The Southwest Washington housing market saw big surges in new listings and closed sales in July, rebounding from the pandemic-induced spring slowdown and arriving at an activity level that matched where things stood a year ago.
However, the new listing numbers still fell short of the amount needed to keep pace with sales, driving inventory levels down. That’s according to the latest report from the Regional Multiple Listing Service, released Wednesday.
July saw 1,174 new listings, according to the report, a 19.9 percent jump from the 979 listings in June, and a 1.2 percent increase over the 1,160 July listings from 2019.
Pending sales saw a 0.7 percent decrease, falling from 1,036 accepted offers in June to 1,029 in July — but the figure is still an 11.4 percent increase over the 924 July pending sales last year.
Closed sales saw the biggest jump, with the 939 closings representing a 29.7 percent increase over the 724 closings from June, and a 13 percent jump from the 831 reported in July 2019.
“The Clark County housing market is hot this summer, with historically low interest rates bringing out buyers,” J. Lennox Scott, chairman of John L. Scott Real Estate, wrote in a monthly report for the local market. “We are virtually sold out, and the number of homes going under contract is strong.”
The July results weren’t enough to completely erase the year-to-date impact of the early pandemic months; activity is still down compared with the first seven months of 2019, with new listings down 13.1 percent, pending sales down 1.8 percent and closed sales down 5.4 percent.
The gap for all three figures is closing, however — back in June, new listings were down 15.8 percent, pending sales were down 4.2 percent and closed sales were down 9.7 percent.
The region’s inventory in months, an estimate of how long it would take to sell through the existing supply on the market, fell from 1.6 in June to 1.2 in July. The figure has declined in each of the past three months and now stands at less than half of its April high point of 2.5.
The 1.6 figure in June was already equal to the lowest inventory level the region had seen in the past three years, according to Terry Wollam, managing broker at Windermere Stellar in Vancouver.
Home prices rose in July, with the average sale price climbing from $437,100 in June to $448,100 in July; the median price rose from $398,900 in June to $402,000 in July.
Scott’s report, based on the firm’s own data from its local office, offered a breakdown of home listings and sales by price category, which showed the highest activity — and the highest inventory shortages — in the lower half of the market range.
Homes priced up to $500,000 comprised 70 percent of local sales activity, Scott wrote. In the $250,000-300,000 price range, 91 percent of new listings had a pending sale in the first 30 days, and the report estimated only 0.5 months of standing inventory the price category.
In the $350,000-500,000 range, 83 percent of new listings had a pending sale in the first 30 days, and the report estimated 0.6 months of standing inventory in the price category.
Activity was also high for homes priced above $500,000, with an estimated 0.9 months of inventory in the $500,000-750,000 range and 1.5 months in the $750,000 to $1 million range.