The resiliency of the Wenatchee real estate market through what the media reports as a national crisis in the real estate industry is pretty amazing. I am not denying there is a real estate crisis, but I am amazed at how well Wenatchee has been able to weather this unprecedented storm.
Have you looked at the Wenatchee area housing sales statistics lately? According to the latest report out of Pacific Appraisal Associates (our area statitics gurus) in October sales numbers are down 27% BUT the average price has not decreased a single percentage point over the same period last year. I find this statistic alone amazing considering home prices are reportedly down in price by as much as 30% (or more) in some markets across the U.S.
While the "average" sales price is not showing a decrease, the "median" price does show a 4% decrease. The two are sometimes confused but they are NOT the same.
The "average" price is ALL the sale prices added together then divided by the number of sales for... well, an average.
The "median" price is the price point at which there are an equal number of homes sold at a higher price and a lower price.
For example, the "average" price in the Wenatchee MLS market area is shown at $283,358. So when ALL the sales were added up and the number of sales was added up... the number of sales was divided into the total $$$$ value of the sales to reach an average.
The "median" price is showing as $239,900. This means an equal number of homes were sold for less than $239,900 as more than $239,900.
For quite some time, the "average" and "median" home prices in Wenatchee were running very close. There is over a $43,000 spread now. What does this mean if our prices haven't really dropped?
To me, the explanation is in that people (and investors) are out buying the bargains... those in the lower price ranges where the "bargain prices" are obvious. The truly serious sellers are pricing their homes very competitively. We are not seeing many high end sales, which brings the median price down. This also holds the average price down.
Statistics can be deceiving. Theoretically, the prices could be going up while the "median" price declines. This is accomplished by more low end homes selling than high end homes.
If you actually go in and look at the SNAPSHOT report, you will see there were more homes sold in the $150,000 - $250,000 price range than all of the homes in every other higher price range put together. There were 36 homes sold in the $150,000 - $250,000 price range in September compared to 32 in the $250,000 and up price range. 13 of those were in the $250,000 - $300,000 price range. It looks like high end homes have pretty well stalled, sucking the median price down.
What we are seeing in our business at Willinger Real Estate is pent up demand building. We have a number of clients who want to buy but cannot because they have homes in other areas (like Iowa or Arizona or California) to sell before they can buy. We also have people wanting to buy but the financing environment is so unstable right now they cannot. This is creating high rent demand (and demand for lease/purchases), so investment properties are a great thing to consider right now.
Blah, blah, blah. My point of all this is... it's totally amazing to me that Wenatchee home values have been able to maintain the strength they have considering what's happening acrosss the country. I've said over and over, we are blessed with a good strong (and mighty diverse) economy AND a geographic location and natural resources that draws people from far and wide.
Now is a great time to buy in Wenatchee. If we can weather the storm as we have, what is going to happen when the market rebounds? I continue to see good things ahead for Wenatchee.
Now is the time to buy real estate in Wenatchee. Don't say I didn't warn you.
FREE search of all Wenatchee MLS homes, condos and land for sale
Current Wenatchee real estate news, info and trends
Current Wenatchee condo news, info and trends