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Real estate experts offer solutions for Spokane housing supply issues

The Counselors of Real Estate say Spokane needs to offer more multi-family housing options among other improvements.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Counselors of Real Estate, made up of real estate experts from across the country, released its report on action steps to increase Spokane's housing supply on Monday.

One of those recommendations is to add more multi-family housing options, which experts believe would address the "missing middle households" or "house-scale buildings with multiple units in walkable neighborhoods." 

"We did notice that Spokane is the city of single-family houses," said Jackie Buhn, team leader with the Counselors of Real Estate. "That's very predominant."

Only 0.5% of new housing built in Spokane for homeowners over the past decade was attached housing, according to the real estate report. These would be considered duplexes or townhomes.

Another concern is affordability. The median home price in Spokane is currently $430,000, according to the report.

"The median income of Spokane hasn't risen along with the housing prices so we are missing - no pun intended - the missing middle," said Sharon Madison, another member with the Counselors of Real Estate.

Realtor.com ranked Spokane number 3 on its list for top housing markets of 2022. For young families looking to make the move to Spokane, this can be too much.

The team also said the city needs to increase its staffing in its housing departments.

A planning director would be able to hire and prioritize a housing-focused team. There will be interviews for a director on Friday.