Short inventory slows sales

Post Falls and Rathdrum where new construction reigns are performing exceptionally well in this summer’s housing market. Both cities are outperforming last year’s sales by double digits while Coeur d’Alene and Hayden are under performing. It is not that there is no interest in these markets rather it is just darn tough to find a good value there.

A look at year-to-date statistics at the end of July shows that new homes account for a whopping 24 percent of our total single family home sales this year. No doubt that is why Post Falls posted a 19 percent increase in home sales over last year. Rathdrum, Hauser, Twin Lakes showed a 14 percent increase.

Showing declines in housing sales were Coeur d’Alene with 5 percent fewer sales and Hayden with a 13 percent decline. Average prices however continued to creep up in this high demand market. The average price of a single family site built home on a lot less than two acres in size in Kootenai County is up 3 percent over July 2015. In Coeur d’Alene you will pay 6 percent more than last year, Post Falls 10 percent, Hayden 6 percent and the same 6 percent increase in Rathdrum.

The Silver Valley reports a significant increase in home prices. With exactly the same number of home sales there year over year their average price improved a respectable 15 percent over the previous July.
South including Benewah County home prices are up 6 percent over last year. Sales there are up 20 percent from the prior year attributed to 6 additional sales.

To the north we see a mixed bag of results with North Kootenai County reporting increases of 26 percent in volume and 14 percent in average price while Bonner and Boundary Counties show a slight dip in production. The 3 percent reduction in activity there is due to 4 fewer home sales with a 6 percent drop in price for the average home sold since July 2015.

Residential listing inventory continues to present challenges for buyers. As of the end of July we showed 9.4 percent fewer listings than at this time last year. Rather than wait for a suitable home some buyers are opting to build new homes and as seen by the increases there are sinking roots in Post Falls and Rathdrum.

It is not just North Idaho where the real estate market is strong. Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist stated in an article on Friday; “Also, repeat buyers say their major challenge is finding a home to buy.” The share of repeat buyers who say “finding a home” is a problem rose to 25 percent this July,® reports.

“The good news for would-be buyers who have struggled to find a home or have been outbid in prior attempts is that the balance of power shifts a bit more in your favor in late summer and fall,” Smoke writes in his column at®. “This is the time of the year when sales slow down, but inventory is at its peak. That means there are more homes for sale per buyer now, and yet mortgage rates remain close to their all-time lows. The window to enjoy the best summer in a decade for real estate remains open for the well-qualified and those ready to act.”
Many would be buyers hope he is right.