How to figure out what car sales are really going on in Spokane
Spokane, Washington (AP) Spokane has been hit by a major surge in car sales, but some people aren’t buying a new car.
It’s not just the city’s booming auto industry that is driving the uptick in car demand, but the city is also seeing an influx of new homes being built.
Spokane has a lot of housing in the suburbs.
“It’s just a whole lot of people in the city of Spokane and the suburbs,” said Mark Oster, a broker with the real estate company Zillow.
“We’re seeing a lot more people moving into Spokane.
People who have been moving out of the city are starting to come back in.”
More:Home sales, new homes, apartments, condos, townhomes, condos for sale, townhouses for rent, condos and moreThe surge in home sales has also been accompanied by an influx in new condos.
In Spokane, there are now more than 5,000 condos, about 40 percent of the total.
That’s up from less than 1,000 units a year ago.
“There’s not a lot that’s coming to the market,” said Tom Withers, vice president of marketing for Zillows.
“People are still waiting for homes, and they’re still trying to figure it out.”
Home sales have been surging in the metro area, where sales have surged by almost 40 percent since the beginning of the year.
That compares to a decline of nearly 10 percent for the rest of the country.
The median price for a home in Spokane was $235,000 in the first quarter of this year.
And in the past 12 months, home sales have grown more than 40 percent, compared to just a 15 percent gain for the nation.
“We’re doing pretty well,” said Mike Stumpf, a real estate agent with a home sales agency.
“This year is going to be the best of all time.”
The Spokane region’s population has increased by more than 2,000 people since last November, according to the Spokane County Economic Development Corp. Spokane’s population is expected to grow by more like 6,000 residents this year, according the office.
“This is the biggest and the strongest year-over-year increase we’ve had in Spokane,” said Jeff Mather, president of the county’s Economic Development Corporation.
“It’s going to create more jobs, and it’s going the right way.”
The region is also in the midst of a housing crisis.
Home sales in Spokane, the nation’s fourth-largest metro area behind San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, have dropped for two straight years.
Sales of single-family homes have fallen, with prices up by about 20 percent from last year.
“It seems like there’s been a lot less people buying houses,” said Stumpfs sales agent.
“In fact, the number of people that are buying homes is way down.
The housing market is very tight.”
In January, the county reported a $3.5 million budget deficit, and the economy is still reeling from the recession.
So far this year the economy has grown by 3.4 percent, but that number will likely be lower once new construction starts to take hold.
Mather said the region has plenty of room to grow and it can continue to do so if it is able to get some of its other needs met.
“That’s what we’re working toward,” he said.