Where Are We Today?



Sales in both Kootenai County and Spokane County have been painfully slow for the year ending 2010.  Raw numbers in both markets show that volume has decreased year over year by roughly 50% each year from our peak sales year of 2006.  Additionally, an increasingly higher volume of lender owned properties that have been brought to market have held prices for market rate sellers in check.



New construction permit totals in both markets were off sharply due to a continuing shortage of debt and equity capital.



Good news was reported during the year as our local vacancy rates declined to an average of 6.7% in Spokane County and 6.8% in Kootenai County.   Year over year rents showed an average increase of 6.5% in Spokane County, just under 1% in Kootenai County and 2.3% nationally.


What About Tomorrow?


Echo Boomers will have an increasing bias toward renting as the single family home-ownership rate is expected to decline in the near term.  Furthermore, as the economy continues to recover, albeit slowly, those Boomers who doubled up for economic reasons will start to “de bundle” and form their own households.

Nationally, approximately 8.5 million more household formations will accrue to the rental pool as a result of the above dynamic.






Apartment stock is expected to be in short supply as the recession continues to choke off the availability of both debt and equity capital.


Please consider the following:  the total new construction permits for all “Multi Family” activity (including new condos) in Kootenai County was roughly 100 million in valuation in 2006.  2010 totals were approximately 10 million.  Spokane, likewise, reported 40 million in apartment permit valuations for 2006 and 455,000 (this is NOT a typo) in 2010.  Clearly, one can project what is on the horizon as far as our local apartment stock is concerned.



For all of the fore-going reasons, together with the fact that underwriting standards for home-ownership has become much more rigorous, apartment owners have reasons to be optimistic about their bottom line in the near to medium term.

Vacancy rates will continue to decline and rents should increase as these market dynamics evolve.

Until next time,





1)      City of Spokane Building Department

2)      City of Coeur d’Alene Building Department

3)      Spokane Association of REALTORS ®, MLS

4)      Coeur d’Alene Association of REALTORS®, MLS

5)  Spokane-Kootenai County Real Estate Research Committee Report, Fall 2010

6)    National Real Estate Investor Magazine 10/2010

7)  Barron’s 7/2010 

“Follow the link below to video stream of recent presentation by Coldwell Banker commercial specialists at the “CB Commercial Real Estate Forum” of 2/10/2011 at the KROC Center CDA, Idaho. Topics include a presentation by Glenn Sather addressing current conditions and trends in the local and national apartment market.”


                 CBCSR FORUM VIDEO–click here