Dis-interest about interest

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Many of you agents and sellers alike anticipated a slowdown during the holidays. If that is what you expected then that is likely what you saw. Others have indicated anything but a slowdown in activity during December and the statistics compiled by the stellar staff at the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service continue to show growth even with sub-zero temperatures, rising interest rates and holiday celebrations. The agents we talk to are reporting good housing market activity still.

Now that December has closed out the year, we have a good handle on how the weekly increases in interest rates have affected us and we are pleased to report no obvious effects. We are still moving forward at a comfortable pace and as reported, serious buyers are braving the cold to find the perfect home. In Coeur d’Alene for example — when compared to 2015, we saw a 3 percent increase in our yearly number of sales. The overall appreciation in price is 8 percent above last year’s average at $259,276. Dalton Garden sales are included as a part of the Coeur d’Alene statistics.

In Hayden — which includes Hayden Lake — we see an annual increase of 7 percent in the number of homes sold. Their average price also increased by 8 percent and is $301,662. Post Falls continues to shine as a bright spot for home sellers. The number of homes sold there in 2016 exceeds the number sold in 2015 by 21 percent. Their average price of $225,466 is a 10 percent increase over the previous year. To the north our statistical area includes Rathdrum, Hauser and Twin Lakes. Last year saw activity there increase by 21 percent over 2015 as well while the average price increased

9 percent to $226,837. Outside those cities, the sale of site-built homes on less than 2 acres in North Kootenai County improved by 35 percent with an average price increase 5 percent higher than the previous year. Those homes are selling for $194,308 on average.

Farther north in Bonner and Boundary counties, the number of sales was up 8 percent for the year. As the luxury second-home market continues to elude Sandpoint, the average price in those two counties was off 2015’s average by just 2 percent. The excellent snow this winter is attracting a lot of attention from outsiders and should lead to an increase in condo and mountain home sales as avid skiers seek their own escapes in North Idaho.

The Silver Valley wrapped up 2016 nicely posting an 11 percent increase in sales over their 2015 performance. Average prices came up there too with a 13 percent increase over the average in 2015.

Our overall yearly performance then, when compared to 2015, showed our Multiple Listing Service with an 11 percent increase in total sales at an overall average that exceeded 2015 by 5 percent. Sales of distressed properties continue to decline with just 110 foreclosure sales last year compared to 217 the year prior. Short sales also declined from 53 in 2015 to 39 in 2016 further supporting a much healthier market place.

Be sure to ask your Realtor for the facts and figures about your neighborhood and about your property. While an automatic estimate from a website might give you an idea of value, only a professional opinion after a visit to your home will tell the whole story.

Trust an expert…call a Realtor. Call your Realtor or visit www.cdarealtors.com to search properties on the Multiple Listing Service or to find a Realtor member who will represent your best interests.

Kim Cooper is a real estate broker and the spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors. Kim and the association invite your feedback and input for this column. You may contact them by writing to the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, 409 W. Neider, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815 or by calling (208) 667-0664.

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