Clark County real estate market sees ‘dramatic’ slowdown in June

Number of new pending sales reported in June was the smallest for the month since June 2012

VBJ file photo

Sales in the Clark County real estate market slowed dramatically during the month of June, according to a Clark County Market Report by Mike Lamb, broker at Windermere Northwest Living in Vancouver.

June saw 674 New Pending Residential Sales reported to RMLS, down 23.2% from May and down 32.7% from June 2021. The number of new pending sales reported in June was actually the smallest for the month since June 2012. To put that in a different perspective, Lamb wrote in his report that the change in June was smaller than the 29.9% decline in new pending sales from December to January this year, but changes like that are not unusual in December and January. However, since 2010 this was the largest change in new pending sales recorded for June. As a result, at the end of the month there were 1,197 pending sales waiting to close, down 13.3% from May, and the smallest backlog of pending sales for the month since June 2011. At the rate sales closed in June, that represented just 1.3 months of closings, according to Lamb’s report.

According to the report, closing activity also slowed in June, although not as much as new pending sales because those closings largely reflect new sales activity in May. Lamb noted that you could see that in the 780 New Closed Residential Sales reported, down 1.5% from May, and down 19.3% from the June 2021 record. Yet except for June 2020, New Closed Residential Sales in June were weaker than in any other June since 2014. As a result, Solds Year to Date began to fall behind 2021 for the first time this year. At the end of June there were 4,695 Solds Year to Date, down 9.3% from the June 2021 record, but up 17.4% from June 2020. That was also up 2.7% from June 2018, which was the best June for Solds Year to Date between 2005 and the 2021 record. Still, with the backlog of pending sales slipping, total sales year to date will continue to lag 2021’s record pace.

In contrast to the weaker sales in June, listing activity remained strong, with 1,165 new residential listings submitted, down just four listings from May, and up 3.5% from June 2021, according to Lamb’s report. In fact, listing activity was much better than in any June since 2010 except for June 2018, and it was down just 5.4% from that month. And with weaker new sales activity, the number of Active Listings rose to 1,551, up 33.9% from May and up 91.7% from June 2021. Yet the number of Active Listings was still down 7.1% from June 2020, down 53.1% from May 2019, and down 39.7% from June 2018. Even so, growing inventory meant there were 1.73 new residential listings for each new pending residential sale. And based on the number of closed residential sales in June there were 1.7 months of standing residential inventory available. That was the first time there has been more than a month of standing inventory since July 2020, Lamb wrote.

Predictably, average prices began to moderate in June, Lamb wrote in his report. For example, Average Sale Price-All MLS was $595,429, up just 0.5% from June 2021. Median Sale Price-Residential was $533,800, down 1.6% from May, but still up 12.0% from $476,800 in June 2021, and up 33.8% from $398,900 in June 2020. That was also up 101.1% from the previous high in June 2007, and up 196.6% from the June 2011 low during the downturn. And the average residential sale price rose only 1.2% from May to $611,400, up 15.4% from $530,000 in June 2021.

In summary, Lamb wrote: “While the change in sales activity in June was significant, it was not unprecedented. In fact, new sales activity in June was better than it was in any June between 2008 and 2012, and it was down only three pending sales from June 2013. Furthermore, as of July 18th new sales in July are up compared the same time in June. That, and the healthy level of listing activity suggest the up and down and up sales activity we have seen since March reflects a market that is recalibrating. Mortgage interest rates have had something to do with that, but limited inventory and buyer fatigue have also been factors. It is noteworthy though that as inventory has grown, and prices have begun to adjust, anecdotal evidence indicates that buyer activity has begun to pick up. And that is despite still historically low levels of inventory.”

Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.