The MLS system is showing 42 new listings on the market in the last 7 days!  Three of those listings are listed for over $1 million asking price.

Two of the over $1 million are Lake Chelan waterfront home listings, and one is for a 1.4 acre, tourist accommodation zoned development site.

If there is something you are looking for, now is the time to be paying attention.  Let me know if you want to hear about it first!

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The folks at Freddie Mac say the housing market is stronger than at any time since the housing bust, which is actually a pretty obvious observation.  However, they go on to say that housing starts are up 50% since they hit bottom in 2009 and they predict housing starts to be up another 20% in 2014.

Sales of homes are up 13% above their low point.  Frank Notaft, Freddie’s chief economist, predicts a 3% increase in home sales in 2014.

Home prices are up too, by about 16% from their low point nationwide.  Freddie Mac predicts they will rise this year as well, but at about a 5% pace.

Mortgage rates are expected to rise about a half percentage point by the end of this year, to about 5% for a 30 year fixed.

 

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If you want to keep up with the happenings with luxury homes in the Lake Chelan market, make a bookmark or favorite out of www.chelan-luxury-homes.com.  It has searches for luxury homes, luxury homes with views, and luxury homes with pools in the greater Lake Chelan area.

This week, it has postings on some of the high-end homes that were on the brokers’ tour this week as well as the return of speculatively built luxury homes at Lake Chelan.

Whether it is just for fun, is aspirational, or to do some shopping for your next home.  Chelan Luxury Homes is a fun way to spend a few minutes looking at beautiful Lake Chelan luxury homes.

 

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The housing market is really something right now.  CoreLogic is reporting that home prices nationwide jumped up 10.2% on an annual basis in February, the fastest increase in 7 years.  It was the 12th monthly price increase as well.

Even without distressed sales, home prices are up 10.1% over last year according to CoreLogic.

It is making the market kind of crazy.  Many buyers become shocked that it is not still 2012 when they start looking.  If they find something they like, they figure they have time to buy it.  In many cases, a property might have been listed for years.  What happens instead is that if a property is priced anywhere near the market, it is likely to be very active this spring and can move quickly.  Buyers often have to lose a deal or two before they are willing to act quickly when they see a property they want to be successful in getting a property under contract.

Sellers are fickle too.  They read about prices being up and think it is 2006 again.  While prices are up from 2012, they aren’t anywhere near the 2006 prices in the Lake Chelan area.  In the end, both buyers and sellers can be very reluctant can stubborn in this market.  But, put a well priced property out there, and the buyers who have done their homework and are ready pounce on it right away.

This last week a new home listing came out and it had an offer on it within 2 hours of it coming out on the multiple listing service.  There were buyers just waiting for it, being that is an attractive home at a fair price.

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Check out both our new look on at PropertyChelan.com as well as our upgrade to the Ultimate Lake Chelan Property search!  Our search is still FREE and requires no registration.  If offers beautiful results with large, easily visible photos and the most detail available anywhere on the properties!

Plus, it has search capability like you cannot find anywhere else!  You can search for, and monitor activity in, our local subdivisions, from Bear Mountain, Morning Sun Estates, SunnyBank, Chelan Hills and 33 more.  You can not only sort homes by whether they have a pool, but you can specify an in-ground, indoor or community pool.

Basically, there is not a better search available anywhere to the public.  And, it travels well too.  It is “fully responsive,” meaning it will optimize itself to whatever device you use, from your iPhone or Droid phone to a tablet or large screen computer.  Of course, map searches are available too.

If you know just want view, multi-family, commercial, foreclosures, short sales, or waterfront properties, we have lots of “one-click” searches available for those and more too!

Let me know how you like the new look and capability!

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Vacation home sales jumped 29.7% to 717,000 in 2013 from 553,000 in 2012 according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers SurveyVacation home sales accounted for 13% of the market in 2013, their highest share since 2006.

Vacation home buyers bought with cash 38% of the time in 2013.  When vacation home buyers did finance, they typically had a high down payment with the median down payment for vacation home buyers coming in at 30% in 2013.  The median vacation-home price increased to $168,700, an increase of 12.5 percent from $150,000 in 2012.

Of the vacation homes purchased in 2013, 42% were distressed sales.

Most vacation home buyers, 87%, plan to use their property for vacations or as a family retreat. Nearly a third, 31%, expect to use their vacation home as a primary residence in the future.  28% bought because they wanted to diversify their investments or saw their vacation home as a good investment opportunity.  23% plan to rent their vacation home to others.

The average vacation-home buyer was 43 years old, had a median household income of $85,600, and purchased a property that was a median distance of 180 miles from his or her primary residence in 2013.  The length of time buyers plan to own their recreational property in 2013 was a median of 6 years, down from 10 years in 2012.

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The Census Bureau reports that the amount of property taxes collected by state and local governments reached its highest level in about 20 years in 2013.

Almost $488 billion in property taxes were collected in 2013, a 3% increase from 2012 and a 270% increase from 1992!

Property-tax collection totals have increased every year since 1992 except for 2010, when property tax collections fell by $5 million.

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February data confirms that the housing market was soft, for both new homes and existing home sales.

New home sales fell 3.3% in February to a seasonally adjusted rate of 440,000 which is a 5 month low.  January’s 5 year high number of 468,000 homes sold was readjusted to downward to 455,000 homes sold.

Existing home sales also fell by 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.60 million in February from 4.62 million in January according to the National Association of Realtors.  February sales are 7.1 percent below the 4.95 million-unit level in February 2013 and the lowest since July 2012, when it stood at 4.59 million.

Many want to blame the weather, but higher mortgage rates and tight inventory have also been impacting the market.  Home prices continue to be above prior years suggesting inventory issues are contributing to the slower sales.

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The EPA proposed a new rule on Tuesday that would give the agency control over temporary wetlands and waterways.

The proposed rule would allow the EPA to regulate pollution in “intermittent and ephemeral streams and wetlands.”  Those are wetlands created during wet seasons or temporarily after it rains.

Senator David Vitter said “The rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history.”

A 90-day comment period is now open on the proposed rule.  The EPA says they are making a robust effort for public outreach to gather input to shape the final rule.  I would be surprised if even major land owners hear anything about this during the comment period.

Instead, in two or three years, the federal ruling will require the states to generate new regulations from the Department of Ecology.  By that time, the regulatory bureaucracy is very difficult to roll back.

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In November of 2012, the 30 year fixed mortgage rate hit 3.31% for its record low.  Still, the current 30 year mortgage rate of 4.32% is an amazingly good deal historically according to Freddie Mac.

The folks at Freddie Mac are fairly certain we are not going back to the record low any time soon.  But the current rates look pretty good compared to the record high of 18.63% from October of 1981.  At the 1981 rate, the payments on a $200,000 loan would be $3117 compared to $992 at today’s 4.32% rate.

Here’s a summary of mortgage rates over the past 40 years and the approximate payment on a $200,000 mortgage.  It shows the changes in mortgage payments with the rise and fall of rates, according to Freddie Mac’s post:

  • 1970s
    Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage: 8.86%
    Approximate payment on a $200,000 mortgage: $1,589
  • 1980s
    Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage: 12.70%
    Approximate payment on a $200,000 mortgage: $2,166
  • 1990s
    Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage: 8.12%
    Approximate payment on a $200,000 mortgage: $1,484
  • 2000s
    Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage: 6.29%
    Approximate payment on a $200,000 mortgage: $1,237
  • 2014
    Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage: 4.36%
    Approximate payment on a $200,000 mortgage: $997
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