May 7, 2009 in City

Spokane home values fall less sharply than others

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Home values in Spokane County fell during the first quarter but performed better than the national average, according to a new report from online real estate site Zillow.com.

While home sales in Spokane County were down in the first quarter compared to last year, sales in March alone showed a big jump over February, according to Multiple Listing Service statistics.

Zillow reported that home values in the county dropped 10.8 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the same period a year ago. But the report also showed that home values locally over the past five years were up 4.9 percent, while in more than half the markets the firm covers, values were flat or negative over that same period.

Nationwide, home values fell 14.2 percent in the first quarter. The Spokane market was also showing stronger performance than the national average in the proportion of foreclosures (9 percent in Spokane, more than 20 percent nationally) and the percentage of homes with negative equity (19.8 percent in Spokane, 21.9 percent nationally).

Zillow attempts to estimate a value for every home in a given market. Real estate agents rely more heavily on statistics about sales and sale prices.

In the Spokane area, home sales were down 27 percent in the first quarter, and the average sales price of $200,475 was about the same as last year’s, according to MLS statistics.

Sales showed a surge in March, rising 68 percent over February.

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