February 13, 1997 in Washington Voices

Cold Weather, Holidays Keep Home-Buying Down

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Winter doldrums hit the North Side housing market in January, with fewer homes sold than in previous months. Prices, however, were a little higher than a year ago.

January statistics are typically the lowest of the year.

While 182 North Side homes sold in October, 133 in November, and 180 in December, just 104 closed in January - the same as last January.

“January feels the backlash of December, Christmas and cold weather,” said Joel Maroney, sales manager for Century 21 Randock’s North Side office.

Monthly statistics are provided by the Multiple Listing Service of the Spokane Association of Realtors.

In the area northwest of Interstate 90, including Five Mile, Suncrest and Wandermere, 74 homes sold for an average price of $103,741. Prices ranged from $35,000 to $260,000. Last year, 73 homes sold for an average of $101,000.

Northeast of I-90, including Mead, 30 homes sold for an average price of $82,330, a jump from last year when 29 homes brought an average price of $67,234.

“I came five years ago when the market was really good,” said Maroney. “This is a typical market, 1992 through 1995 weren’t, they were the boom years.”

Northwest homes stayed an average of 90 days on the market, compared to 67 days on the northeast side.

Maroney said his North Side office is seeing an increase in people looking for houses on five or more acres.

“People still want to get out, looking for country properties,” he said.

Homes in the Five Mile, Nine Mile, Suncrest and Wandermere areas commanded the highest average price - about $143,000, but also stayed on the marked nearly twice as long as other North Side areas - some an average of 150 days.

In January, 866 North Side homes were listed for sale.

“We’ve had great listing activity,” said Maroney. “There are a lot of houses on the market, but people aren’t taking huge cuts, there hasn’t been a need for huge price reductions.”

“The biggest problem we’re running into are the people who bought their homes two or three years ago with little money down. The home is worth about what they paid for it,” he said.

, DataTimes


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