The Independent Staff
According to the Northeast Washington Association of Realtors, tri-county real estate statistics from fall of 2015 to fall 2016 show a slight drop in listings and listings sold for Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties. There is an increase, however, in land sold, average sale price and total volume sold, measured in dollars.
“It’s typical for prices to rise whenever there is a shortage of inventory, as there was recently with homes for sale,” said Sally Beane, real estate broker with Windermere Chewelah, LCC.
“For instance, a real estate professional might refer to an eight-month supply. What that means is, if no other listings came on the market, it would take approximately eight months to sell what is available. A five-to-eight month supply is a balanced market-houses aren’t selling like hot cakes, but there is a steady stream of sales.
“When it falls below a five-month supply, it becomes a seller’s market – there’s more demand for good homes than there are good homes on the market. This competition naturally results in a rise in sale prices, and the two roughly correlate: a slight drop in inventory, a slight rise in sales prices,” Beane explained.
The NEWAR statistics were calculated using the range of Sept. 20, 2015 to Sept. 19, 2016.
New listings, including both vacant land and homes, for 2016 were at 1,615 which is an increase from 1,603 listings in 2014 but down two percent from 2015’s 1,691. Listings sold in 2016 (734) were down from 2014’s 742 and down by two percent from 2015’s 746.
Homes sold continued to drop from 460 in 2014, to 458 in 2015 and finally a seven percent dropoff to 428 in 2016. The average sale price, meanwhile, has increased by two percent to $150,000 which is a jump up from 2014’s $126,000 and a two percent spike from 2015’s $147,450.
“Again,” Beane said, “it looks like a lower number of home sales did not necessarily reflect fewer buyers in the marketplace, but was rather an indication of fewer viable choices of homes to buy, creating more competition and thus driving sales prices up a bit.
“If a home will not qualify for a mortgage loan, its market is narrowed to cash buyers and those willing to rehab the property, so even though it’s on the market, that home may not influence the sales price trends for mortgage-qualified properties.”
Land sold in the northeastern corner of Washington increased seven percent from 2015’s 268 listings to 286 in 2016. In 2014, there were 271 land listings.
Unlike total volume sold, the volume for land alone increased by two percent from 2015’s $15.4 million to $15.8 million in 2015. In 2014, the total volume sold for land only was $12.5 million.
“We’re getting more and more buyers looking for vacant land, especially this time of year,” said Beane. “People look to this area when they are wanting a private piece of land to hunt, enjoy, and perhaps even grace with a cabin.”
The total volume sold in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties for 2016 was $74.6 million which is down one percent from 2015’s $75.6 million, but up from 2014’s $65.7 million.