CLATSOP COUNTY — Real estate values are climbing in Clatsop County amid increasing interest from metropolitan markets, apartment scarcity and attractive financing options.

“In 2016 we’ve seen a 9 percent price increase,” RE/MAX associate Bree Phillips said, “which is great news for sellers.” The increase adds equity to existing homeowners and bolsters a “seller’s market” across the Clatsop County.

The reasons behind the increase stem from low interest rates and low inventory according to Phillips.

“With a low inventory rates and low interest rate, and a high demand from buyers, it continues to drive those prices up,” Phillips said. Fewer real estate listings have also aided a sellers market according to Phillips.

“In 2016 we have 8 percent fewer listings on the market, which means less competition for sellers, but fewer options for buyers,” Phillips said, “That would tell me that we’re leaning right now toward a sellers market right now versus a buyers market.”

The typical time a house is on the market has decreased 11 percent since 2015 according to Phillips. Phillips believes there are typically five factors that can affect a home sale including: condition, pricing, photos, marketing and follow-up.

“If all five factors are in alignment, you’ll absolutely see a sale in today’s market,” Phillips said. “If you put your house on the market, you can expect it to sell faster than last year,” she added.

A competitive metro housing market, particularly in Portland, has left some seeking alternatives in Astoria.

“We’re getting buyers coming in from the Portland metro market who don’t want to compete in that market with 12 to 20 offers. They still might have to compete, but not like they would in Portland,” Phillips said.

Apartment scarcity and low financing are motivating many to buy instead of rent.

“In Clatsop County there’s less than 1 percent vacancy for rental properties,” Phillips said, “Because the rental market is so competitive, we’re seeing some people who would traditionally rent coming to purchase. And they can afford to do so with interest rates being so low — around 4 percent,” Phillips summed.

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