Fannie Mae downgraded their outlook for 2014 after home sales were below last year for the first half of 2014.  The latest Snapshot Report from Pacific Appraisals also shows home sales running below last year in the Wenatchee Market.

By number of transactions, the sales of homes and condos are down 8% in the Wenatchee market for the year.  Pricing has held firm, or even increased somewhat, as the dollar volume of all sales are only down by 2% for the year through July in the Wenatchee market.

The long term outlook is not encouraging either.  Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist notes the performance so far this year: “In the first six months of the year, total sales have run below last year’s pace.”  He goes on further by saying “on the demand side, there appears to be a conservatism among consumers and their willingness to take on big-ticket purchases, such as homes.”

Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group believe 2014 will finish below last year in total sales.  They expect 2015 to be have higher sales volumes than either 2014 or 2013, but still not a breakout year for home sales.  Remember, this is the same group that is downgrading their expectations for this year.

The Wenatchee housing market is still showing weak demand in the over $500k price range, where inventory soars to over 1 year and there is only  .67 homes per month sell in the price range of $500k to $550k.

The Chelan market reports have been somewhat devastated by the MLS changeover.  However, looking at sold homes, condominiums and manufactured homes from January through July of this year shows 95 transactions.  For the same time period last year, the volume was 96 transactions.  So, sales have been basically the same.

One difference in the Lake Chelan area is that the sales levels of existing homes have fallen more significantly.  There are new homes being built on speculation and pre-sales that have landed a bigger share of home sales than in previous years.  New construction sales through July in 2014  count for 11 sales versus only 4 for the same period in 2013.  For those trying to sell their existing home, the market is noticeably below 2013.

In spite of the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates at what are historically unsustainable rates, they have not been able to stimulate consumers back to housing market in droves, or even to the levels they expected.  We do live in interesting times.


Zillow took a look at the cost to make payments on homes in several cities which are seeing high demand, including Seattle and Portland, now and in the future.  They projected the prices of homes and interest rates one year from now and looked at how that impacted home payments.

For example, a $475,000 home in Seattle, if purchased now, would have payments of $2378 per month.  According to their projections, that same home one year from now could have payments of $2,813 per month, or $435 per month higher.

Of course, Zillow is in the business of selling homes.  But, interest rates are projected to rise, as well as home prices.  So, their scenario is possible.  I still suggest that you buy a home when you are good and ready to buy a home, and don’t worry about what the market is doing until that time.



Tubing on Lake Chelan

After a few days of rain and clouds, it is forecast to warm back up into the nineties with sunshine for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

All of the fires are knocked back with the rain, and the skies are clear of smoke.

But, all the fires, smoke and storms also slowed down housing shopping.  With inventory good, and sellers motivated to get a deal before the end of the season, this might be the best weekend of the summer to shop for homes and property at Lake Chelan!

I still have room available on my dance card this weekend to assist your property search as well!  Bring your friends and boat, you will have time because the water is fantastic!


It seems like just yesterday I was telling my clients about the rare availability of a home in the exclusive neighborhood of W Lakeshore Place in Chelan.

And here we are, a week later with a deal on that home!

There are other potential bargains available this summer.  The selling season hasn’t been sizzling on Lake Chelan, and fires and weather have slowed things down a bit.  There are even a couple Lake Chelanwaterfront homes at prices rarely seen, with one below $300k!

Have a look at the Lake Chelan waterfront homes and lots for sale, there are more choices than I have seen in years.  Your dream is waiting!


The weather is the big news at Lake Chelan right now.  It is pretty smoky, with the air not looking very clear or healthy.  We are having a temperature inversion that is holding smoke from all the fires down.

The good news is that is supposed to change tonight, with a forecast for a bit of a storm blowing through that should clear out the smoke.  But, there is bad news as well, with lightning forecast as part of that storm front that could spark more fires!

This has been an epic year for fires so far, with lots of losses of homes and property to the north and damage across North Central Washington.  There are funds set up through the Community Foundation and Red Cross for those that care to donate and help.

Wildfires are a normal part of the late summer/early fall environment around here, but this season they have started early and been huge.


I’ve been all around Lake Chelan today, from 25 mile to Manson.

Overall, it is a bit smoky.  For most of the day, there has been a visible haze.  I am pretty sensitive, and it doesn’t bother my eyes or anything much.

It also varies by location and time of day.  Late afternoon is usually the worst, as the fires get more active in the heat of the afternoon.  Wind direction makes a difference too.  Some days are very clear, and others are like I am describing. It was clear as a bell at 25 Mile today, and is hazier in Manson than Chelan.  All that is subject to wind shifts though.

The funny thing is I would have guessed from Chelan that 25 mile was engulfed in smoke, but it was no.

People are still out, enjoying Lake Chelan and businesses are open.  I plan to play on the jetski for a bit this evening.

So, this is my report.  If you are wondering, yes, I am available to show properties.  This is kind of an epic year for wildfires, so if you are looking at buying over here, come and see it at its worst.  It is not actually very bad.


Lake Chelan Sunshine

If you are looking for the best places to be for Lake Chelan waterfront, we have a website and a posting for that!

If you are looking for Lake Chelan waterfront, there are lots of options and moving parts to get your dream put together.  The website,, is a great place to find the best spots on the lake, for your new home or mooring your boat for the summer.

The author of that site doesn’t just know about Lake Chelan waterfront, he lives it.  His home, and many of his clients’ homes are all about Lake Chelan waterfront.

Today’s posting about best places, linked above, also talks about the rare availability of one of the five most desirable lots available period on Lake Chelan that is on the market right now!

You can also subscribe to a FREE Lake Chelan Waterfront Activity Report that will bring all the latest listings, sales and news about Lake Chelan Waterfront Properties for Sale to your inbox.

Check it out, for Lake Chelan fishing, sailing, boating and more, but especially if you are considering purchasing a Lake Chelan waterfront home or property!



Thirteen states have hit new highs for housing prices according to the latest report from CoreLogic, but Washington has not reached its previous peak values yet.

The states with new peak home values are:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming

Home prices rose 7.5% year over nationwide in June according to the CoreLogic report.  Overall, home prices are still 12.9% below their peak values when taken across the entire country.


I go nuts if I follow the employment numbers too closely.  Just this week we supposedly had a strong employment report with over 200,000 new jobs created, yet the unemployment number notched up 0.1% to 6.2%.

Home ownership numbers are similar in some ways.  I can read about numbers from the industry, and the National Association of Realtors, talking about tight inventories and homes being bought up all over.  That isn’t the Lake Chelan market, but maybe it is in your neighborhood.  But, I digress.

Yet, the home ownership rate fell to the lowest ratio in nearly two decades, 64.8%.  Among younger folks, the home ownership rate is at a record low of 35.9%.  Home ownership peaked at 69.4% in 2004 of homes that were owner-occupied.

Since 2004, the number had been in a steady decline.  When I see that ratio going up again, that is when we will be seeing a housing recovery.




A labor shortage for home builders is causing late deliveries of new homes according to the National Association of Home Builders.  Late completions, rising prices and lack of service after the sale are all being blamed, at least in part, on a shortage of workers in the home building trade.

“The incidence of reported shortages is now surprisingly high relative to the current state of new-home construction,”  according to NAHB economist Paul Emrath.

Almost two-thirds of builders report paying higher wages due to labor shortages.  Almost the same percentage say they have had to raise prices as well.  Builders report an increase of 2.9% in direct labor costs in the last 6 months and a 3.8% increase in subcontractor costs.

The bottom line is new home buyers may have their patience tried.