I get asked questions very frequently about the status of the current real estate market because most people are really interested in that information regardless of whether they are selling or not. So, here is an attempt to offer a quick market update!
According to recent statistics furnished to me by Inland Northwest Bank, the number of real estate closings in Spokane peaked in June of this year, at more than twice the number of sales compared to June of 2011 and about 6.5% more sales than last year. That surge could be attributed to a growing economy and consumer confidence. That peak represents the highest number of closed real estate sales in over 9 years and it shows that the activity to meet that volume occurred 45 – 60 days prior to that. In other words, Realtors® were busy writing offers in April for that number of closings to be recorded in June.
Another statistic that caught my eye was the fact that in each of the past 6 years, closed sales dropped from the June/July period, then leveled out in October and surged upward in December. Keep in mind that those December closings represent purchase contracts that were written in about October of each of those years. So, for those sellers who are still out there, don’t get discouraged yet! September and October should bring a surge of buyers according to the repeated evidence shown in that year-to-year trend. One trend of note is that the drop off of sales from June to Oct was gradual in each of the past six years, except for this year. This year, the graph line shows a steep downward plunge in sales between June and July. It remains to be seen what that means, but if history prevails, we should have a good fall market in the Spokane area.
Inventory of listings is down by about 6.5% compared to last year at the same time, and usually when that happens, prices rise. The median sales price in Spokane according to SAR statistics is up 6.7% from a year ago.
Distressed sales, or bank repos and short sales accounted for 4.3% of all sales in July, compared to 5.7% in July of 2016. That means that people are able to pay their bills and the repo market is drying up! All of these stats show good prospects of a continued upswing in the market, but with the troubling fact that inventory levels seem to continue their downward trend.