February 12, 2013 in Business

Home sales heat up

Even with real estate inventory down, Spokane market shows January gains
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Home sales in Spokane County jumped 20 percent compared to a year ago, marking the busiest January since 2007.

Real estate brokers closed 248 home sales in Spokane last month, said Rob Higgins, executive officer of the Spokane Association of Realtors. A year ago there were 207 January home sales.

“I don’t want to get too excited about just one month,” Higgins said. “I’d rather wait till the end of the first quarter to see where we’re going.”

The average sale price was $177,128, while the median price was $161,500. Those are increases of 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

January is typically an off month for activity.

December, in contrast, usually produces big sales numbers, Higgins said. Many brokerage firms close their books on sales that weren’t filed earlier, resulting in an unusual bulge at the end of the year, he said.

There were 390 sales in Spokane County in December, compared with 355 sales in the year-earlier period.

The one caution in January is the 2,055 homes on the market. “That’s a number I wish was a bit higher,” Higgins said. “If it starts falling below that, you don’t give the buyer as many choices and it slows down (activity).”

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