North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club Bulletin
September 19, 2022
            Sept. 26: Noon lunch, at the Bark. Speaker: Q1 Club President Steve Bergman, first quarter report.
            Oct. 3: Noon lunch, at the Bark, Spokane County Sheriff candidates, John Nowels and Wade Nelson.
            Oct. 10: No meeting: Indigenous Peoples federal holiday
            Oct. 17: Noon lunch, at the Bark.   Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney candidates, Larry Haskell and Deb Conklin.
            Oct. 24: Noon lunch, at the Bark. Speakers TBA.
            Oct. 31: Noon lunch, at the Bark. Rotary District 5080 Gov. Linda Kay Bauer.
Happy Bucks:
            On a road trip to Yellow Pines, west of Cataldo, John Mailliard was happy for the scenic drive, but dismayed when a rock smashed into his windshield. John also added $1 to note that donations at The Backyard bar and restaurant are raising supplies for students at Holmes Elementary and Glover Middle School.
            Bill Simer was happy for “his race in his career” at the Columbia road race in his 1962 Lotus.  Bill started in 12th place, but by turn one was 2nd, and added happily, “no one hit me.”
            Ron Noble was happy to escape a road slide on the Cascade Highway, forcing a circuitous return drive, adding about the frequent slides in western Washington, “I am glad I have real estate on the east side of the state.” 
            Candidate sessions slated
            Candidates for Spokane County Sheriff and Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney will visit the club next month.
            Prior to each luncheon program, club members are invited to send e-mails or offer questions on notecards for the candidates to respond.
            On Oct. 3, the Sheriff candidates are John Nowels and Wade Nelson.  Send your comments to moderator Chuck Rehberg.
            On Oct. 17, the Prosecuting Attorneys are Larry Haskell and Deb Conklin.  Send your comments to moderator Brian Hipperson.
Real estate market slows a bit following record growth
             Eric Johnson has a mountain of data about area real estate sales and trends, but he also peppers his programs with words like “challenging,” “calming” and “nuts” to describe the current scene.
             At the Sept. 19 luncheon, Eric updated the volatile real estate for the club. 
            Eric is a second generation Realtor, active with Coldwell Banker and other firms for 27 years in the Spokane Market.  He is a partner in the Northwest Real Estate Brokers, inclusive of Century 21 Beutler, Caldwell Banker Tomlinson and Sotheby’s offices in Eastern Washington, Idaho and Western Montana.
            Eric also is a second generation Spokane-North Club.  His dad, Leroy joined the club in 1973 and brother Neil served for a while starting in 2002, before Erik joined the club.
            Spokane County houses prices in the past year have soared from a median average of $397,450 to $430,000, leveling off in the last several months to $428,500, Johnson said.  Of the velocity of the market rate, he said, “it’s calming, for sure.”
            Meanwhile, mortgage rates have had “a huge jump,” going from 3.35 percent in the spring to 6 percent this month, he said.
            The rising costs have slowed the marketplace when sales were sold over listed prices and sales were sold as soon as the yard signs were put in the ground.  Yet it still is hard to find houses, he said.  “It’s challenging, right?” he said.
            Sales in Spokane County now average about 600 a month and the yearly average is about 8,000, which has held for several years, Johnson said.
            But now the process has slowed from the frantic pace where sales of building inspections were not even required, he said.
            “Prices of sales in Spokane and in the USA were nuts,” he said. Typical prices raised 37 percent in a year and doubled in five years, he added.
            And while the prices have not dropped, now house inventory in Spokane has grown from 932 a year ago to 1,295 in August.
            The inventory rate has risen from a mere 5.2 percent to 11.6 percent, Johnson said.  “But it’s still a sellers’ market, which is anything below 12 percent, he said.
            In a recent meeting with Washington Lieutenant Gov. Denny Heck, Johnson said Heck told him “we need (housing) supply statewide.”
            Asked about the booming North Idaho markets, he said the Post Falls-Coeur d’Alene market is even pricier than Spokane, especially with lake properties, he said.
            With some renters displaced by rapidly higher costs and others in less affordable housing ranks, he was asked if there is any hope in those areas.  The simple response: “They’re screwed.”   
            Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink