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City’s housing market makes builders’ list

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WENATCHEE — The Apple Capital of the World made its debut this month on a list of Washington cities with improved housing markets, the National Association of Home Builders announced last week.

Wenatchee joined Yakima, Kennewick, Spokane, Bellingham, Longview and Seattle on the Improving Market Index of cities showing a marked uptick in house prices and new building activity. Nationwide, 259 metropolitan housing markets are listed on the index.

I’ve seen a real rebound in home sales in the Wenatchee area,” said Jim Blair, president and CEO of Wenatchee’s North Meridian Title and Escrow. The market has shown “an increase year over year since 2010, with last year showing a 25 percent increase over 2011. We’re expecting to see a similar sales volume in 2013.”

Overall, low interest rates coupled with reduced home prices has helped the local market recover, said Blair.

Released monthly, the index identifies housing markets that have shown improvement for at least six consecutive months based on increases in local construction employment, home prices and building permits.

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Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business or follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.