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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

Too many buyers, lack of homes for sale push Spokane prices up

UPDATED: Thu., July 11, 2019

Although the coronavirus is affecting the national housing market, Spokane Realtors say the local market remains largely unaffected with low housing inventory and multiple offers persisting among buyers. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Although the coronavirus is affecting the national housing market, Spokane Realtors say the local market remains largely unaffected with low housing inventory and multiple offers persisting among buyers. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

High demand and low inventory in Spokane County continued to push median home prices up in June.

And although home sales dropped more than 17% compared to June 2018, multiple offers on properties are still occurring in Spokane, said Rob Higgins, executive officer for the Spokane Association of Realtors.

“It’s a very competitive market out there right now,” he said. “Supply is not keeping up with demand in Spokane and we are going to see that for awhile. Spokane is growing, and new construction sales are down year to date.”

More than 764 single-family homes and condominiums on less than 1 acre sold last month, down from 923 homes in June 2018, according to the Realtors association.

Inventory decreased more than 6% over June 2018 with 1,335 properties on the market, representing a 1.7-month supply. A healthy housing market typically contains a six-month supply.

In the Spokane market, the highest amount of new listings and homes under contract occurs during the summer. There will continue to be a shortage of homes priced below $350,000, according to a June housing outlook report by John L. Scott Real Estate.

While sales activity on homes priced below $350,000 in June was considered “surging,” according to the report, it’s even more of a seller’s market for homes less than $250,000, with only a 1.5-month supply.

More than 63% of homes listed below $250,000 were under contract within 30 days, the report indicates.

John L. Scott Realtor Chase Baxter said every area of Spokane is seeing price inflation based on high demand and low inventory because when there are a dozen people competing for the same home, someone is bound to come in with a higher offer.

Baxter advises potential homebuyers to search for homes on weekends and holidays in the summer, when people are out of town to gain an advantage.

He also advises buyers to work with a knowledgeable agent.

“The best thing to do is get a really good agent that will negotiate for you well and help you win offers,” he said.

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