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Is it time to build new condos in Leavenworth?

Posted by Geordie Romer on March 24, 2015

Over the past decade we have had the opportunity on this blog to chronicle some extreme swings in the Leavenworth Washington real estate market. In the first few years of this blog we were charting the amazing upswing of home prices and quick sales of the boom years from 2004-2007. In the following years, we wrote about the numerous failed condo projects that went up for auction or sold as short sales.
2009 Leavenworth Condo Update
2011 Leavenworth Condo Update
But the market is gaining strength again and I actually think it might be time to build new condos in Leavenworth. In March of 2015 there are only 11 condos for sale in Leavenworth. Three of these are zone multi-family and cannot be used as vacation rentals, another two are condo-tels and cannot be financed conventionally. That leaves 6 condos for sale and they are all older units. The newest condo for sale was built in 1995 (twenty years old and the median age is 25 years old.) Clients are clamoring for a unit in Riverpark or Cascade Crest but nothing is for sale. What kind of condominium project would be popular?

downtown Leavenworth location
zoned for commercial use
covered parking, preferably a garage
3 bedrooms are rare and would command a premium
Under $400,000 for a 2 bedroom
between 6-12 units so the market doesn’t get flooded (like 2007)

These shouldn’t be big surprises, but I’ve written good advice before and developers lost hundreds of thousands of dollars by not understanding the forces that drive the market here. I also think there is a market for retirement buyers looking for a “patio home” style condo.  Earlier projects hyped for retirement buyers were filled with stairs.  Wenatchee has some great options in this vein, but Leavenworth does not. So developer friends… when do we get started? (click here if you want to search the MLS for condos currently for sale in Leavenworth. )

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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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