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Coldwell Banker Bain, a leading provider of real estate brokerage services throughout the Pacific Northwest and a market leader in home sales in 2019,* releases its 2019 annual market report, which provides a variety of home-sales statistics for neighborhoods and counties in SW Washington and Oregon, as well as for the luxury and condo segments. This report reflects activity between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.*
Principal and managing brokers in specific markets had the following observations:
Said Brian Houston, principal managing broker of Coldwell Banker Bain of Portland West, “In 2019 we experienced a cooling period for closed sales and listings. If you factor in fewer closings but add in sellers still putting their homes on the market, the net result is longer days on market and average sales price increases in the single digits. The national news has Oregon as the #2 move-in state in the nation. With interest rates at historical lows and the increase of people moving into the state, I see 2020 as a better year than 2019 in terms of closed sales and available inventory.”
Added David Sly, principal managing broker of Coldwell Banker Bain of Portland Uptown, “The overall Portland market is in a cooling phase. We are not seeing enough housing starts in the metro area to offset our current demand. This shortage will continue to keep our inventory tight and prices will continue to escalate, albeit at slower pace. Another factor showcasing a slowdown is the days on market, which have been inching upwards.”
Brandon Fairbanks, principal managing broker of Coldwell Banker Bain of Bend, said, “The spring buying season seems to have begun early this year, much different than in the beginning of 2019. Bend and Central Oregon experienced heavy snow fall in the first part of 2019, and coupled with interest rates about a point higher than today’s rates, that made for a slow start to the year. Once the snow thawed and interest rates lowered, Bend’s housing market heated up and continued to be hot throughout the remainder of the year.
Buyer demand remains very strong, with multiple offers on well-priced homes. Bend ranks in the top ten fastest-growing cities in America and, simply put, there are not enough homes to meet demand. Bend still remains very affordable compared to many of the areas from which our buyers are relocating. The average residential sales price in Bend in 2019 was approximately $560,000. The challenge we face in 2020 is inventory. Housing is being developed in Bend, but it may not be enough to meet demand. Inventory levels continue to be under three months of supply on average.
An interesting trend we have seen that has certainly affected the local real estate market is the ability to telecommute. Technology changes have allowed many people to live and raise their families in Bend and be employed elsewhere. This has brought higher-income residents into the area, making Bend much more affluent and, in our opinion, much less resistant to any recession which could have an effect on housing.
SW Washington/Vancouver/Clark County:
“The beginning of 2019 in Clark County saw a definite increase in new listings,” said David Knode, principal managing broker of Coldwell Banker Bain of Vancouver East. “Coupled with a reduction in the number of sales which bled over from 2018 and led to a significant increase of the months of inventory at the beginning of the year. The first six months of 2019 were filled with thoughts of the Fed increasing interest rates and overall lower consumer confidence. The market felt sluggish and there was a bit of unsureness as to where it was going. However, in June or July activity started to pick up as the fear of the Fed raising rates fizzled and rates actually dropped a few times. We started to see periodic multiple offers with 2019 ending with an almost exact number of new listings compared to 2018. However, there was a slight increase in pending sales, up 5.8 percent over 2018 and closed sales were up 2.6 percent over 2018. Where are we going in 2020? We expect there may be a bit more inventory available. New construction in Clark County has blossomed in a very large way, and preowned homeowners must price their homes correctly to compete with new construction. All of the economic indicators in Clark County are healthy and point toward a 3 percent-4 percent increase this year.”
Said Kevin Stonelake, principal managing broker of Coldwell Banker Bain of Longview, “As expected, 2019 ended up much like 2018 — although with a few more up and downs. When interest rates rose buying slowed, and when they came down buying activity increased, and we finished 2019 strong. Average sale price is approximately $275,000 and inched up between 3 percent and 5 percent in most price ranges; we expect the same for 2020. Interest rates are expected to stay low and steady, which may create more sales in Cowlitz County than last year. This is contingent on inventory staying at least the same or increasing over the same period of time. People continue to move from Oregon to Clark County, which has caused prices to go up in some areas there over the last few years, thus making Cowlitz County a very affordable option for many.”
*Information and statistics derived from the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS) and the Multiple Listing Service of Central Oregon (MLSCO). Statistics not compiled or published by these Regional Multiple Listing Services.