by Jim Palmer Jr. – Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc.

When I was much younger, a Canadian rock group called Five Man Electrical Band recorded a rebellious song called “Signs”. Some of the lyrics go like this, “And the sign said, Long haired freaky people need not apply,….Sign, sign, everywhere a sign….. Do this don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”  Do you remember that one?  For some abstract reason I was reminded of that song as I heard news from some friends in eastern Oregon, (and then from a friend on the south hill in Spokane) that the robins had arrived and were eating the old crab apples out of the trees.  The arrival of the robins at our house has been a much anticipated event each year because it is a sure sign that winter will soon be losing its grip on the world.   This was good news since I was wondering if spring would ever come.  I have come to trust in the signs of the times because they really do show what is soon to come.

There are definite signs in the real estate market that indicate things to come!  Year End Home Sales Report from the Spokane Association of Realtors® shows that sellers may have the advantage over buyers now and sometime into the future.  2016 unit sales for single family homes was up a whopping 10 percent from 2015 and the average sales price was up by about 7 1/2 percent.

The real tell of things to come from my perspective is the fact that inventory is down by approximately 22 percent compared to 2015 numbers. The shrinking inventory of distressed sales and bank repos only accounted for 8 percent of sales in 2016 compared to 13 percent in 2015.  Remember the old adage about supply and demand!  When supplies are down the demand is high, resulting in rising prices.  I believe that prices will continue to rise for the next few years and that the market will be a very competitive one at least from a buyers perspective.  Many buyers are becoming frustrated because they have so much competition when a good property hits the market. Many sellers are finding relief in this market because the wait to sell is a much shorter time period than just a few years ago.

If you have been waiting for that super deal on a home, you may be out of luck, but if you have been waiting to sell you should gear up and make that move!  Can’t you read the signs?

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