September 9, 1995 in Nation/World

Lower Rates Boost Local Home Sales

By The Spokesman-Review

Homes sales in Spokane County reached their highest level this year last month, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors.

The association’s Multiple Listings Service monthly report shows closings on 544 homes, up by 82 over July. Average prices increased 7 percent.

But sales still lagged behind August 1994, when 564 homes were sold.

Association President Bev Gates attributed the improvement to interest rates, which have slipped below the 8 percent mark in recent weeks.

Also, she said, higher inventory, 2,594 homes, gives potential buyers a wide selection.

“I still feel that the market is holding well,” she said. “Lower-priced homes are moving well.”

Sales in the market’s northeast quadrant, where the less expensive homes are concentrated, bear out that observation.

Northeast homes sold in an average of 60 days, compared with 80 for the South Hill. Prices in the northeast averaged $84,382, a 16 percent boost from last August.

Although Gates said any lingering softness in the market was at the top of the market, South Hill prices remained significantly above those in other areas - $140,399. That was $25,000 more than the next most expensive area, the Valley.

Valley homes were on the market 64 days, those in the northwest quadrant of the market sold in 74 days.

Overall, time on the market was 73 days, up substantially from 53 days last year.

Gates noted that about 500 sales are in process but not completed, which should assure a good performance for September.

“We expect the good market for homes to continue and for these homes to appreciate,” she said.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: Home sales

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