Monday, March 26, 2018

Real Estate for sale Clark County WA - February 2018 Market Report

Nice Up-Tick for Pre-Owned Home Sales in Clark County WA for February 2018.

Reversing the sluggish sales posted last month,  Clark County pre-owned real estate and home sales rallied and posted 33 more units-sold for February. Here are the key highlights for February's results: 

  • Average-Sales Prices are still slipping below their recent record highs, which is typical this time of year; the 12-month/long-term trend line is up 11.10% compared to February 2017,  and the 3-Month Moving Average is up 11.97% from last year; 
     
  • The Inventory for Resale Homes rose ever so slightly to 1.1 Months Supply;
     
  • Approximately 416 Resale Homes were sold in the month, which is about 33 more (8.6%) homes than in 2017; and 46 more than last month.
     
  • REO/Bank Owned property sales were 4 units (0.96% of total); down from 17 (4.4%) in 2017. 
     
  • Short Sale /Pre-Foreclosure property sales were 5 units (1.2% of total); up from 3 (0.8%) in 2017.

The month-end, 30-year-fixed home loan benchmark interest rate is 4.33% (up from 4.03% last month) according to Freddie Mac; compared to 4.17% for February 2017.

Next in line are the custom graphs/charts we have prepared for Clark County WA. A simple "smoothing" technique is used to better present the short-term trend (3-month moving average in Red); and long-term trend (12-month moving average in Blue). 

Clark County Home Sales February 2018- Units Sold Clark County Home Sales - Units Sold Trend February 2018

The still-declining short-term trend-line is now below its low for last year which may be reasonable to expect with such low available Inventory. The long-term line is showing a sideways move, as overall demand for housing is still reasonably strong.

Average Sales prices shown in the next chart (below) have slipped slightly below the long-term trend but, haven't gone as far as this time last year. 

Clark County Home Sales February 2018- Average Sales Price Trends Clark County Home Sales - Average Sales Price Trend February 2018


The February short term Average sales price for Clark County is now up to $359,647. This is an increase of about $38,448 from a year ago.


Charts of Vancouver WA Home Sales Trends in February 2018 Clark County Home Sales Inventory
& Days on Market - February 2018


Our final three graphs from RMLS show:

Closed Sales and New Listings have both moved up, with Pending sales actually dropping slightly. Even so, the available Inventory did not move up that much. 

The second graph is showing another strong spread between new-list prices and actual Closed sales prices.

Finally, for the Days on the Market, the Average increased 12 days to 61, and Median increased one day to 27.

More information from the RMLS published report on the Clark County real estate scene can be found here: RMLS Market Action Report on our website.
 


PS - This is without a doubt a great time to List and Sell Your Home with Our Team for 2018; or, at least find out what your home is worth!  We offer a no-cost, no-obligation Clark County WA Home Valuation, and invite you to try it out!

PPS - You are invited to visit our web-page for Clark County WA  Homes For Sale where it is Quite Easy to search by City, Neighborhood or by Category, with homes and real estate listings from the entire RMLS.  Sign-up Not Required!  The property and home listings shown are provided via many updates each day, and you will be e-mailed hourly with any new matches once you've signed up for a home search.

We also have the MLS Listings for these great towns in Clark County:  Battle Ground WA Real Estate | Brush Prairie WA Homes | Camas WA Real Estate | Hockinson WA Homes | La Center WA Homes | Ridgefield WA Homes | Vancouver WA Homes | Washougal WA Real Estate | Yacolt WA Homes | Amboy WA Homes



The information and charts in this Clark County WA real estate update (prepared by Vancouver WA Realtor, John Slocum, CRS, SFR, our resident statistician) are based on home sales recorded in the Clark County WA MLS system (RMLS), excluding sales of mobile home; and shows the purchase activity since 2009; charting the 3 month Moving average number of sales, and the 12 month Moving average.  This "smoothing" of the trend-data helps illustrate the short-term and longer term trends in Clark County's real estate market.

