Spokane County’s housing market is showing signs of cooling down after more than a year of escalating prices and bidding wars on homes.
The county’s median home closing price in September was $380,000, compared to $389,728 in August and a record-breaking peak of $395,000 in July, according to data from the Spokane Association of Realtors.
Fewer sellers are overpricing homes and properties are remaining on the market longer, said Ken Sax, managing broker of counsel for Professional Realty Services.
“Sellers over the year have become increasingly overconfident in the market and were pushing pricing up, and it hit a point where buyers aren’t going to pay that (amount) for the house,” Sax said. “Sellers are now having to lower their price and that’s going to lead to a decrease in sales price, and we are getting fewer multiple offers.”
The county’s median home closing price last month of $380,000 was a 21.2% increase from the $313,500 median in September 2020, according to data from the Spokane Association of Realtors.
The median existing home price for all housing types nationwide in August was $356,700, up 14.9% from $310,400 in August 2020, marking 114 straight months of year-over-year gains, according to the National Association of Realtors. September data was not yet available.
Some 803 single-family homes and condos on less than 1 acre sold in Spokane County in September, a 3.2% increase compared to 778 homes in September 2020, according to data from the Spokane Association of Realtors.
The county had 617 homes on the market in September, representing a 24-day supply of inventory. That means it would take a little more than three weeks to sell all the available homes. By comparison, the county had 478 properties on the market in September 2020.
Housing inventory has steadily improved since February, when it stood at nine days’ supply, its lowest level since the county Realtors association began keeping records more than 30 years ago.
“A significant thing we’re seeing right now is an increase in inventory compared to a year ago,” said Rob Higgins, executive officer for the Spokane Association of Realtors.
Higgins attributes the uptick in housing supply partly to a seasonal slowdown with the fall season and a drop in demand.
“The market is always changing, and time on market is increasing. It’s all a matter of demand,” Higgins said. “Demand has slowed a little – not significantly – but houses are staying on market a little longer, so inventory is a little bit higher.”
Bidding wars are persisting in the market, but sellers are receiving fewer multiple offers, Higgins said.
“We are still seeing very rapid activity,” Higgins said. “For a buyer who is out there looking – they need to be looking aggressively and get qualified, so they can act when the time comes.”
New-home listings in Spokane County numbered 976 last month, compared with 939 new listings in September 2020.
“I think we are going to see inventory continue to increase, but it may take us awhile to get back to a normal market, because demand will continue to be strong in areas like Spokane,” Higgins said.
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