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Home sales see bump

With 588 homes sold in May, Spokane County’s real estate market had its best month since 2007, the Spokane Association of Realtors said.

The number compares with May 2012, when 440 homes sold in the county.

By nearly every measure, May’s numbers show the housing market continues to climb out of the recession that began in late 2007, said Rob Higgins, the association’s executive vice president.

He sees the rising numbers as a sign of pent-up housing demand moving the market in a positive direction. “After five down years, it’s getting better. The only question is if the market can sustain that trend,” Higgins said.

Higgins predicted the county could exceed 5,000 total homes sold for the year. Last year 4,527 homes sold. The high mark was in 2006, when the county registered 7,442 homes sold.

Helping the local market recover is a robust demand for new homes, he added, with 82 new homes sold. In April the county reported 58 new-home sales.

Average home sale prices for Spokane climbed 5.7 percent, to $184,127. The median price in May rose 5 percent, to $167,995.

Kim Cooper of the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors can also show a solid set of numbers. Sales of single-family homes in Coeur d’Alene have risen from 259 to 355 this year – a 37 percent increase, he said.

Average sales prices for the first five months of the year in Coeur d’Alene are up 4 percent from last year, to $193,511, Cooper said.

For the entire North Idaho market, the average home sales price has risen 6 percent in 2013, from $166,665 to $177,054.