Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vancouver sales volume slowest in 15 years

From the Columbian:

Home sales in Clark County dropped by 32.6 percent in 2008, reflecting a year-long stalemate between bargain-hunting house hunters and sellers who refused to lower their prices.A total of 5,133 new and pre-owned houses were sold last year, down from 7,613 homes sold during 2007.
The 2008 total was down 61.2 percent from 2005, the peak of the housing boom, when 13,232 homes were sold, according to “benchmarks,” a tracking service provided by Vancouver’s Riley & Marks Inc. appraisal firm.In December, 321 new and pre-owned houses sold in Clark County, down 20.7 percent from the same month in 2007.
Potential home buyers were sidelined even further in 2008 by tightened mortgage lending standards, which contributed to a rising stockpile of homes. More than 4,650 homes were listed for sale in Clark County through November, according to RMLS, a Portland-based listing service.
The supply had nearly doubled from the same period the year before. It would take 16.9 months to sell off the inventory if no new listings are added.
Last year’s sales were the slowest in at least the past 15 years.