Summary: This is the latest in a series of “city guides” we’ve created to give home buyers across Washington some insight into current housing market conditions. Today, we will examine some of the most important trends you should know about when buying a house in Vancouver, Washington in 2020.
Are you considering a home purchase in Vancouver, WA some time in 2020? If so, you’ll want to gather all the information about the local market as possible to make a more informed purchasing decision. Let’s get into more detail about the current temperature of the market in Vancouver and what is expected going further into 2020.
Overview: Buying a Home in Vancouver in 2020
As of early 2020, the Vancouver real estate market could be summed up as follows:
- Houses in the area are more expensive than they were last year.
- Home prices are expected to continue rising over the coming months.
- Low housing inventory is boosting competition among buyers.
- Mortgage rates are still extremely low.
Those are four of the most important things to know when buying a house in Vancouver, WA in 2020. There is also an inventory shortage happening in this and most other cities across Washington. So let’s take a closer look at these real estate market trends that can affect Vancouver home buyers in 2020.
1. Home values rose significantly over the last year.
According to the latest data from Zillow, the median home value for Vancouver, Washington rose to around $359,100 as of February 2020, while the median sale price is around $357,000. These figures give you some idea of where the market is right now, in terms of pricing.
The bigger story here is annual home-price appreciation. According to several sources, the median home value in Vancouver rose by 4.1% over the last year alone. That is a relatively healthy rate of increase and paints the picture of a warm real estate market.
2. Prices are expected to continue climbing further into 2020.
Most market analysts expect home prices in Vancouver (and most other Washington cities) to continue rising throughout 2020 due to strong demand and limited inventory. The latest forecasts suggest that we could see similar gains over the coming months, compared to those that occurred over the last years.
The research team at Zillow, for example, expects the median house value in Vancouver to climb by another 4.6% over the next 12 months (as reported in February 2020). That forecast is roughly the same as the one they issued for the nation as a whole, covering the same timeframe.
3. Tight inventory is driving competition among Vancouver home buyers.
These latest home-price trends and forecasts are largely shaped by the current imbalance between supply and demand. This is true for many cities across the country, but it is especially pronounced within the Washington State housing market.
In Vancouver and other major cities across the state, there just aren’t enough homes listed for sale to satisfy the current level of demand from buyers.
According to economists and housing experts, a balanced real estate market has somewhere around five to six months worth of supply. (That’s the length of time it would theoretically take to sell all homes currently listed for sale, if no new properties came onto the market in the meantime.)
- When inventory rises above that level, you have a surplus that tends to create seller’s-market conditions.
- When inventory drops well below that range, you have a constrained market that tends to favor the seller over the buyer.
As of February 2020, housing inventory overall in Clark County had just under a month supply of homes for sale, which is very tighte. So it could still be considered a seller’s market, at least where inventory is concerned.
The inventory situation will affect anyone who is thinking about buying a home in Vancouver in 2020. In a tight real estate market, home buyers need to bring their ‘A’ game. This means having your financing arranged before entering the market, and having a realistic sense of what you can afford. This will make you a more efficient and competitive home buyer.
4. Mortgage rates have been on a decline.
Mortgage rates have been in the news a lot lately, and this is another important subject for anyone planning to buy a home in Vancouver, Washington in 2020.
The big story here is that the average rate for a 30-year home loan has been declining over the past year and has been under the 4% mark for months. Rates are 0.23 lower than they were at the start of 2020, and are 0.89% lower than they were the same time last year. And experts predict that they won’t go much higher in 2020 than where they are today.
According to the long-running industry survey conducted by Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan is at 3.49% as of the week of February 24, 2020. That’s near historic lows.
This trend has captured the attention of home buyers and mortgage shoppers in Washington and elsewhere across the country. It could create a sense of urgency among home buyers in Vancouver and elsewhere.
Disclaimer: This article includes real estate data and forecasts from third parties not associated with our company. We have presented them here as a service to our readers.
Need a Home Loan in Vancouver, WA?
Are you planning to buy a home in Vancouver, WA and need a home loan to help fund this purchase? Sammamish Mortgage can help. We have been serving borrowers in Washington for more than two decades, as well as borrowers in Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon. We offer competitive rates on a variety of mortgage programs, including FHA, VA and conventional. Please contact us if you have any financing-related questions.