Are you thinking of buying or selling a home? Brokerage owner Charline Wright shares her housing market predictions for Clark County in 2018


First, we need to look at how the market behaved during the last couple of years to predict more accurately what it will do moving forward.
In 2017, Clark County experienced a competitive seller’s market, meaning there was a shortage of available homes on the market (inventory) compared to the number of buyers.

Inventory is measured by taking the number of homes on the market and looking at how long it will take to sell them. We are in a buyer’s market if it would take more than 6 months and we are in a seller’s market if it would take less than six months. Clark County’s inventory was at 2.0 in November 2017, 1.9 in 2016, and 2.7 in 2015.

The seller’s market will continue in 2018
I predict that 2018 will again be a low inventory seller’s market due to several factors.

  • First time home buyers are moving into the market. This group is larger than Baby Boomers.
  • Baby Boomers are downsizing to ranch homes.
  • Home buyers from other areas are moving to Clark County.
  • New construction was on hold for some time and has only picked up in the last 3 to 5 years.
  • Home owners who bought in 2008 to 2011 are just now recovering their equity, so we may see people enter the market who were waiting to sell.
  • The average price point in SW WA increased by 10.6% in 2017.

Is this another housing boom?
Clients often ask me, “Is this just another housing boom”? No, this is not a boom since we are just recapturing the market value from when home prices dropped very low during the real estate crash. The average home price is up 4-percent to 6-percent over the last three years, which is a very normal increase over time.

What does this mean for sellers?
Now is a great time to sell because there are more buyers than available homes on the market, which means potential buyers could be ready to fight for your home. Ask you broker for a CMA, which tells you what comparable homes in your area sold for. You will sell your home quickly if you price it in the market! You may receive multiple offers if you price it low, and it may take more time and several price adjustments if you price it above the market. We like to help our buyers figure out which strategy works best for them.

What does this mean for buyers?
The best way to build wealth in America is to own your own home. I like to say now is always a great time to buy. Just remember, there are still plenty of homes to purchase but it may take a little longer.

  • Mortgage interest rates are at a historical low. This morning, the rate was 4.53 percent. Rates are expected to slightly increase this year.
  • Lenders have many loan programs for today’s buyer. Some lenders are even gifting a percentage of the down payment, which makes saving for a home much easier.
  • When you buy a home, your monthly “rent” goes into your savings account instead of a landlord’s pocket. Also, because of the current housing shortage, rent is often more than what you will pay for a mortgage.
  • The equity you build now will help you buy your dream home tomorrow! On average, it takes about 5 years for your home to increase enough in value to make it worth selling.

If you’re thinking about buying, consider reading my three-part series about buying in a seller’s market: https://www.columbiariverrealty.com/my-post. If you’re thinking about selling, please contact our office for a complimentary CMA at 360-210-4690. Happy New Year!