Although owners are waiting longer to sell their homes, home sales funneled 18 percent more money into the economy during the first five months of the year than a year earlier.
The bulk of the increase came in the traditionally slow winter and early spring months.
In May, 456 homes were sold, up from 438 last year, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors’ multiple listing service. That’s only a 4 percent increase, but the continued strength of the market - and a slight increase in the average price of a home - pushed sales volume for the first five months of the year to $204.3 million, up from $172.4 a year ago.
The average price of a home rose from $109,554 last May to $115,238, a 5 percent increase.
“The sales data for the first five months of the year continues to confirm a steady market,” said Tom Crowley, president of the Realtors association. Crowley attributes the market’s strength to good mortgage rates and a strong inventory.
One Realtor said the large number of houses available is forcing people to price their homes competitively, or wait longer for them to sell.
“The emphasis is on fair market value,” said Mary Rosner, of Tomlinson Black in the Spokane Valley.
More homes sold in the county’s Northwest quadrant - 144 - than anywhere else.
The South Hill continues to be the most expensive area, with the average home selling for $131,831. The least expensive area is the Northeast, with homes selling for an average of $87,810.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: Home sales