KIM COOPER: Home sales didn’t freeze

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Home loan interest rates increased slightly last week ticking up .04 percent on average. Experts predict another hike after the Fed’s December meeting next week where they are expected to raise the rate they charge lenders. That fact and the unknown outcome of the ongoing tax debates are compelling buyers and sellers alike to feel some sense of urgency. We’ll see how that plays out next month. For now, our real estate market is chugging along with low inventory and competition for detached single family homes on less than 2 acres of land. This large lot size allows us to factor in those homes in Dalton Gardens where the minimum lot size allowed is .90 acres.

Even with 12 percent less inventory in Coeur d’Alene and Dalton, we were able to increase the number of sales by 8 percent there. The average price for a home in Coeur d’Alene’s two zip codes (83814 and 83815) rose 12 percent above the November 2016 average. Surprisingly, Post Falls sales increased by 9 percent when compared to last year, even though inventory there was 22 percent below last November. The average price of a Post Falls home increased by 8 percent over last year’s average.

Hayden and Hayden Lake showed a 25 percent decline in the number of homes sold, perhaps predicated in part by the lower inventory there. Those homes that did sell though were in higher price categories, which brought the November average sales price there up 38 percent over last year with the average at just over $400,000.

Out on the Rathdrum Prairie, we see a 150 percent increase in sales as new homes made it into the market. Rathdrum and Twin Lakes sales increased from a total of 12 last year to 30 this year. The average price out there was just 1 percent lower than last year. Further North in Bonner and Boundary counties, we note the winter recreational market may be giving them an anticipated boost. Our Northern neighbors reported an increase in number of homes sold, 68 percent higher than reported last November with an average price 21 percent above last year’s average.

Turning East to the Silver Valley, we see a 12 percent bump in the year-over-year comparison of the number of sales. The average price there increased by 5 percent over last November’s average. We find it interesting to note that — even though winter arrives earlier to the East and the North — both areas experienced increased activity and improvement in sale prices in the first full month of Winter. True, passage has been relatively unhindered, but those who delayed listing or removed their homes from the market in anticipation of a winter slowdown would do well to reconsider. Christmas is just around the corner, which will bring visitors old and new to our beautiful area. Some of them may be looking for a new place to live.

The lack of available inventory means our supply of homes is low. Last November, we enjoyed a supply of 5 1/2 months of available homes. This year, we have a 4 1/2-month supply, which means at our current rate of sales with no new listings added, we will run out of average homes by April. Now that’s something to ponder.

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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