By: Rebecca Darley, Guest Blog
As an employee of a Wenatchee home inspection company it’s very important for me to stay updated with the latest real estate news and information. Today was a great opportunity for me to get the scoop. For about 6 years the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce has hosted an annual panel discussion called the Real Estate Outlook with discussions prepared by area experts including realtors, lenders, appraisers, builders and commercial real estate agents. On May 19, 2011, the panel met in Wenatchee to discuss the current state of the real estate market and to conclude with their predictions for the rest of 2011. This blog entry along with the next 4 entries will summarize the panel discussions of each speaker.
Cheri Farivar, Touchstone Appraisals
Cheri Farivar is a General Certified Appraiser with 25 years of appraisal experience in Chelan and Douglas Counties and the owner of Touchstone Appraisal, LLC, of Leavenworth. She was the first speaker on the discussion panel and started by looking back at the median home prices from 2008 to present:
- March 2008 $256,000
- March 2009 $223,900
- March 2010 $235,000
- March 2011 $201,000
She kicked the myth the home values have been decreasing by 20% annually, when really it’s been about 20-25% over 3 years. As of May 18, 2011, there were 11 new construction homes for sale under $200,000 and 30 new construction homes for sale under $250,000. Cheri pointed out that “for the first time in a long time” the median household ($58,000) in Chelan County can afford the median price home.
One of the challenges Cheri has observed is that realtors are finding it increasingly difficult to educate their sellers about the true value of their homes. Home values are lower than sellers want to realize and correctly pricing the home is the best way to sell a home fast and to prevent stale inventory.
On September 1, 2011 the UAD (Uniform Appraisal Dataset) will adopt one of the biggest changes to appraisal reporting since the revision of the Fannie Mae forms in 2005. Under the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac established the Uniform Mortgage Data Program (UMDP), to provide common requirements for appraisal and loan delivery data. Cheri said that this is the “biggest change in my 20 years” to appraisal procedures and predicts closing transactions will be take twice as long. Lenders, credit unions and appraisers are most directly affected but all real estate professionals and consumers will feel the effects. Be prepared to take two or three times as long to close on your home purchase or refinance.