As of March 27, 2020 – Governor Inslee has acknowledged that stopping real estate transactions in Washington State is not in the best interest of those affected by Covid-19. He recognizes that some individuals need to be able to sell their home, or pursue a refinance as part of their financial well being. Assuming all current health and social distancing requirements are met, paperwork signings, inspections and final walk-throughs are currently allowed to help keep the pipeline of home sales and refinances moving. Open houses are not permitted at this time. The following article contains more general information about what is happening with the real estate market the Vancouver \ Camas and surrounding areas. This information seems to change almost daily, so please be sure to contact us with any questions. We have included a copy of the Governors most recent announcement at the bottom of this article for your reference.
What is Happening Now in Clark County
Up until now, the local housing market in Portland and Vancouver remained relatively normal for this time of the year. As a matter of a fact, by looking at the numbers alone – you’d never guess that there was a toilet paper shortage in the US. We have had a lot of questions recently, like we always do, about whether the housing market is going to crash again like it did in 2007-2010. We certainly don’t blame people for feeling uneasy. With everything going on in the world, it’s a completely normal concern. The good news is that this housing market is not built on sand like the previous one. It won’t get washed away when the rains come. It was built on stone, and is prepared to weather the storm (should one come). We actually wrote an article about this a while back, you can reference it HERE. We are proud that it’s still relevant today, and that our predictions were accurate.
The Financial Aspect
Mortgage lenders have upheld strict lending practices in the past decade, and continue to do so. Even with the fed cutting the interest rate, the mortgage market saw very little change. That is a good sign – it means that the market is standing firmly on it’s own. In the past 10 years, homes were sold to highly qualified buyers, with money down. Even if those qualified buyers lose their jobs, foreclosures and evictions have been halted. This is protecting both the housing market and families from impact. Stimulus checks are going to be sent out to families to help them with unexpected costs. All of these things are already in place to help any impact on our housing market. There are a lot of proactive measure being taken this time around.
Shortage of Homes in Clark County
The biggest sign that the real estate market in Clark County will remain stable is that there is still an extreme shortage of homes! In 2005-2008 when homes were selling at record pace, home builders starting building at an unprecedented pace. The market crashed because unqualified home buyers stopped making payments, and home building came to a standstill – with a huge surplus of new homes on the market (some abandoned), and no buyers. This is what forced home prices to plunge. Too many houses – not enough buyers. The market right now reflects the complete opposite. We have buyers fighting over the limited supply of homes on the market, to this very day. Our inventory of available homes is at a record LOW. Anything in high demand should hold it’s value, and homes are in high demand.
Our Current Recommendation
Contact us with your situation, and we can talk about options for preparing your home for sale now – and listing it when you feel comfortable. We suspect that there is going to be a panic rush to list homes once the lock-downs are over, and if you are seriously considering selling your home – now is the time to lay the groundwork. We would be happy to discuss your homes value, or any other concerns you have now – so that when the time is right you aren’t left competing with everybody in town to get your home listed. Spring and Summer are still everybody’s favorite time to list and move, and we recommend being prepared.