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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

January 2017

We have closed the books for the first month in 2017 and it is pretty much the same story that we have seen for the past three years. The Spokane real estate market activity continues to increase and the inventory continues to be low. Supply is low and demand is high, therefore we are going to continue to see month over month prices that are 5-10% higher than the year before.

We will continue to see the same seasonal trends that we have seen in the past with the most closed sales and the highest sale prices being in the summer months. This generates the graphs with the hump in the middle like the ones below except 2017's hump will be a little higher than 2016's.

Spokane real estate market number of closed sales last month

In 2017 there were 378 single family homes on less than one acre in Spokane County closed in January compared to 351 in 2016. This is an increase in demand of 7.7%.

The sales that close in January actually represent deals that got signed around in November and December of last year. This is why January and February have such a low number of sales even though the market actually starts to pick up in those months.

Spokane real estate market active listings

There were 1,153 homes available on the market at the end of January compared to 1,543 the same time last year. Inventory continues to be tight indicating that we will be moving into a season of full price offers and sometimes multiple offers.

This does not mean that all sellers will get what they are asking for their homes, there will still be plenty of overpriced homes that will need a few price reductions before they sell. What it does mean is that homes that are in good condition and priced correctly will sell quickly.

Spokane real estate market average sale price

Now that we have discussed the two main factors that drive the price, let's look at the price. The average closed sale price for a single family home on less than one acre in January was $206,531 compared to $191,266 the same time the year before. This is an 8.8% increase over last year.

The median sale price enjoyed an even higher increase of 11.4% with a $195,000 median price compared to $175,000 the same month last year. This is a trend that I expect to see through the summer.

Spokane real estate market median sale price

Interest rates will likely continue on their upward trend but when looking at the larger picture, mortgage rates are still a bargain when compared to what they have been throughout the years.

New construction sales are also up 6.7% this January when compared to a year ago. New construction is a good indicator of a healthy real estate market. When the market is depressed, builders can't sell their homes for what it costs to build them.

Distressed home sales are down. Distressed homes accounted for 11.6% of sold homes in January and they accounted for 15.7% in January 2016. Distressed homes are made up of short sales and bank foreclosures.

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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