Kim Cooper: Market grows in spite of low inventory

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As of the end of March, production within the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors reported by our Multiple Listing Service was up 4 percent over this same time in 2016. This is for sales of site-built houses on less than 2 acres. In large part, the production is driven by new construction. As reported by our hardworking staff, the sale of newly constructed site-built homes shows an increase of 21.4 percent when compared to the end of March last year. This, with a grueling winter that was far more impeding than the prior.

We find this increase especially interesting because our inventory of available listings is down 22 percent for the same time period. That lack of available, move-in ready housing is responsible for an average price increase of 13 percent for site-built homes. Once again Rathdrum stands out as a top performer. Its availability of build-able land and several burgeoning subdivisions under construction has it selling 13 percent more homes this year than last. The average price of these homes is just 2 percent higher than last year while its available inventory is 40 percent lower.

Coeur d’Alene and Dalton Gardens show a 2 percent increase in sales volume with an average price increase of 10 percent over 2016’s average. Inventory here is down 10 percent from last year. Post Falls has actually sold fewer homes than last year by 5 percent, but its average price is up 14 percent when compared to last March. Available inventory there is 21 percent lower than last year, which could account for the lower volume. Hayden showed a 2 percent increase in sales as its average price performed exceptionally well, posting a 14 percent increase over last year. Still the inventory there is 37 percent lower than at this same time.

The Silver Valley has gained attraction with the escalating prices in the larger urban areas. The average sales price of a site-built home there increased by 17 percent while volume over last year increased by 16 percent exceeding the performance of Rathdrum. Bonner and Boundary counties continued their rally selling 15 percent more homes at an increased average price that is 21 percent above 2016. They accomplished this with 22 percent fewer homes in inventory than the previous year.

It is not just the entry-level market that is low on available inventory. That same lack of choices and competition for housing can be seen in homes from $350-600,000. As prices continue to rise throughout the western region, we are seeing more in-migration as folks bring the equity from their homes to settle in affordable North Idaho. Of course this increases demand and drives our own prices higher. There is little doubt if more homes were listed — and they are likely to be — we would be able to provide buyers for well-priced listings in a wide array of prices.

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.

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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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