‘There’s a lot of demand out there’: Inland Northwest housing market slows down

SPOKANE, Wash. — While other places in the country might be seeing somewhat of a housing crash, it’s not the case in the Inland Northwest. However, local realtors say the housing market is cooling off after a boom over the last couple of years.

Realtors say the demand is still high but they’re seeing a shift back to a normal market where bidding wars are less common and buyers have more time and choices.

There are currently about 1,000 houses on the market in Spokane. That’s a huge increase compared to last year when the Spokane Association of Realtors says they probably saw 300 on the market.

They say the primary cause of the slowdown is higher interest rates over the last couple of months.

“During the pandemic, part of the action by the federal government was to keep the interest rates very low, the federal reserve, and so we ended up with interest rates around three and three and a half percent,” said Rob Higgins, CEO of the Spokane Association of Realtors.

Interest rates currently sit in the mid-fives and five and a half percent.

The median price of a home is around $420,000 in Spokane. If you’re looking for a home in the $200,000 range, realtors say it can be difficult to find.

“Part of that is because of institutional buyers that are going and buying–because the real estate market was pistol hot a couple years ago or last couple of years. And now it’s going to get back to ho-hum and then you’re going to see the money go somewhere else,” Higgins said.

Higgins suggests potential buyers get pre-qualified and know exactly what you can afford.

“There’s a lot of demand out there. Even with the number of housing sales slowing, there’s still a greater demand than there is supply,” Higgins said.

Over in Kootenai County, demand is still high too. According to the Coeur d’Alene Regional Realtors, the median price on a home increased 21.7 percent from a year ago to $560,000.

A total of 1,055 homes were listed on the market at the end of July.

Mortgage rates fell from peak June rates and now sit close to 5 percent. CDA Regional Realtors says buyers may see a boost in purchasing power.

The Spokane Association of Realtors doesn’t predict home prices will come down. Instead, realtors believe they’ll level off.