It's that time again! Here is your weekly real estate market update about the housing market in Spokane, WA! We're still seeing a lot of the same things this week as we have been - our months of available inventory is still sitting at 1.3 months - and if you're not familiar with what that means, you can scroll down towards the end of the article to find out. Although the market has such a lack of inventory, we're continuing to see the number of new homes listed for sale decline as we get closer to Christmas. With that, the number of buyers looking to buy has dropped.
Although we're seeing some normal seasonal trends for the Spokane area, with respect to declining sales, new homes listed, and active buyers in the market, there are a couple of points that are very interesting for this time of year:
1) Homes in higher price ranges, that typically would remove their home from the market right now, and then relist in the spring, are keeping their homes on the market. Wondering why this is happening? Well, there are a couple of things going on - sellers are seeing things from the marketplace that say it's still a good time to be listed for sale. And that's true, in general, but it also depends on your goals with selling, your price range, and how much other competition is in the market. Also, many of these sellers are looking to make their next move, while there is still an opportunity to sell their home in a higher price bracket, and given the timing of their goals, these homes will stay on the market.
2) Some homes are sitting on the market for weeks, even months, while others are still receiving multiple offers, and this is across all price ranges. In this last week, I showed a wide range of homes - a $150,000 home that’s been sitting on the market for a month with no offers, and a $600,000 home that was on the market for a week and received multiple offers. You’re probably wondering about the significance of this. Well for starters, homes in the price bracket of $150,000 to $200,000 are in the hottest price bracket. It’s the most common price range for first time home buyers, and they’re entering our market in droves. So when you see a $150,000 home sitting on the market, it makes you wonder what’s happening. The only thing: it’s not priced correctly, given all of the factors of the home. This leads me into the next point: even homes in higher price brackets can and will accept and offer quickly, all dependent upon price. Although the average home price in Spokane is just at $300,000, and homes priced above $500,000 have a lot more competition, it doesn’t mean multiple offers can’t happen. Without understanding our market and how pricing is so critical, it can leave buyers and sellers feeling uneasy, with what, on the surface, seems weird. But if you understand all the aspects of the market, this type of activity makes total sense.
3) In the last week, our office has seen a surge in activity in the market, which doesn’t happen this time of year. Now some of that is likely related to agent activity - many agents let off the gas this time of year, or go live in a warmer climate. So naturally, we will feel the effects of that because we are a highly active office in the market as a whole. But there’s something else happening - more and more buyers are picking up in the fact that now may be a little easier to buy a home than waiting until spring. Especially for those people who are moving here in spring. Couple that with the fact that the snow has been mild so far this winter, buyers are out looking more heavily than normal at this time of year.
To finish off for this week's market update, I'll leave you with a thorough explanation of what months of available inventory means. In a balanced market, which is a market where neither buyers nor sellers have an advantage, Spokane's market would have an inventory of 5 and a half months of available inventory/homes for sale. When we talk about months of available inventory, this means that if no other homes came on the market and buyer activity stayed the same, we would run out of homes in five and a half months. So you can see, there's still very much a shortage of available homes. For the purpose of consistency, I only look at homes on a maximum lot of one acre, in Spokane County, and only stick built, because most of the sales in our MLS fit these criteria.
If you have any questions about our current market, or if you're wondering when the best time is for you to buy or sell, then don't hesitate to reach out! You want to do things when the timing is right for you. You can call or text me at 509-844-5843 or email me at Keri@spokanehaven.com.