Leavenworth Real Estate
Archive for the 'Leavenworth Real estate market' Category
Real Estate at Lake Wenatchee and Fish Lake has really taken off in the last decade. Lake Wenatchee’s popularity comes from the wealth of recreational opportunities (boating, fishing, wind surfing, hiking, snowmobiling, skiing, golfing) and it’s proximity to the Seattle area.
There are two roads that skirt Lake Wenatchee and serve as separate neighborhoods. Cedar Brae (aka South Shore
road) runs along the South Shore. It starts at the South entrance of Lake Wenatchee State Park and passes Kahler Glen Golf Club. At the other end of the road is Camp Zanika Lache, a Campfire Camp, a number of cabins on leased Forest Service land, and a trail to Hidden Lake. On the north side of the lake, North Shore Drive runs from the Lake Wenatchee Highway near the YMCA camp to near the White River road near the former site of the Cougar Inn. The north shore of Lake Wenatchee is often preferred because it faces South and gets more sunshine in the short days of winter. The West end of the lake is mostly U.S. Forest Service and the East end is the mouth of the Wenatchee River and Lake Wenatchee State Park.
Lake Wenatchee Real Estate 2007
In 2006, there were 7 sales on Lake Wenatchee listed on the North Central Washington MLS. These are lakefront properties, not properties with access to the lake or across the street from the lake, but actual lakefront. 1 was a cabin on leased land, 2 were tear down houses, and 3 were lakefront homes and one was a building lot.
The tear downs averaged $490,000 while the lot sold for $822,000. The tear downs were on similar size small lots on the North Shore (.17 and .12 acres) with 52 and 40 feet of lakefront. The lot was also on North Shore, but was .55 acres and had 100 frontage feet on the lake.
The three houses averaged 2400 square feet in size and sold for an average of $1.1 million. All three houses were on the North Shore and on lots smaller than a 1/4 acre. Two of the homes had 100 feet of lakefront, while the largest house had only 50 feet.
In 2007, 2 lakefront homes on Lake Wenatchee have sold so far. These homes are smaller (average of 1500 square feet) and had an average selling price of $910,000. One home was on Cedar Brae and though larger, much newer and on a lot 3 times bigger, sold for less money. This is the only South Shore listing that has sold in two years and it appears that the market does favor the North Shore by a large margin.
Currently one home is pending at $750,000 for a rustic cabin 1392 square feet in size. A much smaller house of 800 square feet is available for $770,000. Both are on 1/2 acre lots on the South Shore.
There are still a number of cabins on Lake Wenatchee that sit on leased land owned by the U.S. Forest Service. These cabins sell for under $200,000. It seems like a great deal except that you don’t own the land. The USFS does and they make you pay them a lease. Those leases are currently for 10 or 20 years and may go up drastically, they are supposed to be set at 5% of the value of the land, though current leases seem to be a few thousand a year. (If the lot value in private hands is $500,000 then the lease is $25,000 a year.) The Forest Service may also cancel the lease and ask you to remove your cabin. Then you are left with nothing. Ask your lender if they will loan on a property like this, I doubt many will because of the risks involved.
Searching for Lake Wenatchee property
The search tools that consumers have at their disposal are poor at finding waterfront property in Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee. This is especially true for local Leavenworth sites like http://www.lakewenatcheehomes.com/ or my competitors at Leavenworth Properties and Lake Wenatchee Properties. This is a function of the IDX program available to us at this time. The mapping isn’t as useful, but http://www.windermere.com/ does allow consumers to search for waterfront listings.
Update March 2008
Recently I wrote an article about buying a riverfront home in Leavenworth. I talked about the different options such as the Wenatchee River, the Chiwawa River and Icicle Creek. For some people, buying a home on the river doesn’t compare to building a custom home on the river.
Building lots in Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee (Plain) are more expensive every year. This is especially true with riverfront.
In 2006, 15 parcels on the river sold in the Leavenworth area. The average lot sold for $246,000 for a lot under 1.5 acres in size. The median price for a lot was $275,000.
In 2007, through the end of July, 5 riverfront lots have sold. The average price is $307,000 for approximately 1 acre.
Currently, there are 6 active lots on the market with a median price of $385,000. The least expensive is $279,000.
3 lots are under contract (pending) with an average price of $273,000.
I generally tell buyers that they should expect to pay $300,000 for a riverfront lot in today’s Leavenworth real estate market. If you are interested in low bank that doesn’t flood or a specific location, such as the Icicle River, you probably can expect to pay more. (Lakefront is another story all together – probably double the price.)
With only 6 lots on the market, there really isn’t a huge number of choices for the consumer to pick from. The best thing to do is become very familiar with the market and be prepared (emotionally and financially) to move quickly when the right property becomes available.
Click here to search all Leavenworth properties or click here for riverfront properties in Leavenworth. (Unfortunately the second link is only good until September 07 – email me for current listings.)
For many home buyers in the Leavenworth, Plain and Lake Wenatchee area buying a riverfront home has been a lifelong dream.
There a number of rivers to choose from:
The Little Wenatchee River and the White River flow into Lake Wenatchee from the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area. There are a few opportunities here, but they are rare. Homes on these rivers are far from services and are likely to feel very remote. Winter access is something to think about – skiing or snowmobiling in may be your only option.
