January 13, 2011

Spokane home prices and sales fell last year

By The Spokesman-Review

Rates decline

The average rate on the 30-year mortgage dropped to 4.71 percent this week from 4.77 percent the previous week. The average rate on the 15-year loan slipped to 4.08 percent from 4.13 percent. Mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. Bond yields dropped after the December employment report came in weaker than expected. The Associated Press

Home sales in Spokane County fell almost 9 percent in 2010 compared with 2009, according to figures released Thursday by the Spokane Association of Realtors.

Sales of 4,250 homes were reported, compared with 4,666 in 2009.

The average price slipped 2.2 percent to $183,483, and the median price was down 3.3 percent to $163,400.

New home sales closed the year at 553, down from 568 in 2009.

The inventory of unsold homes barely changed, with 2,593 on the market as of Jan. 5, compared with 2,606 at the end of 2009.

The retreat in sales is the fifth consecutive since volume peaked at 8,374 homes in 2005. Prices peaked the following year, with the average at $197,384.

“It’s unprecedented, what we’ve been through,” said association president Rob Higgins.

Stabilization in 2011 hangs in large part on a recovery in employment, Higgins said.

In December, 336 home sales closed, compared with 279 in November and 347 in December 2009.

The average price was $179,516. The median price was $157,750.

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