The local market here in Clark County is still strong, but we have seen slight softening in the intensity. Sellers still have the upper hand, but buyers can find homes and secure them without having to leap before they look.
Head north 40 miles to Longview and Kelso and a different story emerges. That market is roaring like ours was a year or so back. They are getting multiple offers on nearly every house that comes to market. Prices that were once 30-40% lower than Clark County are now more like 20-25% lower. It seems that frustrated buyers in Clark County and perhaps other parts of the metro area have 'discovered' Cowlitz County and are trading in a short commute time for an affordable home.
But how much longer will they remain "affordable" that is yet to be determined. I will be showing a series of homes to an out of state buyer tomorrow in Kelso and Longview as well as a few in Vancouver. My client is in the same situation having to decide whether a 60 mile one way commute is worth the savings or not. We shall see how that plays out.
Houses right now in Clark County need to be priced right. The days of listing at 5-10% over market and getting it are gone. Buyers will not overpay like they did a few years ago. Now the key is having the home price at or very near real market value and having it move in ready. Overpriced and/or rough condition homes will sit a while in the market. I don't think that is the case as much up in Cowlitz, everything seems to be flying off the proverbial shelves there.
I like it when the market moves towards neutral conditions and that seems to be the direction we are headed here in Vancouver and Clark County.