Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An honest article from the Columbian

The Columbian has been one of the worst cheerleaders in the area but they finally offered us a more balanced look at the market.

From the Columbian:

Clark County's housing market could be three to five years from returning to normal, a panel of top-selling Realtors said Wednesday.
June saw a 13.8 percent increase in sales from a year ago in Clark County, the first monthly year-over-year increase here in more than two years. An $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time buyers could continue to boost sales for the next couple of months, said Noah Blanton, president of Vancouver-based Stewart Title. "I think we'll have a fairly active summer," Blanton said. But Blanton and some others expected a full-fledged housing recovery would be another 36 months to 48 months down the road. Market improvement depends on reducing a glut of properties in or on the brink of foreclosure. It also depends on bringing back jobs — an estimated 5,300 — that were lost in the county in the 12 months through June....
For the first half of the year, Clark County ranked No. 1 out of Washington's 39 counties for foreclosure filings, with one out of every 113 households in some stage of foreclosure, California-based RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.Clark County reported filings on 500 properties in June, up from 498 in May, and an increase of 79.9 percent from June 2008, when 278 foreclosures were filed....
Some said it could be at least three years before building pencils out for Clark County's new home builders.Others see it as a way to get the economic ball rolling again, said Sandy Scott, of Coldwell Banker, Barbara Sue Seal.Scott is marketing Ridgefield's Pioneer Canyon development, with homes starting at $169,000."I really believe we need to start building again," she said. "Clark County depends on building."