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April sees jump in Spokane home sales

April home sales in Spokane continued to outpace 2009 levels as buyers took advantage of their last opportunity to benefit from federal tax credits that expired April 30.

The Spokane Association of Realtors reported 505 closed sales for the month, a 53 percent jump from April 2009, and a 25 percent hop from March.

April was the seventh consecutive month in which home sales exceeded year-ago levels.

The average price slipped 9 percent from April 2009, to $179,874, and the median 5 percent to $163,000. But the median edged ahead of the $160,000 for March.

Pending sales increased slightly to 502, possibly an indication the market has enough momentum to maintain sales volumes ahead of those for 2009 despite the loss of the $8,000 income tax credit for first-time buyers.

The 63 new homes sold in April were the most since October 2008.

But inventory increased to 3,414 from 3,335 in March and 2,997 in April 2009.

Association President Rob Higgins said inventory growth might be attributed to more owners testing the market after the 2009 slump.

Bank-owned real estate has represented slightly more than 2.2 percent of the market so far in 2010, but 15 percent of sales, he said.

Residential sales are up 33 percent in 2010 compared with the first four months of 2009.