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Home sales increase in Spokane; prices still lagging

Wed., Aug. 12, 2009, 10:58 a.m.

Home sales picked up in Washington state in the second quarter compared with last year — the first quarter-over-quarter improvement in sales numbers in more than two years, according to the “housing market snapshot” produced quarterly by Washington State University’s Center for Real Estate Research.

Glenn Crellin, director of the center, cautioned in a news release that “a one quarter improvement should not be considered a trend,” and that the sales increase likely was fueled by a new federal first-time home buyer’s tax credit.

Home sales statewide increased 11.6 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period the previous year. Sales in Spokane County were up 13.4 percent over the year-ago period.

Crellin said sales prices are another indication of market stability, and that only four counties in the state experienced higher median sales prices during the second quarter. Prices statewide declined 9.2 percent; in Spokane, the median home price was down 9.6 percent.

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