Is The Market Cooling in Clark County, WA?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

We regularly post Market Reports to show the home sales activity in different towns in Clark County. We tend to report more frequently on the areas where we concentrate our efforts - East County - Camas, Hockinson, and Washougal.  We use a pictograph to show Active, Pending, and Recent Sales, including Average Price, SQFT, and $/SQFT:

At the end of the chart, we note the "Annual Increase in Sales Price" - which is derived from the RMLS "AVG Price % Change" numbers for that month.  

The RMLS defines this indicator as the average sales price for the last 12 months compared to the same average 12 months prior.  The RMLS monthly report includes the percent change for all of Clark County, as well as specific RMLS areas.

The Numbers Show a Decrease in % Price Change

We started to notice an interesting change in this indicator several months ago, so we decided to plot it.  Since around 2011, the AVG Price % Change for most areas kept going up year after year.  That continued until 12 months ago.  Now the numbers show a different trend - leveling off, or even heading down slightly.

What does this mean?  The rate at which prices were going up is now cooling.  Average price increases in most areas are still positive, just not as high as previous years. Here are the trends in our areas of focus:

Simultaneously, inventory, although historically low, has been creeping up as more homes and new construction come on line:

This Trend is Regional and National

Charting our neighboring Portland market shows the same trajectory down in AVG Price % Change. A more comprehensive indicator - the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index confirms that, for the Portland metro market (which includes Clark County), there is a year-over-year decrease in the rate of home price increases. This is true for most major markets in the U.S., including the larger Seattle metro area to the north.

So, are we entering a cooling off period in the area?  In addition to a lower percent price change, closings in the county are down from 6 months ago.  This could, of course, be due to some of the Fed's interest rate hikes last year.  The promise of no new rate increases in the coming months might boost overall sales again, but increasing inventory could still put pressure on prices.

The message for Sellers is, when listing your property be very realistic about your pricing.  Inventory is still low, but qualified buyers are clearly expecting lower prices than last year.  Likewise, buyers should be aware of pricing opportunities as inventory increases.

For now, it appears to be a slight (and needed) pricing correction in the market. Due to the low inventory, we are still in a Sellers market. Buyers who find a home they love, need to act quickly and realistically with offers.

We don't expect wild drops in pricing, but the trend appears to be downward for now.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out as we continue to track and report on price changes in the coming months.

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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.






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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Debb and Bernie,

Interesting report and coincides with some of the anecdotal data we are getting from agents back East especially in the luxury sector where it is turning into a buyers market.  What was market pricing is now down 40% less that a few months ago, even though the homes were appraised for the origninal price listed  both in market and replacement value.  It has become a connundrum of sorts.  A

Mar 01, 2019 09:30 AM #1
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Some of the sellers have capitulated and sold their homes at 40% less than the asking price.  I think that this may be the start of a big price adjustment in the lux sector.  I don't think it will affect the middle range of the market, although I think that the asking prices will be less.  A

Mar 01, 2019 09:33 AM #2
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Alexandra, you are correct, we see some softening in the higher-end market as well.  All sellers probably need to be aware they may have to be less ambitious in their pricing in the coming months.

Mar 01, 2019 10:02 AM #3
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Debb.. we've had the same trend in Charlotte for a bit now... the rate of increase is slowing, but the thinventory has not gotten better and sale prices continue to incrase.

Mar 01, 2019 10:37 AM #4
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi Nina,

I believe if our inventory was not going up, we might face the same dilemma.


Mar 01, 2019 12:35 PM #5
Sally Crane
WMS - Unity, WI
Woodland appraisal support.

Thanks for the update, all the best to you as you get many of these properties listed and sold.

Mar 01, 2019 11:51 PM #6
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Debb and Bernie.  Thanks for keeping us updated about the Clark County, WA real estate market.

Mar 02, 2019 06:38 AM #7
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Debb and Bernie - showing these statistics and analyzing them for your clients is what makes you a valuable resource.

Mar 02, 2019 06:44 AM #8
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Debb and Bernie:

This is great information for current and prospective buyers and sellers who should reach out to you for guidance.

We are seeing some similar trends...while prices are still going up it's at a slower pace. There are some more price reductions, especially at the high end, and some areas and market segments are in balanced or even buyers markets. That said, multiple offers are still common and a decent percentage of homes are selling at or above asking, although fewer than in the past overall.


Mar 02, 2019 10:38 AM #9
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

I echo Jeff above since I am basically in the same market. The high end is basically flattening and we are seeing a lot of price reductions and listing extensions. 

Mar 02, 2019 11:13 AM #10
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Debb and Bernie- even though I'm not an agent, I love reading the market reports and learning about what is going on around the country. Yours is a very readable report!!! Thank you!

Mar 02, 2019 11:52 AM #11
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Families on the move will certainly appreciate your local market reports.

Mar 03, 2019 12:45 PM #12
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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