Spokane County’s median home price soared to its highest level in history last month at nearly $342,000, driven by buyer demand that continues to outpace the number of available homes.
The county’s median closing price in March was $341,750, a 17.9% increase over $289,900 in March 2020, according to data from the Spokane Association of Realtors. The median closing price was $325,000 in February.
Housing inventory in the county dropped to 209 properties on the market in March, representing an 11-day supply. That means it would take 11 days to sell all available homes on the market. By comparison, the county had 592 homes on the market in March 2020.
“There’s plenty of buyers out there and not enough inventory,” said Rob Higgins, executive officer for the Spokane Association of Realtors.
In Spokane County’s hot housing market, buyers are competing with multiple offers and many are writing escalation clauses into their offers, allowing them to increase what they are willing to pay incrementally to avoid getting outbid, Higgins said.
While the county’s housing market is virtually sold out of homes priced up to $1.5 million, it isn’t necessarily for lack of new listings. Submission of multiple offers by potential buyers for every new listing continues at a rapid pace, according to John L. Scott Real Estate’s March housing market report.
The John L. Scott report shows inventory at less than a month for homes priced below $1 million, with the $250,000 to $350,000 price range showing just 0.1-months supply.
It’s traditionally thought a balanced housing market – favoring neither sellers or buyers – has a six-month supply.
Higgins echoed the speed at which homes are selling has been remarkable, but said new listings in the county are down about 13.6% year-to-date.
“Hopefully, we will see more listings come on the market,” Higgins said. “It’s a complicated issue. There’s a lot more involved in this than any one thing. (Low inventory) is a national issue. Spokane may be a little more tighter than some markets because second-tier cities are being looked at very intently.”
That trend can be partly attributed to people moving out of bigger cities during the pandemic, Higgins said.
In February, Realtor.com named Spokane the 10th-hottest housing market in the nation based on how fast homes are selling and how many page views each listing received on the Realtor.com website.
The national median existing home sales price was $313,000 in February, up 15.8% from $270,400 in February 2020, according to the National Association of Realtors. March data has not yet been released.
In Spokane County, 572 single-family homes and condos on less than 1-acre sold in March, a 2.3% increase compared with 559 properties sold in March 2020.
Home sales held steady through the first quarter of 2021 with 1,478 homes sold, compared with 1,490 homes sold through the first quarter of 2020, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors.
“This next quarter, we’ll be comparing our sales to the initial months of COVID-19 and we might see a significant difference in the number of houses selling on a comparative basis,” Higgins said.
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