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Median sale price of homes on the increase

Total sold drops slightly in July

Spokane’s home sales showed positive signs in July, as foreclosed homes continued selling and buyers scooped up deals with low interest rates.

The Spokane Association of Realtors said 436 homes, including 50 new homes, were sold in July, compared with 449 in June, across Spokane County.

The median sale price jumped from $159,500 in June to $170,000 in July, said Rob Higgins, the association’s executive vice president.

“By itself, that one month jump doesn’t tell us things are good again,” he said. “But that’s a lot better than a shift in the opposite direction.”

The last time Spokane County homes were selling at $170,000 was in July 2010, he noted. The price jump likely reflects decreases in foreclosed homes and short sales by owners. July saw 41 foreclosed and short sales, while June had 58 and May had 64, according to association records.

Very low interest rates for mortgages may also explain the price boost, he added. “People can afford to buy more house for the money they’re borrowing,” he said.

The same thing is occurring in North Idaho, said Kim Cooper, a spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors.

For the first seven months of 2012 the average home sale price in Coeur d’Alene was $184,475, up 9 percent from the same period of 2011, Cooper said.

For 2012 so far in Coeur d’Alene, 309 foreclosed and short-sale homes have sold; in the first seven months of 2011 the number was 401, about 30 higher.

“The discounted housing inventory is being absorbed, and that’s helping pull prices back up,” Cooper said.

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