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Distressed homes impact prices differently in Spokane, Kootenai counties

Spokane County home sales in February jumped 41 percent from a year ago, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors.

Following recent trends, about 35 percent of the 269 single-family Spokane County home sales in February were distressed – from either foreclosures or short sales.

Distressed inventory continues to impact home sale prices, said Rob Higgins, the association’s executive vice president. The average price for February home sales was $155,679, or 6.5 percent lower than one year ago. The median sale price was $144,900, down 3.4 percent from February 2011.

Higgins sees the rest of 2012 continuing to feel a downward price slide, as roughly 21 percent of available homes on the market fall into the distressed category.

In Kootenai County the plotline took a slight detour. The number of sales in January and February 2012 fell instead of increased, with 183 sold versus 200 homes sold during January to February 2011, said Kim Cooper, president of the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors.

Unlike Spokane County, the distressed property overhang didn’t dampen sale prices in February, Cooper noted.

The average single family home in Kootenai County sold for $173,132, up 5 percent from February 2011. The median price was $147,000, up 3 percent from 2011.

Both counties can say they’ve drained off the unsold home inventory in the past 12 months. Spokane’s inventory of unsold homes or condos is 2,376, versus 2,663 a year earlier.

In the entire North Idaho multiple listing area (which stretches into Eastern Washington), unsold inventory in February was 2,783 homes, versus 3,119 in February 2011, Cooper said.