Spokane County home prices set another high mark in August

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The Spokane County, Wash., housing market continues to show resilience during the coronavirus pandemic as the median closing price skyrocketed to a record-breaking $317,000 in August.

The county's median closing price in August was an 18.7% increase over the $267,000 median in August 2019, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors.

The median closing price in July was $301,509.

Spokane Association of Realtors Executive Officer Rob Higgins attributes the county's increasing home prices to low inventory, strong demand and historically low mortgage interest rates.

The average 15-year and 30-year mortgage rates dropped to an all-time low this week, according to Freddie Mac. The 15-year average is 2.37%, and the 30-year average is 2.86%.

Additionally, COVID-19 is accelerating an influx of buyers moving to Spokane from more expensive, larger metro cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Higgins said.

Personal finance website WalletHub recently ranked Spokane Valley eighth out of 300 cities nationwide on its list of best real estate markets in 2020.

"With COVID-19, the ability to work from home has really been accelerated," Higgins said. "It was a trend that was happening anyway, but now after six months, people are realizing, 'Hey, I can move to Spokane and I can still work at my job.'"

Spokane isn't the only real estate market that's facing home-price growth.

The median nationwide existing home price in July was $304,100, an 8.5% increase compared with $280,400 in July 2019, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The July increase marked 101 consecutive months of year-over-year gains and the first month in which the national median home price exceeded the $300,000 mark, according to the national association. August numbers are not yet available.

The number of home sales in Spokane County declined 14% last month, compared with August 2019. More than 747 single-family homes and condominiums on 1 acre sold in August, compared with 869 homes in August 2019, according to the association.

Low housing inventory persisted locally in August with 534 properties on the market, representing less than a month's supply.

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