AP NEWS

Spokane home sales off to a strong start in January

February 9, 2017

Spokane County’s residential real estate market got off to a brisk start in January, with 378 sales of single-family homes and condos.

The number of homes sold increased 7.7 percent from January 2016, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors.

The average sales price was $206,351, an 8.8 percent gain. The median price was $195,000, an 11.4 percent increase.

“This is the best January we’ve had since about 2007,” said Rob Higgins, executive officer of the Spokane Association of Realtors.

Anticipation of rising interest rates may have motivated some people to start shopping for a home early in the year, locking in lower payments, Higgins said.

And, “if you’re thinking about selling your home, this is one of the better times of the year,” he said. “People who are looking this time of year are motivated buyers. They’re trudging through snow and cold to look at properties.”

The number of home seekers increases in the spring, but many of them are “tire kickers,” as opposed to people who, for various reasons, need to get into a home quickly, Higgins said.

About 1,150 homes were listed for sale in January, which represents a 25 percent decrease in inventory from January 2015.

Lower inventories are putting pressure on home prices, and they could put a crimp on the overall volume of home sales this year, Higgins said.

“We may not have the growth we had last year in sales, because inventories remain low,” he said.

More than 7,500 homes changed hands in Spokane County last year. The average sales price was $212,144 and the median sale price was $195,000.