Guest writer, Rebecca Darley
As the manager of a Wenatchee home inspection company I must stay educated on the latest local real estate news and developments. On May 19, 2011, the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce invited local real estate experts to lead a discussion panel called “2011 Real Estate Outlook.” This blog entry along with the next 2 entries will summarize the panel discussions of each speaker.
Fritz Nichols is the owner of Windermere NCW in Wenatchee. He’s been in the real estate industry since 1994 residing in the Puget Sound area and has recently expanded his services to the Wenatchee Valley. Like us, Fritz works in Western and Central Washington and has seen the effects of the housing market throughout those areas. He started off his discussion with some stats.
In the first quarter inventory of 2010 there were 620 single family homes comparing to 501 in 2011. About 10% of the inventory is bank owned homes matching the stats of the past couple of years. The Puget Sound area is seeing about 20% REOs and short sales in their inventory with up to 45% in some badly affected areas. In Wenatchee we’ve been fortunate to see rental vacancies trending down along with the inventory. This is a good sign.
Fritz predicted that the 2011 inventory will increase over the summer as it usually does annually, but he doesn’t expect much appreciation in home values. Fritz also commented on the media’s negative coverage on the real estate market. Gallup polls and Newsweek articles claiming that the homeownership dream is dead is not an accurate portrayal of the local opinion. His experience with clients has been completely opposite. Home buyers are taking advantage of affordable homes and cheap money realized by low lending rates.
On a side note, I came across an article while research Fritz’s Wenatchee home market stats. Bloomberg news write this on May 10, 2011: “Among metropolitan counties, the biggest sales improvement from the fourth quarter of 2010 was in Chelan County (Wenatchee), which saw a 25.5 percent increase in sales, followed by Spokane County with a 20.1 percent jump. Sales declined 18.2 percent in Asotin County (Lewiston, Idaho and Clarkston, Wash.) and 9.1 percent in Thurston County (Olympia).” Good news for Wenatchee!