Real Estate Reflections

The past, present and potential for the future in Sandpoint’s housing market

By Taylor Shillam

The demand within Sandpoint’s housing market continues to skyrocket with the influx of remote workers and long-term visitors seeking a different quality and pace of life.


In May 2021, Sandpoint’s home prices were up 65.4 percent compared to the year before. According to Redfin, Sandpoint homes are selling at a median price of $612,000. The majority of homes are spending just 14 days on the market, less than half the time they took to sell a year ago.


The hotter homes are selling for about 3 percent over their listing price, going in as little as four days. Overall, 44 percent of homes are being sold above list price, and, at press time, there are just over 300 homes available in Sandpoint.


Such a high demand calls for action to address the need for supply, but that piece of the solution isn’t a quick one.


The rental market is somewhat protected by certain ordinances in place, like 2018’s short-term rental (STR) ordinance, protecting available rentals from being perpetually occupied by tourists.


Short-term rentals are most popular through sites like Airbnb and VRBO, and the ordinance set a limit to their allowance within Sandpoint’s residential neighborhoods.


At the time, the regulations set by the ordinance were successful in their protection of residential housing. Today, more of that protection may need to be put in place, in addition to a construction surge to help satisfy the climbing demand.


Fortunately, some support has arrived in the form of another construction company setting roots in Sandpoint. Just weeks ago, the Spokane-based Ramey Construction Co. expanded to open a second office in town on 5th Avenue.


A high-end Pacific Northwest contractor, Ramey Construction Co. builds commercial projects and custom homes, paying close attention to fine craftsmanship, intricate, personalized details, and innovative designs.


Ramey Construction Co. is a team-based company that can craft a bit of everything, including residential, commercial, and office projects. Testimonies and examples of their craftsmanship can be found at RameyCo.com.


The company saw the need for construction and building support in North Idaho, and expanded their services to serve the Sandpoint area.


“We’ve opened an office in Sandpoint, Idaho, so we can better serve our North Idaho clients and help make their dreams come true,” the company stated. Ramey Construction Co. continues to hire and build their Sandpoint team, and their expertise will certainly be welcomed in the region.


An uncertain time in the housing market calls for a combination of reflection and looking forward in order to discover solutions. Reflecting on past movements that served to protect our residential neighborhoods and rental markets could prove insightful, while looking forward with new partnerships and new resources could bring forth a needed change.


As Sandpoint will certainly continue to be an ideal place to settle for locals and visitors alike, there is no simple answer on how to best move forward in keeping up with high housing demands.


Even still, a glimmer of hope comes with the new season: Summer's arrival usually brings more sellers to the market, reported Jackie Suarez of Century 21. "Interest rates are still low, which helps buyers see their way to purchase with our prices rising."

The only thing for certain is that it remains critical to stay informed, stay vigilant toward your goals as a buyer or seller this season, and continue to pursue solutions for affordable, accessible housing for the people of Sandpoint.



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