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Spokane real estate market takes hit during coronavirus pandemic

A Spokane real estate agent said the area’s housing market has seen a 50 percent decrease in buyers and sellers.

SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane real estate agent said the area’s housing market has seen a 50% decrease in buyers and sellers in the market.

Melissa Murphy, a broker at Prime Real Estate, says there have been hundreds of fewer listings since the start of the coronavirus pandemic compared to March and April of 2019.

She said there were about 900 listings appearing every month in 2019. During the past two months, there have only been about 500.

“So there’s half as many home that are on the market for buyers to choose from,” Murphy said.

She said the decrease in inventory also led to an increase in listing prices by about 14 percent.

“We’ve seen less demand as everybody’s just not sure the best way to navigate this,” she said.

She cited uncertainty in the job market for why fewer people are buying.

Recently, in Spokane's red-hot housing market, some homes don’t sit for more than 24 hours before they’re taken off the market. Some have been sitting for two to three weeks now, Murphy said.

“The buyers that are out there are having such limited options, because the inventory pales in comparison to what it was this time last year,” she said. “We’re still seeing things move, just slower than what we normally see.”

But Murphy said she predicts the market will rebound once orders are lifted.

“We don’t have a crystal ball to see exactly what will happen, but with Spokane’s affordable prices and great location, it’ll be grabbing the attention of those who want that convenience and low prices all at once,” she said.

Agents are still taking clients, doing virtual showings and conference meetings. To comply with Gov. Inslee’s "stay home" order, agents are practicing social distancing and are not hosting more than two people on in-person tours, Murphy said.

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