‘Erodes away at their housing affordability’: Interest rates double in Spokane County

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After nearly two years of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, the exodus from crowded urban areas to living spaces where individuals could enjoy more space both indoors and outdoors helped housing values skyrocket. The median sales price of a home increased 17%, the largest 1-year jump ever recorded. This resulted in typical homeowners gaining $50,000 worth in equity and typical homebuyers having to fork over the cash to buy property.

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SPOKANE, Wash. — For sale signs are up all around Spokane. Realtors say the market is transitioning from active to a slow evenly paced one.

However, rising interest rates are making it harder for buyers to afford a home.

Realtors says they saw record low-interest rates at the beginning of the year. Now, the average Spokane buyer is spending hundreds of more dollars in interest per month.

A 30-year fixed income has risen by 2.5-percent to 3-percent. The current rate sits at 5.5-percent to 6-percent, which has doubled from just a few months ago.

The average median price of a home in Spokane is just above $430,000, a 19% increase compared to last year.

Every one-percent increase on your interest translated to $250 per month. Realtors say the average buyer is spending $500 per month.

“For our local buyers here in the Spokane area, those types of rate increases are very difficult because it erodes away at their housing affordability,” Home Sales Spokane realtor Brad Spears said. “But the flip side of that is that the buyers that are relocating into the Spokane housing market. They’re enjoying a much greater inventory.”

Spears says inventory has doubled now compared to last year.

The market transition is a good sign for buyers.

Seller can expect to see price levels stay the same. Spears also says a home will spend a longer time on the market.

For instance, a house currently sits on the market for a couple of days. Now, it could be on the market for a week or more.

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