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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane County’s housing inventory shrinks to historic low

UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 12, 2021

Spokane County’s median home price soared to $341,750 in March, roughly $17,000 more than it was in February.  (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane County’s median home price soared to $341,750 in March, roughly $17,000 more than it was in February. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The number of available homes in Spokane County dropped to an all-time low in January, primarily fueled by low interest rates and high demand.

Spokane County had 164 properties on the market in January, representing little more than a 10-day supply of homes. That means it would take about 10 days to sell all homes on the market in the county. A balanced housing market typically has a six-month supply.

Rob Higgins, Spokane Association of Realtors executive officer, said the county’s housing inventory last month was at its lowest point since the association began keeping records in the 1980s.

But low housing inventory isn’t just occurring in Spokane, it’s happening in housing markets across the country, he said.

“This is a national phenomenon,” he said. “Spokane’s market is perhaps tighter than other places.”

Higgins said the county’s sparse inventory is the result of strong demand, low interest rates and increasing prices, all of which have continued through the pandemic.

The average 15-year and 30-year mortgage rates remained near record lows last week, according to Freddie Mac. The 15-year average is 2.21%, and the 30-year average is 2.73%.

Nationally, housing inventory sank to a historic low of 1.9 months in December, compared with 2.3 months in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. January data is not yet available.

Higgins said the county’s housing inventory will likely increase in the spring, but it will still be “comparatively low” for that time of the year.

The county’s median closing price in January was $315,000, a 15.2% increase compared with $273,418 in January 2020, according to the Spokane Realtors association.

The number of home sales in Spokane County increased 3.5% last month, compared with January 2020. Some 447 single-family homes and condominiums on less than 1 acre sold in January, compared with 432 homes in January 2020, according to the association.Amy Edelen can be reached at (509) 459-5581 or at amye@spokesman.com.

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