Disclaimer: as with any real estate statistics, we do our best to provide the best representation at the time the data was acquired and compiled.  The data and reports are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Fair Skies on the Home-Ownership-Horizon

Buyers who have been concerned about what might happen to the tax laws affecting home ownership should feel more comfortable about moving forward with their decision to purchase. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed by the President continues to treat real estate as a favored investment.31496145-250.jpg
Whether it is for a home to live in as your principal residence or to use as rental property, the tax laws are in place but other dynamics to be concerned with are not; mortgage rates are expected to rise as well as prices.
Reasons to buy now:
  1. The mortgage interest deduction is intact for most taxpayers.
  2. The capital gain exclusion for principal residences up to $500,000 remains in place.
  3. Taxpayers can elect annually to take newly increased standard deduction or itemize deductions whichever will benefit them the most.
  4. The house payment with taxes and insurance is most likely cheaper than the rent.
  5. Rents will continue to rise making the difference even greater in the future.
  6. Lock-in the principal & interest payment with a fixed-rate mortgage.
  7. 30-year mortgage terms are available to most borrowers.
  8. Prices will likely increase due to lower inventories and several years of low housing starts.
  9. Section 1031 exchanges, capital gains and depreciation remain the same for rental properties.
For a summary of specific real estate provisions in the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, click here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Historical Perspective on Home Loan Interest Rates

Current Home Loan Rates in the 4% Range are a Bargain for Clark County WA Home Buyers in 2018.

In 1968, mortgage rates were 8.5%. The next year, rates went down to 7%. Homeowners could buy a 15-20% larger home for the same payments if they could find someone to assume their mortgage.Mortgage rate history2a.png
FHA and VA mortgages were very popular in certain price ranges and they allowed anyone to assume the mortgage regardless of the credit. If you could find a person to take over your note, you were free to qualify for another mortgage.
In October 1981, mortgage rates reached 18.63%. A $250,000 mortgage had a monthly principal and interest payment of $3,896.46. As astronomical as that rate sounds, people were still buying homes and were good investments.
Four years later, they were still over 12%. The monthly payment was $2,571.53. Believe it or not, people were excited to be paying only 2/3 what they had to pay a few years earlier.
Fast forward to late 1991 when the rates went below 9% and that same payment was to $2,015.16. At the turn of the 21st century, rates were 8.15% and that made the payment $1,860.62. Not much change in rates during that decade.
If we look around the housing bubble, late 2008, the rates were 6.04% and the payment was $1,505.31. By 2009, mortgage rates had fallen below 5%. The lowest mortgage rate was 3.31% on November 2012 with a payment of $1,096.27.
Rates fluctuated for the next few years until now, and most of the experts are expecting them to be above 5% by the end of 2018.  Rates have increased each week for the last six weeks to 4.38% with payments of $1,240.12.
The average mortgage rate for the past 47 years is a little over 8%. The real estate and mortgage markets are cyclical. Rates have been historically low for a long period but will probably continue to rise. Most buyers don’t pay cash and mortgages enable them to purchase now. Based on history, even 8% would be an excellent rate. Until it reaches that point again, everything lower is a bargain.


PS - This is clearly a great time to List and Sell Your Home with Our Team for 2018; or, at least find out what your home is worth!  We offer a no-cost, no-obligation Clark County WA Home Valuation, and invite you to try it out!

PPS - You are invited to visit our web-page for Clark County WA  Homes For Sale where it is Quite Easy to search by City, Neighborhood or by Category, with homes and real estate listings from the entire RMLS.  Sign-up Not Required!  The property and home listings shown are provided via many updates each day, and you will be e-mailed hourly with any new matches once you've signed up for a home search.

We also have the MLS Listings for these great towns in Clark County:  Battle Ground WA Real Estate | Brush Prairie WA Homes | Camas WA Real Estate | Hockinson WA Homes | La Center WA Homes | Ridgefield WA Homes | Vancouver WA Homes | Washougal WA Real Estate | Yacolt WA Homes | Amboy WA Homes


The information and charts in this Clark County WA real estate update are provided by Vancouver WA Realtor, John Slocum, CRS, SFR.

