Real estate listing shortage still exists; building permits on the rise

Listings in Clark County increased 32 percent from February to March, but still down 8 percent from a year ago

The “perfect storm” is continuing in the Clark County real estate market as a shortage of current inventory is creating a feeding frenzy among buyers looking for affordable housing in the area.

Real estate listings in Clark County increased 32 percent from February to March, but were still down 8 percent from a year ago. Photo courtesy of Cano Real Estate
Real estate listings in Clark County increased 32 percent from February to March, but were still down 8 percent from a year ago. Photo courtesy of Cano Real Estate

In March 2021, there were 940 new listings according to the Clark County RMLS action report, which is an 8.0 percent decrease from the 1,022 listed in March 2020, but an increase of 32.2 percent from the 711 listed in February 2021.

The 926 pending sales last month show a 23.5 percent increase from the 750 offers accepted in March 2020, and an increase of 32.3 percent from the 700 offers accepted the previous month in February 2021.

The closed sale count of 755 this March was an increase of 21.8 percent from the 620 closings in March 2020, and an increase of 23.8 percent from the 610 closings last month in February 2021.

Inventory decreased again to 0.5 months in March 2021. Total market time also decreased to 29 days, with the average home sale price increasing to $486,500, and a median home sale price increase to $435,000.

Nathan Cano, owner Cano Real Estate
Nathan Cano, owner Cano Real Estate

“The current lack of inventory in the housing market has actually been in the works for quite a while,’’ stated Nathan Cano, owner of Cano Real Estate. “Since the housing bubble burst in the mid-2000’s, there has been a single-family home building shortfall. Combine that with the large generation of millennials hitting home buying age, the demand for homes has been outpacing supply. Now add in the pandemic and historically low interest rates, and we have this perfect storm of long-term and short-term factors influencing the present supply issue.

Permit activity in Vancouver on the rise

The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) reports an increase of single-family residential, multi-family residential, and commercial permits in the city of Vancouver. Construction is poised to help the city of Vancouver, and greater Clark County, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the March 2021 Building Permit Report released by the city of Vancouver, single-family residence permits increased 41 percent, largely due to the following developments: 5th Plain Creek Station, Boulder Ridge, Four Seasons South PUD, Homan Short Plat. Multi-family residential permits increased by 43 percent, due to Four Seasons Apartments II and Sunlight Townhomes projects.

Both increases are a positive development for housing affordability in the city of Vancouver, according to Avaly Scarpelli, executive director of the BIA.

Avaly Scarpelli, executive director of Building Industry Association of Clark County
Avaly Scarpelli, executive director of Building Industry Association of Clark County

“Builders and developers are focusing their efforts on meeting the demand of the homebuyers in Vancouver and quite frankly Clark County,’’ Scarpelli said. “We know that we have a housing supply problem and until the industry can somewhat alleviate that problem, housing prices will continue to soar, thus limiting the affordability of housing. Our members care about the community and unfortunately, they’re working to overcome many barriers that impact affordability; rising building material costs, new energy code standards, shortage of skilled tradespeople, and limited availability of land supply.”

Lastly, commercial permits saw an 80 percent increase due to public and private large-scale projects such as Burton Elementary School, CTC 687, 4th Plain Business Park Industrial Building, CTC 688, and new Horizons Dental, totaling $20.46 million worth of work.

“The BIA encourages the community to support future school bonds,’’ Scarpelli said. “When we invest in our children, Southwest Washington becomes an even more desirable place to live and raise a family.”

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