More evidence of local recovery

By KIM COOPER/Special to The Press The Coeur d’ Alene Press | 0 comments

We were delighted to report last week that we see continued strength in our local housing market and as our staff completes their analysis we see that our current production levels are nearly those seen in 2006! That was not our most stellar year of performance when measured by number of homes sold, but 2006 reflected a decline in numbers from 2004 and 2005, yet our prices were still climbing well into 2007. By October’s end in 2006 we had sold 2,041 single family homes in Kootenai County. This year, we have sold 1,915. While that may be a significant difference, it demonstrates an excellent turnaround for our market.

As the chart shows, 2006 was the beginning of a rapid decline in number of sales:

Figures in the chart reflect the entire Coeur d’Alene Multiple Listing Service single family site built home market on lots less than 2 acres in size, not just Kootenai County.

It would be 2009 before we hit the bottom of the trough and then begin our long slow climb back to a more normal market. Now, it seems we have reached a bit more normal real estate market and predictions are that we can maintain our current status throughout next year. Friday’s announcement from the proposed replacement for Ben Bernanke intends to keep interest rates low should she receive the appointment to Fed chair may indicate that mortgage rates will also remain affordable – at least until employment figures get back to reasonable levels.

Our average price at the end of last month was $203,387 where in 2006 at the end of October it was $238,443. That price reflected an increase of 14.6 percent increase over the 2005 price of $208,140. As our chart clearly shows, 2005 was our highest number of sales and as prices gained ground the market began to lose traction. The similarities in price prior to that slowdown would lead us to believe that we have reached a sustainable market although appreciation may slow which could also contribute to sustained sales and a normal market.

With reports still coming out that many markets have slowed due to the antics in Washington, it appears we are weathering that storm – at least for now. Many agents have reported that their activity has never been this strong while others say it is at least as good as their best year.

Trust an expert…call a Realtor. Call your Realtor or visit 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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