Disclaimer: as with any real estate statistics, we do our best to provide the best representation at the time the data was acquired and compiled.  The data and reports are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Clark County WA Real Estate and Home Sales - January 2018 Market Report

Slight Drop in Pre-Owned Home Sales in Clark County WA for January 2018.

Starting the new year for Clark County pre-owned real estate and home sales we've tallied just 37 fewer units-sold for January. Here are some of the highlights for January's results: 

  • Average-Sales Prices have fallen slightly from recent record highs, as we'd expect this time of year; the 12-month/long-term trend line is up 10.66% compared to January 2017,  and the 3-Month Moving Average is up 12.48% from last year; 
     
  • The Inventory for Resale Homes continues falling and is now at a low 1.0 Months Supply;
     
  • Approximately 360 Resale Homes were sold in the month, which is about 37 fewer (-9.3%) homes than in 2017; and 156 fewer than last month.
     
  • REO/Bank Owned property sales were 0 units (0% of total); down from 1 (0.3%) in 2017. 
     
  • Short Sale /Pre-Foreclosure property sales were 0 units (0% of total); down from 1 (0.3%) in 2017.

The month-end, 30-year-fixed home loan benchmark interest rate is 4.03% (up from 3.95% last month) according to Freddie Mac; compared to 4.15% for January 2017.

Moving on to our custom graphs/charts for Clark County WA. We employ a simple "smoothing" technique to better present the short-term trend (3-month moving average in Red); and long-term trend (12-month moving average in Blue). 

Clark County Home Sales January 2018- Units Sold Clark County Home Sales - Units Sold Trend January 2018

The seasonally-declining short-term trend-line is now well below the longer-term trend-line, as expected in the Winter season. The long-term line is showing a slight wiggle upwards; which tends to counter the news stories that we are seeing a big drop in home sales.

Average Sales prices (shown in the chart below) are continuing their ever-so-slight decline, which is a much more moderate decline that we usually see this time of year; with the long-term trend showing little hesitation on its run upwards. 

Clark County Home Sales January 2018- Average Sales Price Trends Clark County Home Sales - Average Sales Price Trend January 2018


The January short term Average sales price for Clark County is now up to $362,053. This is an increase of about $40,180 from a year ago.


Charts of Vancouver WA Home Sales Trends in January 2018 Clark County Home Sales Inventory
& Days on Market - January 2018


These final three graphs from RMLS show:

Pending and New Listings have taken an unusually strong jump upwards early this year, with Closed sales obviously lagging behind. We should the Closed Sales tally to move up strongly in the immediate coming months. 

The second graph is posting the average list price at its highest level in the past 12 months; leaving little doubt as to where home sellers think prices are going.

Finally, for the Days on the Market, the Average stayed the same at 49 and Median dropped one day to 26.

More information from the RMLS published report on the Clark County real estate scene can be found here: RMLS Market Action Report on our website.
 


PS - This is clearly a great time to List and Sell Your Home with Our Team for 2018; or, at least find out what your home is worth!  We offer a no-cost, no-obligation Clark County WA Home Valuation, and invite you to try it out!

PPS - You are invited to visit our web-page for Clark County WA  Homes For Sale where it is Quite Easy to search by City, Neighborhood or by Category, with homes and real estate listings from the entire RMLS.  Sign-up Not Required!  The property and home listings shown are provided via many updates each day, and you will be e-mailed hourly with any new matches once you've signed up for a home search.

