Housing market surges at record pace in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s a good time to be a homeowner in Spokane, especially if you’re looking to sell – the Spokane Association of Realtors said 432 homes were sold in January alone.

For some perspective, the value of a house in Spokane usually increased by three percent each year. In 2019, market value for homes went up nearly 11 percent.

That’s mostly good news for sellers, until they have to find their next home.

“Sellers have a different set of challenges. For example, maybe they want to sell their house, but they don’t know where they’re going to go,” said BethAnn Long, a realtor in Spokane.

Sometimes a little bit of risk is worth the reward. That’s the case for Andrew Lewis, who relied on a contingency offer to land his new home.

“Rather than saying, ‘Here’s my offer, I’m ready to go,” it was, ‘Here’s my offer, and I’m also going to now list my house that I currently own and hopefully it will sell, and when that sells then I’ll have the money to pay for the down payment,'” Lewis said.

Many homeowners in Spokane are choosing to sell their home before finding a new one, but with how fast homes are selling, many people are left wondering where they’ll live next.

That’s something Lewis wasn’t willing to do.

“I was not interested in being priced out of my neighborhood. I didn’t want to sell my house and wait for several years,” Lewis said.

Near the end of 2019, the average sale for a home in Spokane was about 280,000. One realtor said even the million-dollar homes are selling quickly.

“In one way, that’s good for sellers, but it’s very challenging for buyers, and it’s also something I don’t know if our economy can continue to support,” Long said.

The hot market has made it more popular to just build a new home in Spokane. However, some realtors say even the lots for those are getting harder to come by.

If you’re selling your home right now, the best advice is to show it as much as possible. Realtors say it’s important to keep it as clean as possible, and do the little things around the house that don’t cost too much money.