Home prices continue dropping in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. - Home prices have dropped for the fifth straight month across the country according to the Case-Shiller home-price index. Realtors in Spokane say the county is on the same trend, but an end may be in sight. 

Realtors says it's a great time to buy a home. The Spokane Association of Realtors Executive Vice President Rob Higgins says it's the best he's seen. But it's not necessarily the best time to sell a home.

"Prices have been coming down for the past four or five years," Higgins said.

At Kendall Yards in West Central Spokane, there are 60 lots and homes that have been sold in the development. When they're finished, there will be 700 homes.

Home prices dropping Spokane video

"As fast as we're building them, we're selling them," Greg Benner, the Greenestone Vice President of Residential Sales said.

Construction will continue for the next 10 years at Kendall Yards and the developers, Greenestone, hope sales will boost prices through the neighborhood.

"So all these people that are buying now are only going to see increases in their values as we move through because that's just the nature of real estate," Benner added.

The prices of homes in the development start around $150,000 and go up to $500,000.

Around the rest of SpokaneCounty, the average price of a home is $167,665. The lowest since 2005. The highest average in the county was $211,872 in 2007.

"In the last 30 years, that I know of, we've never seen foreclosures at this level," Rob Higgins said.

Higgins says the good news, is sales are up 27 percent since this time last year. The bad news, 30 percent of those sales are on foreclosed homes.

"For sure we've got to get through the distressed sales, the foreclosures, and short-sales and get those out of the mix," Higgins said. "At least predominately out of the mix, and then we'll see the prices moderate."

Higgins says developments like Kendall Yards can help drive prices up. Greg Benner hopes it will too in West Central Spokane and Downtown for Greenestone, and for homeowners.

"I think that we're going to see it moving up. When you put this many houses into the mix, I think you're going to see it help," Benner said.

Higgins also said he expects prices to bottom out this year in Spokane County then start to rise next year.