Homes sales in Spokane County fell significantly in September compared with August and the same month a year ago.
But, according to the Multiple Listings Service of the Spokane Association of Realtors, prices managed to eke out a slight gain over year-earlier levels. That could be because the number of homes for sale continues to drop as construction subsides.
The average home price was $111,052, down from $115,666 in August but above the August 1994 average of $110,171.
The number of homes sold - 427 - was off 127 from August and 48 from a year ago.
Association President Bev Gates attributed the slowdown in activity to seasonal factors.
“We expect some drop in activity when schools reopen and some adjustment in sales price when there is a large inventory of homes going into the winter months,” she said.
But Gates said there is not as much awareness as there should be of the low mortgage rates now available, and the various programs that make a purchase easier for first-time home buyers.
“It’s easier for people to qualify,” she said, adding that the association will do some promotional work to heighten awareness.
September sales brought total sales volume for the first nine months of the year to $390.9 million, off nearly $80 million from the 1994 period.
In a change of market leadership, there were more homes sold in the Spokane Valley at higher prices than on the South Hill, where the average price tumbled almost 12 percent from levels a year ago.
The September slowdown in the Spokane market contrasts with Kootenai County, where sales increased but prices decreased. Those numbers reflect recent construction of low-cost homes in the Post Falls area.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: Home sales