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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane County September home prices fall, sales rise

September home sales in Spokane County exceeded 500 for the first time since 2007. Nearly all other home sale indicators showed a slight downturn, said Rob Higgins, executive director of the Spokane Association of Realtors.

There were 504 homes sold last month, down from 608 in August.

The last time the county topped 500 in September was in 2007, with 521 sales, Higgins said.

Compared to August, average home prices dipped from $198,183 to $192,109. Median prices in September fell to $175,050, down from $177,080 the month before.

The slippage in prices, Higgins said, is the result of a slowdown in new-home sales. So far this year 468 new homes have been sold, compared with 522 as of September 2013.

That 10 percent drop in the past 12 months is tied to rising interest rates, Higgins said. Basic mortgage rates are now in the high 3 percent range. That’s an upward swing of at least half a percentage point compared to earlier this year, Higgins said.

In general, Higgins said, Spokane’s home market is slowly moving forward.

“I’d say what the home market is doing this year is modest, compared to the gains we had in 2013,” Higgins said. “We’re still seeing some slow, steady gains. For things to pick up, I think what we really need to see are more jobs in Spokane,” he said.

He noted that total home sales through Sept. 30 came to 4,288, up 2.8 percent from 4,173 home sales in the same period in 2013.

Looking at sales during the past 12 months, median home prices are up 2.1 percent – $168,500 compared with $165,000, he said.

The three highest-priced sales during September were: a newly constructed home on the upper South Hill selling for $825,000, a Sundance residence that sold for $750,000 and a Suncrest-area home selling for $625,000.