Central Washington Real Estate Market Trends

Gardner-Report_masthead

Q4

2020

w-angle-pattern-bar-desktop-light

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.

windermere-icon

Q4 2020 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 agent.

 

Regional Economic Overview

The Central Washington region lost more than 12,500 jobs due to COVID-19, but, as I reported in the third quarter Gardner Report, almost all of them had returned. Unfortunately, a resurgence in new COVID-19 cases has again led to job losses. Employment levels are more than 4,600 jobs lower than before the pandemic started. Something to note is that the state’s economist advised me that the sample used for the October numbers was inferior to prior months and is likely causing an overestimation of job losses. I expect to see better numbers, but only when re-benchmarking occurs in March. With this caveat in mind, the unemployment rate, which peaked at 14.9%, has dropped to 7.3%. Again, this may be higher than is actually the case. In general, jobs are returning but—regardless of data discrepancies—I still anticipate we will see a slowdown in the pace of job growth. This will likely not improve significantly until a vaccine for COVID-19 is freely available.

central washington Home Sales

❱ Home sales in Central Washington were up an impressive 22.5% compared to the same quarter in 2019, with a total of 1,517 transactions taking place.

❱ Pending home sales in the region were 39.2% lower than in the third quarter, but this can be attributed to seasonality and a significant lack of inventory.

❱ Sales activity rose in all counties contained in this report, with significant increases everywhere except Douglas County, though even that market saw sales rise. Compared to the third quarter of 2020, sales in Central Washington were a remarkable 37.7% higher.

❱ The average number of homes for sale in the quarter was 45.8% lower than a year ago, and 30.2% lower than in the third quarter of 2020. Inventory levels remain well below historic averages.

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 Central Washington counties.

❱ Year-over-year, the average home price in Central Washington rose a substantial 26% to $443,870. Prices were also 6.4% higher than in the third quarter of 2020.

❱ Low inventory levels remain pervasive, which is clearly driving prices higher as demand far exceeds supply. I expect the number of homes for sale to rise in 2021, but the question remains whether there will be enough listings to meet demand.

❱ All but one county covered in this report saw home prices increase by double-digits. Kittitas County experienced very significant growth.

❱ The takeaway is that average home-price growth in Central Washington remains well above the long-term average and is unlikely to slow down until we see a significant increase in inventory levels.

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 final quarter of 2020 was 49 days.

❱ During the fourth quarter, it took 20 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. Okanogan and Kittitas counties experienced significant drops.

❱ It took eight fewer days to sell a home in the fourth quarter of 2020 than it did in the third.

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

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.

Demand has clearly not been impacted by COVID-19, mortgage rates are still very favorable, and limited supply is causing the region’s housing market to remain incredibly active. Because of these conditions, I am moving the needle even further 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.

w-angle-pattern-bar-desktop-dark
w-angle-pattern-bar-mobile-dark

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

w-angle-pattern-bar-desktop-dark
w-angle-pattern-bar-mobile-dark

Gardner Report Archive

Central Washington
Historical Reports

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.