Tight inventory slows down Vancouver, Washington housing market

Vancouver, Washington, a bedroom community across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, has seen its inventory of homes for sale shrink as the housing market picked up after the Great Recession and available homes got snapped up. First-time home buyers and others looking for affordable homes see the area as an alternative to Portland, where rents and home prices have soared in recent years.

National builder, Pahlisch Homes, is putting up nearly 100 one- and two-story houses in a new development called Koles Landing, bordered on one side by a greenway with picnic tables and play areas. The new homes, densely packed on small lots, are between  1,000 and 2,000 square feet and are priced from $300,000 to $350,000, below the median home price for the Portland metro region.

Realtor Terry Wollam’s firm is marketing the homes, which he said have been selling quickly, sometimes before construction is  finished. “With rents that continue to push up, it is more affordable to buy,” said Wollam. “And so Millennials are coming into the market, making a greater percentage year-over-year of the buyer pool.”

Wollam said that as young people get established in careers and start families, they’re looking for backyards and good schools in the suburbs. But there aren’t enough homes for sale in the area in their price range right now.

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