Housing market surging in Spokane despite COVID-19 pandemic

SPOKANE, Wash. — We’ve seen how COVID-19 has changed almost everything this year, but that doesn’t apply to the housing market.

Homes are selling at record prices across Spokane and really across the entire U.S.

One Spokane family was in a bid with about five others for their “dream home”, just to find out they did not get it.

That’s a harsh reality many buyers are facing right now.

“This time it was like get the offer in… people are fighting and raising the bid,” Lydia Coski said.

Lydia and her husband offered about $15,000 more than the asking price for their dream home, but they ended up empty handed.

“It’s frustrating to see houses you like, and then, not be able to get what you want,” Coski said.

That’s how most buyers feel right now.

The Spokane Association of Realtors said the average sale of a home is about $310,000 right now. That’s up about 7 percent from this time last year.

The Coski’s found a new home eventually, but it didn’t come without a little bit of doubt.

“It’s kind of like, did we want that?” Coski said. “I don’t know that’s a lot of money to be putting in, but then you just kind of feel that pressure to move forward, because you don’t know if you’re going to get another chance at something else.”

They now get the chance to be on the other end of this as they prepare to sell their old home.

It likely won’t take long since inventory for homes is so low right now.

“We have a whole lot of buyers on the market and not enough sellers or not enough houses on the market,” local Realtor Alyssa Curnutt said.

There are about 700 homes available in Spokane right now, and that’s considered enough inventory for one month.

“A month of inventory is not a lot,” Tom Clark of the Spokane Association of Realtors said. “A balanced market is 3-6 months of inventory.”

So, why are there not many homes available?

Part of it is people coming in from heavily populated cities, like Seattle, Portland or parts of California.

“They’re coming in with cash, and seeing what you can get for $400,000, $500,000 here compared to there,” Curnutt said.

Just about every type of home is selling quickly in Spokane right now.

And if you’re looking to buy one, there’s just one piece of advice; stay patient.

“I always tell them that we will find one, and when we find one, you’ll be so thankful that other one didn’t workout,” Curnutt said.

Overall, home sales are down about 7 percent in Spokane this year, but realtors said that goes back to the lack of inventory.

They do not expect the market to change anytime soon. It should continue to surge.