August 21, 1997 in Washington Voices

Valley Homes Sales ‘Little Back From Last Year’

Sam Francis Staff writer
 

The Spokane Valley led the county in home sales during July, but the number of homes sold here still was down compared to 1996.

A total of 140 homes sold in the Valley during July, at an average price of $117,570. The South Hill came in second in the number of homes that changed hands with 122, sold at an average price of $128,293.

Total sales volume in the Valley was $16.4 million. That’s down $3.4 million from July of 1996, but up $1 million from June of this year.

Real estate professionals attribute this year’s sluggish market to a variety of factors, including last winter’s ice storm.

“Obviously we’re still a little back from last year,” said Tony Higley of Certified Appraisal. “I think we’ll see a real strong third and fourth quarter compared to last year.”

While home sales are down compared to 1996, the Valley market is showing steady growth for 1997. Total dollar volume is increasing each month, and the average market time remains steady at about 87 days.

New home sales are 44 percent lower than last July, when 50 new homes were sold in the Valley. Only 32 new homes were sold during July of this year.

“When you have excess inventory for buyers to select from, there’s more for buyers to choose from, so they’re not forced to go to new construction,” said Higley.

Still, new home sales in July were up over June and May - a sign that the market for new construction is making a rebound.

Higley said that interest rates are still driving the market because of affordability. He also noted that pending home sales are up.

Home sales are fastest in northwest Spokane, where market time is just 67 days.

The most expensive home in the Valley was sold for $296,000 by D. Jay Williams of Windermere Tupper.

Facing MeadowWood Golf Course’s sixth green, the 3,400-square foot, four-bedroom home features 18-foot windows in the entry, a master suite with a double shower and jacuzzi, and a three-car garage.

“The home was very airy and big,” said Williams. “The sixth green was literally part of the home’s back yard.”

, DataTimes

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