Central Washington Real Estate Market Trends

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Q2

2021

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Our Central WA real estate market data is updated quarterly to aid in your real estate forecasts. Historical Central WA real estate data and trends are included below the latest update. We break down our data by county, but we cover major cities in this region including Chelan, Wenatchee, Leavenworth, and Yakima.

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Q2 2021 Gardner Report

Central Washington
Real Estate Market Update

by Matthew Gardner

Below is the latest Central WA housing market trends analysis. Additional links:

Historical Central WA Data
Western WA Data
Eastern WA Data
Other Regional Data

 

The following analysis of the Central Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere Real Estate agent.

 

Regional Economic Overview

I am pleased to report that the Central Washington region has recovered all of the jobs that were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the five counties that make up this report, total employment was 220,554, up more than 1,900 jobs from the pre-pandemic peak in March 2020. Given the recovery in the job market, it’s not surprising that the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1%, the lowest level since last October and well below the pandemic peak of 15.4%. The total labor force remains lower than a year ago but is starting to rise again, which may lead the contraction in the overall jobless rate to slow, but I do not anticipate it will rise again. I would add that the current jobless rate is actually lower now than it was before the pandemic appeared.

central washington Home Sales

❱ Home sales in Central Washington were 30.9% higher than a year ago. Given that the pandemic was starting to grip the region at that time, this statistic is not very informative. However, when comparing sales with the first quarter of this year, it was impressive to see an increase of 56.9%, with a total of 1,473 homes sold.

❱ Pending sales were up 54.5% from the first quarter, suggesting that closings in the third quarter will show further growth.

❱ Sales activity rose across the board, with significant increases in Kittitas County and sales in all other markets rising by double-digits.

❱ Inventory levels were down more than 17% compared to the first quarter and were 30% lower than a year ago. This is disappointing, as many other counties across the state are actually seeing the number of homes for sale start to rise. The local market remains very tight, and this will continue to favor home sellers.

A bar graph showing the annual change in home sales for various counties in Central Washington.

central washington Home Prices

A map showing the real estate market percentage changes in various counties in Central Washington.

❱ With low levels of inventory and solid demand, the average home price in Central Washington continued to trend higher. Prices were up 26.8% year over year to $471,858 and were 14% higher than in the prior quarter.

❱ Mortgage rates rose modestly during the first quarter of this year before pulling back in second quarter. This likely nudged many buyers off the fence. Rising mortgage rates and low supply levels have driven prices up.

❱ All counties covered by this report experienced significant price increases, with double-digit gains across the board.

❱ Home-price growth in Central Washington remains well above the long-term average, but affordability is becoming an increasing concern. Douglas and Kittitas counties are now technically unaffordable. As we move through the balance of the year, I expect price growth to continue, but we should see a slowdown in the pace of appreciation.

A bar graph showing the annual change in home sale prices for various counties in Central Washington.

Days on Market

❱ The average time it took to sell a home in Central Washington in the second quarter of 2021 was 36 days.

❱ During the second quarter, it took 28 fewer days to sell a home in Central Washington than it did a year ago.

❱ All counties saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop compared to a year ago, with noticeable improvement everywhere other than Yakima County, though market time there dropped by only 8 days.

❱ It took 21 fewer days to sell a home in the second quarter than it did in the first quarter of this year.

A bar graph showing the average days on market for homes in various counties in Central Washington.

Conclusions

A speedometer graph indicating a seller's market in Central Washington.

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

Listing activity has not yet risen to a level that meets buyer demand, and this is impacting home prices, which certainly favors sellers. Assuming the number of homes for sale will not rise significantly in the coming months, prices will continue their upward trajectory. At some point though, affordability will start to act as more of a headwind than is currently being experienced. As such, I am moving the needle a little more in favor of sellers.

About Matthew Gardner

Matthew Gardner - Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

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Major Eastern WA cities covered in this report:

Wenatchee

Yakima

East Wenatchee

Chelan

Ellensburg

Sunnyside

Grandview

Cle Elem

Kennewick

Richland

Cashmere

Omak

>

Eastern WA counties covered in this report:

Chealan

Douglas

Kittitas

Okanogan

Yakima

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Gardner Report Archive

Central Washington
Historical Reports

2021
Q1 2021 Central Washington Market Trends

Q1 2021
POST | (PDF)

Q2 2021 Central Washington Market Update

Q2 2021
POST | (PDF)

2020
                    Central Washington Real Estate Market Update

Q1 2020
POST | (PDF)

                    Central Washington Real Estate Market Update

Q2 2020
POST | (PDF)

                    Central Washington Real Estate Market Update

Q3 2020
POST | (PDF)

Q4 2020 Cetnral Washington Market Trends

Q4 2020
POST | (PDF)

2019
                    Central Washington Real Estate Market Update

Q1 2019
POST | (PDF)

                    Central Washington Real Estate Market Update

Q2 2019
POST | (PDF)

                    Central Washington Real Estate Market Update

Q3 2019
POST | (PDF)

                    Central Washington Real Estate Market Update

Q4 2019
POST | (PDF)

2018
                    Central Washington Real Estate Market Update

Q1 2018
POST | (PDF)

Q2 2018
POST | (PDF)

                    Central Washington Real Estate Market Update

Q3 2018
POST

                    Central Washington Real Estate Market Update

Q4 2018
POST | (PDF)

These Central Washington real estate reports, data, forecasts, and market trends are provided for informational use. If you find it useful, please properly attribute this resource with a link. Areas in this region of Washington State are also known as the Cascades, Lake Chelan, the Wenatchee Valley, and the Yakima Valley.