The Wenatchee River provides most of the opportunities for riverfront living. The Wenatchee River starts at Lake Wenatchee and heads down to Leavenworth (via Tumwater Canyon) and then on past Peshastin, Dryden, Cashmere and Monitor to Wenatchee where it meets the Columbia River.
Some neighborhoods that have Wenatchee River frontage are Bretz Road and Bretz Drive, River Road, Plain Ranches, Alpine Acres, Ponderosa, Alpensee Strasse, Icicle Road and Riverbend Drive.
The Chiwawa River
The Chiwawa River flows 37 miles from its start at Chiwawa Mountain in the Glacier Peak Wilderness to the Wenatchee River east of Lake Wenatchee. Most of the Chiwawa River is located in land managed by the U.S. Forest Service, though some private riverfront is available near the mouth.
Neighborhoods that have access to the Chiwawa River include Chiwawa River Pines and Shugart Flats.
Nason Creek flows into the Wenatchee River near the Nason Creek Campground which is adjacent to the South entrance of Lake Wenatchee State Park. Nason Creek flows from the Stevens Pass area and is close to Highway 2 for much of its downhill journey.
Icicle Creek flows from Icicle Canyon down to the Wenatchee River near downtown Leavenworth. Much of Icicle Creek flows through land managed by the U.S. Forest Service in Icicle Canyon.
Neighborhoods with Icicle Creek access include Icicle Island, Icicle Road, East Leavenworth Road, and Old Bridge Road. It is important to note that the river on your right when you head out Icicle Road from Leavenworth is actually the Wenatchee River!
The following creeks are a little smaller – babbling brooks that may dry up at the end of a hot summer -Chumstick Creek or Little Chumstick, Bjork and Eagle Creeks. If you are looking for “riverfront” these creeks may disappoint you. I happen to have a small creek in my backyard and I love it.
The Market for Riverfront Homes
In 2006, 13 riverfront properties sold in the Leavenworth and Plain area. The average home sold for $654,000 with a median sales price of $625,000. The average riverfront home was just over 2000 square feet.
Currently we have 11 homes on the river for sale in Leavenworth. The least expensive home is $500,000 and the average asking price is $840,000.
2007 brought Leavenworth its first riverfront condominium project – The Boulders. These 6 luxury condos are located on Alpensee Strasse within walking distance of downtown Leavenworth. Each 2 bedroom unit is 1500 square feet and comes with 2 fireplaces, 10 foot ceilings, granite countertops and awesome Wenatchee River views. Prices start at $595,000 for the 3 available units.
My partner Allyson has a nice 3 bedroom home on River Road for sale. This house has a short trail down to some great low bank waterfront on the Wenatchee River and great views of the river from the house and the deck. You can see a tour of this Wenatchee River home here.
The number of houses sold in the first half of 2007 is up 35% from the same time last year. The sales volume is up 53%!! This year 5.5 million dollars worth of homes have been sold in Cashmere in the first 6 months.
The average sales price in Cashmere is now $292,000, up 12% from 2006. The median sales price is up 31% to $282,000!
Right now there are 29 homes for sale in Cashmere at an average price of $396,000.
There are 10 pending sales with an average listing price of $325,000. This will continue to raise both the median and average sales prices for the year.
What is driving Cashmere real estate? I think Cashmere is a cute town, centrally located between Wenatchee and Leavenworth. For those commuting to either city, it is about a 15-20 minute drive. There are options for rural living or small town living in cute Craftsman era homes. Cashmere’s school district is also in high demand with lots of praise coming from parents and students.
Click here to Search for Cashmere Homes for Sale
Leavenworth’s real estate market seems to be following Westside trends. Home prices continue to climb, but fewer homes are selling according to data comparing the first half of 2006 to the first half of 2007.
Through June 30, 2007 the number of single family homes in the Leavenworth market that have been on the market is up 9% from 2006. Pending sales and # of homes sold are both down 15%. (These numbers exclude condo sales and manufactured homes.)
Sales volume for the first half of the 2007 is up only slightly (5%) over 2006 at $21.8 million dollars.
The continuing rise of prices in the area is probably leading to the slowdown in sales. Average home sales prices are up 25% over last year to $376,000, while median sales prices are up 17% to $305,000.
As of July 30, there are 111 single family homes for sale in Leavenworth at an average price of $518,000. Currently, there are 14 homes pending or under contract with an average price of $467,000.
Anecdotally, I am seeing the same trends I have been seeing for years. Most buyers in Leavenworth are looking for vacation property – this might be a condo in Leavenworth or at Kahler Glen , or maybe a cabin in Ponderosa or at Lake Wenatchee. These buyers are looking for good values between $200,000 and $400,000. They will spend more to be on the water – lakefront properties on Lake Wenatchee or Fish Lake, or Wenatchee riverfront.
The homes that are coming on the market tend to be either homes located in the city of Leavenworth that are very much like “vacation homes” or cabins, or they are priced above the price range that is popular with vacation buyers.
Despite the glut of homes on the market today, there is a dearth of cabins for these vacation buyers to purchase. The numbers make it look like some sort of “bubble” is about to burst. On the contrary, cabins and condos will continue to sell at a healthy clip, and everything else will plod along as it has.
Click here to search for your Leavenworth vacation home