Forecast: Spokane, Washington Housing Market Could Outpace the Nation in 2020

By some measures, the housing market in Spokane, Washington is one of the hottest in the nation in 2019. We expect this to continue into 2020 as well, with Spokane home prices continuing to rise faster than the national average.

Inventory has a lot to do with this. Or rather, a lack of inventory. The city’s population continues to grow, increasing demand for housing at time when supply remains low. That puts upward pressure on home prices.

Here are the latest trends for the Spokane real estate market, along with a forecast stretching into 2020.

Spokane Home Prices Continue to Soar

Are you thinking about buying a home in Spokane in 2019 or 2020? You might want to put a rush on that.

Buyers who postpone their purchases until later in 2019, or early 2020, will likely end up paying more for their homes. Prices in this market continue to climb at a steady pace, reducing the number of affordable options for many buyers.

According to the latest data from Zillow, the median home value in Spokane, Washington rose by a whopping 11% over the past year (as of October 2019).

To put that number into perspective: prices nationwide rose by around 5% during that same 12-month period. The median home value for the state of Washington rose by 4.8% over the past year.

Clearly, this real estate market is outperforming the rest of the state — and the country as a whole — in terms of annual price gains. And that trend could continue in 2020 as well.

The chart below shows the steep rise in home values for the city of Spokane, Washington, going back nine years or so. It is based on Zillow’s estimate of the median home price, through their own calculation.

Spokane home prices
Chart: Spokane Home Value Index. | Source: Zillow.com.

You can see where property values dipped slightly following the last recession, followed by an upturn that began in late 2012. Starting in 2016, home prices really took off. From January 2016 to January 2019, the median value for the Spokane real estate market rose by nearly $60,000.

Zillow’s forecast is shown in the green shaded area and extends into the fall of 2020.

One of the Hottest Housing Markets in the U.S.

No matter how you measure it, Spokane is one of the hottest local housing markets in the nation in 2019. We’ve covered home price trends already. This Washington city (and the surrounding metro area) is experiencing a rapid rise in home values as of fall 2019.

But that’s not the only signal indicating a hot market. Spokane is also experiencing higher-than-average competition among buyers. Properties listed for sale in this real estate market tend to sell quickly, faster than the national average. Multiple-offer scenarios are common as well.

According to the national real estate brokerage Redfin, homes listed for sale in Spokane spent a median of just 19 days on the market in August 2019. This particular metric gives us some insight into how quickly or slowly homes are selling within a particular real estate market. And 19 days is a very low median.

For comparison, the nation as a whole had a median “days on market” of 40 during the same month. This means the Spokane real estate market is still highly active with plenty of buyers competing for homes.

Low Inventory Forcing Buyers to Compete

Some buyers in the area might have a hard time finding a suitable property within budget. As of fall 2019, this housing market is still experiencing a shortage of homes for sale.

In August 2019, Spokane’s housing market had less than a 1.9-month supply of homes for sale. That’s based on data published by Redfin in October of this year.

The supply situation in this area is one of the tightest we’ve seen among major U.S. cities. It’s well below what is considered to be a balanced market. Local home buyers should bear this in mind, as they start the house hunting process.

Rob Higgins, an executive with the Spokane Association of Realtors, told the Spokesman-Review in September:

“Inventory is still very tight and that will continue to slow down our sales, and we’ll continue to see prices going up because of lack of supply.”

So clearly, the real estate market in Spokane still favors sellers over buyers. There just aren’t enough homes for sale to meet the demand. And that is making things very competitive for those seeking to buy.

Forecast: Prices Rising Into 2020

We’ve covered past and current trends. But what about the future? Will the Spokane housing market continue to rise in 2020? Or will it cool down?

To be clear, no one can predict future real estate trends with complete accuracy. But given the current supply-and-demand situation in the area, it seems highly likely that home prices in Spokane will continue to rise into 2020 and beyond. (Barring some unforeseen economic calamity, of course.)

The housing research team at Zillow recently issued an above-average forecast for the local real estate market. In October 2019, their research team wrote:

“Spokane home values have gone up 11.1% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 6.9% within the next year.”

During that same month, they predicted that prices nationwide would rise by around 2.2% over the next year. They anticipate that the Spokane housing market will continue to outpace most other U.S. cities, in terms of annual price growth.

Disclaimer: This article contains forecasts and predictions issued by third parties not associated with the Home Buying Institute. Such forecasts are the equivalent of an educated guess and should be treated as such.