The Leavenworth real estate market is made up of a number of different sectors that always seem to be moving in slightly different directions.
The majority of consumers, whether they are local homeowners looking at an increased tax bill or out of town investors, look to the growth of prices to gauge the strength of the market.
Home prices in Leavenworth WA are certainly up. At the end of May the average list price for a single family home in the Leavenworth area (including Lake Wenatchee and Plain) was $518,000. This is the number that tends to excite people and this is the number that most folks see when browsing the internet or looking in local homes magazines.
Of course the number that has more importance is the average SALES PRICE which is what the buyers are willing to pay. Considerably less - $354,000.
But as I said before, this is a tale of multiple markets wrapped up in each other.
The bulk of the Leavenworth real estate market is single family homes under $600,000 that are not on the water. We could even narrow the range to between $200,000 and $400,000, but the story is much the same.
At the end of May 2007 there were 45 of these homes on the market. Looking at the sales data, we have 5.7 months of inventory. More or less a balanced market with neither buyers nor sellers having much of an advantage. ( I would say that generally, home sellers outside the city limits probably have a stronger market that those inside the city, but that data will be saved for another day.) Last year, there were 39 homes on the market with a 3.9 month supply. Though supply does seem to be rising, we did have 63 homes on the market in August and September of 2005, so it is hard to say if this is a short cycle or a longer term trend.
Homes over $600,000 are the luxury segment of our market. In the past year, 6 homes (non- waterfront) sold in this price range and the 13 homes on the market at the end of May represent 26 months of supply. While few of these sellers are highly motivated, it is by any indication a buyers market. (And has been for some time.)
Waterfront homes are a different beast. Generally, these really just include homes on Lake Wenatchee and Fish Lake, and riverfront homes on the Icicle Creek, Chiwawa, White, or Wenatchee Rivers. At the end of May, there were 11 homes on waterfront or 7.8 months of supply. I think this market sector tends to be pretty balanced, despite ever growing price points.