Spokane County's frenzied housing market shows slight cool-down in September as median price drops to $380,000

<p><p>Spokane County’s housing market is showing signs of cooling down after more than a year of escalating prices and bidding wars on homes.</p></p><p><p>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.</p></p><p><p>Fewer sellers are overpricing homes and properties are remaining on the market longer, said Ken Sax, managing broker of counsel for Professional Realty Services.</p></p><p><p>“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.”</p></p><p><p>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.</p></p><p><p>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.</p></p><p><p>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.</p></p><p><p>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.</p></p><p><p>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.</p></p><p><p>“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.</p></p><p><p>Higgins attributes the uptick in housing supply partly to a seasonal slowdown with the fall season and a drop in demand. </p></p><p><p>“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.”</p></p><p><p>Bidding wars are persisting in the market, but sellers are receiving fewer multiple offers, Higgins said.</p></p><p><p>“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.”</p></p><p><p>New-home listings in Spokane County numbered 976 last month, compared with 939 new listings in September 2020.</p></p><p><p>“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.</p></p>