We also have the MLS Listings for these great towns in Clark County:  Battle Ground WA Real Estate | Brush Prairie WA Homes | Camas WA Real Estate | Hockinson WA Homes | La Center WA Homes | Ridgefield WA Homes | Vancouver WA Homes | Washougal WA Real Estate | Yacolt WA Homes | Amboy WA Homes



The information and charts in this Clark County WA real estate update (prepared by Vancouver WA Realtor, John Slocum, CRS, SFR, our resident statistician) are based on home sales recorded in the Clark County WA MLS system (RMLS), excluding sales of mobile home; and shows the purchase activity since 2009; charting the 3 month Moving average number of sales, and the 12 month Moving average.  This "smoothing" of the trend-data helps illustrate the short-term and longer term trends in Clark County's real estate market.

Disclaimer: as with any real estate statistics, we do our best to provide the best representation at the time the data was acquired and compiled.  The data and reports are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Homeowner Tax Changes

The new tax law that was signed into effect at the end of 2017 will affect all taxpayers. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the areas that could affect them which may require some planning to maximize the benefits.
Some of the things that will affect most homeowners are the following:
  • Reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for loans made after 12/14/17. Existing loans of up to $1 million are grandfathered and are not subject to the new $750,000 cap.40009294-250.jpg
  • Homeowners may refinance mortgage debts existing on 12/14/17 up to $1 million and still deduct the interest, so long as the new loan does not exceed the amount of the existing mortgage being refinanced.
  • Repeals the deduction for interest on home equity debt through 12/31/25 unless the proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence.
  • The standard deduction is now $12,000 for single individuals and $24,000 for joint returns. It is estimated that over 90% of taxpayers will elect to take the standard deduction.
  • Property taxes and other state and local taxes are limited to $10,000 as itemized deductions.
  • Moving expenses are repealed except for members of the Armed Forces.
  • Casualty losses are only allowed provided the loss is attributable to a presidentially-declared disaster.
The capital gains exclusion applying to principal residences remains unchanged. Single taxpayers are entitled to $250,000 and married taxpayers filing jointly up to $500,000 of capital gain for homes that they owned and occupied as principal residences for two out of the previous five years.
Not addressed in the new tax law, the Mortgage Forgiveness Relief Act of 2007 expired on 12/31/16. This temporary law limited exclusion of income for discharged home mortgage debt for principal homeowners who went through foreclosure, short sale or other mortgage forgiveness. Debt forgiven is considered income and even though the taxpayer may not be obligated for the debt, they would have to recognize the forgiven debt as income.
These changes could affect a taxpayers’ position and should be discussed with their tax advisor.
---
PS - don't forget that the generally LOWER TAX RATES will improve your Purchasing Power in 2018.  If your plans this year include Selling your current home and making a new purchase, please call us right away, and we'll help you put together a solid strategy!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Homes for sale Clark County WA - December 2017

Big Drop in Closed Home Sales in Clark County WA for December 2017.

As we close out the year for Clark County real estate and home sales, the final month finds over 100 fewer units-sold for December. Here are some of the highlights for December's results: 

  • Average-Sales Prices have seasonally retreated from recent record highs; the 12-month/long-term trend line is up 10.64% compared to December 2016,  and the 3-Month Moving Average  is up 11.09% from last year; 
     
  • The Inventory for Resale Homes slipped again to the low 1.1 Months Supply;
     
  • Approximately 505 Resale Homes were sold in the month, which is about 102 fewer (-16.8%) homes than in 2016; and 67 fewer than last month.
     
  • REO/Bank Owned property sales were 4 units (0.8% of total); down from 13 (2.1%) in 2016. 
     
  • Short Sale /Pre-Foreclosure property sales were 4 units (0.8% of total); down from 7 (1.6%) in 2016.

The month-end, 30-year-fixed home loan benchmark interest rate is 3.95% (up from 3.92% last month) according to Freddie Mac; compared to 4.20% for December 2016.

We will continue with our custom graphs/charts for Clark County WA. A simple "smoothing" technique is employed to better present the short-term trend (3-month moving average in Red); and long-term trend (12-month moving average in Blue). 

