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FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2011, 4:06 P.M.

Home sales up, prices down

Homes sales in Spokane County surged compared with February, but remained behind the level for March 2009, when a federal home buyer tax credit was available.

Buyers closed on 307 sales compared with 190 in February, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors. The average price was $162,187, down from $166,418 in February and $182,234 a year earlier.

The median price was $154,000, ahead of the $150,000 for February, but below the $160,000 of a year ago.

Sales and prices were down for the first quarter compared with the 2009 period, when the tax credit was stimulating sales.

So far, 681 homes have sold, a 14 percent drop from 2009, and average and median prices both declined.

The number of listings increased slightly over February, to 2,738, but fell significantly from the 3,335 of a year ago.

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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.