No Homes For Sale in Leavenworth in 2014?

The Leavenworth real estate market often lags behind the Seattle market. The newest trend seems to be following this pattern.

Last Spring Seattle saw a shortage of homes for sale and this extreme lack of inventory led to price gains for sellers.  Home sellers in Leavenworth were wondering if we had a sellers market back then and the answer was definitely not.

As I write this post at the beginning of 2014, I know that home buyers will ask again about a Leavenworth home shortage in 2014.

Image Courtesy of Steve Hoang on Flickr Image Courtesy of Steve Hoang on Flickr

I expect to get a huge number of emails asking: Are there no homes for sale in Leavenworth?

Currently there are just over 80 single family homes for sale in the Leavenworth and Peshastin area.

Looking at the broader single family market, this gives us about 7 months of supply. (Technically, less than 6 months is a sellers' market but this is dramatically closer than we have been since 2006.)

About 45 of these homes are located in the Leavenworth zip code and priced less than $400,000.

Here we have just 5.5 months of supply which is truly a sellers' market which is why it feels like there are so few choices.

Compare this to the boom years:

In 2006 inventory dropped down to a total of 65 homes for sale and only reached a peak of 110 homes for sale.

And during the recession:

In 2011 inventory peaked to as many as 255 homes for sale and only down to 144 during the winter months.

 

Why is there a shortage of homes for sale in Leavenworth?

Lack of inventory can come from two sources. No new listings or lots of new sales.

This is a lot like the secret to losing weight - you can either consume less calories or exercise more (or both.)

In the case of Leavenworth's real estate inventory, it's a bit of both.

In the 4th quarter of 2013, a total of 34 new listings came on the market while 45 homes sold.  Additionally, a number of home listings either expired or were cancelled/ withdrawn. It is common in Leavenworth for homeowners to take listings off the market in the winter and put them back on in the spring.

To put this in context, in 2012 during the same 3 month period, 39 new homes came on the market and 32 homes sold.

Excluding the number of expired and cancelled listings, there was a net decrease of 11 homes on the market in the fall of 2013 while there was a net increase of 7 homes in 2012.

Why don't more sellers put their houses on the market?

Often it's because they are waiting for higher home prices. Some bought at the peak of real estate prices and can't afford to sell yet. Others think that higher prices are worth waiting for even if that might be later this year or perhaps the next year or two.

Of course, supply and demand are inextricably linked. When demand is soft, prices are soft too. As demand increases, the prices increases and soon enough the supply catches up to meet the demand.  If sellers wait until prices have climbed back up, all their neighbors will have joined them in listing their homes too and then the buyers will have lots of choices all over again (at which point prices stabilize or head down again.)

 

Boil this down: What does this mean for me?

For home buyers, you can expect less houses to choose from, rising prices, and competing against multiple offers.

For home sellers, 2014 could be a great time to sell a home in Leavenworth compared to any other time since 2007.

 

The fine print

Unfortunately, these are just market generalizations and a "rising tide" doesn't necessarily lift all boats.

  • Some neighborhoods continue to see flat or dropping prices, even though home prices continue to recover
  • Rising home values doesn't mean that sellers can pick their price. Both buyers and appraisers will still use past sales as a benchmark for home values
  • It appears as though there will be a shortage in condo inventory as well.
  • Home prices have not rebounded to peak prices

 

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Required Disclaimer NOTE: This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the North Central Washington Association of Realtors or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the Association nor its MLS guarantees or are in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the Market.

 

 

 

 

 

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Allyson and Geordie Romer

Leavenworth real estate agents - Allyson and Geordie Romer

For over a decade, Allyson and Geordie have been serving clients in the Leavenworth-area real estate market. Together, they work tirelessly to stay on top of the regional market and present the most relevant opportunities to their clientele.

When not in the office, they can be found exploring the endless recreation opportunities of the area in all of its seasons.

 

Testimonials

 

Geordie provided excellent real estate representation! We appreciated his detailed knowledge of the market, his up front and honest approach, and his negotiation skills.
As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Laura Anderson

 

 

As “west siders” looking for a getaway near Leavenworth, Geordie provided insight … his knowledge of design features important in a “snowy winter wonderland” was appreciated. Thanks Geordie!
As reviewed on Zillow  –
 

- Jean Stern

 

 

Geordie made this somewhat complicated transition easier for us…going above and beyond to help us work through issues that came up during the sale of our parents home. We appreciated his knowledge, attentiveness to details and his willing spirit.
Our family is grateful for Geordie!
As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Terry Foster

 

 

Geordie was great in every way. We have been looking in the Leavenworth area for some time, and Geordie was absolutely the best for local knowledge, history and depth on neighborhoods, developments and the local market trends. He was very quick to respond (even when he was on his vacation) and worked very diligently to get all of our questions answered in a very timely fashion. We would recommend him highly to anyone looking to buy or sell a home. Very friendly, and helped us navigate all of the local options before we made an offer on the property that we purchased. Thank you, Geordie!

As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Ryan Olsen

 

 

It was such a pleasure to work with Geordie and his wife, Allyson on our cabin purchase. They showed us a variety of locations, listened to what we wanted and helped us find the perfect match. Everything was smooth and not stressful, just relaxed and easy. We would definitely recommend Geordie and use him again if the need arises!

As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Cammie Schlosser

 

Moving to Leavenworth?

Are you looking for a cabin or a condo in Leavenworth that your family can use as a home base when climbing, skiing or hiking around Leavenworth or Lake Wenatchee?

Maybe you rent a house here and have decided to stay, surprised how a summer of rafting somehow turned into seven years.

Maybe it’s time to escape the hustle of the big city (and its rain) and move to Leavenworth with its four seasons.

Maybe you bought a condo years ago, don’t seem to use as much, and it’s time to sell.

Whatever your motivation, we are here to help. If you are buying a home, the best place to start is with our Homebuyer’s Guide to Leavenworth.