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

Kootenai County home prices increase 15.1% in December

 (KATHY PLONKA/The Spokesman-Review)

Kootenai County’s home prices soared in December as a lack of available homes and high demand persisted in the region.

The county’s median home price increased 15.1% to $354,587 in December, compared with December 2019, according to data from the Coeur d’Alene Realtors Association.

A portion of the demand for housing is driven by out-of-area buyers, some of whom are moving from Texas, Colorado and Western Washington to Kootenai County for its quality of life and proximity to outdoor activities, said Chad Oakland, Realtor and co-owner of Northwest Realty Group.

Kootenai County, much like Spokane County, is also experiencing an influx of remote workers abandoning larger metro areas for midsized cities where their dollars stretch further, Oakland said.

“People are taking this opportunity to say, ‘I always wanted to get out of the big city’ and they are going,” he said.

United Van Lines recently named Idaho the top moving destination in 2020 in its National Movers Study, which tracks and ranks inbound and outbound relocation data. United customers indicated they relocated to Idaho primarily for a lifestyle change and because of the state’s lower cost of living.

Some 3,717 single-family homes and condominiums on 2 acres or less sold in Kootenai County in 2020, a 7.9% increase compared with December 2019, according to the Realtors association.

Housing demand is not concentrated to one city or neighborhood – buyers are snapping up properties in all areas of Kootenai County, Oakland said.

“Anywhere from residences downtown to houses on acreage, you name it – it’s in demand,” Oakland said.

Kootenai County had 120 properties on the market as of Jan. 8, according to the association.

It’s typical for properties to receive multiple offers, Oakland said, recalling one property that had 13 to 14 offers over a weekend.

Low inventory is creating a “Catch-22” predicament where some homeowners delay listing their home because they are unable to relocate to another property, he added.

So how can buyers land a home in a competitive market?

Oakland advises buyers to “be patient and be ready.”

“Find a (real estate) agent that you are comfortable working with and who knows the market,” Oakland said. “And make sure you get pre-approved (for a mortgage). Dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ that you can.”