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Saturday, September 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Redfin: Spokane among four metro areas primed for growth in next decade

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 19, 2020

Spokane is among four metro areas “primed for growth” in the next decade, according to a Seattle-based real estate brokerage.

Redfin, in a recent report, indicated Spokane; Las Vegas; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Orlando, Florida, will be the most attractive metros for homebuyers in the next decade because of the affordability of land for new construction.

Spokane’s land and homebuilding cost will continue to attract out-of-area homebuyers looking to escape rising home prices in more expensive coastal cities, according to the report.

“The city has a lot to offer, and I think people are realizing that,” Spokane-based Michelle Kendrick, market manager at Redfin, said in an interview Tuesday. “We have a lot of big city amenities without the traffic. For people coming from a larger town, it’s really pleasant for them, and they like the small-town feel and friendliness of people.”

The four real estate markets were selected from 78 metros nationwide based on criteria that required the value of land to be less than 30% of a new home’s value, home price growth of more than 4%, sales growth of more than 4% and searches from out-of-area homebuyers exceeding 40% on Redfin’s website.

Redfin also examined household income and job growth in the four metro areas.

Joel White, executive officer for the Spokane Home Builders Association, confirmed more people are selling their homes in higher-priced metro areas and using the equity to build property in Spokane, where land is more affordable compared with other West Coast cities.

But as the county continues to grow, so does the need for a mix of housing types, including more condominiums, apartments and duplexes. The county is able to expand its urban growth boundaries in 2025 to accommodate more housing, White said.

“That will open up new land for development, hopefully,” said White, adding Spokane’s cost of living, rebirth of downtown and new businesses on the West Plains are all drivers for population growth. “We have the ability to bring in more industry and jobs, and as you have more employment, that leads to more housing.”

Spokane, in the past year, was featured in several national lists for its booming real estate market.

Although Spokane’s market has low inventory and high demand, especially for homes priced less than $250,000, it’s a mecca of affordability for out-of-area buyers from Southern California, Seattle and elsewhere.

The median closing price in Spokane County increased 16.3% in January to $273,418, compared with $235,000 in January 2019, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors.

Spokane attracted the most interest from out-of-area homebuyers in the third quarter of 2019 of any of the 100 U.S. cities evaluated in a report by the website Realtor.com. The largest share of those potential buyers searching for homes in Spokane are from Seattle, Coeur d’Alene and Atlanta, according to the report.

Kendrick said about 75% of her clients are from out of the area.

“I have a lot of people coming in from Western Washington, people coming in from Portland and a lot of people from California,” she said. “I’m seeing a lot of people who are young families looking for a more affordable place to live, or retirees whose money will go a lot further in Spokane.”

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