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Affordable Homes Fuel Sales In Kootenai County Market

The Kootenai County home market showed surprising strength in July, perhaps reflecting renewed efforts to build affordable housing.

Just one more home was sold this July, compared with a year ago, according to the Coeur d’Alene Multiple Listing Service. But that’s better than the 15 percent declines the market had experienced in recent months.

The sales numbers raised eyebrows of some in the real estate business, said Dick Jurvelin of the Coeur d’Alene Multiple Listing Service. Realtors had become accustomed to seeing declines from last year’s record pace.

Sales in Post Falls were the engine driving July’s market success, with 45 percent more homes sold there compared with last July.

The average price of those homes reflects changes in the market. Compared with July 1994, the average price of homes sold this July dropped 18 percent to $97,369.

Crescent Homes’ latest development at Harmony Place has homes starting at $69,900, and the homes have been selling well.

Tomlinson Black North Idaho has plans for 80 units of affordable housing in Rathdrum. The homes will start at $66,000 and will be manufactured by Stratford homes.

Stratford builds sections of the homes at its Rathdrum plant and then ships them to be put on the foundations at the site.

Existing homes are moving fast for Allen Mastros of Treaty Rock Realty in Post Falls. “Things have seemed to pick up once again here.”

Mastros also sees continued strength in the commercial sector as more people in Post Falls need services. Mastros broke ground for his Rancho Viejo Mexican restaurant Tuesday.

Home prices have risen more than 10 percent each year this decade. Through July, 1995 home prices were even with 1994.

For the year, about 13 percent fewer homes have been sold in the county.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: Home sales

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