Are you thinking about buying a home in Spokane, Washington in 2017 or 2018? If so, keep reading. We have compiled a variety of statistics and trends to help you get a sense of where the Spokane real estate market is now – and where it might be going.
Here are five things you should know about buying a home in Spokane, with an emphasis on mortgage rate trends and housing market conditions.
1. The median home price rose above $200,000 in 2017.
According to recent reports from the Spokane Association of Realtors, the median home price in and around the city rose above $200,000 earlier this year.
Despite this trend, Spokane remains an affordable location for home buyers, especially when compared to most cities in the western part of the state. The median home value in Seattle, for instance, has reached $700,000.
Home prices in Spokane have risen by nearly 10% over the last year or so, but they are still relatively affordable for home buyers. In fact, the city has one of the highest affordability rankings in the state. This is good news for those who are thinking of buying a home in Spokane now or in 2018.
2. Spokane housing market forecasts predict additional price gains.
According to the housing analysts and economists at Zillow, house prices in the area could rise by another 4.5% over the next 12 months. This forecast for the Spokane housing market was issued in August 2017, which means it extends into the summer of 2018.
Granted, this is just a forecast. So you shouldn’t get too wrapped up in the numbers. The point is that economists expect home prices in Spokane to continue rising (to some degree) through the end of 2017 and into 2018. This is not surprising, given the current inventory situation in the city. Which brings us to item #3…
3. Real estate inventory remains tight in the Spokane area.
According to the local Realtors association, Spokane had about a two-month supply of homes for sale during the summer of 2017. That is well below the six months of supply that’s considered to be a “balance” real estate market. So it seems that Spokane is still very much a sellers’ market, according to local real estate professionals.
This is a trend we are seeing across the state of Washington, and it will affect those who are planning to buy a home in Spokane in 2017 or 2018. It’s common for homes in desirable areas to elicit multiple offers within days of being listed for sale – and sometimes within the very first day.
According to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data, the inventory of homes in Spokane dropped by 10% in June 2017, when compared to the same month last year. Countywide, the inventory decline was even greater.
As a result of these housing market trends, those planning to buy a home in Spokane in 2017 or 2018 should be prepared for stiff competition. Even with additional construction in the area, the supply-and-demand situation will likely favor sellers for the foreseeable future.
4. Mortgage rates are expected to inch upward over the coming months.
On August 10, Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan was 3.90%. Rates have been fairly stable over the last few months and are actually lower now (in August) than they were at the start of 2017. But that could change as we continue through the second half of the year.
According to the latest forecast from the Mortgage Bankers Association, rates will likely rise over the coming months. In July, economists for the industry group predicted that the average rate for 30-year fixed mortgage would rise to 4.5% by the fourth quarter of this year, and continued north throughout 2018. They anticipate that rates could reach 5% during the third quarter of 2018.
Housing and mortgage rate forecasts are the equivalent of an educated guess. There’s always a chance they could prove inaccurate over time. But the general consensus seems to be that mortgage rates and home prices in Spokane could increase over the months ahead. And this would make a strong case for buying a home sooner rather than later.
5. We can help you prepare financially for your home buying process.
Real estate professionals in the Spokane area stress the importance of pre-qualifying for financing, before entering this competitive housing market. And this is an area where we can help you.
Our company has been helping home buyers across Washington State for more than 20 years. We can review your financial situation to determine if you’re a good candidate for a mortgage loan. We could also pre-approve you for a loan, to give you an advantage in the market. Please contact our staff with any mortgage-related questions you have, or to get the process started.