In spite of national and statewide trends, Spokane County continues to maintain robust property values according to several recent reports. Although the absolute number of resale homes sold has significantly dropped from last year sale prices continue to measurably appreciate.
Spokane’s largest newspaper, The Spokesman Review, recently reported on the overall status of the tax basis in the greater Spokane metropolitan area and surrounding counties.
A May 30, 2008 article reported that while Kootenai County in Idaho expects property values to decrease $500 million from last year values and that Bonner County is projecting property values to be virtually identical as last year, Spokane County property values are expected to rise 5.3% over last year. This is in addition to the approximately 12% rise in values over the previous three years.
The Spokane County Assessor Ralph Baker said, “”We’re seeing fewer sales, but prices are still rising, albeit slower, the happy thing is that it hasn’t gone negative on us.”
The Assessor’s remarks are confirmed by the Washington State University’s “Washington Center for Real Estate Research.” They have recently published a report on Washington State housing resale market conditions. Their report is titled Washington State Housing Market Snapshot 2008Q1 and it echoes the Spokane County Assessor’s assertions.
The report statistics show while the seasonally adjusted annual rate of home resale volume (units sold) is 4.5% less than last quarter and 32.1% less than last year; it also shows that the median price of resale homes has risen 2.7% over last year at this time for a median price of $186,800.
This report is good news for home owners in Spokane who have seen an increase in their home’s value and thus an increase in their equity position. It’s not so good for the average Realtor in Spokane as existing home sales have dropped off nearly a third from last year. This means quite a bit fewer commissions and income for those working to sell these homes.
Ending on a positive note, the Housing Affordability Index (HAI) for Spokane is calculated at 129.3 making it the 12th most affordable county to live in Washington State. The state’s HAI is only 94.5.