Lack of housing in the Spokane Region critical, threatening to our stability

Spokane Region Housing Needs Summit reveals startling information

The housing crisis in the Spokane region has reached a critical level and is threatening the stability of our region. That is the consensus of a panel of national and regional economists and housing experts who came together for a Spokane Region Housing Needs Summit hosted by the Spokane Association of REALTORS®.

These experts were brought together to help us better understand the true housing needs of the Spokane region, and the answers they provided were alarming.

Among the key findings:

  • The Spokane area’s housing supply is severe, with a 94% reduction in available homes for sale since 2010.
  • A lack of inventory has escalated the median home price in Spokane County 66.8% since 2015 with a median home increase from $179,000 (2016) to over $300,000 (2020)
  • From 2010 to 2019 the Spokane Region under built some approximately 32,000 housing units to meet demand
  • A lack of inventory has led to thousands of families renting who cannot find a place to buy
  • Vacancies in regional rentals remains at a dangerous level of around 1%
  • The biggest lack of inventory lies in entry level or workforce housing
  • From personal health, to family stress, to student performance in school, to increased levels of homelessness, Spokane’s lack of housing has triggered a severe impact on the health of our citizens
  • Spokane has high levels of cost-burdened families spending more income on shelter than similar cities in the state and the US
  • Millions have been lost in economic benefit and tax revenue from a lack of construction
  • The Spokane Region is among the top places to move in the country with expected growth of 48,000 more people by the year 2030
  • Many of these home buyers come from larger West coast markets
  • The bulk of new homes in our region are now built across the border in Idaho
  • Local public policy has resulted in the lack of housing production

In the weeks ahead, the group is working to produce a white paper for policy makers in hopes of generating important conversations about the lack of housing in the Spokane region

Watch the summit for yourself here