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Has the Leavenworth Real Estate Market Recovered?

Posted by Geordie Romer on November 12, 2012

We get clients and friends asking us all the time: Has the Leavenworth Real Estate Market Recovered?
Since the market is fluid and dynamic it really depends on what time periods we are comparing.
For this discussion, I broke the history of the Leavenworth real estate market into three time periods.
The real estate boom. 2006-2007.
I used the color green for this period because “green means go.”
The real estate recession. 2009-2010.
If “green means go” then “red means stop.”
The real estate recovery 2011-2012.
I put the most recent info in black.

Click on the Chart to See it Full Size
Many people who ask about the “real estate recovery” want to know about home prices. Sellers want to know what their home is worth and buyers want to know if it is a good time to buy.
The question I am more interested in, is WHY? or perhaps.. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?
Why do prices go up? Because inventory is low and demand is high.
As I have mentioned before on this blog, 10 homes selling per month is a good metric to measure sales activity and demand. I have been waiting for a time when we saw multiple months in a row of 10 or more home sales in Leavenworth. We saw that in Leavenworth this summer, which is a great sign that buyers have returned to the market.
On the chart above, it’s good news for home sellers that the black columns are starting to look more like the green columns than the red columns.
The curves on the graph above represent the supply. This is measured in the number of homes that are currently for sale in the market.
As you can see, in the boom years we had less than 100 homes on the market in the winter and the peak supply never got much above 150 homes for sale.
During the real estate recession, we had as many as 225 homes for sale and rarely did we have less than 150.
2011 and 2012 look a lot more like 2009 and 2010 when it comes to the amount of supply we have on the market.
Has  the Leavenworth Real Estate Market Recovered?
Demand is heading in the right direction, closer to where it was during the boom years. However, there is generally too much inventory on the market to see much in the way of price gains. Of course this information is about the general trends of the Leavenworth area and specific neighborhoods like Kahler Glen or Chiwawa River Pines or Lake Wenatchee may recover at different speeds.
How do we get a lower amount of supply? There really are just two ways.
Fewer sellers can choose to put their homes on the market, or those that are on the market can choose to take their homes off the market. (We have seen this a bunch in markets like Seattle and Denver in 2012.)
Homes sell quicker than can be replaced by those sellers wishing to sell. This doesn’t seem likely with the huge number of homes on the market.
In many neighborhoods, I expect we will see a continued buyer’s market for some time.
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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    If you’re planning to buy a home in this area, the best place to start is with the Leavenworth Home Buyer’s Guide.

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