Home sales in Spokane County sped up in April, outpacing March and topping last April by more than 20 percent.
The Spokane Association of Realtor’s Multiple Listing Service reported 473 home sales were closed in April, up from 393 last year.
Year-to-date figures indicate that sales are up almost 14 percent over last year.
Realtors say they see increasing signs of the market’s strength. Traffic is up at open houses. Phones ring constantly in their offices. And, in some price categories, they say, home sales are closing more quickly.
“There’s a lot more multiple offers on properties,” said Linda Besse, an associate broker with Prudential Crane Realty.
Besse said she’s had two buyers in the past three weeks who have had to compete for the homes they eventually bought.
Despite the increased competition, it’s still a buyer’s market, said Tom Crowley, president of the Spokane Association of Realtors. That’s due to good prices, low mortgage rates and a strong inventory of available homes.
“The Spokane residential market is unique in many ways,” Crowley said. “The thing that distinguishes Spokane is that growth is steady without spectacular highs and basement lows.”
The South Hill remains the most expensive region of the city, with an average home price of $130,000. The county’s Northeast quadrant brought in the lowest average price of $78,257.
Besse said the biggest price increases she’s seeing are in the Spokane Valley, where new construction is driving up the average selling price.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: Home Sales