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Forecast: Is Spokane the ‘Other’ Hot Housing Market in Washington?

When it comes to generating headlines, the Seattle-area real estate market has had the lion’s share in recent years. But there have been major changes in Spokane as well, including double-digit home price gains over the last year alone. Here are the latest trends and forecasts for the housing market in Spokane, Washington.

Big Home-Price Gains Over the Last Year

Like most cities in Washington State and nationwide, Spokane has experienced home price increases over the last couple of years. That’s something most cities in the U.S. share in common. What makes the Spokane real estate market unique is the size of those gains. They were nearly double the national average.

According to the real estate information company Zillow, the median home value for the city of Spokane, Washington was around $221,000 in April of 2018. That was an increase of 14% over the previous year, which is much higher than the national average for that period.

So that’s something Spokane and Seattle share in common. While the Seattle real estate market gets much of the press lately,  Spokane has also experienced above-average price growth over the last couple of years.

Forecasts are a different story. The latest Spokane housing market forecasts (from Zillow and other sources) suggest that home values in the area will rise somewhere between 3% and 5% over the next year. So perhaps a cooling trend is coming, at least where prices are concerned.

Granted, these are just projections. So we shouldn’t expect them to be exact. The big idea here is that most housing analysts and economists expect house prices to rise more slowly over the coming months than they did in recent years. And that’s probably a good thing, from a sustainability perspective.

Tight Inventory, Especially Among ‘Starter’ Homes

While predictions vary, most experts agree that the forecast for Spokane’s real estate market will bring additional price gains through 2018 and into 2019.

Inventory has something to do with this. A skewed supply-and-demand picture is putting upward pressure on home values in Spokane, and across most of Washington.

Earlier this year, the Spokane Association of REALTORS® reported that the inventory of houses and condos listed for sale was down 20% compared to a year ago. In March 2018, there were roughly 1,000 homes for sale across the county — about 20% fewer than March of last year.

Good news: property taxes should go down

Inventory is particularly tight at the lower end of the price range, where first-time home buyers tend to shop. So-called “starter homes” are particularly hard to come by in this real estate market. So buyers will have to be patient and persistent when house hunting.

Jennifer Valerien, a board member with the Spokane Association of Realtors, talked about the challenges of the inventory situation within an article for The Spokesman-Review: “It was a challenging, exciting year, trying to get buyers into houses and trying to get sellers to sell.”

Given the current supply and demand situation, it’s not surprising to see housing market forecasts for Spokane that predict additional price gains over the coming months.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for educational purposes only. It contains data and commentary provided by third parties not associated with our company.

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