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Market Statistics and Monthly Message - Clark County WA

January 2011

January 15, 2011

December Residential Highlights  December 2010 showed a continued downward trend for active and new listings. However, pending sales and closed sales saw an increase in December compared to the month prior. Comparing December 2010 to December 2009, closed sales decreased by 17.8%. However, pending sales grew by 4.5%. New listings dropped 2.7%.

When comparing November 2010 with December 2010, closed sales grew from 297 to 347 (16.8%). Additionally, pending sales increased from 370 to 372 (0.5%). New listings dropped from 594 to 509 (-14.3%).

At the month’s rate of sales, the 3,156  active residential listings would last approximately 9.1 months. Inventory is at its lowest point since June 2010.

2020 Summary Comparing 2010 sales activity with that of 2009, closed sales went down 4.8%. Pending sales fell 8.6% and new listings also decreased by 3.1%.

Sale Prices Comparing December 2010 to December 2009, average sale price fell 8.5% and median sale price also fell 5.5%. Comparing November 2010 to December 2010, the average sale price decreased from $228,900 to $223,600 (-2.3%). The median sale price also decreased from $200,000 to $199,000 (-0.1%) For the year, the average and median sale prices fell 0.7% and 1.7% respectively, when compared to 2009.

Clark County 

New Listings

Pending Sales 

Closed Sales 

Average Sale Price

Median Sale Price

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2011 Residential Real Estate Predictions

While the recession officially ended almost 18 months ago, in June of 2009, many segments of our economy are still in recovery mode. It’s important to keep that in mind as we review our 2011 predictions.  Let’s take a look at what’s ahead in 2011.

Home Prices

While most national and local economists are forecasting continued declines in the price of homes, I completely disagree.  I believe 2011 is the year prices will increase.  There are two reasons for this: 1) the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is pumping jobs into the economy.  More jobs equate to more home buyers … and more home buyers equate to more demand for housing, leading to an increase in home prices in many areas.  2) The affordability index is at an all-time high, which also lures buyers into the marketplace.  Both the ARRA and the affordability index are contributing factors in 2010 that will peak in 2011.

Home prices should increase slightly in 2011.  Look for national increases of 2-3%, and increases of 4-5% in the State of Washington.

Housing Affordability Rate

The “housing affordability rate” is the highest it has ever been, and the conditions for buyers have never been better.  Home affordability, coupled with low interest rates and substantial inventory, creates excellent opportunities for buyers.

House Price Index

Continued rises in the house price index will be seen in 2011.   While not significant in number or percentage, this moderate growth will be steady.

Pending Home Sale Index

A forward-looking indicator, the pending home sale index is currently at 89.3% on a possible index of 100.  Note: The index measured at 100 in 2001, when the index was developed to measure market activity.

Pending Home Sales

Pending home sales will remain steady.  Across the board on a national level, pending sales bottomed out in June of 2010.  There was a substantial increase of over 10% in October, followed by a slight increase in November.  As of late December, all signs are that the first quarter of 2011 will continue to move in a positive fashion.

New Construction

Expect to see an increase in new home construction in 2011.  Construction levels, however, will remain well below long-term demand, setting us up for potential new housing shortage in 2012.