Buyers looking for a home in the Spokane area could be paying nearly 30% more than last year.
Spokane County’s median home price soared to another record-breaking high in June, hitting $380,000.
The median closing price last month was 28.8% greater than the $295,000 median in June 2020, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors.
Spokane’s housing market reflects what is occurring across the country, as homebuyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes on the market.
“What is going on in Spokane is going on all over the country,” said Rob Higgins, executive officer of the Spokane Association of Realtors. “We are seeing significant increases in median sales prices. Perhaps (Spokane’s median price) is a little bit higher, but we started at a lower point.”
The median existing home price nationwide for all housing types in May was $350,300, up 23.6% from $283,500 in May 2020, with every region recording price increases. It’s a record high and marks 111 straight months of year-over-year gains, according to the National Association of Realtors. June data is not yet available.
While Spokane is more affordable compared with larger West Coast metro areas, the Lilac City’s rising median home price is a concern because it could price out first-time homebuyers, Higgins said.
A bright spot is that housing inventory slightly increased last month in the county.
Spokane County had 284 homes available on the market last month, representing a 12-day supply. That means it would take 12 days to sell all available properties in the county. By comparison, the county had an inventory of 728 homes for sale in June 2020.
The county had 224 properties available on the market in May.
“We are heading in the right direction, as far as inventory,” Higgins said. “I think that will continue though the year.”
Some 750 single-family homes and condos on less than 1 acre sold in June, a 5.2% sales increase compared to 713 in May 2020.
If home sales slow in the second half of the year, it would likely be due to a change in inventory, Higgins said.
Increasing interest rates also could slow the market, he added.
Homes priced below $750,000 account for 92% of sales in the Spokane market. The Spokane market is likely to remain competitive in most price ranges into mid-2022, according to a recent John L. Scott report.
Professional Realty Services Managing Broker Ken Sax said he’s continuing to see multiple offers in Spokane’s hot real estate market.
“We are still seeing a lot of bidding wars and it’s becoming fairly common for buyers to waive contingencies,” Sax said. “Buyers are taking greater risks with bidding wars. They are giving up contingencies and protections that otherwise would be in place regarding inspections, financing and releasing nonrefundable money to the seller all in an effort to look more attractive than the next buyer.”
Home sales usually increase toward the end of summer, followed by a cooldown in the market during the winter. However, all bets are off in this market, Sax said.
“If you are waiting for prices to come down to the low $200,000s, you may be waiting a while. I’m not convinced that would happen,” he said.
New home listings in the county held steady at 961 last month, compared with June 2020. However, new listings have gradually increased on a month-to-month basis this year. In May, the county had 829 new listings.
“Every month so far this year, our listings have increased from the previous month … and that’s a positive sign,” Higgins said.
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