pacing demand, I think we'll be seeing more price pressures on sellers. While the mix of short-sale and bank-owned is mostly steady, they are still more than a third of our local market. The have-to sellers will keep the prices heading lower. At least this week...
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