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Multiple bids, quick sales characterize Spokane home sales market

UPDATED: Mon., June 5, 2017, 10:25 a.m.

Homes continue to sell quickly in Spokane’s residential real estate market. Within 24 hours of listing, this house at 608 E. 33rd Ave. on the South Hill had 11 showings and at least one above-asking-price offer. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Homes continue to sell quickly in Spokane’s residential real estate market. Within 24 hours of listing, this house at 608 E. 33rd Ave. on the South Hill had 11 showings and at least one above-asking-price offer. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane’s residential real estate market remains highly competitive.

Just ask Brad Kitterman.

The South Hill resident put his house up for sale at noon Thursday with a list price of $159,000. The three-bedroom bungalow, built in 1927, immediately had 11 viewings.

Before the end of the day, Kitterman had an offer for more than the listing price, and several additional offers were pending.

“This has all happened in about 20 hours,” Kitterman said Friday morning.

He’ll review the offers Sunday and pick one.

Tight inventories of homes continue to create a fast-paced market for local buyers and sellers. Following national trends, the number of homes for sale in Spokane County was down 17 percent in May compared with a year ago.

For houses priced under $300,000 in Spokane and nearby Kootenai County, it’s a seller’s market. Realtors say there are several prospective buyers for each home that comes on the market.

For sellers, that often results in multiple offers and homes selling for amounts above the asking price. If prospective buyers really want the house, they have to be prepared to move quickly and top other offers.

“Frenzy is still a good word” for local market conditions, but “people might be getting used to this pace now,” said Jennifer Valerien, the owner/broker of Re/Max Inland Empire and president of the Spokane Association of Realtors.

Earlier this spring, Valerien heard a lot of surprise from local residents about the fast turnaround for homes. Even for Spokane Realtors, it was an adjustment, she said.

Tight inventories of homes for sale will be part of the market for the foreseeable future, said Kim Cooper, a real estate agent and spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors.

Fewer houses were built during the last recession and investors also bought up homes for rentals during that time. With wages rising and unemployment rates down, people want to buy homes again.

Steady population growth also is a factor in local demand for residential real estate, Cooper said.

“It’s simple economics – supply and demand,” he said.

James Faucett, of Cascade Team Spokane, was the Realtor for Kitterman’s South Hill listing. The recently remodeled house has about 1,300 square feet, one bathroom and “the tiniest little kitchen you’ve ever seen,” Faucett said.

But he knew the house would attract a lot of interest from potential buyers.

“All you have to know is ‘South Hill’ and ‘under $200,000,’ ” he told Kitterman. “Trust me – it’s just the market.”

Kitterman is glad the house is selling quickly. But now, he’ll experience the competitive real estate market as a home shopper.

He and his girlfriend and son are looking for a home in the $250,000 to $300,000 range with additional bedrooms and a shop on the property. They’ve got a couple of options for short-term housing while they’re looking.

“You get good money out of your house,” Kitterman said, “but then you turn around and you’re paying top dollar for someone else’s house.”

This story was updated Monday to correct the listing price of Kitterman’s house.



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