Spokane Regional Business Barometer – Q3, 2014
The housing market is “chugging along,” according to Avista Chief Economist Grant Forsyth, and recovering at a modest pace.
Shaun O’L. Higgins, Managing Principal of The Oxalis Group LLC says, “We saw a 3.3% increase in unit sales for single-family dwellings in third quarter 2014 compared to 2013. That was a smaller percentage increase than year-over-year for second quarter, but it was healthy and accompanied by good quarterly numbers on the price front.”
Median prices were up 1.8% from the same quarter last year, while the average price increased by 2.9%.
“These are solid, respectable numbers,” says Steve Scranton, Chief Investment Officer for Washington Trust Bank, “however, there is concern about what the Federal Reserve is going to do with interest rates and what that will do to mortgage rates.”
Higgins notes that unit sales in third quarter 2014 were up nearly 36% from the same period two years ago. “That likely results from a combination of four factors,” he says, “low mortgage rates; greater ability of potential buyers to come up with adequate down payments; ability of potential buyers to qualify for mortgages based on improved credit ratings and household balance sheets; and, greater confidence by potential buyers in their ability to find and keep jobs.”