Clark County Home Sales December 2017- Units Sold Clark County Home Sales - Units Sold Trend December 2017

The seasonally-declining short-term trend-line crossed below the longer-term trend-line, and will stay below for a few more months. The long-term line is going sideways this month; which is likely the near-term plateau. For the total Year there were about 242 (-3.35%) fewer units-sold this year compared to last.

For the next chart: Average Sales prices (shown below) are showing a slight decline, which is common this time of year; with the long-term trend continuing its upward run. 

Clark County Home Sales December 2017- Average Sales Price Trends Clark County Home Sales - Average Sales Price Trend December 2017


The December short term Average sales price for Clark County is now up to $366,933. This is an increase of about $36,632 from a year ago.


Charts of Vancouver WA Home Sales Trends in December 2017 Clark County Home Sales Inventory
& Days on Market - December 2017


These final three graphs from RMLS show:

With both Pending and New Listings dropping strongly for the past few months, it is no wonder we are seeing a drop in closed sales. 

The second graph is showing the average list price maintaining its high level despite the sales slowing this time of year.

Finally, for the Days on the Market, both the Average and Median moved up about 6 days from the prior month.

More information from the RMLS published report on the Clark County real estate scene can be found here: RMLS Market Action Report on our website.
 


PS - This is a great time to List and Sell Your Home with Our Team for 2018; or, at least find out what your home is worth!  We offer a no-cost, no-obligation Clark County WA Home Valuation, and invite you to try it out!

PPS - You are invited to visit our web-page for Clark County WA  Homes For Sale where it is Quite Easy to search by City, Neighborhood or by Category, with homes and real estate listings from the entire RMLS.  Sign-up Not Required!  The property and home listings shown are provided via many updates each day, and you will be e-mailed hourly with any new matches once you've signed up for a home search.

We also have the MLS Listings for these great towns in Clark County:  Battle Ground WA Real Estate | Brush Prairie WA Homes | Camas WA Real Estate | Hockinson WA Homes | La Center WA Homes | Ridgefield WA Homes | Vancouver WA Homes | Washougal WA Real Estate | Yacolt WA Homes | Amboy WA Homes



The information and charts in this Clark County WA real estate update (prepared by Vancouver WA Realtor, John Slocum, CRS, SFR, our resident statistician) are based on home sales recorded in the Clark County WA MLS system (RMLS), excluding sales of mobile home; and shows the purchase activity since 2009; charting the 3 month Moving average number of sales, and the 12 month Moving average.  This "smoothing" of the trend-data helps illustrate the short-term and longer term trends in Clark County's real estate market.

Disclaimer: as with any real estate statistics, we do our best to provide the best representation at the time the data was acquired and compiled.  The data and reports are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Nice Surprise When Renting Your Vancouver WA Home

Planning to go to the Masters Golf Tournament next April 2-9th and don’t have a place to stay? Each year, there are homeowners who rent their home for a big premium during the Masters because hotels are in short supply with premium prices, and demand for private homes is up.47360108-crop.jpg
Homeowners go on vacation and make tax-free income while temporary tenants rent their home. Homeowners can benefit from a little known provision in the tax code that does not require taxpayers to recognize the income derived from renting their home for less than 15 days per year. See Plan Ahead for Tax Time When Renting Out Residential or Vacation Property- special rules.
This situation can particularly benefit homeowners where there are large sporting events nearby like golf and tennis tournaments, championship games or other high attendance venues. The demand for a private residence can be more attractive than staying in a hotel which makes the price go up.
Here in Vancouver WA we may not have the Huge Convention or Sports Arena type event however, our area is attractive in the summer season and the local hotels fill up; or, you may have that vacation cabin at the beach that you don't use the entire summer.
Obviously, there are challenges with personal belongings and insuring for damage but getting a premium rental rate and not having to recognize the income could be worth it. You’ll certainly want to discuss this with your tax professional prior to making this decision. You’d probably also want to get some help from an experienced real estate professional.
---
PS - 2018 is already starting out with our local market being very hot for homes and real estate. If you are thinking about selling please contact us for your Free Market Analysis!