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Spokane Real Estate Market Update: Week of December 6, 2019

Saturday, December 7, 2019   /   by Keri McCombs

Spokane Real Estate Market Update: Week of December 6, 2019

It's time for your weekly real estate market update about the housing market in Spokane, WA! This week, not a whole lot has changed, as far as months of available inventory, which probably isn't surprising to you. We're still sitting at 1.3 months of available inventory. If you've been checking out my market update blogs each week, you'll see that it's pretty much been the same over the last long while. As usual, I'm going to give you some specifics of this particular market and what benefits and challenges it provides for you - you can check this out lower in the article. But first, I'm going to share with you what months of available inventory means, in case anyone reading this hasn't read any of my previous market update blogs

Here is 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.

So as you can see, we're still dealing with a serious housing shortage in our area. If you've been keeping up with what's been happening in Spokane, this probably isn't surprising to you. The Amazon fulfillment center is opening next year, Fairchild Air Force Base is adding 1,000 new airmen and their families to the area, and there are rumors of other major facilities moving to our area. When you combine that with the influx of people from cities like Seattle and Portland, and areas like California, seeking areas of lower housing costs with a growing economy, it's no surprise we have such a tight market and housing shortage.


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Something else that is happening that's impacting housing - we live in a market that's very seasonal. That means that home sales from the peak of the summer to the middle of winter drop 35-60%, depending on many things, but especially the weather. This can be beneficial or tough for both buyers and sellers - it really depends on how you look at it, and what you're out to accomplish.

As a seller, you have sooo much less competition. However, you may not have buyers booked up to see your home for 12 hours a day, three days in a row, like you may in the spring. You may be okay with that, because there is less chaos to deal with. In some ways, this can actually be beneficial, because you know that buyers who want to buy your home are more serious, and if they don't feel like they have to make an offer in 6 hours, and that they actually have a day to think on it, then you know they're making a decision based on loving the home and not out of impulse. After all, those impulse offers are so much of why we have a 50% rescission ratio on contracts in our market (as compared to 20% in a more normal, balanced market). 

As a buyer, you're going to have less inventory to choose from. Meaning, the actual number of homes on the market is going to be less. However, you may also have way less competition, because so many buyers aren't willing to buy a home in the cold, snowy winter. Use this to your advantage! If you're okay with the weather situation, and if you want to avoid the mad rush of homebuying, this may be the best type of market to buy in. Just remember - just because activity has slowed, doesn't mean it's now a buyer's market. Homes are still selling over list price. However, you may see homes sitting on the market just a few days longer, and you may even see some sit for a few weeks. This is because the home was priced based on a busy summer market and not based on a slowing winter market, where home prices tend not to escalate quite as high. 

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.

Keri McCombs
Associate Broker at Haven Real Estate Group

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Cambria Henry
304 W Pacific Ave; Suite 360
Spokane, WA 99201

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