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Home sales double in county

The pending demise of an $8,000 tax credit may have motivated would-be Spokane County homebuyers to close on almost twice as many properties in November compared with a year ago.

The Spokane Association of Realtors reported 471 sales of single-family homes and condominiums, up 87 percent from the 252 sold in November 2008.

But both average and median prices fell 11 percent from a year ago, to $177,068 and $159,900, respectively.

Sales of new homes, at 55, were up 45 percent from the 38 sold in November 2008.

Despite the increased volume, the inventory of homes on the market – 2,923 – remains almost unchanged from a year ago, although down 220 from October.

“When things are going well, usually inventory comes down,” said association President Rob Higgins. “I think we are going to have this slow stuff for a while.”

November sales brought the total for the year so far to 4,308, down 7 percent from volume for the first 11 months of 2008.

Congress last month extended the first-time homebuyers credit, which was set to expire Nov. 30, to April 30 and granted a $6,500 credit to home owners who purchase another primary residence.