Home sales, prices hold; foreclosures up sharply

FRIDAY, SEPT. 17, 2010

The number and prices of homes sold in Spokane County last month nearly matched those for July, but foreclosure actions are multiplying.

The Spokane Association of Realtors says 344 homes sold in August, just three fewer than in July. The median sale price – $170,000 – was identical, and the average of $191,174 was a gain of $100 from July.

The prices are also little changed from August 2009, when the median was $169,975, and the average was $189,326.

Although closed sales during the first eight months of 2010 climbed slightly from 2009 levels, to 3,010, the inventory of unsold homes on the market has remained almost unchanged at 3,500.

Meanwhile, foreclosure activity in the county spiked to more than six times year-ago levels, according to RealtyTrac, which monitors foreclosures nationwide.

A total 436 properties were either subject to a notice of trustee sale or foreclosed by lenders. Only 67 properties were involved in a foreclosure action in August 2009.

Lenders have taken title to 129 properties, compared with 65 a year ago.

One in 453 homes in the county was affected, compared with one in 2,915 a year ago. The rate was slightly better than the one-per-413 for all of Washington, which had the 14th-highest rate in the country.

Idaho’s rate remained fifth-highest, and Idaho was the only state among the top five to register more foreclosures than a year earlier.

One in every 220 homes was affected, according to RealtyTrac. In Kootenai County, where 303 homes were subject to a notice or foreclosure, the rate was one of every 199 homes.

In August 2009, one in every 268 homes was in default or foreclosed.

The national rate was one in every 381 homes.

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