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Housing market gets attention

COEUR d’ALENE – Kootenai County has some of the fastest appreciating real estate values in the country.

Home prices jumped nearly 24 percent between the first quarter of 2004 and the first quarter of 2005, according to a recently released study by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Out of nearly 400 metropolitan areas, the county ranked 32nd for growth in prices.

Bakersfield, Calif., ranked highest on the list, with a 32 percent gain in home prices. Thirteen of the 20 fastest appreciating areas were in California. The other metro areas on the top 20 list were in Florida and Nevada.

Kootenai County’s ranking won’t surprise anyone who’s been following the local real estate market. Population growth, an influx of investors and low inventory has put upward pressure on prices.

Through May, the average sales price was $192,714 for a single-family Kootenai County home on less than an acre. Last year at this time, the average sales price was $152,905, according to figures from the Coeur d’Alene Multiple Listing Service.

Average sales prices, by community, were: Coeur d’Alene, $189,784; Post Falls, $191,668; Hayden-Dalton, $222,090; and Rathdrum-Hauser, $162,657.

More than 1,200 homes sold during the first five months of the year, representing more than $235 million in real estate transactions. The number of homes for sale grew by 3 percent from April to May, to more than 1,200. However, the number of residential listings is nearly 30 percent lower than it was a year ago.


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