Home Sales Take Very Welcome Spurt

Home sales in the Spokane Valley jumped 25 percent during August compared to the same month in 1996.

Total Valley sales volume last month was $16.6 million, up $3.3 million from 1996.

That’s a sign the Valley’s residential real estate market is finally recovering from a sluggish sales season, market analysts said.

“The August activity surprises me, because it is typically vacation month,” said Tony Higley, owner of Certified Appraisal in the Valley.

Stable interest rates and the opening of the Spokane Valley Mall are both factors in the leap, he said.

The mall’s opening last month provided about 500 new jobs in the Valley, said Rex Frazier, president of J.P. Realty, the mall’s Salt Lake City-based developer.

The average price of a home in the Valley also shot up from $117,570 in July to $134,581 last month. That average price was $21,000 higher than in August 1996.

The time it took Valley sellers to close home sales in August was nearly two weeks shorter than a month earlier. Homes sold during August in an average of 74 days, compared to 87 days in July.

Market analysts also note the impact of the Spokane Homebuilders’ annual home show, which was held in the Spokane Valley last month.

The home show brings many prospective buyers into the market where the show is held.

“It always does a whole bunch of things psychologically,” said Higley. “It gets people out looking and thinking about buying and moving up,” The most expensive home sold in the Valley during August was part of the home show.

The five-bedroom, 2-1/2-bath home, maked by its spacious floor plan and “hidden features,” sold for $377,600, said Jim Bjorkland, listing agent for Tomlinson-Black Valley.

Special insulation and state-of-the-art phone systems added value to the house, while white oak floors and custom six-inch trim added class. The house featured a rounded barrel entry with concealed lighting, and a daylight walkout basement. It faced Mount Spokane and offered a 180-degree view, Bjorkland said.

The 1997 home show was held at Morningside subdivision in Veradale. The development is marked by its expansive private parks and paved walking and bike paths.

, DataTimes

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