Fewer Valley homes sold last month than in January of 1997 and prices were down compared to a year ago.
Fifty-eight homes sold in the Valley during January, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors, compared to 75 a year earlier - a drop of about 23 percent.
However, the Valley still led the Spokane area marketplace in the number of new homes sold last month, with 14.
The average Valley home sold for $112,777 last month, compared to $117,106 last January.
In Liberty Lake and the central Valley area south of Interstate 90, 45 homes sold last month at an average price $118,166.
In areas north of I-90 and in Millwood, 13 homes sold at an average price of $94,123.
The Valleywide average sale price last month was second highest in the county, behind the South Hill’s $144,196.
Valley homes that sold last month had spent less time on the market than homes elsewhere in the county. The average in the Valley last month was 79 days compared to the countywide average of 92.
“We’re definitely seeing a market that’s changing,” said Fred Foss with Prudential Crane Realty’s Valley office.
Foss said he’s seeing less inventory and some sales that happen before the signs go up. That could be a sign that a seller’s market is on the way, a break from two years of buyer’s control.
“There are more offers at full value and houses are on the market for a shorter time,” he said.
But Bob Krafft of Windemere Real Estate said he doesn’t see a seller’s market in the near future, because in March, April and May, more people will be putting their homes up for sale.
The warmer weather has helped the local real estate market, Krafft said.
“People have a feeling it’s spring already,” he said. “The fact that we have nice weather means we’re accelerating the time that people usually get into the marketplace.”