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Spokane home sales down for month, up for year

Home sales in Spokane during September maintained the overall market’s rebound, despite declines in average sales price and total homes sold in the month.

Home sales fell to 497 in September from 565 the previous month. The average sales price for September was $184,722 — down from $187,790 in August.

The month’s median sales price was $172,500, up slightly from August’s $170,500, said Rob Higgins, of the Spokane Association of Realtors.

But the key numbers are well above those from a year earlier, Higgins said. Total homes sold through September are up 24.6 percent compared to 2012, he said. The average sales price is up 4.2 percent, at $182,298. And the median sales price is up 3.2 percent for the year to date, $165,000 compared to $159,900.

September’s drop-off in sales typically occurs as homeowners with children fail to sell their homes before classes resume, he said. “They’ll stop the listing and wait until spring before resuming, in order not to move the kids to a new school,” Higgins said.

Kootenai County’s home sales through September are up 30 percent, from 1,315 in 2012 to 1,703 this year, said Kim Cooper, of the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors. The North Idaho association does not break out monthly.

For the first nine months of 2013, Kootenai County home sales prices are up 11 percent, to an average of $203,300.

Total active listings as of Sept. 30 in Kootenai County were 3,167, down about 1 percent from 2012, Cooper said.

North Idaho’s growing demand for housing and rising home prices means fewer owners are underwater with their property loans, he added. “That makes a less stressful environment and more reasonable negotiations,” he said.

Cooper said the bulk of Kootenai County’s home sales are below $200,000.  Luxury properties are still waiting for improvement, he added.