Spokane's housing market has rebounded slowly since it bottomed out in 2011, says Rob Higgins, executive vice president of the Spokane Association of Realtors. But while growth numbers may be small, they're all headed in the right direction.
"I was anticipating a pretty flat year," he said in July. "We've had modest increases."
Higgins says sales for the first half of 2014 went up 2.7 percent compared to last year. The average and median prices also went up about 1 percent. Inventory has gone up 1.7 percent.
Spokane still lags behind peer cities like Tacoma, Boise or Reno in growth rates, he says, but local realtors and homeowners still appreciate the increases. Distressed sales of underfinanced or foreclosed homes has dropped dramatically in recent years.
"We'd like to see that number get driven down further," he says, "but that will take some time."
Higgins says the Spokane market has approximately 4.7 months of home inventory, which puts it right in the middle regarding what would typically be considered either a buyer's or seller's market.
The Spokane Association of Realtors expects the rest of the year, as well as early 2015, to continue on the same trend. Higgins says it will take increased job growth to bolster the local market in the coming years.
"It's still smart to own a home over the long term," he says, noting the growth rate remains low enough that short-term residents might still prefer renting. "[But] the future looks good."♦
Neighborhoods by the Numbers
Median Spokane County Home Price For First Half Of 2014: $165,000
The 2014 median home price of $165,000 will get you:
• A three-bedroom, 1,668-square-foot condo in Peaceful Valley with hardwood floors and granite countertops.
• A four-bedroom, 2,224-square-foot 1939 bungalow on East 18th Avenue near Lincoln Park with wood-panel walls, a basement garage and a white picket fence.
• A two-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot 1940 beach house near Newman Lake with waterfront views, two decks and a workshop.
• A four-bedroom, 2,356-square-foot 1954 rancher in Spokane Valley with an elevated deck, vaulted ceilings and a large backyard with a fire pit.♦