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Sold-home prices inch higher in county

Average and median prices for homes sold in Spokane County last month crept above prior-year levels for the first time since last June, Rob Higgins, the executive officer of the Spokane Association of Realtors, said Friday.

The number of homes sold continues to trail last year’s pace, he said, but if the volume keeps growing month over month as it has so far this year, that number could be higher in April as well.

“Signs are positive,” Higgins said.

In March, 326 homes sold at an average price of $200,229. The median price was $176,200.

The average price in March 2008, when 382 homes sold, was $196,456, and the median was $175,875.

In February, 194 homes sold. Only 117 sold in January, when weather made travel difficult.

The inventory of homes for sale had fallen to 2,687 as of April 4, down from 3,044 a year ago.

Higgins said an association poll of its members found that 60 percent said they are busy, 20 percent said they were very busy, and 10 percent said activity was slower.

Record-low mortgage rates and an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers and those who have not owned a home in three years has perked buyer interest, he said.