We have had some late winter weather that still persists and the constant threat of snow seems to have kept many away from touring listed properties. All of my listings saw a substantial fall off over the last two weeks beginning with the the snowy weather in the middle of last month. We shall see if the snowy and chilly weather is the real cause or whether their is some other more diabolical market condition developing. My gut is that the sketchy weather was the real culprit.
Tomorrow and the next several days will be chilly by March standard to be sure, but the great yellow orb will be blazing bright across the late winter sky. I think that will bring the masses out to house hunt.
I read an interesting article in the Columbian today that cited rents in our area (Vancouver) are at or very near the same level as Seattle for a typical two bedroom apartment. We are well ahead of Portland which averages $1300 to our $1650. Ouch! I didn't see that coming, or did I? Portland has been on a red hot apartment building binge adding more than 13,000 units in recent months. Vancouver is also on a bit of a building binge, but units in Vancouver have not all come online yet.
For resale real estate, this bodes well as high rents tend to chase people towards ownership. Why rent if you can own for less? I think this could lead to a bit of a buyer's resurgence as spring awakens. That will keep our housing market humming along for the rest of the year. Inventory is still technically tight, but levels have been increasing slowly over the last 8-12 months and soon there will be a more 'normal' level of inventory with market absorption rates coming in at 4-6 months. Nice and healthy.
Let's see if this sunshine filled weekend proves me right, or if I have to start worrying about the spring.