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         Go Spokane Real Estate

Go Spokane Real Estate

Welcome to Go Spokane Real Estate where you will find up to date information on Spokane real estate. Here you will find valuable resources whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in the Spokane area.

If you are looking at homes for sale in Spokane or the surrounding area, you can search the Spokane MLS. You can use your own custom search criteria or the home search map feature. I teach a home buyer education class in Spokane where you can learn more about the home buying process including home mortgage and many different home loan programs available.

If you own a Spokane home that you are considering selling, you will find information to help decide if now the right time to sell. Here you will see the latest statistics regarding the Spokane real estate market. There is also information that will help you price your home correctly and understand the importance of a good marketing plan.


Spokane Real Estate Market

Real Estate 2016

In 2016 the median price home in Spokane Washington cost $195,000. The same home one year earlier would have cost you about $180,000. Because we are still in a recovering market, housing prices continue to climb but Spokane still proves to be one of the most affordable places to buy a home. There are still a lot of homes to choose from in Spokane priced under $200,000.

Spokane real estate market median sale price

There were 7,571 single family homes on less than one acre sold in Spokane County last year. This is about 10% more than the year before. The number of homes on the market was lower throughout the whole year than it was the year before. Translated, this means that demand was high and supply was low. With this information, I would expect to see prices continue to rise.

Spokane real estate market number of closed sales last month

Last year the Spokane real estate market experienced a median price increase of 8.4% over the year before but I do not expect to see that high of an increase in the upcoming year. The median priced single family home tends to recover from a market drop more quickly than the more expensive homes do. This market has enjoyed good recovery in both price and sales for the last few years.

Additionally, mortgage interest rates are on the rise. Initially, we saw this interest rate increase on conventional loans but are now seeing the rates for FHA and VA loans rise as well. The median priced homes are often mortgaged at a higher loan to value ratio than higher end homes, therefore it only makes sense that these rate increases would have more effect on them.

Spokane real estate market average sale price

The average home price increase last year was 7.4% compared to the year before and I expect that number to be at least as high and likely higher this year. Where the sale of high end homes has very little effect on the median price statistic, it will have more of an impact on the average price statistic. Higher end homes are not as far along in the recovery process as their median priced siblings and we will continue to see this recovery impact the average price.

This year we will see an increase in inventory. The inventory at the end of last year was 1.7 months. Inventory is calculated by dividing the number of listings by the number of homes sold in the previous month. It is a theoretical number that says if homes continued to sell at this rate and no more homes were listed, how many months until there would be no homes on the market. 1.7 months is very low and indicates a strong sellers' market. As the sale of median price homes slows down, we will see inventory increase.

Spokane real estate market active listings

Distressed home sales accounted for 8.3% of all home sales in Spokane County last year. When you compare this to 12.9% in 2015 we see that there was quite an improvement. Distressed home sales are short sales and bank foreclosures. Distressed home sales are an indicator of a weak real estate market. We will see a significant drop in this number in 2017.

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The Housing Bubble

When discussing the Spokane real estate market it is likely that reference will be made to the "Bubble" that accrued about a decade ago. With the dramatic increase in market activity that we have been experiencing lately, comparisons are being made to this bubble. In order to draw any value from these comparisons, it is important to understand this housing market bubble.

For many years the housing market in Spokane was steady with home values increasing at a consistent predictable rate. Unlike the more active housing markets around the country, Spokane had never experienced a housing market bubble. Beginning back in 2005, that was all about to change.

While many of the more active markets around the country were already seeing a decline in market activity and home prices starting to come down, in 2005 Spokane was just getting started. The market activity was starting to increase and the home prices were increasing at a faster rate than their status quo that had been so predictable in the past.

The summer of 2006 brought more sales and less inventory. Coming into June there was only 2.63 months' worth of inventory which is the lowest supply that has ever been recorded in this market. The highest number of closed home sales Spokane has ever seen was August of 2006 and the second highest was June, of that same summer. There had never been a more active housing market in Spokane and there hasn't been one since.

Was this the bubble? Nope, as you would expect to see with this kind of increase in demand and such a short supply, prices continued to increase through the summer and on into the fall. The seasonal market slowed down in the cooler months as you might expect. Many homeowners who saw this as an opportunity to get top dollar for their homes were getting their houses ready to put on the market.

Coming out the gate, the spring of 2007 had a lot more homes on the market then '06. There were a lot of homes on the market and in keeping with the market stir; they were priced at a premium. Summer of 2007 did not see quite the market activity in terms of homes sold, as '06 but they were selling for a lot more money.

The housing prices in Spokane peaked out in July of 2007 with the average sale price at over $221,000 and the median priced home at $196,000. To understand what was happening at the time, it is important to keep in mind that these homes that closed for top dollar in July were actually sold in June or even as early as May. At this time the inventory was already starting to build. As more and more Johnny list latelys were jumping on the wagon, inventory continued to swell. Ultimately, many of these homes were not going to sell.

The fall of 2007 saw almost twice the inventory as the previous year. To make matters worse, they were overpriced. There has to come a time when you just completely out price your buyers and that time had come. This is why September of 2007 marks the actual burst of the bubble.

In conclusion, the bubble started in summer of 2005. Summer 2006 saw the greatest market activity in Spokane ever before or since. 2007 saw the highest prices. Many sellers would reap the top of the market prices but with the increasing inventory, many more wouldn't sell their homes at all.

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home sales in Spokane Washington from 1985 through 2015
The Lower Spokane Falls and the Washington Water Power building